About Us – Alaska Salmon Fishing

The Unalakleet River Lodge is a remote luxury fishing lodge in the northwestern bush of Alaska. We have been sharing the natural beauty of the Unalakleet River and the surrounding Nulato Hills with our guests since 1998. We offer our clients Salmon fishing in the wilderness of Alaska with all the amenities and comforts of a full resort.  Alaska Salmon Fishing

The Unalakleet is recognized as a National Wild and Scenic River and is home to large runs of King Salmon, Chum Salmon, Pink Salmon, Silver or Coho Salmon, Dolly Varden, Arctic Char, and a native population of Arctic Grayling. Our guide staff prides themselves on their service and versatility in targeting the fish by whatever means are most productive; whether it’s Spey Casting, standard Fly Fishing, or conventional Rod and Reel fishing. The river system is accessed via 16 foot aluminum G3 boats with Yamaha jet drive outboard motors. The Unalakleet River offers 140 miles of prime Alaska Salmon Fishing isolated from the pressures of road systems and fly out operations.

Unalakleet River Lodge is driven by providing the best in service and appointments. Guests of the lodge stay in their own private cabins with full baths outfitted with Ralph Lauren linens. Meals are prepared by a team of culinary professionals with a modern and fresh approach to lodge dining. We operate a nearly one to one guest to staff ratio to ensure our guests needs, no matter how small or large, are met. No comfort is left behind with a stay at the Unalakleet River Lodge.


The Unalakleet River Lodge was started in 1998 by Jeff and Sal Appel. A pilot by trade and a sportsman at heart, Jeff had always wanted a fishing lodge in the remote wilderness of Alaska. His search for the perfect lodge began in 1995, traveling to dozens of lodges all over the enormous state of Alaska.

From plywood shacks to broken down tent camps nothing fit the Appel’s ideals. They knew they wanted a classic log structure, they knew they wanted to be far from the congested fishing rivers found near the road system in the southern part of the state, they knew they didn’t want to be encumbered by a fly out operation limiting their guests on river fishing time, they knew what they wanted and were not going to compromise on their desires.

Two years after their search began the Appel’s heard about an opportunity upriver of the Norton Sound village of Unalakleet. So, in January of 1997 Jeff packed up and headed to the tundra of Northwestern Alaska. After a snowmobile ride tracing the Iditarod trail into the interior; there it was, A spruce log lodge nestled onto a bluff overlooking the Unalakleet river and the surrounding Nulato hills.

Sal said that she was taken “kicking and screaming” in the spring of that year to the remote location but upon her first glance she knew it was everything and more that they had hoped for. They started that summer, with a few guests, mostly friends, and vowed to make the Unalakleet River Lodge a go-to destination for Alaska salmon fishing.

About the Lodge

The Lodge:

The spruce log lodge was completed in 1976 on a bluff overlooking the river, the tundra, and the surrounding Nulato Hills with great attention given to protecting the wild locale in which it sits. Words fail to adequately describe this great structure; it is truly a gem nestled amongst the wilderness of Alaska.

A central great room with a vaulted “flying buttress” ceiling houses the stone fireplace and plush leather sofas where guests relax and recap their day on the river while looking out at the Unalakleet rolling along below. The appointments range from the mounts of trophy fish, moose, and caribou, to native Inupiaq artifacts and archaeological treasures. On either side of this great room are the dining area, gourmet kitchen, tackle shop, and hand carved fully appointed bar.

The Bar:

The bar itself is relief carved of Spruce depicting scenes found on the river and is surrounded with relics from Alaska’s great aviation heritage. We offer our clients a comprehensive beverage stock ranging from award winning wines to decades old single malts. The bar at the Unalakleet River Lodge gives a peaceful end to a great days fishing whilst sharing in the camaraderie of friends new and old.

The Tackle Shop:

The tackle shop is stocked with rods by Sage and Lamiglass and reels from Ross and Shimano. We carry a wide assortment of plugs, spinners, and fly-tackle all specially purposed for fishing the Unalakleet River. Our fly-tying desk gives anglers the opportunity to custom tie any patterns that are inspired out on the river. Gore Tex waders and lug sole wading boots are available in all common sizes. We have what we like to call “backups for our backups” so that our guests never have to go without the optimal gear needed for fishing the Unalakleet.

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