The Angling Report - Alaska's Boardwalk Lodge

The Angling Report

By Robert Steele

I cannot say enough about the extraordinary friendliness of the staff there and especially the owners. Douglas and Donna Ibbetson. Boardwalk only takes 12 guests at a time [expanded to accommodate 19], so the service is very personal. My guide was friendly and helpful without being overbearing, and my wife was quite comfortable with everything and was treated extremely well.

As for the fishing, we caught four species of salmon (chum, pink, sockeye and silver) in the rivers, as well as numerous Dolly Varden and a few rainbows. At times you could almost walk on the chums, they were so abundant. We reached the rivers by driving over rutted lumber roads for 30 to 60 minutes each day.

While not overly enjoyable, the rides allowed us to see a lot of wildlife. More importantly, they gave us a flexibility you just can’t get with fly-ins. We could come and go when we pleased, try a different river if one was unproductive, etc. We could also go anywhere we chose each day rather than having plane schedules dictate where and when we would fish.

The lodge also has extensive equipment to loan for free, including waders, plus a fairly well-stocked Orvis store. This allowed us to travel light and buy our flies on-site, rather than bringing $500 worth of the wrong color and pattern.