As a small operation, Royal Coachman Lodge has the flexibility to cater to both the serious and the more laid back fisherman. Customization is the key to their fishing schedule. Every evening the lodge manager will sit down with all guests and go over plans for the next day. With nearly 20 boats (aluminum Jon boats with 40HP jet units) scattered throughout the region, and many rivers where you do not need a boat, you will have an amazing number of fisheries to choose from everyday. You can drift fish from the boat or wade fish depending on your preference. If you are on a creek that does not have a boat, your guide will carry lunch in a backpack and you can wade fish the creek for the day. All they need to know is what species you would like to focus on for the day, and if there is a particular river that you would like to fish, and their team will help pick the best fishery for you.
How many fly out lodges in Alaska take only ten guests a week? Unlike many lodges where guests are segregated from the lodge and guide staff when not on the water, Royal Coachman operates a small and intimate operation where you will get to know the crew. Between fishing all day with the guides and eating dinner together, the team becomes more your friends than just your guides.
Royal Coachman goes where the fishing is the best. It has taken decades of fishing in this area to master the timing of each fishery. Coachman will fly and fish an area that is 250 miles across. With the combination of 25-30 fisheries and their local expertise, you will have the best fishing possible no matter when you come. The staff will sit down with you every night and make sure that your next day of fishing meets your expectations. With only 10 guests, and so many great fisheries, it’s impossible to fish them all in a week.
Coachman guests catch at least 12 different species of sport fish during their season. Whether you want to sight fish for King Salmon, throw a mouse pattern to a 25+ lb pike, drift fish for big rainbows, or catch a rare sheefish, they can do it. Every day will be a different experience. The Nuyakuk is the home river – and RCL is the only operation on it. The lodge sits on a grandfathered property in the Wood Tikchik State Park. There is a class 5 rapid above and below the lodge, and no roads within 60 miles. You can only get to the lodge by floatplane (not by boat or car). This means that if the weather prohibits flying, you will still enjoy great fishing. It also means that when you are sitting at the fire pit looking over the river watching the sunset, you will never see another boat go by.
THE DAILY ROUTINE . . . THERE IS NOT ONE!
Each day begins with a hearty breakfast (if you are an early riser coffee is set out beforehand). An hour after your breakfast you will depart for the day’s fishing. The guides will pack a picnic lunch, or if desired they can do a streamside lunch of fresh salmon (when available). The daily fishing schedule departure times are flexible to maximize your fishing success. Pickup time will vary depending on the groups desired plans for the day. Remember that at the end of the day, if you have not gotten enough fishing in, you can always fish in front of the lodge.
Dinnertime is between 7 and 8 pm and all the anglers will return to the lodge one hour prior to dinner, so you’ll have time to shower, relax and enjoy hors d’oeuvres. You’ll enjoy a generous dinner served family style, followed by a gourmet dessert. On the Sunday exchange days, you can often get some morning fishing time in (usually unguided).
WOOD RIVER-TIKCHIK STATE PARK
All five species of Pacific salmon – king, sockeye (red), pink, silver, and chum – spawn in the Wood River and Tikchik systems. Rainbow trout, grayling, lake trout, arctic char, dolly varden, and northern pike all thrive throughout the area watersheds. If desired you will fish for each of these species at different locations throughout the park.
The park is home to a remarkable wildlife resource. Moose, caribou, and brown bear are found throughout the park. In addition to these large mammals, you will also see beaver, muskrat, otter, fox, wolverine, mink, and porcupine. There are also healthy populations of ground squirrels and marmots throughout the Park. Like much of Alaska, the birdlife in the park is abundant. During the week, you will likely see a variety of ducks, gulls, bald eagle, golden eagle, arctic tern, various loons, spotted and least sandpipers, semi-palmated plover, willow ptarmigan, and spruce grouse.
TOGIAK NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
During your week, you will spend at least a couple of days fishing the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge. Royal Coachman has three permits to operate within the Refuge. One permit allows them to fish the Kulukak River for salmon, one gives them access to the Togiak River, and the other permit authorizes them to fish the wilderness lakes portion of the refuge.
The fishery resources of the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge are among the best in the world. Specifically, the rivers and lakes of the refuge are home to resident populations of rainbow trout, arctic char, arctic grayling, lake trout, northern pike, as well as 22 other fish species. The rivers and bays of the refuge are also home to one of the world’s most robust anadromous fish resources in the world. All five species of Pacific salmon are found within the refuge and serve as the backbone for much of the terrestrial and aquatic life within the refuge. In total, approximately 3 million Pacific salmon return each year to the habitat protected by the refuge management regime.
The Refuge is also home to at least 30 species of terrestrial mammals and over 200 species of birds. Ranging from brown bears and caribou to the little brown bat, the wildlife relies heavily on the habitat protections provided by the refuge as well as the continued health of its fishery resources. One of Royal Coachman’s underlying objectives at the lodge is to provide a quality fishing experience which emphasizes professional guiding, but also educates fishermen about the natural diversity of the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge.