“I think I can speak for our whole group when I say you made us feel like family. We came to go fishing, and left feeling like family. All of us are already talking about coming back.” ~ Guest Kevin Nelson, 2010
What makes Talaheim Lodge so desirable, and different from other Alaska fishing lodges, is our family atmosphere. I started Talaheim Lodge in 1976. It was a real Alaska family adventure back then, and over 30 years later that family adventure still continues. Mind you, we were living in tents at the time and our now famous moosemeat pie was prepared on a wood stove, but the term “adventure” is subjective, as is the definition of “family.”
The Talaheim family has grown substantially since 1976, and thus we’ve expanded our own definition and our adventures. My wife Felicia and I, love to travel abroad to glean wisdom from other lodge owners. While Felicia returns to implement delicate cuisines and lush garden patterns into Talaheim’s decor, I return with helicopters, and a brand new adventure for our anglers—Heli-Fish Alaska, New Zealand Style!
Both of my children are still involved in shaping this Alaska family adventure. My son Luke spends his time guiding hunters out of Talaheim while my daughter K’Dee, after 15 years in New York City and Los Angeles, now lives in San Francisco where she connects Talaheim to the outside world by way of Facebook, Twitter and a plethora of other sites I can’t even pronounce.
Fishing guides, Alan, an onion farmer from Georgia, and Joe, a retired Eagles linebacker, guided for Talaheim for five years during my children’s youth, thus helping shape our Alaska family adventure. Alan, now back in Georgia with his wife and three boys, is currently building a cabin on Talaheim’s property so he can share this Alaskan family adventure with his own family. While Joe, a proud owner of a successful Air Service, is now the first point of contact to our guests as he transports them from Anchorage to Talaheim. Scott Thorpe, a professional architect now turned professional fly fishing guide, returns to Talaheim for yet another season, bringing standards to this adventure, by way of top-notch fly fishing techniques.
Helicopter pilots, Bayard and Dave, both refer to Talaheim as their Alaskan home. Bayard, a helicopter mechanic now working for Enstrom Helicopter Company, initially came to Talaheim to do a repair. While Dave, now in charge of Montana State’s aviation department, answered an ad in Helicopter Magazine. Both came to Talaheim fifteen years ago and they’ve been helping us define and pilot this Alaska family adventure ever since.
But the Talaheim family would be nothing without our incredible guests. In 2012, half of our bookings were repeat clientele. Bill Knodell and his two sons have make Talaheim their summer fishing destination for the last ten years. George Gougeon, who now brings his grandson along to do the heavy salmon lifting, has made the trip from France to Alaska for the last eight years. Our track record for producing a long list of repeat clientele started over thirty years ago when one short ad in Field & Stream hooked Henry K. Miller, our first guest. Over the next 25 years, Henry returned to Talaheim six times. I wouldn’t be the lodge owner I am today if it weren’t for the support and encouragement that our family of guests provide.
So now, when I speak of the family atmosphere that’s grown to define Talaheim, it takes on its own definition. I can’t help but salute our immediate and extended family, our past and present staff, our esteemed guests, and now…. our new friends on Facebook and Twitter. Because after all, adventure is nothing without a family to share it with, and I am proud to say that Talaheim Lodge has made a business of creating memories and collecting family members for over 30 years.
We look forward to welcoming you into our version of a real Alaska family adventure.
~ Mark Miller, Lodge Owner