December 2015 | Special Iliamna Issue

December 2015


Alaska Traveler 6

Editor’s Creel 8

Gear Bag 10

Fishing for a Compliment 14

Tackle Tech 18

Salmon Sense 20

EZ Limits: A Guide’s Angle 22

Fish Alaska Fly 24

Fish Alaska Boats 26

Fish Alaska Saltwater 30

Fish Alaska Stillwater 34

Fish Alaska Recipe 70

Advertiser Index 72

Fish Alaska Online 73

Final Drift 74

Special Sections
Holiday Gift Guide Pt. 2 36
Each year we put out a two-part spread of gift ideas for anglers. Here’s what we are excited about for 2015. 

Recommended Iliamna Area Lodges and Outfitters 48


Rainbow Rivers
by John Cleveland 38

Author John Cleveland steps off the floatplane at Rainbow River Lodge to experience the famed rainbows of the Iliamna region in Alaska, and what he finds while exploring the legendary Copper River and other nearby waters is that their world-class reputation is more than merited.

An Iliamna Story
by Troy Letherman 44

From the famous tributaries such as Lower Talarik Creek to the mighty Kvichak, Iliamna country represents the very best in Alaska angling, particularly for trophy trout. Here’s what you need to know about where to go, and when. 

The Southside of Paradise 
by E. Donnall Thomas, Jr.  50

With a taste for wilderness adventure, long, graceful casts and rods bent into robust rainbow trout, anglers venture to the Iliamna region by the thousands, all searching for the classic Alaska fishing experience. In this feature, join contributing editor E. Donnall Thomas, Jr. and chase rainbows galore in the rivers of Iliamna’s farthest shore. 

Silver Bullets on the Copper 
by Larry Tullis 58

Iliamna’s Copper River: It’s sometimes crowded, sometimes not, sometimes hard to fish and often wonderful to the fly rodders that get to go there. Here’s your primer on one of Alaska’s signature trout rivers.

Sportsman’s Style in Iliamna Country
by Ben Paull 62

Tens of millions of sockeye pass through the Kvichak River and enter Lake Iliamna, migrating right by the front door of Alaska Sportsman’s Lodge, an upscale, even iconic fishing lodge. The rainbows, obviously, are never far behind. With a fleet of floatplanes, experienced guides and access to all of Lake Iliamna’s most productive tributaries, ASL offers anglers the opportunity to fish whichever river is hottest at a given time.