I’ve hung around the Fireweed Lodge in Klawock, Alaska, since middle school, but never in my life have I done the lodge-thing as a guest.
Friday night my buddy Nate and I arrived at the Clearwater Lodge along the Pit River for a weekend of trout fishing. It was past dinner and sunset, but keys were on the office desk waiting for us and the cook had dinner waiting too.
“I love this ‘lodge thing'”
Nate and I were joined by two other friends the following morning and we took four of the six rooms in the Annex.
The lodge was built in the 20s, and was used as housing for the workers at the pump station, so it has a nice authentic/rustic, not refurbished/fake feel. This place had character but remained cozy. PG&E sold the lodge and land to the first of its two private owners in 1995. The private access to this area by the Pit pumphouse number 1 is okay for rainbows, but the water was pretty warm, so we considered other local options (Fall River, Baum Lake, Hat Creek, Pit 4, Pit 5, etc.). We ended up going to Pit 3. The wading was tough as it is on the Pit, but all the boots-above-your-head falls ended in wetness and laughter, not first aid and broken bones…. and we caught some nice fish.
I didn’t tell anyone at the Lodge that I’m a writer, so I could see how they treat ordinary people that got the cheaper rooms and no guide. I’d imagine some places cater to the rich folk, and ignore the teachers up for a weekend. I was happy to see we were treated like guests, not bargain hunters.
There is no doubt the Clearwater is a first-rate operation, because though I have never before been a guest, I have been around a ton of Alaska lodges and know how things should be done.