Iliamna was originally the name of an Athabaskan village at the point where the Iliamna River flows into Iliamna Lake, about 65 miles (105 km) from present-day Iliamna.
The first sport fishing lodge in Iliamna was built in the 1930s and the second was built in the 1950s. Many more were built in the later 1900s. Iliamna's economy has two main elements: subsistence fishing and hunting and sport fishing lodges. Year-round residents largely pursue subsistence activities while summer workers from other areas work in the lodges.