Sept, 2014: The Royal Coachman Lodge is a remote destination on the Nuyakuk River and one of only a few lodges with access to the Togiak Refuge. Designed for small groups, this lodge is perfect for guests looking for an intimate setting and those interested in an exclusive buy-out for their intact group. This is a fly out lodge that also offers good fishing right in front of the lodge – so you can fish to your content every day.

Our day on the water began with a short 10-minute flight to the Arrow Creek drainage that flows into the Nuyakuk River. We were after silver salmon and this area did not disappoint. The fish were stacked at the outflow and we immediately got on the action. Fish-after-fish chased and hammered the foam popper I was throwing, which is the utmost in excitement for catching silvers. My guide, Tyler, had his hands full netting fish for the better part of the morning and my 7-weight got a good workout.

As mid-day approached, we shifted gears and chased trout to regain our strength a bit. We drifted eggs through the best gravel spawning beds until we broke for lunch. We stopped for lunch at another tributary where silvers were stacked at the mouth. That was the quickest lunch I’ve eaten in a quite some time! We pounded more silvers and their hard takes were filled with acrobatic jumps and strong runs. We fished until we literally wore ourselves out and ended our day at the Class 5 rapids just below the lodge. The water in this area is turbulent and known to hold some big trout. We scored on a couple smaller fish and all landed some grayling that took our large streamers.

The beauty of this lodge is it sits between two sets of impassable rapids basically eliminating the chance of seeing other motorized boat action on the home water in front of the property.

Tomorrow, I’ll visit briefly with a couple more lodges on the way back to Dillingham for my afternoon flight to Anchorage. But for now, I will be enjoying a wonderful prime rib dinner tonight with another epic day of Bristol Bay fishing etched in my memory.

By: Tom Gilliland, Senior Program Manager


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.