Field Notes from Alaska: Kulik Lodge and Brooks Lodge

Tom-Image---SharpenedI arrived at Kulik Lodge Monday morning on their Piper Navajo air craft, flying through some pretty rough weather. There was heavy cloud cover and rain, but I arrived safely an hour and a half later. I was met by the Kulik Lodge manager, Pete Raynor, had a brief tour of the facilities and enjoyed a nice visit with the staff.

The lodge is in a great location, sitting among the Kulik River and Nonvianuk Lake, with Kulik Lake nearby. I received a comprehensive tour from Pete and then had lunch with the guests at the lodge. The Kulik River is full of reds and the trout are present in numbers, gorging on eggs. The fishermen were happy and everyone was having success on the water.

Afterwards, I loaded up for the 20-minute flight over to Brooks Lodge where I will spend my first night. Brooks is world famous for bear viewing and they have visitors from all over the world. I had the mandatory bear safety orientation with the Park Service and then a tour with Jim Albert, the manager.

After a quick dinner, I managed to squeeze in a couple hours of fishing with my guide, Tim Mahoney.

The Brooks River is teeming with reds and pinks, plus lots of rainbows and char right now. I caught some smaller rainbows, char and a couple salmon. As darkness approached, we were finally forced out by a few bears looking to run where we were fishing. I saw four different bears at very close quarters, so we carefully made our way back to the camp for some much needed sleep.

I flew back to Kulik Lodge this afternoon and will spend the night here. I will fish a couple hours this evening after dinner. The lodge is full of guests right now and I’m looking forward to fishing the Kulik River tonight.

 By: Tom Gilliland, Senior Program Manager