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Alaska- Naknek River Camp

July 16th- 23rd, 2016

@ the Naknek River Camp- "Alaska's Affordable Alternative"

with host Josh McQueen

Mad River Outfitters Travel
You get to the destination and we take over from there!
813 Bethel Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214


MRO's Alaska Trip 2016:

These trips are so easy!

You fly into Anchorage, Alaska (ANC) then switch over to either Penair or Alaska Airlines for the final leg to King Salmon (AKN). We will look for you to arrive sometime after noon on the 1st Saturday of the trip. You will then fly the following Saturday back to Anchorage via King Salmon. You will be met by your host from Mad River Outfitters either in Anchorage or in King Salmon and we'll take over from there! Full travel info will be provided upon sign-up but trust us it's easy.

Included in the trip:
  • 6 days guided fishing from jet sleds and walk-wade
  • 7 nights lodging in the NRC cabins
  • all meals prepared by lodge and lunch on rivers
  • transportation via boat/vehicle from King Salmon to the lodge and back

  • You do not need to bring towels or bedding/sleeping bag
  • There are flies and lures for sale at the lodge if needed
  • Most of the rivers fished are single hook only
  • They do have a vacuum packer and can box up salmon to take home
  • There is full time power and an outlet in your cabin
  • Telephone and internet access readily available

Alaska's Naknek River Camp

Any questions or to sign-up for one of the trips don't hesitate to give us a call at 614-451-0363 or drop us an e-mail at

Can't make our dates? Mad River Outfitters can set you up with a trip at anytime during the prime season!!!


Naknek River Camp


"Alaska's Affordable Alternative"


Naknek River Camp in Alaska

The Naknek River Camp is owned and operated by our old friend Jim Johnson and his family. We began running trips with them on the Pere Marquette way back in 1990 when they owned Johnson's Pere Marquette River Lodge. Long story short but Jim and family have finally made their dreams come true with the Naknek River Camp and we are thrilled to work with them once again.

Here is what Jim has to say about his camp:

The average full service lodge in Alaska charges over $4,000. Per week. The average fly-out lodge is closer to $7,000. There is good reason for these seemingly ridiculous prices.

Alaska is expensive. A gallon of milk is $9.00. Necessities like lumber for building cabins and propane for heating them is as much as 4 times more expensive than in the lower 48. I still have trouble buying a can of soda at the grocery store without cringing.

When we decided to start this business in Alaska, we knew that our biggest challenge would be to keep it affordable. I have always believed that the majority of fishermen are just like me - we all want to fish Alaska, but we don’t want to sell our cars to be able to afford the trip.

I have to admit, I was ready to put together a wilderness tent camp. I wanted a camp that sat right on the riverbank of a river that would offer home water full of big rainbows, that would get all 5 species of salmon and that would offer our guests a chance to catch arctic char and grayling as well. A place that we could jump in a jet boat and visit a variety of great fishing rivers and streams without the need to board an expensive float plane, allowing us to fish no matter what the weather conditions.

But my lovely wife Phyllis put her foot down and demanded a little more comfort. She wanted to make sure that a husband could feel comfortable bringing his wife - even his whole family - into our camp. She required hard sided cabins, real mattresses, a porch to enjoy the sunset and a hot shower at the end of the day. She wanted a nice kitchen to cook in, a dining room to enjoy her great meals in. She refused to wander around outside in the dark to find a bathroom in the middle of the night - she wanted a toilet in every cabin, including hers.

Naknek River Camp met all these desires, and added a few conveniences that neither one of us expected to have in the Alaskan bush, including phone and internet service for both us and our guests.

We have road access to the towns of King Salmon and Naknek, offering medical services, a general store, groceries and even fishing and hunting supplies. Our guests even took us out to dinner a few times at one of the local restaurants - sometimes a burger and a beer can be an exotic meal if the burger is an Eddies Firplace Burger and the beer is an Alaskan Amber.

Our cabins include towels, pillows and linens. Just bring your PJ’s, your toothbrush, your fishing gear and your sense of adventure. We’ll supply everything else.


MRO Alaksa 2016 Pricing:

July 16th- 23rd, 2016 Hosted by Josh McQueen

* Alaska Sampler Week- a taste of everything!

Trip Cost is $2695.00 per angler

  Included in the trip:
  • 6 days guided fishing from jet sleds and walk-wade
  • 7 nights lodging in the NRC cabins
  • all meals prepared by lodge and lunch on rivers
  • transportation via boat/vehicle from King Salmon to the lodge and back

Any questions or to sign-up for one of the trips don't hesitate to give us a call at 614-451-0363 or drop us an e-mail at

Trophy Rainbow on the Naknek River in Alaska

Fish Alaska Magazine identified the Naknek as Alaska's #1 destination for trophy rainbows! That is a big statement, but we think you will agree that the river can live up to the claim. The average fish will still be in the 2-5 pound range, but there will be a realistic possibility of bigger bows - up to 36 inches long - almost every day. If rainbows are your target fish, the best time is early and late season.

The Naknek is a big river that holds big fish- quite often in fast water. It is a great river for a switch or spey rod. The best rainbow fishing is close to camp. The rainbows concentrate on salmon smolt and leeches migrating downstream to the ocean.

Other fishing opportunities:
  • Rainbows on Brooks
  • Grayling at Idavain
  • Char in Margo Creek
  • Multiple options for fly-outs

Arctic Char with Mad River Outfitters and the Naknek River Camp

* Arctic Char and Grayling- These are year 'round residents and make great fly rod targets. Grayling are especially eager to rise to a dry fly in early season, making them an ideal quarry for a 4 or 5 wt. fly rod and a floating line.

The arctic char look a lot like brook trout, only larger. The best techniques for them are the same as for rainbows, so basically, anytime you are fishing for rainbows, you are also fishing for char whether you realize it or not. They spend a lot of time tucked in behind the spawning salmon, feasting on eggs, making egg flies their number one weakness.

King Salmon on the Naknek River Alaska

* King Salmon
- There is a reason why these babies are called the Kings - nothing in Alaska grows to the massive sizes of a chinook salmon. They begin running in mid-June, continue through much of July and spawn in August. Their eggs are also huge, (8 - 10mm) making king salmon eggs one of the very favorite treats for a trophy rainbow in August. Most people in Alaska fish kings with heavy spin or baitcasting gear, using deep diving plugs, spin-n-glows, or large spoons and spinners. They can be taken on fly gear, but the battles are epic and the angler loses the struggle much more often than he wins.

Sockeye Salmon the Naknek River Alaska

* Sockeye Salmon A.K.A. Red Salmon
- These are the best eating and most prolific salmon in the system, numbering upwards of 4 million per year. Everyone seemingly knows how delicious they are, but few realize that they are also tremendous fighters, especially on a 7 or 8 wt. fly rod. From late June through mid-August, they can provide almost constant action. Their huge numbers are the reason why this area has such an abundant population of rainbows and bears.

Chum Salmon- Mad River Outfitters and the Naknek River Camp

* Chum and Pink Salmon
- Chum are called dog salmon, because they are a favored food for the sled dog teams, but you will call them something else entirely as they nearly tear the rod from your hand and bust up your tackle.

Some pink salmon will run every year, but the run is much stronger in even years.

Both will be most effectively fished with streamers and both will run in July and early August.

* Silver Salmon
- Last, but certainly not least, is the silver salmon. These incredible gamefish are easily a favorite salmon, getting large enough to put on a show and delicious on the table. They are also the most aggressive of the salmon, chasing streamers and even taking skating dry flies on occasion. They begin moving into the rivers in early August and the run continues on into mid-September. We usually use a fly rod in the 7-9 wt. range or a spinning rod loaded with 8-12lb mono.

Mad River Outfitters Alaska Trips


It is recommended that each guest bring a minimum of 2 fly rods. We prefer a 9' 4-6 weight with a weight forward floating line for smaller waters and a 9-10' rod for a 7 or 8wt with a shooting line, a floating line and a fast sinking tip line for most of the fishing on the Naknek.

For two handed fishing we recommend an 11' to 13' spey/switch rods for 7 and 8 wt lines, matched with an assortment of sinking tips. Go to Naknek streamer rig is an 11' 6 or 7wt switch with a 200-300 grain sinking head line and an articulated leech or flesh fly.

If you want to bring spinning gear, we recommend a 7-9' rod designed to handle 6-12 pound line and a reel with 2 spools, one with 8lb and one with 12lb.

Although some flies and lures are for sale at the lodge, you will want to arrive with a good selection which will of course be available through Mad River Outfitters.

**A full tackle and equipment listing will be provided to you upon sign-up.


The Wildlife

Although nothing is guaranteed....your week in Alaska will most likely feature some of the "Photo Ops" that you would expect!

Bears a big attraction at the Naknek River Camp
Wildlife viewing a big part of your Alaska Trip to the Naknek River Camp
The Alaska Experience- Naknek River Camp


World Famous Brooks Falls

Your week will typically include at least one visit to Brooks Falls. Tours and hikes to the falls can be arranged and is HIGHLY recommended. We also fish at Brooks for rainbow and sockeye and this typically proves to be some of the most "exciting" fishing of the trip.

Mad River Outfitters week at the Naknek River Camp always includes a trip to Brooks Falls


MRO Alaska Trip Hosts 2016

Jim Johnson- owner of the Naknek River Camp



Jim Johnson owner and operator of the Naknek River Camp

Jim and his family are on staff and on-site to ensure that you have a safe, comfortable and enjoyable week in Alaska. We first met Jim Johnson in 1990 when running our original Salmon Trips to the Pere Marquette in Michigan. We are thrilled to be working with the Johnson's again.



Josh McQueen MRO Guide Staff- Erie Steelhead and Ohio Pike

Josh is a star guide for us here in Ohio. He guides for Lake Erie Steelhead, Ohio pike and smallmouth and more! He's an excellent guy and and even better fly fishing instructor. You will enjoy his company! Josh will be there to be sure that you have the trip that we promised you and then some!

Join Josh at the Naknek River Camp- July 16th- 23rd, 2016

To book one of our hosted weeks or to arrange a trip for other dates for the 2016 season - give us a call at 614-451-0363 or send us an e-mail at We'll get you set up.

You can also pay/deposit for these trips online- Book Alaska Trip Online

*If it's still listed, there are still spots open! We'll let you know the exact status of your reservation within 24 hours or so!

Can't make our hosted trips?

Let Mad River Outfitters put together a trip for you or your group at the Naknek River Camp!

Give us a call at 614-451-0363 or drop us an e-mail We'll be happy to help!

Full service booking agents and outfitters for Alaska's Naknek River Camp

813 Bethel Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214