July’s Fly Fishing School at Orca Adventure Lodge:
Dates: July 23-27 2019 | Host: Jolynne Howard
Our base of operations is Orca Adventure Lodge in Cordova, an easy 50 minute
flight from Anchorage to the Mudhole Smith Airport.
Located at the head of Orca Inlet in Prince William Sound, Cordova offers uniquely
Alaskan beauty of glacier-carved mountains, lush forests and countless
waterways. The lodge is a restored cannery with 40 guest rooms, a café and
coffee shop. An Orca shuttle from the airport delivered everyone to the lodge.
Day to day report
Adventure captures the essence of our experience away from the lodge.
On Day 1, we traveled a short distance by boat to the shores of Humpy Bay to
catch pink salmon. These cooperative fish are terrific for beginning anglers
because they readily take most flies, are plentiful and fight like the dickens. John,
our guide from the lodge, captained the boat right to shore at the best fishing
spot. We hit the outgoing tide under light rain. Schools of pink salmon created
“nervous water” showing just where to cast using 8-weight rods. We used
weighted flies with articulated patterns and pink proved to be the most successful color. Our mother and daughter team hooked into many big feisty pinks. Shore lunch of hot drinks and sandwiches provided a break in the action.
When fishing was wrapped for the day, John treated us to a scenic tour of the
inlet in search of wildlife (viewed safely from shore) and rafts of otters. It was a
perfect day of angling and coastal Alaskan beauty. We ended the evening with a
fabulous gourmet dinner followed by fly casting school on the lawn in front of the
On the second day we woke to a Cordova-style rain shower and the only thing to
do was gear-up and go! We traveled by truck to Eyak River. Happy to have John
for a second day, we boated downstream to bank fishing for pinks and sea-run
cutthroat trout. The rain was steady, but our anglers didn’t seem to notice.
Water levels are lower in July than in the fall and we found easy wading and
casting to key holding spots along the banks. A special afternoon treat –
compliments of John – was a visit to behind-the-scenes garden at the lodge and a hot lunch of the freshest salmon and freshly-picked vegetables.
The remainder of the afternoon involved drying out and relaxing. After another
amazing dinner, we learned a new skill – fly tying! The guests really took to it,
especially the wonderful 14 year old angler in our crew.
Our guests left early on Day 3 for a family gathering. We loved every minute with
them and hope we can fish together again someday soon.