Fly-fishing, an upscale product


ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Agents with affluent anglers for clients may want to suggest fly-fishing in the Frontier State.

Sportfishing lodges, often run by families, are located all over Alaska. Their remoteness adds to the adventure -- and to the cost, which translates into higher than normal commissions for agents.

In the far north, for example, Iniakuk Lake Wilderness Lodge is six miles outside the southern boundary of the Gates of the Arctic National Park, 60 miles north of the Arctic Circle and "180 degrees around from anything else," according to owner Pat Gaedeke.

To get to Iniakuk Lake, guests take a one-hour commercial flight from Fairbanks to the bush community of Bettles, then a half-hour flight via float plane to the lodge.

Above, an angler uses his fly-fishing technique. In Alaska, lodges catering to fly-fishing clients can be found throughout the state. Although a vacation at Iniakuk Lake Lodge is expensive, at $3,225 per person, double, for a three-night package including lodging, meals, activities and roundtrip air from Fairbanks, it's "not a paint-by-the-numbers experience," Gaedeke said. "We cater to high-end clients and people who can afford and want that experience. We're not interested in high volume."

The main lodge contains a dining room, a kitchen and four double-occupancy guest rooms. An additional guest lodge has two double rooms. Each building has shared baths with hot and cold running water.

Gaedeke said her staff, which includes her son -- a naturalist and leader of the fishing and hiking trips -- makes a point of learning each guest's likes and dislikes.

Gaedeke also cooks for her guests and bakes her own breads, muffins and desserts.

Commission at Iniakuk Lake Wilderness Lodge is 20%. For additional information on the Iniakuk Lake Wilderness Lodge, call (877) 479-6354 or visit

Meanwhile, another fly-fishing option is the remote Zachar Bay Lodge on Kodiak Island in the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge.

The lodge contains four guesthouses with 11 private rooms and private or shared baths. Meals are family-style.

Per person rates range from $1,130 for two nights ($1,380 with one fly-out) to $3,580 for seven nights with one fly-out.

The price includes roundtrip air from Kodiak to Zachar Bay, accommodations, fishing equipment, a guided trip and three meals daily.

Zachar Bay Lodge pays 10% commission. For additional information or reservations, call (800) 693-2333 or visit the lodge on the Web at

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