Fly Fishing in Alaska for Giant Rainbow Trout: The Katmai Trophy Lodge | The Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

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Experience the Ultimate Angling Adventure when Fly Fishing in Alaska's Pristine Waters

Are you an avid fly fisherman looking for your next big adventure? Look no further than the breathtaking wilderness of Alaska, home to some of the most exhilarating fly fishing experiences in the world. Almost every angler dreams of a fly fishing vacation to to Alaska that often tops the bucket list. Nestled in this angler's paradise is the renowned Katmai Trophy Lodge (, a haven for those seeking both tranquility and thrill in the heart of nature.

Why Katmai Trophy Lodge? Managed by James Johnson, an Expert in Freshwater and Saltwater Angler

Alaska wilderness is a different world and if you want an amazing experience along with a glimpse into the lifestyle of Alaskan wilderness development for the sake of fly fishing is, then the Katmai Trophy lodge is a great example. Fly Fishing in Alaska at the Katmai Trophy Lodge with James and his team will change your life in my opinion. 

Katmai Trophy Lodge isn't just a place to stay; it's a gateway to the extraordinary to an almost untapped world by modern means. Under the expert management of James Johnson, a seasoned angler with extensive knowledge due to taking over the family legacy lodge. Both a freshwater and saltwater expert angler, James was fortunate to be brought up with ample opportunities in master both.  He has since transcended that expertise into the affordability, service, and expert guides at Katmai Trophy Lodge. The lodge offers a unique blend of comfort, adventure, and expertise that is hard to find in today’s overpriced and overcomplicated fishing lodges.  Johnson's passion and experience ensure that every guest receives personalized guidance and insights, making each fishing trip educating and truly memorable.

A Diverse Range of Fish Species when Fly Fishing in Alaska

At Katmai Trophy Lodge, the range of fish species available for fly fishing is nothing short of spectacular. The best time to go is dependent on what you are looking for.  That is true for the species and the fishing type.  Regardless, of time or species the fishing is incredible but it may not be exactly what you are looking for so have a quick conversation with James or someone on his team and you’ll have significant peace of mind. For example, are you ok with fishing beads, swinging flies, dry fly fishing, skating mice, etc. all have subtitles that timing can effect. Talking to James can give you great perspective on when is best so you end up getting what yo are looking fore. Either way fly fishing in Alaska, anglers can look forward to casting their lines for:

  • - King Salmon: Known for their size and strength.
  • - Silver Salmon: Agile and acrobatic, Silver Salmon provide an exciting challenge for anglers.
  • - Rainbow Trout: Prized for their vibrant colors and fighting spirit, Rainbow Trout are a delight to catch and the Naknek River just out the door of the lodge has some of the highest quality rainbow trout in the world.
  • - Dolly Varden: A true Alaskan treasure, Dolly Varden char are renowned for their striking appearance and spirited nature, offering a rewarding experience for fly fishers.
  • - Arctic Char and Grayling: These species add variety to your fishing experience with their unique characteristics.



***Interesting Tip: Char tend to travel in their brud.  Therefore if you see a friend hook a good one then get your line in the water. Your likelihood of hooking one of similar size is significantly higher.

High-Quality Guiding for an Unparalleled Fishing Experience

What sets Katmai Trophy Lodge apart is the high-quality guiding. The guides are not only experts in fly fishing but are also intimately familiar with the Alaskan wilderness. Moreso they know the local area like the back of their hand and have an excellent communication practice between guides to make you are headed the right way.  This ensures that you're always in the right spot at the right time, increasing your chances of making that dream catch.
One of my favorite fishing tales is wrapping up two separate trips with Sage Johnson as our guide. Having fished all day and landed several rainbows on the Naknek we were pretty satisfied even though both times it was our last day on the water. The three of of laughing and enjoying our week we all looked at each other and set up our last run.  I’ll remind you that this happene on two seperate trips. At the top of the run we drop in our lines and start our drift.  The first trip it was roughly 300 yards down river and my partner Todd Jurgenson hooked up.  While fightin what we new was a good fish, I continued to fish off the back.  Boom!  I hooked up and we proceeded to land two quality rainbow trout.  The grins began and you could already taste the drinks that high was so good.  



The next trip several years later, we laughed and looked at each other as Sage turned the bow and pronounced, “last run boys it better be a good one so don’t mess it up!”  All chuckling outloud but deep inside we were praying for another good run. Sure enough we hit the top of the run and the motor cuts.  Not more than 10 seconds later Todd and I are double up.  I wish we had a photo or video The two of us literally doubled on smelt!  The three of us were laughing so hard we couldn’t believe it.  See this is where it gets good.  We cleaned up, relaxed got or rigs back in the water and within the last quarter mile of our run Todd hooked a beast of a bow.  Frantically he started guiding the fish and prepping it to be netted. Here I am quietly in the back of the boat.  I can see my rig in the water and what I initially perceived as a moving boulder was a giant bow. Boom! That bows mouth opened and I watched the eat. Setting hook I screamed “We are doubled again!”  Cheering starts and I felt the replies of awesome but, we have a great fish up here so I shouted out, “this thing is a monster!” Shortly after we got a glimpse and every cell in our bodies turned towards getting these guys to land.  With impeccable boat and net managment Sage helped us manage and land both fish.  What a trip it was.


Explore Diverse Waterways and Customizable Fly-Out Packages

From the lodge, a myriad of fishing opportunities awaits. Whether it's the river right at your doorstep or remote locations accessible by the fly-out packages, every day is a new adventure. The fly-out packages offer access to secluded spots, ensuring a serene and personal fishing experience. Choose your adventure - whether it’s battling giant salmon in rushing rivers or casting for trout in serene, crystal-clear streams. Either way there is a package for you.

My advice is to do at least one fly out.  They are amazing and remote.  Keep in mind that when you land the first opportunity you have to fly is the best opportunity. The weather in Alaska can be finicky so don’t wait and get weathered in and out of the fly out you have been dreaming of. 

 Listen to an old episode where James Johnson was interviewed

Your Alaskan Fly Fishing Journey Awaits


Imagine yourself standing in the midst of Alaska's stunning landscapes, fly rod in hand, as you cast your line into some of the most fertile fishing waters in the world. It sounds to good to be true, but at Katmai Trophy Lodge, this dream becomes a reality. Every aspect of your trip, from the humble accommodations to the expert-guided fishing, is designed to provide an unparalleled angling experience.

Don't miss the opportunity to go on the fly fishing adventure of a lifetime. Visit Katmai Trophy Lodge ( to book your trip and join a community of anglers who have experienced the thrill of fly fishing in Alaska's pristine waters. Don’t wait it could be the regret of a lifetime!

When you book your trip, mention that you learned about Katmai Trophy Lodge from the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast. 
Use Code: FFIPodcast and get 5% off of your booking. 

Have other questions you would like me to address then email me at


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 Christian Bacasa, Host of the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

By Christian Bacasa
Host of the Fly Fishing Insider Podcast

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