ROYAL COACHMAN LODGE
ROYAL COACHMAN LODGE
Royal Coachman Lodge is located in the heart of the world famous Bristol Bay region of Southwest Alaska. The lodge sits on the banks of the Nuyakuk River in the middle of the Wood River Tikchik State Park – the largest state park in the nation with 1.6 million acres of land. The Park is adjacent to the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge. Both the Park and the Refuge provide exceptional fishing, but also offer some of the largest wildlife and birdlife populations in Alaska. During a week with Royal Coachman, guests will fish waters in the Park, the Refuge, and a variety of other rivers throughout southwestern Alaska.
Royal Coachman is a small lodge by Alaskan standards, only catering to 10-12 guests per week. Their intimate and flexible program is designed to get away from the crowds now associated with so many Alaskan lodges these days. Their fisheries are un-crowded and you’ll have the river all to yourself. Royal Coachman focuses on a wilderness experience, and strives to fish areas no one else does. They carry nine different permits and leases to ensure that you will have outstanding fishing and the wilderness experience that has become so rare in many parts of Alaska.
This area of Alaska is accessible only by floatplane. Most fishing lodges in Alaska are located in small towns or native villages. But Royal Coachman Lodge is 65 air miles north of Dillingham and totally isolated in the midst of a vast Alaskan wilderness. While its home water offers incredible fishing out the back door, Royal Coachman is a fly-out lodge that utilizes two de Havilland Beaver aircraft to access an exclusive range of over 75,000 square miles targeting as many as twelve different species. When everything is fishing well, Royal Coachman almost has too many fishing options available. Imagine trying to decide whether to fish for 25 pound pike on the surface, salmon covered with fresh sea lice near the coast, hike small creeks for arctic char in the mountain lake streams, rainbows and dollies on the Nushagak, Agulapak, Kvichak, etc., or a mixed bag of grayling, lake trout, and rainbows on RCL’s home river. That’s the dilemma Royal Coachman guests must face each day.
Fair warning – Royal Coachman Lodge has done such a superb job with its operation that it has a very loyal repeat clientele, and openings can be difficult to come by. Plan to book far in advance! You will NOT be disappointed.
As a small operation, Royal Coachman Lodge has the flexibility to cater to both the serious and the more laid back fisherman. Customization is the key to their fishing schedule. With nearly 20 boats (aluminum Jon boats with 40HP jet units) scattered throughout the region, and many rivers where you do not need a boat, you will have an amazing number of fisheries to choose from everyday. You can drift fish from the boat or wade fish depending on your preference. If you are on a creek that does not have a boat, your guide will carry lunch in a backpack and you can wade fish the creek for the day. All they need to know is what species you would like to focus on for the day, and if there is a particular river that you would like to fish, and their team will help pick the best fishery for you.
How many fly out lodges in Alaska take only ten guests a week? Unlike many lodges where guests are segregated from the lodge and guide staff when not on the water, Royal Coachman operates a small and intimate operation where you will get to know the crew. Between fishing all day with the guides and eating dinner together, the team becomes more your friends than just your guides. Coachman guests catch at least 12 different species of sport fish during their season. Whether you want to sight fish for King Salmon, throw a mouse pattern to a 25+ lb pike, drift fish for big rainbows, or catch a rare sheefish, they can do it. The Nuyakuk is the home river – and RCL is the only operation on it.
The Royal Coachman Lodge sits on the banks of the Nuyakuk River. Their small lodge caters to a maximum of 10-12 anglers per week (with 10-12 people on staff). This small number of guests and large staff helps to ensure that you will have the maximum amount of personal service and attention. The Coachman has four finely furnished guest cottages, one and two bedrooms, and private baths. They also have one well-appointed bedroom in the main lodge. Each cabin or room has modern bath facilities, independent heat, excellent beds, and all the creature comforts of home, along with spectacular views of the river and the rapids. The lodge can sleep 12 guests maximum, so you will have a lot of choices from single cabins, to family cabins. 110 electricity is provided by a diesel generator.
Royal Coachman Lodge prides itself on the quality and abundance of the food that is available to its guests. Freshly baked bread, rolls, and pastries are served at each lodge meal. Fresh fruit and vegetables are always available. Dinner menus vary but, typically include New York steak, turkey, prime rib, halibut, a variety of Alaskan seafood, and similar items. Lunches are prepared by the lodge kitchen staff and are often supplemented by fresh fish cooked on the stream bank. You won’t find better food at any fishing lodge in Alaska. Guest rooms are cleaned daily. The lodge does not have laundry service available for clients. Please do not plan on the crew having time to do personal laundry.
ROYAL COACHMAN LODGE OPERATES ON A SUNDAY-SUNDAY SCHEDULE
The first leg of the trip is accomplished by guests reaching Anchorage, Alaska, which is serviced by many commercial carriers. Most guests will need or want to spend the night in Anchorage at one of our recommended hotels on Saturday, before traveling to the lodge on Sunday.
The second leg of the trip is a one hour thirty minute ride aboard a private charter with Alaska Central Express to Dillingham, Alaska on Sunday. From Dillingham, guests are transported by ground transfer approximately 45 minutes to nearby Lake Aleknagik, where the lodge’s float planes will be waiting to load up and head into camp.
The following Sunday, guests are transferred back to Dillingham for the flight to Anchorage by private charter. There is no additional overnight required in Anchorage en route back to the lower forty-eight, and most commercial flights are “red-eye” overnight flights arriving home early the following morning.
WHEN TO GO / SEASONALITY
ROYAL COACHMAN LODGE IS OPEN FROM EARLY JUNE THROUGH OCTOBER 1
Choosing a date to fish anywhere in Western Alaska is completely contingent upon which species of fish you would like to target. Royal Coachman Lodge is open from early June through early October. Fishing is excellent any time in the season, but the conditions and species available vary from month to month and may impact when you decide to visit. All months are excellent for viewing wildlife, and anglers often find themselves sharing the river or stream with multiple grizzly bears doing a little fishing of their own.
The annual salmon run plays a huge role in the productivity and style of fishing. Every summer millions of Pacific Salmon return to their home streams to spawn and die, contributing to this natural cycle of life that maintains the health and productivity of the fishery. See our brochure for more details on seasonality.
Although fishing is the predominant activity at Royal Coachman, we encourage non-angling companions to visit the lodge as well. Perhaps the best way to see Alaska’s beautiful wilderness, landscapes, and wildlife is on a fly-out fishing trip. Although daily activities are oriented around fishing, guests at RCL can detour to enjoy some wildlife viewing, hiking, and kayaking options for those who’d like a change of pace or just need a day to rest a sore fishing arm.
Wildlife encounters and photographic opportunities are everywhere including daily sightings of bears, as well as wolves, moose, bald eagles, and other bird life. Royal Coachman is by no means a pretentious “fly fishing only” program. Beginner anglers are welcome and encouraged to use spinning equipment instead of fly rods if required to make guests more comfortable and successful.
- 7 Nights double occupancy accommodations at Royal Coachman Lodge
- 6 Days guided fly-out fishing with shared guide (weather permitting)
- Housekeeping service
- All meals and non-alcoholic beverages
- All ground and air transfers between Dillingham Airport and Lodge
What's Not Included
- Roundtrip airfare to/from Anchorage, Alaska
- Accommodations while in Anchorage Saturday night prior to Sunday arrival at the lodge
- Private Charter Airfare to Dillingham, Alaska to/from Anchorage ($770 Per Person)
- Rental fishing equipment
- Applicable fishing licenses & King Salmon Stamps
- Liquor (BYOB encouraged)
- Use of lodge telephone and fax
- All applicable gratuities (10-15% of trip cost is customary)
Terms & Conditions
Tailwaters Travel must adhere to the cancellation policies of the guides, outfitters and lodges which it represents. Royal Coachman Lodge’s policy follows:
A non-refundable fifty-percent (50%) deposit is required at the time of booking to confirm all reservations. All trips must be paid in full 90 days prior to departure day. A deposit may be transferred to another person who is not booked at the lodge for the current season. Deposits are refundable for cancellation only after/if the canceled space has been filled at least 90 days prior to trip dates. Refunds are not granted for non-flying days due to weather or reasons out of the lodge’s control. Hotel rooms, or food expenses due to weather delays getting to the lodge in Dillingham or Anchorage are not Royal Coachman’s or Tailwaters Travel’s responsibility. Refunds of deposits/payments made on credit cards will be charged a 3.5% service charge to fully compensate Tailwaters Travel for all bank charges incurred. Receipt of deposit and/or final payment is acknowledgement that the registrant has read and accepts the cancellation, refund and responsibility clauses.
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