I built, own, and have managed our family run Alaskan fishing lodge for the past 43 years.  In the beginning guides had to be alive, possibly run a river boat, have most of their teeth, and tell the difference between a trout and a salmon.

As Talaheim Lodge moved forward there came a time we needed a “float guide” which required the above skills plus a knowledge of a river chef.  As Alaskan lodges became more competitive we hired more talented and educated guides.  Many lodges, like Talaheim, prefer fly fishermen over spinners. Fly anglers are more dedicated to the sport, prefer catching over killing, and usually they’re professionals that can afford the high price of operating a lodge in the Alaskan wilderness.  The time came when lodges in Alaska needed guides who were very knowledgeable in the art of FLY FISHING!

Fly Fishing Guides

I hired Scott Thorpe about 14 years ago.  A retired architect, Scott was a master in the art of fly fishing.  Scott forever changed the course of our fishing program and helped us to reach the five-star status of Alaskan lodges.

Scott kept a diary every week of the angler’s names and the fish they caught.   He could go back years and use this information to offer fishing opportunities, plus help me remember names and events when trying to re-book clients.  Scott talked me into supplying waders and fishing rods to those folks that wanted to use our equipment rather then lug up heavier bags from wherever to Talaheim.  He organized the purchasing of flies, waders, and rods while receiving the best equipment at lodge sale prices.

Scott is a master fly caster.  He not only taught clients how to improve their casting, but taught the art of spey fishing (double handed fly rods). According to their physical ability, Scott knew which client could fish what streams.  My life as a lodge owner and pilot was made easier as I didn’t have to worry about the fishing end of things…that was taken over by Scott.  Scott worked for me for 14 years, then retired in 2019, BUT…. he trained my fly fishing guides along the way.

fly fishing guides

Now Talaheim’s head guide is “Doc” a past combat medic in the army.   Doc came to Talaheim with a great love for fly fishing and for four years worked with Scott guiding at our Talaheim Lodge.  What a blessing I’ve had in my recent pick of guides.  All my guides are intelligent, skilled fly casters, and most of all love guiding clients into great fishing waters. Doc treats our Talaheim Lodge like it was their own.

I pray that we can keep our lodge operating in these crazy times and provide a place of summer employment to our wonderful guides and staff here at Talaheim.

Book Your 2021 Trip

Now is the time to make your 2021 reservations. If you would like to book your 2021 Alaska Heli-Fishing adventure at Talaheim Lodge, send me an email or use the form here.

Hope to see you soon at Talaheim Lodge.


Mark Miller