About Us


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. On the other hand 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, brought in their charming son Steve, and vowed to make the Unalakleet River Lodge a go-to destination for Alaska salmon fishing. Since then, the lodge has been recognized and regarded as one of the finest lodges in Alaska. 

The Next Chapter

In 2023 the lodge begins its next chapters with new owners, Mitchell Wisniewski and Skyla Delerme. Born to fish, made to fish, and will probably die fishing, Mitch (aka Wiz) has spent some time on the water. Cutting his teeth in the mountains of North Carolina, Mitch started guiding at the lodge in 2018 and vowed to come back every summer no matter what it took. Well, it took something alright to convince his better half to join him on this adventure. Between keeping us organized and answering the phones Skyla is a well traveled backpacker and summit seeker.  With Mitch’s love of all things fishing and Skyla’s knack for organization, combined with their shared love for adventure, owning and operating the Unalakleet River Lodge seemed like the next grand adventure that they could do together.  

Our Crew

Folks travel far and wide for the phenomenal fishing, but they also travel to hang with us as well. Our guides and staff consist of professionals dedicated to their craft and are master instigators of fun. Everyone here is family to the lodge and guests afar. We always say those new, come as guests and leave as family. 


Our guides consist of long timers, veterans, longer timers, never leavers, goofballs, newcomers, and the most dedicated angling professionals on the planet. We are proud to have such a great guide staff that promotes fun, safe, and memorable fishing experiences. They are sure to keep your bellies rolling and your arms sore from fishing. Their hard work does not go unnoticed, from open to shut down and everything in between they are key in our success. 


Our lodge staff are here to make your stay comfortable, effortless and exquisite. Friendly smiles and heavenly smells of the day’s meal can always be noticed when walking in the front door. An eye for detail and true coordinators of the day to day, our staff take pride in ensuring our guests are taken care of. From early mornings to burning the midnight oil, they work extremely hard to bring luxury to the bush.

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