Tikchik Narrows Lodge report

BullerRiver1

Active Member
26 years ago I visited Tikchik Lodge - I returned for a week in early July. It's a good thing they don't depend on the frequency of my return visits!
Was it as good as I remembered? Yes and no.

The Lodge and operation are still almost flawless. The rooms are comfortable, but because of the intense heat during most of my visit got to be in the 90s inside; without the provided fans it would have been unbearable. Food is plentiful and excellent, considering it is a remote fishing lodge. The staff couldn't be more pleasant and professional. Great shore lunches - fresh salmon and pike.

Most guests are not fly fishermen at all; some will try fly fishing as a novelty; some will fish with fly or lures, whichever seems to be easier. I was the sole person who would fish fly rod only whatever the circumstances, which made me on occasion a pain in the ass for the guides (which they accepted gracefully) and less effective in fishing for salmon. But both were OK with me. I brought all my own gear - a five, seven, nine and ten - and got to use them all.

I don't count fish that I catch, but if I did I'd have to say I lost count. Chum salmon, dollys, char, lake trout, grayling, so many three foot pike that it got boring, and many beautiful rainbows including the (measured 28.5") in the photo. (BTW, that's the guide in the photo, not me.) I was absurdly pleased to receive the coveted 'Tikchik Trophy Rainbow Club' pin, pictured below. All the fishing was from the boat - I would've preferred some wading, but not practical/advisable here - and the only boat-related difficulty I had was from my remarkable ability to step on the line whilst casting. Two days stand out: sight fishing in the Narrows for huge rainbows (three caught, one pictured) - and of course losing the Big One; and catching one rainbow after another on dry flies for a remarkable four hour stretch.

So how did it stack up against a 26 year old memory? Salmon fishing was down; the guides said the runs were just not there in the same numbers. I caught so many pike and grayling that it got boring. And rainbow fishing? Still exceptional, and unexpectedly phenomenal on dry flies. The guide said he didn't even know fishing with dries on the Pack was a thing.

Would I go back again? You bet! Of course, it's unlikely I'll be above ground in 26 years so I'd better plan for an earlier trip. Would I rather go to a fly-fishing only lodge? Yes - but only because I'm a bit of a snob. Is Alaska my favorite freshwater destination? No - only because it's too easy. I'd rather go to New Zealand: fewer - but on average much larger - fish. And, of course, a much greater level of skill required to be successful. I guess it's the masochist in me - but then, that's are characteristic of us fly fishermen, isn't it?

Tikchik rainbow.jpg

Tikchik pin.jpg
 
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Luckee

The Salmonizer
I flew in there with the owner (I think he was both owner and decent pilot) and a recently hired cook on one of their deadhead flights some years ago, in order to get myself and my kayak up to Nishlik Lake. Got to look around the lodge a bit during the stop, and it looked terrific.

Did they fly you out to remote rivers? I remember the guy (wish I could remember his name) talking about the Togiak or some other spots that were favored by spin clients.

I've been to New Zealand as well, and I'm not sure I share your masochism :)
 

BullerRiver1

Active Member
I flew in there with the owner (I think he was both owner and decent pilot) and a recently hired cook on one of their deadhead flights some years ago, in order to get myself and my kayak up to Nishlik Lake. Got to look around the lodge a bit during the stop, and it looked terrific.

Did they fly you out to remote rivers? I remember the guy (wish I could remember his name) talking about the Togiak or some other spots that were favored by spin clients.

I've been to New Zealand as well, and I'm not sure I share your masochism :)
Fly out every day but one - and that one was the most productive, size-wise at least. The masochism comment was tongue in cheek. I've been to New Zealand seven times and there's been no suffering involved!
 

Luckee

The Salmonizer
Hehe, I've suffered there, when a helicopter landed a football field from where I was camping out. They said they "we look for tints, mite," and couldn't see my green hammock setup. Fair enough. But as you probably saw, fishers really like to space out for miles down there and concentrate on nice rested water.

I was pretty close to going back last year, and hell, with the pandemic, I should probably look into an AirBnB in Nelson!! :)
 

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