I gave my younger brother an all-expense paid fishing trip to the venue of his choice for his 50th birthday. He choose Alaska and wanted to do both salt-water fishing and fresh-water fishing. After a good bit of research, I decided on the Kodiak Raspberry Island Remote Lodge, which is a second generation family-owned facility. for our week long-trip.
Birch and Tiffany Robbins. the owners, live at the lodge year round with their two delightful children and bring on seasonal help. It is obvious that they spend almost all of the off-season continually improving the facility. Contrary to their web-site, they have recent;y added showers in all the cabins and have plans to further expand them. There are five cabins in total, one of which is the honeymoon chalet. Unlike many remote lodges, there is electricity 24/7 and an seemingly inexhaustible supply of water. Our cabin had two bunk beds, one of which had a queen size bed on the lower bunk. There was also a table and two benches. The bathroom was nice and spacious and the towel and sheets were of good quality. Heating was provided by an electric heater in the cabin; air conditioning is not necessary.
The main lodge has a porch with fly tying equipment and materials and a ping-pong table, a large living room with comfortable seating, an open kitchen and a separate dining room seating 20 at two tables. There is also satellite tv which no one turned on during our week there. There is also satellite wi-fi, with some limitations on band-width usage.
Just down the hill from the lodge at the waters edge is the boat shed, which houses a vast array of outdoor apparel for use by the guests, as well as the fish processing facility.
A typical day for us began with coffee at the lodge about 6:30, followed by breakfast at 7:30. Both the breakfast and dinner offerings are served family style and are different each day during the week. After breakfast, we set out on Birch's "six-pack" twin-diesel catamaran -- the Gemini -- at about 8:30 each morning. The tides and weather of course had a strong influence on where and what we fished for, but both brother and I limited out on halibut and salmon almost every day until the last day when we stopped keeping fish as we already had over 200 lbs in filets! (The lodge cleaned and filleted the fish, vacuum packed it and flash froze it at no additional charge.) The halibut fishing was interesting as it was not done exclusively in 300 feet plus of water, but also some 50-75 foot water. The sea rung silver salmon were not cooperating this year, but Birch found a river which was full of hungry silvers where we fished almost every day with fly rods. Birch anchored the Gemini in the bay and then we went up the river in the Zodiak, so there wasn't excessive hiking. Most days we probably averaged 20 slivers each brought to leader (we could only keep five a day each). Birch has a great selection of all kind of tackle, including very high quality fly rods. All lures, bait and flies were supplied at no additional charge. I particularly appreciated the fact that while Birch tended carefully to the less-experienced guests, he pretty much left me alone except when I needed a net-man. Not less importantly, Birch has a great sense of humor and kept all of us entertained during those days on the water.
Almost every day, we also retrieved two-crab pots not far from the lodge. Usually there were about six keeper snow crabs, which on return to the lodge were freshly steamed and served at the boathouse. In addition, there are two local beers on tap down by the boat-house, ingeniously kept at perfect temperature by a spring house. The beer was complimentary.
After returning from fishing each day about 5:00 and having some crab and beer whjle watching Birch clean and filet the fish, we would clean up and go to the lodge for appetizers and wine at about 6:30, followed by dinner at 7:30. The wines were quite good and served though dinner in unlimited quantity. Like breakfast, dinner was different each night. We had steak one night, king crab legs another, etc. Overall, the quality was good and the food was tasty. The Robbins eat with the guests at all meals. Lunch consists of custom order sandwiches, together with chips, cookies, etc.
In addition to fishing, the quests can enjoy hiking, kayaking, bear-viewing via plane, etc.
Raspberry Island lies to the west of the main island of Kodiak. We flew into Kodiak in the afternoon and Birch met us at the airport, were we were transported by taxi to the boat harbor and then to the lodge on Birch's boat. On our departure, a float-plane flew us back to Kodiak and transported us, our luggage and those 200 lbs of fish to the airport.
All-in--all, I strongly recommend this lodge, particularly if you want to combine salt and fresh water fishing in a well-run small remote location.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We are a peaceful, remote wilderness lodge, located on Raspberry Island in the Kodiak Island Archipelago. We specialize in and offer complete and customizable packages including: both Fresh and Saltwater Fishing, Sea Kayaking, Hiking, and Fly Out Bear Viewing. We invite you to enjoy private guest cabins, delicious meals featuring fresh Alaskan Seafood, outdoor jetted hot tub, open, comfortable main lodge, and second generation hosts, all located on the protected, serene shore of Raspberry Island. ... more less