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Subscriber Paul Holden tells us he has established a special relationship with Clearwater Lodge (907-688- 6215; www.alaskaclearwaterlodge .com) on the Kvichak River in Alaska. “I have arranged to be among the first guests at the lodge each year,” he writes.

“I help train the guides in how to run the river and how to fish for the large rainbows that the Kvichak is famous for. In return, the owners give me a great rate.” Holden includes this note in a rave report he just filed on his June 2011 trip to Clearwater Lodge. He says this year was, comparatively speaking, slow because the river was cold (43 degrees) and the weather windy and cool. “It took a while to find where the fish were hanging out,” he writes. “I still landed 51 fish in six-and-a-half days, 21 of them in the last day and a half, when we found large numbers of rainbows right outside the lodge door at the outlet of Lake Iliamna. Most of the others in camp caught fewer fish, but they still took an average of five or more a day. I landed 33- and 30-inch rainbows. The next largest fish anyone in the group took was a 29-inch fish. We all caught a number of 26-inch fish.”

Holden says the owners of Clearwater Lodge have created a stir in the Alaska lodge community by pricing their trips low, at $2,200 a week. “Clearwater is not a luxury lodge, but it sure beats the gravel bar I camped on for several years,” he writes. “The place is comfortable, the food great, and the management very accommodating. As for the fishing, it’s exciting to know that on any given cast you can catch a 30-inch rainbow. I recommend this place to fellow subscribers.”

Postscript: Paul Holden’s e-mail address is [email protected].

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