Alaska Fishing Lodge Celebrates 40 Years in Business

Years ago, my son Luke, when asked by his kindergarten teacher to draw what his old man did for a living, drew a long table with me at the head.  “My dad tells jokes,” Luke declared. Forty years later and I’m still at it – telling jokes, flying helicopters, and thanks to you all, living out my childhood dream.

Hard to believe it was 1974 when my wife of thirty days and I engraved our first mark on the Talachulitna River. With just one raft, one J3 Cub, and one whisker on my chest, I set out to build Talaheim Lodge.

We’ve seen a lot of changes since those days – helicopter fishing, glacier tours, first-class accommodations – but the important things still remain. Our staff continues to return year after year, and so do the fish. The 2015 fishing season was perhaps the best ever. Our king salmon returned in good numbers, while mousing for rainbow trout remained a guest favorite.

Guests also continue to return. Our first guest ever, then thirteen and with his father, returned this summer, marking their family’s eighth trip to Talaheim Lodge over four decades. Fishermen who used to bring their dads, now bring their sons – that’s three generations of fishermen!


But most importantly, my family remains intact, and so does our sense of adventure. This year, Luke bought a new plane to accommodate his growing guiding business, while K’Dee returned to Talaheim to finish writing her memoir. And me, well, Felicia and I packed up the old Cessna last month and decided to fly to the Bahamas. Thirty days later and our course turned into this.


As the year comes to an end, and with it four amazing decade of business, I’d like to say thank you for being a part of my dream, and Talaheim Lodge’s family. I look forward to seeing you around our dinner table again. Until then, from our home to yours, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. May 2016 bring you many blessings.

Mark Miller