Alaska & Yukon, 100's of years of family history

    Albert Jacques fled Lancashire England, for Canada. By 1889 he was in the Yukon.  His son Blondie Jacques a trapper & guide arrived in Alaska in 1938, His homestead was the start of Jacques family's business.  Uncle Carl's family history goes back to before Alaska was discovered  by the white man.  Jerry & Jim Jacques continue to follow their great grandfather's tradition of exploring and guiding in Alaska. Trapping and hunting brought our family to Alaska but we have chosen to operate our lodge in eco-friendly non-consumptive way. We specialize in Photo Safaris, Adventure Travel and Fly Fishing. 
 
The Crew
  Jerry Jacques started guiding and flying full time in the Katmai & Bristol Bay area in 1978. With 39 years/14,000 hours of Alaska bush-flying experience, Jerry holds Alaska Master Guide License #110. and is uniquely qualified to be your host for the best Bear Viewing or Bush Flying Adventure the Last Frontier has to offer.
    Laura O'Connell Jacques was raised by a father who loved the outdoors, She has been an avid whitewater rafter, fisherman and outdoor enthusiast for 30 years. Laura and Jerry met at the lodge, with their first date being a bear viewing trip to Katmai. Laura graduated from Temple University School of Law and has practiced law on a part-time basis since 1989. Their kids Erika, Erin and Caleb all work for the lodge every year.
    Jim Jacques has been a fishing Guide for the family business since 1982. He is a diehard fly fisherman, coastguard licensed captain & avid photographer. Our skilled pilots, Bruce Johnson and Larry Rivers each have more than 30 years of Alaska flying experience and have logged 16,000 hours flying people into the remote regions of Alaska.  Our chef, Cynthia Cabrera prepares wonderful meals for meat lovers and vegetarians. Guides, Dave Moore, Justin Seaquest, Travis De Boer and Cliff Sullivan are all military veterans and are very passionate about guiding in Alaska.

We are a custom lodge where every day you decide what kind of adventure you want. The options are only limited by your imagination.

 

Activity Level

We can accommodate any one in reasonable health. Our oldest guest to date was 98. he was able to fish 3 different rivers, see grizzly bears, pick blue berries on the alpine tundra and even do a short raft trip with his grandson.

Itinerary

The following is a sample itinerary for your trip. You are free to make any changes to suite your interests. We are a custom operation and you decide what you want to do each day.

alaska bear tour
Day 1 Sample Itinerary:
 
You will depart Anchorage at 3:00 PM on Iliamna Airtaxi's PC-12 turboprop plane arriving at the Iliamna Airport at 4:00 PM. Our staff will meet you and provide transportation to the lodge where the rest of the staff is waiting to meet your party. After introductions the crew will help get everyone's gear into their cabins. Each of our 5 Cabins has a private full bathroom and 2 beds.
 
After you have a chance to settle in to your cabin you will wander over to the main lodge where Hor d'Oeurvres will be waiting. The great room with its panoramic views of Lake Iliamna and Roadhouse Mt is a natural gathering place. Relax, socialize, play pool, check out the Alaskan
Antiquities or just soak in the view.
 
Once everyone has gathered the lodge orientation starts. This meeting makes sure all questions get answered. Next everyone gets fitted for state of the art Gortex waders and wading boots supplied by the lodge. If you have not tried this gear before you will be amazed. You can hike all day crossing streams and sitting in puddles and stay dry. This light weight gear is comfortable to wear and totally impervious to the weather.
 
The chef starts serving a multi coarse gourmet dinner at 7:00 PM. After dinner we discuss and make plans for the following day. The details are set and everyone knows where they are going, what equipment to bring, what aircraft they are to ride in. Breakfast and departure times are set. Our entire staff understands that photographers have special needs such as having the ability to stay out late for the best light, being able to bring extra equipment and how fragile/expensive camera equipment is.

Day 2 Sample Itinerary:

After enjoying a hearty breakfast you will board one of the lodge's aircraft and the day’s adventure begins. One of the big things that sets us apart from other lodges is that we have 4 aircraft and 14 boats all set aside for the exclusive use of our guests. We never has more than 10 guests at the lodge at one time. Today you decided to get images of Bears fishing so we make the short flight to Katmai National Park land on a small alpine lake in the lodge's Dehavllind Beaver float plane. After landing a 15 min walk gets us to the confluence of 2 creeks. We spend the day filming bears on the creek where the grizzlies are chasing fish in the shallow water. The pilot/guide has lead bear viewing trips here since 1978 and knows this place intimately.

After a full day of filming many different bears catching fish you will walk back to the plane for the 18 minute flight back to the lodge. From the plane dock next to the lodge you will smell the fresh smoked salmon that is part of the Hor d'Oeurvres platter. Now you have the tough choice to make: a hot shower or hit the Hor d'Oeurvres platters first.

After the chef has served the meal the discussion of the next day’s activity takes place and plans are made. We suggest everyone show their 6 favorite images from the day. With the blinds down the images are displayed on the large screen TV in the great room. The lodge staff often gathers in the background to see the amazing show.

 

Day 3 Sample Itinerary:

Today you decided to fly to Brooks Falls to try to get shots of a bear catching a fish jumping the falls. Brooks falls is crowded by the lodge standards and almost like a zoo setting but you are looking for one specific image of a bear catching a fish on the top of falls so that is where we have flown.
By 10:30 a.m. you have the shots you want. We then fly 15 minutes to a place that there is no one else and it has the wilderness feel. We land next to a tiny stream. A 12 year old sow has raised her cubs here every year for the last 8 years. She is very tolerant of us and often walks with her cubs very close to us. We have the place to ourselves. On the way back to the lodge we fly over the Valley of
10,000 Smokes, then past Mount Katmai, then over the Caldera (crater lake) and past Novarupta with
its still steaming vents and glaciers then home to the lodge. Hor d'Oeurvres , hot showers, a gourmet dinner and the evening image show await us.

Day 4 Sample Itinerary:

You leave the lodge late morning to arrive at the Katmai coast for the low tide. Landing on the beach in the wheel planes equipped with tundra tires. Today you are searching for bears digging clams and eating sedge grasses. It is common to also see a wolf at this secluded beach. Today takes more walking as the bears are more spread out on the tidal flats and in the sedge grasses. A hot lunch is cooked by the pilot. Fresh clams dug from the tidal flats and shrimp jambalaya cooked over open fire on the beach, topped off with hot dutch oven baked corn bread. The 35 minute flight back to the lodge takes a different route so we can fly low over the glaciers and ice fields on Mt Douglas.

 

Day 5 Sample Itinerary:

Half the people in your group decide to fly to Twin Lakes to see and photograph Dick Proenneke cabin (One Man's Wilderness). Flying over the turquoise water of Lake Clark, past dall sheep, caribou and glaciers in Lake Clark National park we get to Upper Twin Lake. Landing 100 yards from the historical homestead site and cabin that Dick built. The history is documented and preserved here by the Park Service. Mountain landscape and the old Alaska homestead has lots to keep the shutters clacking for the day.

The second half of the people in your group have decided to take a 2 day expedition to the most remote and wildest part of Alaska. The Bearing Sea beaches along the Alaska Peninsula is a place very few humans have ever seen. They will land at Walrus Point and the Seal Islands. They departed at 6:00 AM and landed on a remote Bearing Sea beach near a bull walrus haul out. During The 20 min walk into the wind the smell of walrus is strong long before they are seen. These huge bull walrus are a site to see. With the walrus upwind setting up tripods within 50 yards of the walrus will not disturb them. Eagles nest on the cliffs nearby and swans are nesting on the ponds next to the salt grass. One sand Island commonly has 200-400 seals hauled out. Sea otters are commonly seen at the outlet of the streams. Caribou, moose, and bear are common to see along the way. The group will camp at an old native trapper’s cabin overlooking the Bering Sea and let the sound of the waves lull them to sleep.

 

Katmai bear tour

Day 6 Sample Itinerary:

For the people that camped night 5 at the beach day 6 has a half day of filming walrus, eagles, swans, the occasional puffin and of course beach combing. Around noon they will get back in the plane and head to a native village for lunch and refueling the plane. They will arrive back at the lodge in time for dinner.

For the people who stayed at the lodge night 5 they will head to the crystal clear Copper River for a raft float trip. They will film the pods of Red Salmon in the clear water, see a few bears and perhaps catch a trophy rainbow trout. At the end of the river they will stop at a native homestead. Jim, Flora and their adult kids are living a subsistence life style on the homestead they have built. Flora's family has lived in this bay for centuries.

Both groups will meet back at the lodge for the night’s dinner and to compare notes.

 

Day 7 Sample Itinerary:

Today is the last day of the trip. Last night the group decided to return to the same place in Katmai National Park that they went to on day 2. Landing on a small alpine lake in the lodge's Dehavllind Beaver float plane. The 15 minute walk gets everyone back to the confluence of 2 creeks where the bears performed so well last time. You will spend the day filming bears on the creek. The bears are still chasing the Sockeye (red salmon) in the shallow water but today there are more fish than a week ago so the bears are catching more fish today. Late afternoon you will walk back to the plane and head to the lodge. There will be just enough time for a quick shower then the staff will transport the group to the airport for the evening flight back to Anchorage.