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Subscriber Jim Pimentel calls his trip this past August to Rapids Camp Lodge near Alaska’s Katmai National Park “a trip of a lifetime.” It was booked for him by Fly Water Travel (www.flywatertravel.com). He writes:
“Rapids Camp Lodge is an amazing lodge tailored to the fly angler who wants all of the t’s crossed for him so he can simply decide where and for what he will fish each day. Indeed, the lodge manager here sits down with you each evening and determines what you want to do the fol¬lowing day. Fly-outs in Beavers and Otters are available. The standard six-day fishing trip includes three fly-out trips, and you can arrange for more at an additional cost.
“The trip begins in Anchorage with a commercial flight to King Salmon that is included in the over¬all trip price. The lodge staff picks you up in King Salmon and flies you on to the lodge, which is only a few minutes away. We caught 20 to 30 rainbow trout per day up to 30 inches, Dollies up to 20 inches, and grayling up to 14 inches. Fishing was a mix of wading and float trips on the larger rivers. We used tackle provided by the lodge. We enjoyed the fly-outs to various rivers where large rainbow trout could be found stacking up be¬hind the spawning sockeye, king, and chum salmon.
“The food was spectacular. ‘Gourmet’ is too soft a compliment to offer to the chefs. We feasted on prime rib, beef tenderloin, fried chicken, shrimp, scallops, and king crab. Full breakfasts and sandwich lunches were provided. Water, soft drinks, and beer were also part of the trip package. Hard liquor was avail¬able for an additional cost.
“Weather during our trip was unusually warm and clear with highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s. We fished in shorts on some days. Normally, weather here is rainy and cooler than it was during our stay. This was truly the trip of a lifetime—a genuine bucket-list trip. The fly-outs through mountain passes and over vast wilderness areas were spectacular. The planes were all piloted by veterans with extensive experience flying in the bush. The staff at the lodge was exceptionally attentive to guests’ needs. Our staff massage therapist was terrific.”
Postscript: Jim Pimentel gives the cost of his trip as $8,000, not including his flight to and from Anchorage. The only complaint he has about the entire experience is the lodge recommendation on departure day that he not arrange a flight out of Anchorage until after 4 PM. He says it turned out that he arrived in Anchorage at 10:30 AM and could have made earlier flight connections. “I had to overnight in Anchorage because of the 4 PM recommendation,” he says.