The Case for Dolly Varden
Dolly Varden must be considered one of the most beautiful fish in Alaska. They look like a close cousin to the Brook trout in the lower 48. Like the Brook trout, they appear to be hand painted by someone and at times take on the look of a circus clown with all their bright colors. The Dolly Varden are also quite numerous in many streams in Alaska, making them a top species to target while on a fishing trip to this amazing state.
Our first week was nothing more than amazing as usual, that is if you like sockeye salmon so thick that limits were taken daily on the fly while king salmon were in full force pushing the scales at over 40#’s per day…YES, our guides boated an average of 1 king per day over 40#’s! This is going to be a great run for sure.
The sockeye run has been really strong this season despite being a little late. They really started pouring in on the 2nd of July and did not have a stop until the 7th of July when there was a slow down. BUT, on the 8th, they kicked right back up and were really thick, creating wakes along the banks of the lower river for miles on end.
Fly-fishing in Alaska is definitely a bucket list item for most the are both new and seasoned to the sport. From my early beginnings in the sport, it was always at the pinnacle of my fishing dream trips, and I think I am not alone.
Alaska fly fishing can range from “as good as it gets” in the sport to “almost as hard as it can be”. Targeting some species can be a huge test of patience and will. For example, there are times when the king salmon may not be in a river system in great numbers, but you are there at an off period and trying to catch that needle in a haystack. Kings tend to hold and run in the deepest portions of the river, and therefore demand a sink tip line to get a fly swung in front of their face. This short window of presentation coupled with low numbers to begin with has been the hardest species we target at times. BUT, this article is about the easiest and, lucky for you, there are plenty.
The opening of Angler’s Alibi went pretty smooth this month. We arrived at camp to find that the only damages over the winter were done by a bear in the fall.
The bear tore off our plywood door cover in the back of our kitchen and went through the storm door, pushing in the glass and tearing through the screen.
The bear went through the freezers and fridges, then decided it would be nice to take the BBQ grill out the other entrance that was shut tight with plywood. It looked as if the BBQ was jammed through the plywood like the old Cool Aid commercials where the Cool Aid man busts through the wall.
Needless to say, a destroyed grill was not all that bad. We were able to repair the back storm door which was pretty amazing since a brown bear went through it!
The primary contributor, John Perry, is the owner and manager of the lodge. He'll offer fishing summaries and tips too...check back or sign up for the email news to get updates when posted.