VIV News Shot

Nov, 2015: Most lodges have a reputation for quality service. Few have a reputation for being excellent at everything. Enchanted Lake Lodge stands alone in the “excellent at everything” category. A rock star of Alaska fishing lodges, Enchanted Lake’s specialty is rainbow trout, and they do it bigger and better than anyone else. Many well-traveled fly fishermen hang their hats at this lodge for good reasons.

The lodge sits on 54 acres of private property within the boundaries of Katmai National Park, and is one of two lodges that have this exclusive privilege. Summed up in one word, the property is immaculate. The groomed landscape looks like it is straight out of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. The fleet of Beaver floatplanes are the cleanest and well-maintained planes I’ve ever seen. Their keen eye to detail sets the stage for the fishing as well. From the trademark Brandy reception upon arrival each day at the dock to a staff that outnumbers the guests, no stone is left unturned at Enchanted Lake.

Perched atop the crystal clear Nonvianuk Lake, each cabin and lodge room is specifically designed to offer comfort and serve as your retreat after a long day of fishing. Ideally spaced throughout the peninsula, each private stand-alone guest cabin is equipped with amenities to provide the ultimate in comfort. Cozy beds, private bathroom and shower, guest controlled heat and 24 hour electric. I was awakened each morning with a pot of fresh brewed coffee on my cabin doorstep followed by a delectable breakfast and fresh-made pastries in the main lodge.

This is a daily fly out lodge that put me on some of the optimal trout waters in the region. Thanks to their central location, most flights are only 5-20 minutes. If BIG trout is your Alaskan vision, this is the place to make it happen. I could tell by talking with the manager, Daren Erickson, that the homework is never finished and adjusting timing and tactics leads to a wealth of accumulated knowledge. After 54 years of operation, they have an unsurpassed system in place!

I fished many of the famous Bristol Bay streams and rivers during my visit, and the lodge have some “secret” spots that I been sworn to never divulge. If you are a true trophy trout hunter looking to break the 30” mark, odds are that it will happen here. The big fish during my brief stay was a 34” behemoth with a 19” girth. A truly amazing specimen and, it was without a doubt, the fish of a lifetime.

Daren’s lovely wife, Tracy, operates a professional grade kitchen. She and her staff go all out to indulge guests with varied, delicious and meticulously prepared entrees. It’s like dining at a gourmet restaurant every night of the week! An impressive handpicked wine selection will accompany your dinner for a first class experience.

Enchanted Lake Lodge is your luxury entryway to all that Katmai National Park has to offer.

By: Tom Gilliland


Tom has been hunting and fishing his home state of PA from a very young age. Always looking for interesting outdoor opportunities brought him to Alaska in the early 90s, fulfilling a childhood dream. He learned valuable lessons along with a healthy respect for the unpredictability of the Alaskan bush and the importance of being prepared. Tom has hunted and fished various areas of Alaska, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, and most South America countries over nearly two decades as a Frontiers specialist. Experiences include Brazil for Peacock bass, Bolivia for Golden Dorado, Argentina for Red Stag, Canada for pike/trout, and Alaska for steelhead, salmon, and trout. Outside of work, Tom is a dedicated archer and a diehard steelhead/trout fisherman.