I sat down with James Johnson who runs Katmai Trophy Lodge and is also connected to Naknek River Camp.  James breaks down fly fishing Alaska for salmon, trout, and char.  Find out when the best time is to hit Alaska for a newbie, how to swing up chinook salmon and what the number one thing is to think about when targeting chinook.

We talk about StealthCraft Boats and why the honeycomb design is an added feature that keeps the boat Stealthy.  Find out how James got his start guiding in Michigan at one of the big Orvis lodges in the Midwest.


Click below to listen to the James Johnson Interview:

apple podcasts

google podcast

Find the show:  itunes | stitcher | overcast

Subscribe on Android

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts

Subscribe on Spotify Podcasts

Subscribe via RSS

Sponsors and Podcast Updates

Show Notes with James Johnson

06:25 – The StealthCraft Boats were noted here and is a company they recently sold.

07:00 – The Orvis endorsed lodge that was that largest outfitter east of the Mississippi at the time.  They since sold this lodge in exchange for buying the Alaska lodges we talk about today.

08:45 – Naknek River Camp is one destination lodge that James helps to run and is owned by their family business.  James notes that the river rarely gets blown out because of a 45 mile lake the mitigates any rain events.

14:00 – Tom Brady is the only other job that James thinks that he would like to be doing instead of guiding.

21:40 – Brooks Falls and the iconic bear photos.  Here’s a video of a bear catching a fish.

40:30 – The power drifter is one of the goto motor boats by Stealthcraft.

45:11 – The Intruder is the goto fly up there.  Chartreuse, Chartreuse and blue, pink, and orange are all great colors for chinook. It wouldn’t be a good post without a Jay Nicholas video, so here’s your daily intruder.

53:47 – The big tip on hooking up with chinook including how to feed line into the fish so you trigger a bite.

55:20 – 15lb Tippet of about 5 feet is about all you need.  If you can’t land fish on this then you don’t deserve it.

1:00:00 – James spends a good chunk of time at their Blue Bonefish Lodge in Belize.

Here’s the Korn video doing the Beastie Boys song.



You can find James at Katmain Trophy Loddge.


Videos Noted in the Show

Tom Brady Highlight Reel


The Bears at Katmai


Here’s the Korn video doing the Beastie Boys song.



james johnson alaska

Conclusion with James Johnson

James Johnson breaks down his life owning and running lodges in Alaska with a focus on King Salmon.  Find out how James has built one of the great Alaska lodges and hear some tips to get into a few more chinook this year.