Liar and fraud. Jack Johnson. Legend Lodge Alaska. Lake Illiamna, Intricate Bay.

So…today I picked my buddy up at the Airport in Anchorage. He was coming back from across the bay after guiding for the month. We go through the normal routine ,”How was the fishing, and how was the money?” He tells me, I made dick, the fishing was great, and the boss was a f’in douche rocket and ripped me off bad!

The boss…Jack Johnson… A.K.A. Douche Rocket

jackj

 

First he tells me, he thought he would be making decent tips, plus, he would be gaining great experience, BOY was he wrong!!

So, then he tells me the owner (Jack Johnson A.K.A. Douche Rocket) took 25% of the tips from all the guides and then some. Not only did he steal tips, wine, and banana bread, but after he was done with them for the season, he short changed them and handed them a 1099 form to say they were on their own. After making them think they were working under his jack wagon guide lodge, “LEGEND LODGE”, they soon realized they were working for themselves.

Let’s be honest, in reality it should be called, “Fuck You, Pay JACK!”.

He works his “guides” (aka Kunta Kinte’s ) harder than a DREAM ACT Mexican at an Orange Grove in Florida. Yeah, it’s that bad.

Needless to say, if I were going to throw down good money to a guide in Alaska, I damn sure wouldn’t be giving it to  Jack Johnson. I feel bad for his unknowing apprentice guides, who work for little to no pay thinking they are working for a legit guide service. Needless to say, if a guide works for this wanker for more than one season, they are messed up in the head and need more psych work than Casey Anthony.

Oh! Before I forget, you can get a KILLER deal! If you donate $100 or more to Trout Unlimited you can get a guided trip for 50% off!! If not, then you are stuck paying $4299 or more, depending on what Jack Johnson wants to charge you.

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6 thoughts on “Liar and fraud. Jack Johnson. Legend Lodge Alaska. Lake Illiamna, Intricate Bay.

  1. Oh yes! 4 of us got skimmed 2017 by this guy too!! Two other guests that were with us were also very dissatisfied. I wanted to report him but after a few questions to other guides and sea planes operators with no reply, I didn’t know where to turn to make a complaint about him. Seems they all stick together. It will be long while before I visit Alaska again. Left a real sour taste in my mouth!!

  2. He’s been dicking me around for 2 years on a trip I bought at an SCI Convention. He sold it as a Sept. fishing and duck hunting trip. Now he keeps offering me a King fishing trip on the Togiak, Nush, or somewhere else. I figured he was a scam, had more faith in SCI allowing only reputable donors to participate. Guess we all get ripped off at some point in life.

  3. Hey boys, I attended Jack’s “guide school” in 2018, and can attest to everything you’ve posted. Here’s the review I’m putting up on Trip Advisor and on Yelp:

    “When you travel thousands of miles to Alaska for the fishing trip of a lifetime, you expect decided value for your hard-earned dollars. A quality lodge/operation in the 49th state provides that value in many ways, but meeting promised expectations and providing a safe operation are almost always at the top of everyones’ list. Jack Johnson’s Alaska’s Legend Lodge fails on both counts.

    Though I have been a fishing guide for some 40 years (all around the world), I decided to attend the Lodge’si guide school last June, namely to learn how to drive jet boats, and to have the chance to fish two new (for me) fantastic Alaskan fisheries – Iliama’s Copper River for rainbow trout, and the Nushugak River for king salmon, while “interning” for three more weeks afterwards. A month or so after making my travel arrangements and going over guide responsibilities and expectations with Jack; and sending my course fee to him; I read a review written by a previous guide school attendee/intern, which was not very flattering, to say the least. Here’s what he had to say:

    “Liar and fraud. Jack Johnson. Legend Lodge Alaska. Lake Illiamna, Intricate Bay.
    SEPTEMBER 22, 2013 / THEANGRYFISHERMAN (website)

    So…today I picked my buddy up at the Airport in Anchorage. He was coming back from across the bay after guiding for the month. We go through the normal routine ,”How was the fishing, and how was the money?” He tells me, I made dick, the fishing was great, and the boss was a f’in douche rocket and ripped me off bad!

    First he tells me, he thought he would be making decent tips, plus, he would be gaining great experience, BOY was he wrong!!
    So, then he tells me the owner (Jack Johnson A.K.A. Douche Rocket) took 25% of the tips from all the guides and then some. Not only did he steal tips, wine, and banana bread, but after he was done with them for the season, he short changed them and handed them a 1099 form to say they were on their own. After making them think they were working under his jack wagon guide lodge, “LEGEND LODGE”, they soon realized they were working for themselves. Let’s be honest, in reality it should be called, “F*** You, Pay JACK!”.
    He works his “guides” (aka Kunta Kinte’s ) harder than a DREAM ACT Mexican at an Orange Grove in Florida. Yeah, it’s that bad.
    Needless to say, if I were going to throw down good money to a guide in Alaska, I damn sure wouldn’t be giving it to Jack Johnson. I feel bad for his unknowing apprentice guides, who work for little to no pay thinking they are working for a legit guide service. Needless to say, if a guide works for this wanker for more than one season, they are messed up in the head and need more psych work than Casey Anthony. Oh! Before I forget, you can get a KILLER deal! If you donate $100 or more to Trout Unlimited you can get a guided trip for 50% off!! If not, then you are stuck paying $4299 or more (2013 rates), depending on what Jack Johnson wants to charge you.”

    Still, I chose to make the trip – I mean for $2,000, how could one go wrong at that rate with four great weeks in the Alaskan bush? From the review, I knew that at the very least I would be a great help, and likely able to contribute considerably to his operation. In the end; after four weeks working for the lodge; I came home with enough stories about how not to guide in Alaska than I care to recount here. But I do believe that I have a responsibility to prospective clients and staff alike to let everyone know what to expect, should they elect to spend their time and/or money with Mr. Johnson, at his Alaska’s Legend Lodge or river camps.

    Let me start by saying that Jack is perhaps the most disorganized individual with whom I have ever worked. His only full season guide took nearly a week to decipher his season’s bookings, and to correct all the deficiencies in his provisioning plan for the Lodge’s guests. Curiously, installing a new satellite dish took priority for him over securing needed boat parts, food, basic maintenance, and cleaning house before the arrival of our clients. Most everything we two guides got up and running at both locations, he found a way to undo. Jack, of course, took no responsibility for anything he did or didn’t do, blaming others for everything, from missing water heater plugs to undelivered (unordered) supplies. If it cost money (i.e. new boat engines that were promised to returning staff, float planes to get people to their agreed connections, a quality menu, hiring a designated cook/camp supervisor, lodge repair, etc., etc.,) it wasn’t going to happen! “That’s just the way it is up here,” was his most common response to any problem in the operation that we identified, as he chose to shove it under the rug. Sixteen to eighteen-hour days were never long enough for two of us to get everything done that needed doing because of his understaffing of the operation, and the lack of a proper camp manager.

    Most disturbing of all was the fact that Jack has no provision for handling emergency situations or monitoring weather conditions, which can change up there I n an instant. Legend Lodge has literally no communication capability of its own with the outside world, requiring a twenty to thirty-minute boat ride to another lodge at Intricate Bay, and a ten to fifteen-minute run downriver on the Nushugak to another camp to borrow their services if things go wrong – valuable time lost in a serious emergency. For bear protection we had just one 12-gauge shotgun, with it’s shells duct-taped to the stock! Not to worry, Jack has his guests sign a four-page waiver on their arrival, absolving him and the Lodge of any wrong-doing or responsibility for their well-being.

    The bathrooms at the Lodge unclean, and unacceptable for an operation charging some $6,000 a week. The official “men’s room” was a three-sided out-house out back, completely missing a side that might offer protection from wind, rain, and mosquitos! One of two bathrooms inside the lodge housed a moldy shower, laundry appliances that weren’t working, and a smelly, stained urinal on the wall. The lighting for this WC was supplied by a clamp-on light, connected to the common room outside by an extension chord. The women’s bathroom down the hall was only slightly better, though it did have its own lighting and a window.

    Sanitation at the King River Camp was completely unsatisfactory. Jack “fried” our brand new water pump on Day 2, so there was no running water, and thusly no shower or water to the kitchen for food preparation or dishes. Not budgeting for adequate fuel for the stoves, there was very limited hot water for bathing let alone for washing dishes. In fact most of the time the dishes were carried down to the river after each meal to be washed in cold, unfiltered river water. Jack’s idea of doing dishes was to pour liquid bleach on them and letting them soak. The camp’s sleeping bags, mattress pads, and cots were “cleaned” during the winter months by leaving them outside in the elements. I was very happy I brought my own gear with me, to say the least.

    Most of the Legend Lodge boats are running on tired engines, which are suffering from a lack of proper maintenance. We literally had to take a jet boat engine apart on a riverbank with a box wrench to get it to run properly. Of course we had no tech manual to refer to, and fortunately were able to diagnose the problem and get it back together without any extra parts left over (something to be said about a Yamaha!). Nearly all of the boats in Jack’s operation lack the minimum required U.S. Coast Guard equipment. For example, a long-handled shovel was frequently substituted for a proper pair of oars. Don’t think I saw a single flare either, and there were of course no handheld radios or first aid kits aboard. Most of the life jackets in use were quite old, and some too torn or rotted to be serviceable, having been left out in the woods all winter in the extreme elements versus properly cleaned and stored. On the boats themselves, a significant number of rivets and screws were pulling loose from the stringers and keel beams, especially on the Nushugak River boats.

    From the standpoint of having a quality fishing experience (if you still decide to go), it will all hinge on the experience of the guides that happen to be working for Jack. Jack can cast a dry fly, but his knowledge of other fly-fishing techniques; spey casting, fly tying, and modern fly fishing equipment; is completely lacking. His fly gear in old, and insufficient to handle the larger fish that predominate at both the Nushagak and the Lodge fisheries. Cheap K-Mart fishing line is used for leader material, surf rods and size 4500 spinning reels make up his conventional gear, and there was rarely a sharp knife, machete, maul,
    or axe in camp, as he had no files or sharpening stones to hone their edges. The maul was so dull that I had to refuse to cut or split wood with it due to safety concerns, in light of the aforementioned waiver I was asked to sign. In a nutshell, if you want to have something to fish with, enough food to eat, tools to fix things, bug spray to ward off the swarms of mosquitos, you better bring it with you! I would also recommend a SPOT transponder or satellite phone to guarantee your own safety. There are a lot of good reasons other lodges and operations in the area are trying to buy him out, and “quality” is not one of them.

    To sum things up, the previous “guide school” attendee’s assessment of Mr. Johnson (and that of four others who went there in 2017) and his lack of character is an accurate one. Having been treated the same way, I would recommend that nobody attend his “guide school,” which is an absolute sham. Nor should one go to work for him unless you’re a glutton for punishment. Jack has some serious personal problems and is very difficult to work with, especially when the going gets tough. In Alaska your life depends on those you work with, and I certainly wouldn’t trust him with my life again if I had any choice at all. Insult to injury, he still owes me tip money, expenses for having to reschedule my flights home, and my well-earned Certificate of Course Completion, letter of recommendation, and list of job referrals. You can guess from this review that I’m not exactly holding my breath on ever seeing any of these things, nor would I want any letter of recommendation from him as it would be of little to no value considering his reputation.

    All this said, Alaska is simply the best place on Earth to test your metal, build confidence, and to take in God’s creation. Jack does operate in a very unique part of it, something that even being around him can’t diminish. If you’re a client, there are other lodges and guided operations working these same areas, offering you a whole lot more bang for your buck. Even at a higher price it would be money much better spent.”

    Additionally, I contacted the U.S. Coast Guard about getting his Captain’s license revoked/suspended.

  4. KIm, I hope you have success in getting the Coast Guard to revoke his license and also getting the relevant authorities to revoke his guiding license too!! I am one of the 4 in 2017 that you mentioned. It was only because of the fear of 12 gauge at the lodge that we did acceded to part with another $900 (for his mistake! Not ours!). Additionally, I believe that businesses that worked with him are also in cohorts with him. They never replied to my enquiries re charges that Jack insisted we pay up – because of his mistake!! good luck Kim!!

  5. Everyone here in Intricate Bay and Lake Iliamna know that Jack is a moron,,,how he keeps filling his boat with paying customers is a mystery?

  6. How does he keep filling his boat… he donates a trip to all the SCI and other conventions. When I purchased my trip, it was prior to his policy change. Now if you win the auction item (many are going for $100), you must bring a full paying customer. And based on the above, I doubt that Jack makes a “full” donation. Wish I had found a number of these posts before I purchased the trip. Additionally I never see current pictures of clients and their success, etc. After fishing a number of years at nice lodges in Bristol Bay, was really looking forward to this area. Now I really have a negative feeling on making the actual trip. Who knows, he may not even pick me up in Illiamna.

    I guess you can report him to a number of places but I would consider notifying SCI and their chapters to no longer accept donations from Jack. If they look into it, Jack may not be filling his boats anymore.

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