Several years ago I had a crazy idea: I wanted to own and operate a remote fishing lodge in Alaska.
I had worked for years in the mining industry and the hard labor was starting to take its toll (years of heavy lifting, hard schedules and stress will do that to a person). I was looking for a change and wanted to pursue something that I loved. So, on a bit of a whim, I booked a flight to Southeast Alaska to look at a self-guided halibut and salmon fishing lodge that wasn’t far from Glacier Bay National Park and about 10 miles west of the small town of Gustavus, AK.
I remember taking off on the float plane from Juneau as we headed out for the lodge. It’s only a 35 minute flight, and I was in awe the entire trip. We crossed over open ocean and flew over high mountain passes. We watched mountain goats on the peaks and bears munching on berries in the meadows. And then, we touched down on the waters of the gorgeous Excursion Inlet. It was one of the most incredible things I had ever experienced. You just can’t do justice in trying to explain how awe-inspiring Southeast Alaska really is. To this day I love making that flight.
My family likes to tease me about jumping into things head first and, to be honest, this was one of those moments. I’d never been to Alaska, never fished for halibut, never ran, or for that matter, even been to a fishing lodge up to this point in my life. None of that deterred me. I was confident that my family and I could make it all work. And after a year of looking and figuring out how everything worked in this wonderful state, we were able to welcome our first guests! To say that it was easy would be a lie. It’s been stressful and it’s been hard.
The learning curve to running a remote fishing lodge in Alaska is pretty steep. We’ve had to learn a whole new way of life; a hard life, a complicated life, and a life SO worth living.
One of the greatest benefits to this family business is that we get to take part in, and help create once-in-a lifetime experiences at Salmon Run Fishing Lodge. One of my family’s personal favorite experiences happened a couple of summers ago. My girls and I were out in the Icy Strait fishing for halibut and we had just anchored up in about 200′ of water and let our bait sink to the bottom. While we were waiting for a bite we saw a pod of 8 to 10 whales making their way towards us. As they got closer a couple of the younger girls started to get a bit nervous and suggested that we pull anchor and get out of the way. I reassured them that the whales knew that we were there, that we didn’t have to worry and that the whales wouldn’t risk hurting themselves on our boat. About that time one of the adult whales surfaced right next to the boat. The water from the whale’s blow hole shot a mist over us, as he quickly tried to go under he swam through our fishing lines and ripped two of our poles out of the boat. He then gave the back of our boat a little love-tap and left us trying to catch our breath. It’s not an experience that I’d want to relive…but what normal person gets to be a part of such an amazing, crazy and scary event?! It’s something we will never forget. (And we even got it on video! click here.)
After 5 years at the lodge my family and I are amazed on a daily basis at just how wild and incredible Southeast Alaska is. Anyone who loves the outdoors, appreciates nature and/or wants to see an almost untouched corner of the world needs to spend time in our little corner of Alaska.
At Salmon Run Fishing Lodge we provide our guests a way to comfortably enjoy some of the most wild and raw country on earth. The lodge offers a warm, comfortable place to rest your feet with private bedrooms (with their own bathrooms), and a spacious area where our guests can mingle, warm themselves in front of our huge fireplace, read a book from our modest library, enjoy ping pong or foosball in our game room our just sit on the deck, drinking a hot beverage and watching the whales swim by.
Salmon Run Fishing Lodge sits directly on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. In fact, at our highest tides the water laps the shore directly below the deck. Our guests catch halibut not 500 yards from our private dock. We’ve actually had guests catch their limit of salmon right off that same dock! We also offer pots for Dungeness Crab and Spotted Shrimp that are ever present in Excursion Inlet. Our guests will often see humpback, orca and minke whales as well as black and brown bears, sea lions, sea otters, moose and all kinds of Alaska wildlife, right off of the front deck.
A trip to our remote fishing lodge simply can’t be matched. You’ll arrive excited and ready to experience Southeast Alaska and leave feeling like family and wanting to return.
Thanks for being a part of our crazy, Copinga adventure.
Salmon Run Fishing Lodge
Remote fishing lodge in Alaska
For licenses, fish identification help, etc. please visit here.