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About Your Goodnews River Alaska Float Trip

fishing the goodnews river alaska, Alaska Salmon Fishing The sound of the float plane fades in the distance and quiet surrounds you. Your senses take in the spectacular scenery, crystal clear waters and crisp clean air. Then it happens, you realize just how far from cities, roads, crowds and cell phones, you are. A smile appears on your face and you think to yourself .. "this is truly an incredible place" to be!
Taking a self-contained float trip down one of Alaska's wilderness rivers in itself is a remarkable experience, taking one down a river having the reputation for what may be one of the finest float fishing trips in the world is truly a trip of a lifetime, especially when traveling on an Goodnews river float trip with the expert guides of Alaska Rainbow Adventures. The Goodnews River is located in southwestern Alaska, and flows within the boundaries of the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge and the upper portion is within the Togiak Refuge Wilderness area. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service regulates commercial float trips on the river and the special use permit awarded to Alaska Rainbow Adventures allow us to offer you float trips during the prime fishing dates for a Goodnews river float fishing trip. Be it to pursue the mighty Chinook or King Salmon in midsummer, Silver Salmon in the fall or the truly beautiful leopard rainbows found here in excellent numbers all season, an Goodnews River Float Trip with Alaska Rainbow Adventures delivers!

Alaska Fishing TripFlowing out of the Ahklun mountains some fifty five miles from where it empties into Kuskokwim Bay near the Alaska Native village of Goodnews Bay. The Goodnews River actually consists of several forks, the South, Middle and North forks, the latter two offering access for our float trips and can be considered as different waters as they join up within a just few miles of the ocean. Our permits allow us to operate trips on either the North or Middle forks both of which are intimate in size and It is here amongst moderately braided channels, deep holes and fast moving waters we will find some of the best fishing available in Alaska and where we will focus the majority of our angling efforts while floating, wading and fishing the Goodnews river.

Our trips on the Goodnews river offer some of the most consistent angling for the dates we offer.
Goodnews Salmon Run Timing
Salmon Species Lower River Mid and Upper River
Chinook (King) Late June July
Chum (Dog) July Mid to late July
Sockeye (Red) July Mid to late July
Pink (Humpies) Late July August (even years)
Coho (Silvers) August Mid August -September

Beginning with our trips in late June into mid July you can expect to find rainbow trout, lake trout, arctic grayling, fresh king, chum and sockeye salmon. Towards the end of July and into early August there are rainbow trout, sea run dolly varden, lake trout, arctic grayling, spawning king, chum & sockeye salmon as well as an all time angler favorite, fresh silver salmon making this an excellent time to try for a 'salmon slam' of all five species of pacific salmon. The end of August you have exceptional dolly varden angling, lake trout, arctic grayling, along with those fresh silvers and bows then into September you get fall colors and the Rainbow fishing reaching its peak and the end of the Silver Salmon run.

About Our Goodnews River Fishing Programs:
We offer three different float trip packages on the Goodnews river, these are our Fisherman's Deluxe, Fisherman's Standard and Intimate River style float trips. Each of these options offer a different level of service with the least expensive option being what we have come to call our "intimate rivers" package utilizing smaller rafts, expedition tents, and fewer amenities then the two deluxe trips and should be considered as an 'roughing it' bare bones style trip. comparable to what most other operators offer as standard Alaska float trip fare.

Goodnews River Float Trip CampOur two deluxe trips, the *Fisherman's Deluxe and **Fisherman's Standard, also call them our "Deluxe Alaska Lodge Style Float Trips" Because the accommodations are like no other you will find on an Alaska float trip anywhere. Accommodations on our deluxe Goodnews river float trips are in spacious, high quality tents made right here in Alaska. for Alaska conditions. Each of these tents is used to house two anglers in which you can stand in comfortably and come equipped with cots, and chairs. This provides you ample space for your gear, as well as a comfortable retreat should the weather become inclement. Also on these trips are our custom built large gathering / dinning tent capable of holding the entire group for dining or as a gathering area. All guests are welcome to hang out in this common space for drinks, fly tying and socializing. Other comforts such as available hot showers, toilet facilities and other little touches that make an Alaska Rainbow Adventures deluxe trip on the Goodnews river a cut above all others.

Raft Trip Goodnews River AlaskaWhere the two deluxe trips differ is that on the *Fisherman's Deluxe trip there is a two to one guest / guide ratio with two anglers and their guide floating the Goodnews in custom built drifter rafts each equipped with custom frames that have casting stations front and rear allowing for an exceptional angling experience. There is also an additional gear-boat that carries much of the camp gear and the majority of bags. Of course we still spend as much time as possible wading for fish. The additional guide/camp hand also assists in the setting up and taking down camp and assisting where necessary with guiding duties. The drifter rafts, being lightly loaded and equipped with anchor systems are able to thereby access almost any run on the river much like a drift boat and are highly maneuverable as well. Our Goodnews river **Fisherman's standard float trips offer the same camping amenities but no gear / bag boat or extra camp hand and a two or three to one guest / guide ratio depending on overall group size. These float trips require some participation and group effort. Your participation with unloading the rafts, moving camp gear and taking down sleep tents each morning is greatly appreciated. Each day anglers will rotate guides enabling everyone to fish with each member of the staff.

Sample Itinerary: Day 1: Fly to scenic Goodnews Lake from Bethel Alaska, float downstream a few miles fishing along the way. Days 2-6 or 7 (depending on trip length): Floating and fishing the Goodnews River, focus will be on the portion of the river within the wilderness area with a two night layover day at some point. Day 7 or 8 (depending on trip length) : Morning fishing around last camp, mid-day transfer to village of Goodnews Bay for flight to Bethel*. Most guests fly on to Anchorage and either overnight in Anchorage or red eye home after their Goodnews River fishing trip.

Goodnews River Float Trip Facts

Species: Primary Fish Species: Five species of Pacific salmon (Chinook/king, sockeye/red, coho/silver, pink/humpy, chum/dog), rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, lake trout, Arctic grayling. Great variety; coho salmon and rainbow trout most sought after, excellent for kings.

Capacity: We can accommodate up to eight persons on our Goodnews river float trips.


goodnews river float trip august silvers


Now Booking 2022 trips to the Goodnews



Goodnews River  2021 and 2022  (These trips start in Bethel, Alaska)


July 22 to July 29, 2021 All Five Species of Pacific Salmon, a Sea Run Dolly-Varden Utopia and The Coho Cometh. We return to the Goodnews in 2021 as the fishing there really begins to turn it up a notch, or twenty.

July 31 to August 7, 2021  -  By now some of the earlier run of Chinook and sockeye are beginning to spawn adding a dynamic to the mix that every Alaskan fisherman awaits. Oh and the Coho are here!  (Sold Out)

August 9 to 15, 2021   -  The Chinook may be gone but the Coho Salmon are here in force along with many other species and we have the best dates available on the Goodnews of any operator.

August 17 to 23, 2021 - Come experience the Alaska we can take you to and wear your arms out on hot and fast coho action during one of the best weeks available on the Goodnews.  


August 25 to September 1, 2021- Goodnews River Co-Ho-Ho-Holy C***!!! It's go time ~ Many of our guests consider our last two Goodnews River trips of the season to be arguably the best of the trips we offer on this river each season.

September 3 to September 10, 2021 - By now the Dolly-Varden are coming into their full, stunning, spawning colors, and they -along with the mighty Coho Salmon- are dispersed throughout the entire river system. The long days of Summer are waning and this brings longer, colder nights, which in turn makes the resident Trout and Char begin to feed all the more enthusiastically with the thought of leaner, winter days ahead.



2021 & 2022 Trip Rates** 

From $5,195.00pp*

* Depending on trip style and length. Call for the rate for the dates that interest you most!

**Prices include bush plane flights to the lake where the trip starts and the return flight via wheeled plane from the village of Goodnews Bay to Bethel, Alaska. 

While access to the airstrip in Goodnews bay has been granted for 2021, should the status change due to Covid-19, these trips may require float plane pick ups from the river  if this is the case there may be an additional fee to cover this expense.  

Guests are limited strictly to 250lbs total weight any additional is at  guests expense.

***The intimate rivers trips are similar to all the most other operators float trips on the river with small one person tents, no cots, no dining tent,  plainly put  it is roughing it.  



Who are we?

Alaska Rainbow Adventures - GuisdesAlaska Rainbow Adventures since 1993 has been operating float fishing trips in Alaska on some of the most prolific rainbow trout and pacific salmon waters in the world!  - Find out more

Twenty Years ~ Epic Alaska Angling Adventures

Contact Us

Alaska Rainbow Adventures
P.O. Box 874570
Wasilla, Alaska 99687
Phone: 907-357-0251