Lodge

No See Um Lodge is more than the premier destination for anglers chasing a perfect rainbows and sockeye. Prop up your feet, relax, and spend some online time hanging out at our Holman family homestead.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of staying with us here on the high banks of the beautiful Kvichak River, this section of our No See Um blogs lets you peek through our front door and peer in the windows. We don’t mind. If fact, we’re proud to show off and sound off about our riverfront cabins and breathtaking views. From the sauna and hot tub to our always-open bar, we invite you to take a look around. If you’ve already enjoyed a visit with us, these pages give you instant access to great memories while we keep you up to date with living and loving life in the Last Frontier.

Don’t expect huge changes. We don’t mess with perfection. We just add the things that we know you’ll love like our new gazebo by the horseshoe pits. Whether you’re daydreaming about your next Alaskan fly fishing trip or you’ve already booked your bunk, check in here, and stay connected with your extended No See Um Lodge family.

2017 Season in Review

2017 Season in Review

Once again Bristol Bay’s incredible salmon runs made a spectacular return with excellent numbers of sockeye, silvers, chum and notable kings in a few rivers.  The sockeye run started a little late but made up for the delay with big numbers.  According to Alaska Dept of Fish and Game, 56.5 million fish returned to Bristol Bay.  The 2nd largest run in the last 20 years.  Of those the Kvichak saw 3,163,404 fish, 2,041,824 went up the Alagnak and 1,899,972 in the Naknek.  This resulted in spectacular trout fishing throughout the region.  Our silver salmon return was way up from 2016 also and provided many excellent days.  Our weather was pretty standard with rivers at a good level in the spring, dropping for a few weeks and coming up later in the season. 2017 saw a few notable changes at No See Um: We replaced N65223 with N67251 (read more about the Beavers).  This was a nice upgrade in aircraft with 251 recently undergoing a complete rebuild and sitting on brand new floats. We built a new custom bar in the main guest lodge complete with two Alaskan craft brews on tap. Our wood fired sauna has always been very popular but not always easy to use.  This year we converted it to a combination electric/#1 heating oil giving a much greater heat range and ease of use. We did a complete rework and upgrade on our water system with all new showers, toilets and supply system.  This resulted in excellent pressure and temp even at maximum usage. The crew was mostly a repeat of the year before, it was this experience level and continued dedication that made for one of the best seasons I can remember. 2017 marked my 25th year working at No See Um as a pilot/guide and 10 years at the helm.  I’ve seen a lot of change in SW Alaska during that time, primarily ever increasing pressure on our rivers.  One would expect to see a decline in fishing.  While I have seen a few rivers suffer, many are producing more and bigger fish than they did 20 years ago.  Education, catch and release laws, clean water and abundant food have mitigated much of the impact but we constantly struggle to keep things going in the right direction. 2018 is already shaping into an even better year.  The big salmon return of 2017 means another incredible spring fishery with fat and numerous trout in all our rivers.  This will be the third year in a row of good returns,  last spring was better than the previous and I fully expect the next to be even better.  Most of the staff will be back and we have added some excellent talent. Thank you to everyone that visited us and we all look forward to seeing you again soon. Sincerely, John Holman

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10 Sure Signs That You Need to Visit Alaska

10 Sure Signs That You Need to Visit Alaska

In your imagination, you’ve been there so many times. Once visions of the Last Frontier start dancing in your head, there’s no denying that longing in your soul. If you have any doubts about those dreams tugging on your sleeve, here are 10 sure signs that you really need to plan a trip to Alaska soon. You Count Trout Instead of Sheep – When life gets too busy, getting to sleep at night takes a little help. When you start counting rainbow trout instead of sheep, it’s time to head north. Those torpedo-shaped beauties and their brilliant colors are the fish that angling fantasies are made of. Nothing compares to the majesty of a wild rainbow flying out of the water on the end of your line. The Grid Is Officially a Grind – You’re always plugged in and powered up. Even a day off surrenders to the sound of your smartphone or taps on a tablet. It all adds up to a form of constant online overload, but you know there’s an escape. Alaska isn’t that far away, and it offers a peace and quiet that drowns out all that digital noise. You don’t have to unplug completely, but you can if you want to. Vacations Are Becoming Routine – When you think about an upcoming getaway, do you realize how often you’ve been there and done that? You need a change in scenery that rates spectacular. Imagine crystal rivers and pristine countryside. Picture landing at a rustic fishing lodge in a de Havilland Beaver and watching stars shoot across the night skies from your cabin deck. There isn’t anything routine about a vacation in the 49th State. The Wilderness Keeps Calling – Close your eyes, and listen. Do you hear the cry of a bald eagle flying overhead? Give in to that call of the wild, and add the sound of rushing water, the rustle of towering spruce and the howl of a lone wolf. It’s all a part of the natural symphony that extends an open invitation to the magic of Alaska’s unspoiled wilderness. It’s an offer that you can’t resist. Dreams of Fresh Salmon Dance on Your Palate – Nothing else compares to that incredibly pure flavor. You know a farm faux fish with the flick of a fork, but cutting into a fresh chinook salmon filet is akin to slicing butter. Regardless of what the menu tells you, your palate knows. That culinary longing for a taste of something deliciously real is a sure sign that you’re overdue making dinner reservations somewhere close to Bristol Bay. You Need a New Frontier – There’s still plenty left to conquer, but it’s hemmed in by office space and city limits. You’re not afraid of new challenges, but they begin to take on a shade of sameness. Variety is a spice that you can find anywhere, but you can only find 660,000 square miles of rugged natural beauty inside Alaska’s state lines. The Last Frontier can be your […]

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The History of the Name ‘No See Um Lodge’

The History of the Name ‘No See Um Lodge’

In 1972 Jack Holman and his wife were teaching in a one room school and living in Levelock, a small native village on the edge of the Kvichak river in Southwest Alaska. Both had recently graduated from college and taken contracts to live in the village and teach for at least a year. Jack spent much of his free time traveling the river with locals, hunting and fishing. The lodge site was an occupied homestead where they always stopped in for coffee and visiting with the old man who lived there alone. His name was Ingdal Bertinussen, in his 80’s. Ingdal had spent much of his life commercial fishing summers in Bristol Bay and wintering on the river. So in about 1973 he made a decision to move into the Alaskan Pioneer Home since he was sick of his own cooking. He and Jack were talking over coffee when he mentioned his plans and mentioned that he would sell to Jack if he wanted it. Jack didn’t have much money and but asked about the price anyway. Ingdal said he would have to get what he paid for the property, $5000. The deal was made, $5000 for 160 acres that included a house, log sauna, small shed, outhouse and a late 1800’s era wooden barge that had been used in the early Bristol Bay salmon fishery. When Jack made the deal he had no grand plans to open a world class sport fishing business on the site but did know if he had a business he could purchase a boat, airplane and other “tools” and write them off as expenses. As there was no actual “lodge”, just a few buildings, he thought long and hard and came up with the name No See Um Lodge. There are some obvious negative associations with the name but he made a successful business with it and it does stand out from the numerous “picture” names out there. People don’t typically forget the name and never confuse it with Rainbow Lodge, Rainbow King Lodge, Rainbow River Lodge, Rainbow Bend Lodge or even Rainbow Safari.

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2014 Season in Review and 2015 Season Forecast

2014 Season in Review and 2015 Season Forecast

2014 turned out a great summer. We saw excellent salmon returns in most drainages which produced great trout fishing. A few exceptions included the spawners in the Kvichak braids and lower numbers in the Upper American creek. The drainages upstream of the Kvichak were in great shape and the Lower American seemed to have plenty of fish. Water levels were good in most systems, a bit low in a few. The Copper River, while starting to fish again, proved challenging in the boating area for those less experienced running jet boats in no water. We saw some days that will easily go into the books as all time “best ever” days, I was a bit surprised by that, I thought I had seen all those days 20 years ago but it proves you’ve really never seen it all. For the second year in a row we experienced excellent silver returns that lasted into mid-September with the 2015 forecast looking great. We made a few upgrades around the lodge including flooring in the main guest house, new decking and a new power generator. The crew did a spectacular job, proving again that a business is only as good as the people involved. 2015 is shaping into another great season. All Bristol Bay salmon forecasts are excellent, low snow pack will provide for a great spring water levels and everyone is excited to get back at it. Our staff will include some new faces and plenty of the old regulars. Jason Schuster has an educational opportunity that will keep him away for a year, Brian Deagle will be getting married and both Katrina and Saoirse pursing career paths. We have hired several very experienced replacements that will be excellent complements to our returning staff. We have some exciting improvements planned for this summer and fully expect it will be our best season ever! John Holman President- Pilot/Guide  

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2013 Season Review

2013 Season Review

2013 season is in the books and goes down as another great year. I personally guided more on “new” water than I did on our traditional rivers. Much of this “exploration” was only possible because we don’t practice the “drop and go” fishing experience. Anyone that has been dropped off at a location, watched the plane leave and then discovered that things are not as expected, can appreciate our program. Several rivers that typically fish very well and are generally predictable were not quite “normal” in 2013. I recall several days that weather was also an issue and heard people comment, as we departed, that they were very happy to have that option. Overall the weather was better than the past few years with some incredibly nice weather in June and July. Our salmon runs were, for the most part, good. The Nushigak King run was typical and fished about as expected while the Alagnak run was in line with the last few years, some great days with more days doing something else. The Alagnak Silver Salmon run was a definite bright spot with great numbers and an extended season. Again the “no dropping” practice paid off as we able to fish several holes and then move on to a different river for the afternoon. Trout fishing overall, was very good. Many longtime guests were thrilled with the opportunity to fish new water and found some new favorites. As is the norm, June and July produced our best weather and least numbers of competing anglers. August and September provided some big, fat trout but also tends to be the most popular time for Southwest Alaska, again having exclusive rights to a beaver allows for on the go changing of plans. Life around the lodge was smooth with our attentive, dedicated staff. I got many comments on how good they all were and expect most to be there in 2014. The new gazebo was a huge success, well worth the wait, and many enjoyable evenings were passed around the fire and horseshoe pits. I also witnessed more people in the river than normal, some water skiing and swimming but most just taking a quick cool down dip from the sauna. We had another successful year using Trans Northern for our Anchorage-King Salmon flights and anticipate the same for 2014. John Holman President, Pilot & Guide

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