If you want to take a luxurious fly in fishing trip for the day from Anchorage, the Rusts’ Fly-in fishing trip to Riversong Lodge is fantastic.
Our trip began bright and early at Lake Hood in the Rusts Flying Service headquarters. We were greeted by the staff, check-in was very efficient. The staff was very friendly to chat with, even that early in the morning. After checking in, we relaxed for a few minutes, viewed the displays around the lobby, and most importantly, took the staff’s recommendation to use the restrooms before taking off since it was about a 40 minute flight and there are no restrooms are on board the planes. The pilot came into the office and we were escorted out onto the docks where our plane awaited. Rust’s operates 4, 6 and 9 passenger float planes and we boarded one of the smaller ones – a four passenger plane on floats.
Before I knew it we were preparing for take off and listening on our head phones to the traffic at the busiest float plane base in the world. There is an average of 1000 landings and take offs each day on any given day in their peak summer season. We taxied to the other side of the lake and we are cleared for take off. As we took off from the lake and begin our journey across the inlet you get a scenic view of Anchorage and the Cook Inlet then you’re over the Matanuska-Susitna Valley.
This trip I took my father from Maine. It was his first flight in a small plane. We were awed at the landscape we passed on the way over to the Riversong Lodge. We saw moose, trumpeter swans and even a black bear on our flight. We landed on the Yetna River and floated up to a sand bar where we were greeted by a guide in an aluminum boat destined for the Riversong Lodge. Once we arrived at the lodge we went into the main lodge to check in where the staff greeted us and checked all our fishing licenses. The day we went it was drizzling and cooler than normal. That didn’t matter since the lodge had a nice warm log fire, hot beverages and warm muffins. You can purchase the fishing license at the lodge upon arrival if need be. For 2008, it was $20 for an out of state day license.
Once we settled in our guide Dave came in to get us and we followed him down to where they fitted us for rain gear and waders before getting into the boat and headed up the Yetna to Lake Creek. The river was a buzz with all of the other anglers searching for just the right spot to fish. Dave our guide did everything for us. He got all of our rods ready with just the right lures, weights and salmon eggs. He even made sure the rods were set up for my Dad and I since we are both left handed. We spent most of the morning going from one spot to another trying to catch some of those flopping salmon we saw everywhere. We only caught one silver that morning. After a few hours we headed back to the Riversong lodge where lunch was included as part of the package. We ate lunch in the main lodge while swapping fish stories with all of the other anglers. The food was all local and definitely on the gourmet side. Wine and beer was available for this who wished to indulge for a small fee.
After lunch Dave took us out fishing again. Before we knew it we had both limited out on salmon and it was time to go back to the lodge. Once we took our pictures with our salmon catch Dave filleted the salmon and packed it into zip-lock bags. We relaxed at the lodge until our float plane arrived and Dave took us back out for our return flight to Anchorage. Dave was spectacular! He knew the area and was a true delight to be with all day in what ended up being a very wet, rainy, and chilly summer day. As with all good guides, it is customary in Alaska to tip them for providing such great service – as we did with Dave!
If you are looking for a quick day fishing trip this is it. The lodge is outstanding and this trip will take you to the “hot” fishing spots in South-central Alaska. I have taken this several times as a day trip and as an overnight lodge guest. I would highly recommend this for anyone looking for a quick get away close to Anchorage. The owners, Randy and Robin Dewar take great pride in operating their lodge and making sure all guests walk away with memories of a lifetime.