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Crystal Creek Lodge is one of our favorite destinations in remote Alaska. Crystal Creek Lodge has been an Orvis-Endorsed Lodge since 1991 and has repeatedly won the coveted Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Lodge of the Year. It has the combination of rustic yet luxurious accommodations, inspired food service and a staff that is at once, warm, competent and engaging. The field program utilizes a fleet of meticulously conditioned aircraft and watercraft to whisk lodge guests and their guides on day trips into one of the most wild and inspiring regions of Alaska. The possibilities seem limitless.
This special package was designed by Dan Michels exclusively for Orvis. It incorporates extra aircraft flying time to reach some of the most remote and exotic day destinations in Southwest Alaska.
Scott and Erin McEnaney are eager to share this exclusive Southwest Alaska Wildlife Adventure at Crystal Creek Lodge with Orvis customers. Scott is the Senior Manager of Orvis Adventures at The Orvis Company. He has been with Orvis for 15 years and is fortunate enough to have been learning from great dog trainers, and some of the best fishing and wingshooting guides in the country for the last 10 years of that time. He is an avid outdoorsman and spends time in the woods and streams of Vermont and neighboring, NY chasing trout, ruffed grouse, and woodcock with a team of spaniels and an English setter. Erin works for Orvis in the Human Resources department as the point of contact for many wellness related events. She is an avid runner and prefers longer distances and being outside for miles and miles. Together they own a historic farm in Southwestern Vermont where they tend chickens, forage for mushrooms, make Vermont maple syrup in their sugarhouse and tend bees.
Dan Michels and Alex Oberholtzer, owners of Crystal Creek Lodge, are master guides who have learned the local area through dozens of years flying thousands of hours and guiding thousands of guests across every corner of Southwest Alaska. Dan and Alex will personally arrange and monitor your trip and on most days they will personally fly, guide and interpret the trip as they shares stories and insights. Some day activities will be assisted by the fun and professional guide staff at Crystal Creek Lodge.
See a region that is wild, dramatic and incredibly diverse. You’ll be hundreds of miles from the thousands of tourists mobbing the popular cruise ship ports or highway-accessible regions of the State. The best part is you might be the only visitor of the day to some of the more exotic places we visit.
A combination of specialists from our guide team will host your day-to-day adventures. Dan Michels and Alex Oberholtzer, owners, pilots and guides, personally conduct many of the adventure activities. Flights to the destinations are between 30 to 90 minutes away from the lodge. The flights themselves will be filled with aerial points of interest and the day will be planned to encompass 2-4 stops at ground points of interest. Ample time on the ground will be available take advantage of interpretive possibilities relating to history, geography and wildlife abound.
Our guided fishing resources are substantial and early-season fishing can be mixed into the itinerary as desired.
Trophy Rainbow Trout or salmon fishing on the famous Naknek River:
Arrive to Crystal Creek Lodge early morning. After being shown your room and getting an orientation that includes being outfitted with premium Orvis waders and a rod and reel, your guide will take you to the Lodge dock to depart by boat to fish the Naknek River. The Naknek River is one of Alaska's great wild salmon factories. Over three MILLION Pacific Salmon migrate into the River from nearby Bristol Bay each summer. On their migration they pass right by the front door of Crystal Creek Lodge. Some of the world’s largest Rainbow Trout also live in the Naknek River.
Becharof National Wildlife Refuge:
Fly south about 60 miles to take a tour around Becharof Lake, the second largest lake in Alaska. Becharof Lake was created by the repeated scorings of massive glaciers over the course of several ice ages. Along the way, stop to visit a pristine river with raging rapids, walk the edge of a dormant volcanic crater, watch bears, caribou and other wildlife, see evidence of 10,000 years of human activity, witness the rugged Alaska Peninsula Mountain Range and fly fish a small stream teeming with Arctic Char and grayling.
Katmai National Park:
Fly east across lakes carved by glaciers over several ice ages and through the Alaska Peninsula Mountains, passing remnants of glaciers along the way. Land upon either a seaside beach or near an inland stream to witness Alaskan Brown Bears forage for salmon. The world famous Brooks River is very close by and is a possible landing destination. Pass by the steaming vent of a dormant volcano. Tour the incredible Valley of 10,000 Smokes, a gigantic moonscape created by a massive volcanic explosion in 1912. Numerous streams teeming with Rainbow Trout, char and grayling are within the Park. You may choose to spend all or part of your day fly fishing pristine waters.
Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge Walrus and Aniakchak National Monument:
Fly south across the eastern edge of Becharof NWR and the Alaska Peninsula NWR to land at Cape Senniavan, where you will walk to the edge of a herd of thousands of Pacific Walrus to watch them tossle, roar and bob in the surf. On the way home stop at a beach likely to produce antique Japanese glass fishing floats. Fly onward to Anikchak National Monument, a giant caldera three miles across that last exploded in 1933. If favorable conditions exist, land within the caldera or one of several landing strips outside.
Togiak National Wildlife Refuge and Togiak Eskimo Village Tour:
Fly west towards Bristol Bay. If the Bristol Bay commercial salmon fishing fleet is out fly overhead and watch the action as scores of fishing boats jockey for position to set nets and catch salmon. Pass by one or more abandoned canneries dating back to the late 1800's. From the air witness hundreds of white Beluga Whales as they work the tides for salmon. Fly onward across the magnificent coastline of the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge to land at Togiak Village, an authentic Yup’ik Eskimo village. Meet some of the residents of the Village and experience firsthand stories of their life and demonstrations of their ivory carving and other crafts.
Crystal Creek Lodge is one of our favorite destinations in remote Alaska. Crystal Creek Lodge has been an Orvis-Endorsed Lodge since 1991 and has repeatedly won the coveted Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Lodge of the Year. It has the combination of rustic yet luxurious accommodations, inspired food service and a staff that is at once, warm, competent and engaging. The modern log and river rock building overlooks the Naknek River and accommodates only 14 guests with a combination of main lodge rooms and 2 private cabins. Most of the rooms have two queen beds, and all rooms are well suited to couples.