BOARDWALK LODGE

Quick Facts
Season

April—October

Species

Steelhead, Dolly Varden, Sea-run Cutthroat, Coho, Sockeye, Chum and Pink Salmon

Accommodations

Classic Alaska lodge with private rooms and baths, set in American’s largest national forest, the Tongass

Max Occupancy

19

The Experience

One of fly-fishing’s quintessential experiences can be found on Prince of Wales Island in the Tongass National Forest. Each spring, beginning in March and extending through May, steelhead run up numerous rivers and streams on Prince of Wales Island. Guests at Boardwalk Lodge can walk up and down these streams and swing or drift flies for steelhead, plus sea-run cutthroat trout and dolly varden. The steelhead range between six and 12 pounds on average, but larger fish are possible. During summer guests have the option to troll in the saltwater for king, silver, chum and pink salmon, and often jig for halibut, rockfish and lingcod. When the salmon start moving into POW’s shallow, saltwater areas and its array of rivers, flies come into play again—especially during late summer and fall when six-to 15-pound, aggressive and hard-fighting silvers move in.

Boardwalk Lodge

OVERVIEW

Alaska’s Orvis-endorsed Boardwalk Lodge is located just 30 minutes from Ketchikan, Alaska, and sits on a pristine beach on the beautiful Prince of Wales Island. This prime location, combined with luxurious accommodations, makes for one of Alaska’s finest fishing experiences. And it’s all accessible with a direct two-hour flight from Seattle to Ketchikan.

This is a great location for dedicated steelheaders and for family fishing adventures. Variety is an attribute here: fly-fishers drive-to and fish for spring steelhead in numerous streams and they can walk the beaches, wade the estuaries, or fish numerous lakes to catch sea-run cutthroat and dolly varden. During summer anglers troll for salmon in the saltwater or fly fish for chums, pinks and silvers as they move into freshwater.

Southeast Alaska’s scenery and wildlife are incredible—guests should expect to see black bears, killer whales, humpback whales, sea lions, seals, Sitka blacktail deer, bald eagles, ravens, numerous other bird species, and possibly wolves. This makes Prince of Wales and Boardwalk Lodge an ideal location when introducing new anglers to fly fishing and the outdoors. Lifetime memories made here!

You’ll get all that while resting in a classic lodge. Boardwalk was built in 1990 on the east shore of Prince of Wales in Thorne Bay. Each log was felled in true Alaskan spirit, and the raw lumber was milled, peeled and notched by hand. It took seven years of hard work to finish this magnificent three-story lodge. Since then the lodge has been updated and provides modern amenities, including a jacuzzi and Wi-fi. Boardwalk’s staff is legendary—guides are experts at saltwater and freshwater fishing and they are safe (each is Coast Guard certified and makes safety the priority). The culinary staff prepares 5-star meals, many utilizing local seafood.

THE FISHING

Boardwalk’s spring season is all about wild steelhead, which ascend local rivers in March, April and May. These fish range between six and 12 pounds on average, but fish pushing the 40-inch mark are possible. Boardwalk’s seasoned, Orvis-endorsed guides lead guests to numerous steelhead bearing streams where they quickly direct anglers to the most productive pools. Fly-fishers can bring their switch and spey rods if they’d like, but Southeast Alaska’s streams are easily fished with a single-hander, whether swinging flies or fishing egg imitations and other patterns under an indicator. These steelhead are truly wild (i.e., no hatchery fish here) and test any angler’s fish-fighting skills when hooked.

During spring guests also target the often overlooked sea-run cutthroat trout and dolly varden. Sea-run cutthroat are a blast to catch on 5 and 6-weight rods and they pull way harder than you would expect. They are native fish that range between 10 and 22 inches and can be caught in good numbers in streams, lakes and saltwater estuaries. Dolly varden are equally aggressive and range to similar sizes. Want to get your kids into fish fast? Take some time to chase sea-runs and dollies and you’ll listen to enthusiastic anglers at the dinner table.

Salmon fishing at Boardwalk is equally productive, whether trolling for kings, pinks, chums and silvers in the saltwater, or casting flies to these fish in shallow water estuaries or Prince of Wales’ numerous rivers. Pink and chum salmon are abundant during summer, but the silver salmon (also called coho) is the standout fish. These aggressive and hard-fighting salmon are known for their long runs and multiple jumps when hooked. These fish can be found in the saltwater from mid summer on into fall. They become great fly-rod targets in August when they move toward the mouths of rivers and streams. They continue pushing into freshwater through September and into October. Anglers who “get into the silvers” will be worn out by the end of a day—these fish range between eight and 15 pounds on average and can top 20 pounds.

When you’re ready for a break, Boardwalk guests can board one of the lodge’s heated cabin cruisers and look for whales and sea lions, or drop a line over the side and jig for halibut, lingcod and rockfish.

 

BOATS & EQUIPMENT

Boardwalk provides the most modern Orvis equipment—fly rods, reels, waders, boots, etc. Guests can bring their own equipment if they prefer. The lodge runs two cabin cruisers for saltwater trips and uses 4X4 Suburbans to access streams holding steelhead, sea-run cutthroat and dolly varden.

ACCOMMODATION

Boardwalk’s two guest buildings sit on 26 acres of prime oceanfront property overlooking a secluded tidal inlet and Thorne Bay. These rustic but elegant log buildings comfortably accommodate up to 19 guests and provide a great place to relax and share stories after a long day on the water. 

 

CUISINE

This isn’t a franks and beans camp. Boardwalk Lodge takes gourmet fare seriously and its chef prides himself on 5-star meals, often utilizing local ingredients, such as salmon, halibut, crab and shrimp. Each day starts with a made-to-order breakfast, an on the water lunch, an amazing hors d’oeuvres hour from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., followed by an amazing entrée dinner. House wine, beer and soft drinks are served with each meal. Requests for specialty wines and cocktails can be accommodated for an extra fee.

NON-ANGLING ACTIVITIES

Southeast Alaska is one of the most spectacular landscapes on earth. It has something for everyone and Boardwalk Lodge caters to every whim. Non anglers can head out on the saltwater to view the scenery and watch whales and other wildlife. They may also visit the native village of Kasaan and view totem poles and other works of art. Bear viewing is available on the island. Kayaks are available for use in Thorne Bay.

TRAVEL

With a direct two-hour flight from Seattle, anglers can immerse themselves in a slower-paced world with all the fishing they could possibly ask for. Boardwalk Lodge is located on Prince of Wales Island near the city of Ketchikan. Guests traveling outside Alaska typically fly to Seattle’s SeaTac airport, then take the two-flight to Ketchikan.

Boardwalk provides transportation from Ketchikan to the lodge via a breathtaking 30-minute floatplane ride, during which guests might spot humpback whales, orcas, and black bears. The floatplane lands at Boardwalk’s private dock. Feel free to call us at Gil’s Fly Fishing International for more information.

 

ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE TIMES

Guests need to arrive in Ketchikan by 4:45 p.m. (Alaska Daylight Time) to reach the lodge that evening. Recommended arrival flights are Alaska Airlines #789 and #67.

If flying on Alaska Airlines flight #69, an overnight in Ketchikan is required.

 

TYPICAL LENGTH OF STAY

Four or 5 nights with 3-to 4 full days of fishing. Trips can be customized to your schedule. Call us at Gil’s Fly Fishing International for details.

RATES/PACKAGES

Rates below are priced in U.S. dollars per person. All Prices Per Guest Based on Double Occupancy

Spring Steelhead Package (March 15 through May 2)

4 Nights / 3 Fishing Days: $3,505

5 Nights / 4 Fishing Days: $4,005

Note: Additional nights $500 each

Peak Season for Salmon and Trout (June 15 through September 15)

3 Nights / 2 Fishing Days: $4,005

4 Nights / 3 Fishing Days: $5,005

5 Nights / 4 Fishing Days: $6,005

Note: Additional nights $1,000 each

Fall Silver Salmon Package (September 15 through October 1)

4 Nights / 3 Fishing Days: $3,505

5 Nights / 4 Fishing Days: $4,005

Note: Additional nights $500 each

 

WHAT’S INCLUDED

All accommodations at Alaska’s Boardwalk Lodge

All meals at the lodge; lunches on the water

Daily guided fishing

Boat transfers to and from the lodge

Air transfers to and from Ketchikan Airport

Non-Alcoholic beverages, bottled water, wine and beer

 

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

Airfare to and from Ketchikan

Guides and staff gratuity

Mixed drinks

Airport departure taxes

Alaska fishing license

 

At Gil’s Fly Fishing International, we are always happy to help you book a trip without charging any fee. We do not believe in extra payments, which is why even if you book a trip through the lodge directly or through outfitters, the amount will be exactly the same.

TERMS (DEPOSITS AND REFUNDS)

Bookings are confirmed with a 50 percent deposit. Balance must be received before the start of your trip. Notification of cancellation must be received 60 days prior to your scheduled arrival in order to receive a full credit for an alternate date. All payments are final and nonrefundable, with the exception of a medical or family emergency at GFFI’s discretion.