USA - Alaska



The Goodnews River flows just over sixty miles, from the Goodnews lake down to the Bering Sea.  It’s a fairly intimate river by Alaskan standards, in that it’s small enough to wade and sight fish significant portions of the river, while still large enough to float comfortably at an easy unhurried pace. This is an ideal river trip for anglers who really enjoy getting out of the raft and wading whenever possible.  The Goodnews River float season is a relatively short one, starting the 22nd of July and running through September 10, each year. But while the season is short, the weeks can differ greatly from each other, particularly when it comes to the species you are interested in targeting.

The Goodnews River is a classic Alaskan river in that the fishing season pretty much revolves around the life cycle of the five species of Pacific salmon. The salmon arrive in Alaska’s rivers not only at different times but at periods that can vary from watershed to watershed.

The species diversity in the Goodnews River is exceptional and boasts epic runs of all five species of Pacific Salmon, along with sea-run Dolly Varden, and resident Leopard Rainbows and Grayling. The July window probably offers the most variety of species to target, with King, Chum, Sockeye, and Pink Salmon, the latter returning in even-numbered years. Beginning in Late July, there are already a healthy and ample number of Rainbow Trout, Arctic Grayling, King/Sockeye/Chum/Pink Salmon and the occasional Northern Pike.

As July rolls into August and the month wears on, the Goodnews River will see an influx of Arctic Char/Dolly Varden (affectionately referred to as “Charlies!) and Coho (Silver) Salmon in extraordinary numbers. In the gin clear waters of the Goodnews, it is common to see a literal biomass of fish that span the channel from bank to bank, and nose to tail as they move upriver from Bristol Bay and the Bering Sea. Resident species live throughout the river and follow the Salmon upriver as they prepare for their spawning. Chrome bright Salmon, most still with sea lice, are the norm. In the course of a week spent floating, camping, and living along a river surrounded by jagged and awe-inspiring mountain vistas, anglers have a very real potential of bringing to hand all five species of Pacific Salmon, as well as the aforementioned resident species.

As the days of August fade and September approaches, the early arriving species of salmon diminish as they spawn and return to the river as nutrients for future generations of fish. In their place the Silvers and Char/Dolly’s pack the river in numbers that are sometimes hard to fathom. This is also the time that anglers looking to focus on big Rainbows should be looking to fish the Goodnews. The Rainbows have been gorging on salmon eggs all summer and with the diminishing number of salmon in the river at this time, selectively targeting fat Rainbow Trout becomes doable.

The Goodnews River falls under the US Fish and Wildlife Service regulations and restrictions. Permits to float the Goodnews are tightly regulated and no more than four rafts and guides are allowed to float at any one time. These regulations prohibit the use of an additional support raft and guide.


The rafts used for the Goodnews River float, are sturdy 14- or 16-foot custom built rafts, each equipped with custom steel frames, and comfortable front and rear seating for anglers.  


Guests fly into Anchorage International Airport, then onwards to the town of Bethel, via Alaska Airlines. This trip does require an overnight in bethel the day before your float trip starts. Renfro’s Alaskan Adventures will pick you up at the Bethel Airport and take you to your hotel or B&B, as well as pick you up for your flight to the river to join the guides, who will have pre-ceded you to the Goodnews by one or two days.

Slipstream is a full-service travel company that can handle a variety of services relating to your trip. For assistance, please contact us directly at 1 866 644-7703.


$6,990 USD

Transfer days in and out from Bethel vary throughout the season and will depend on which dates  you are booked for. 

  • ANC - Alaska
  • July 22 through to mid September
  • Rainbow trout, Arctic Char, Grayling, Lake Trout, Kings, Sockeye, Chum, Pink and Coho (Silver) Salmon.
  • 8 anglers per week guests
  • Wifi: Yes
  • Language: English
  • Physicality: Low
  • CC Payment at Facility : No
USA - Alaska


Tour Location


Located in southwest Alaska and flowing out of the Ahklun Mountains to the Bering Sea, The Goodnews River is roughly 400 miles from Anchorage. The Northern section of the float trip is located inside the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge.  


Rainbow trout, Arctic Char, Grayling, Lake Trout, Kings, Sockeye, Chum, Pink and Coho (Silver) Salmon.


July 22 through to mid September


To get to the headwaters of the Goodnews River, anglers will need to make air reservations from Anchorage into Bethel Alaska, on Alaska Airlines. All anglers need to arrive in Bethel, the day before your float trip actually starts. The evening flight to Bethel allows most travels coming from the Lower 48, to get into Bethel on the same day guests are traveling to Alaska. After arriving in Bethel, guests will check in check in with the bush air charter service that will fly you to the starting location the following morning. Guests will then head to their hotel for the night before starting the float trip the following day. 
Getting to the Put-in: Travel is by float plane to the headwaters of the Goodnews River, with a return flight via wheel plane from the village of Goodnews Bay. Departure Information: On the last day of the trip, anglers will arrive at the take-out early morning for the boat ride to the village of Goodnews Bay and then fly on to Bethel at 2 pm. The flight back to Bethel takes just under an hour. Guests then have the option of taking the evening flight back to Anchorage or overnighting in Bethel and then flying back to Anchorage the following morning. We go over all the key trip logistics details in our pre trip information package once the trip has been booked.


While this is a self-contained float trip through some of the most remote and pristine territory in Alaska, the accommodations throughout the trip are far more comfortable than most would expect. Paul Hansen, the owner of the Alaska Rainbow Adventures, has done a masterful job at creating a river accommodations program that far exceeds the traditional “camp out” experience that is normally required to reach the more isolated and harder to reach rivers within in the state. Called the "Alaska Lodge Style Float Trips", the accommodations are custom, purpose-built tents that are all made in Alaska, designed specifically for extreme weather conditions. The tents accommodate two anglers and are spacious enough (10 x 10) to provide ample space for gear, as well as being a comfortable retreat should the weather become inclement. Each tent is equipped with chairs and comfortable cots, a truly welcome luxury after a long day of fishing. With six foot ceilings, the tents offer a roomy and sturdy refuge from the Alaskan elements. 
The centerpiece of these "Alaska Lodge Style Float Trips" is the custom-built dining tent and screened areas, both of which are capable of holding the entire group for dining and as an après fishing gathering area. The camp moves daily, with gravel bars and river bends offering up spectacular new camp scenery each day.


8 anglers per week
USA - Alaska


Value for money
USA - Alaska



  • Round trip air transportation from Bethel to the lake on Day 1 and from Goodnews Bay back to Bethel on the last day of the trip
  • Six or Seven nights riverside tent accommodations, depending on trip length purchased
  • All meals
  • 5+ days of fishing or 6+ day of guided fishing, depending on trip length purchased
  • All camp gear included, except for sleeping bag.


  • Gratuities to staff and guides
  • Fishing gear
  • Fishing license
  • Alcohol
  • Round trip international airfare to Anchorage, Alaska
  • Round trip airfare from Anchorage to Bethel
  • Accommodations in Bethel the night before your float trip starts (Mandatory)


  • Canadian, British, EU and Australian citizens only need a valid passport for entry to the United States. No visa is required.
  • You will need to purchase an Alaskan Fishing License for the duration of your stay. This can be purchase it following the link below.
  • Purchase Alaskan Fishing Licence Here