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frequently asked questions


When is the Best Time for a Fly Fishing Float Trip in Alaska?

This is answered best in what you would like to experience in Alaska. Each month offers a unique experience for a Fly Fishing Float Trip in Alaska. Some months will be better for Salmon fishing while other will be better for Rainbow, Dollies, Grayling and Pike.  There are all 5 species of Pacific Salmon available to our fly fishermen.  The Alagnak and Copper River have a unique and different schedule for the return of these salmon.  We will put you on the river that offers exactly what you would like to experience while fishing or floating these beautiful Alaskan Rivers

How Long are the Alaska River Floats?

Our floats Alaska fishing and float trips average 35 to 45 miles long.  Longer and shorter trips may be arranged.  You will need 5-7 days to complete most of the Iliamna Region rivers comfortly.  Longer float trips may be arrange

The Alagnak and Copper Rivers have a lot of Bears...How do we Handle the Bears in Alaska?

There are many bears on the Alagnak and Copper Rivers where we fish.  The best protection from these bears is proper planning of your food and cooking methods.  You will need to plan on using  freeze-dried “backpacking” types of foods.  You need to stay away from anything refrigerated.  We will give you suggestions and help with the planning of your food.  We also rent Bear Spray for those of you who would like to carry it with you on the river. Most of our rivers are in the National Park Service so firearms and not allowed.  However, a few of our rivers are within state lands where firearms are permitted.  Just remember that the bears have come to these rivers for the same purpose you have.  These rivers are home to the bears and we are the visitors.  We give them space when needed and never try to push them out of water that they are fishing in. Most of these bears are no more interested in you than you are in them.  They are part of the great experience of fly fishing in the wilderness of Alaska.

Should We Take an Alaska River Guide on Our Float Trip?

A River Guide is always recommend while in the wilds of Alaska.  If you have good experience on the oars, in good health and adventurous you may not need a guide and opt for a self guided trip.  Self-Guided trips are the ultimate in adventure.  This is a lot more than just a fishing experience.  A River Guide can provide an extra margin of safety while navigating the rivers, understanding of the fishery, handling “bear situations” and help with set up of camp sites along the river.  You will find the Alaska float trip to be a little more comfortable.  Please discuss this option with us.

Do I really need a satellite phone?

You won’t need a satellite phone but it is highly recommended.  If you do not own one you can rent them for as little as $75 a week.  This is the greatest safety tool you can have.

What type of food should I get?

Your food should consist of freeze-dried meals.  You may also bring items like trail mix, granola bars, jerky…  for snacking on.  It is also a good idea to bring tang, hot chocolate or any other type of drink mix as you would not be able to carry many cans of soda.  We will discuss food ideas in the planning process of your trip.  Just remember this is not a gourmet dinning experience but a fishing trip of a lifetime.  Your food planning will be critical to your safety with bears.

Can I ship the food up ahead of time?

You may ship your food and any other items to us prior to your trip.  The best way is through the US Postal Service at PO Box 330 Iliamna, AK 99606.  Make certain to send it to Rainbow River Lodge as well as your name or group name.

What are we limited to for weight?

You will be limited to 75 pounds per person in weight.  This includes fishing gear, clothes and food.  Basically the items that we don’t provide.  It is very easy to stay within this weight.

How do we get to Iliamna, Alaska?

You will fly from your home city to Anchorage.  We will arrange for you a flight from Anchorage to Iliamna.  This flight will take about 1 hour.  Iliamna is 195 miles to the South West of Anchorage.   Refer to our getting here page

Other valuable information

Because we are floating a river with large self-bailing rafts that can handle big loads, we are able to enjoy some luxury items that you wouldn’t have along on your typical backpacking trip, but I advise team members to pack like they are going backpacking, using a similar clothing and layering system and lightweight personal items.

We strive to set up a very comfortable camp so we can enjoy our down time and relax in the beautiful wilderness locales we’ll passing through, but if there are items that you don’t see on the gear list that you would like to bring, just ask and we will do our best to provide them.

As always, advanced planning is key. If you have any questions, feel free to call or email at any time.


For more info on this please refer to our equipment page. Please don’t hesitate to call us with any other questions you may have at 1-888-234-9552.

Thanks,Chad Hewitt