Fly Fishing for Native Alaska Rainbow Trout
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Alaska Trout Fly Fishing Guide & Trip Planner
Fly fishing rainbow trout in Alaska provides great opportunities throughout our Alaska river system and area tributaries. I think there is two very important factors that make fly fishing for Alaska rainbows such a precious experience: 1.) You can catch large numbers of rainbows on pretty much any fly pattern with various techniques throughout the summer season, sub-surface to top-water. 2.) Our trout are wild, un-stocked, beautiful, strong and healthy. We hope to keep it that way and support catch and release methods and sustainable conservation to assure this precious resource proliferates. When planning Alaska trout fishing trips, consider fishing is good throughout June, July, August and September; with the very best fishing for rainbows being the first half of June, August and September.
Trout Fly Fishing Methods and Techniques
You can expect to catch trout consistently on sink-tip lines, long leaders and weighted sculpin, articulated leech and minnow-imitator flies. These flies and a deep-water swing/strip presentation is often the means by which we catch the largest rainbows each summer. During late May through mid-June, salmon smolt (baby salmon) begin their downstream migration to the ocean. This kicks off the first major feeding season for rainbow trout following the long winter. We rip 2- 3" flashy streamers with versatile sink-tip lines with a downstream mend and cross-current retrieve. When salmon are spawning in Lake Creek Alaska and its tributaries (king salmon in late July, pinks and chums in August,) rainbow trout begin to congregate exclusively around spawning schools. Their anticipation of salmon eggs causes many large rainbows to venture out into the open river, often in shallow water. In late July, and early August, king salmon hens begin digging nests in coarse gravel in relatively fast water. This activity disturbs rocks on the bottom, releasing hundreds of caddis and mayfly nymphs and other aquatic insects. The flood of insects is eagerly consumed by rainbows waiting for the eventual escape of eggs from gravel. During this early spawning phase of kings, we fish nymphs such as the bitch creek or a large stonefly nymph or large wool-head sculpins. Beads, egg patterns and battle creek specials are other effective fly choices. Occasionally a big, bushy stimulator dry fly will take nice rainbows behind spawning salmon schools. When pinks and chums are spawning in large numbers, we start out fishing egg imitations in the spawning areas, particularly the chum beds, usually resulting in almost non-stop rainbow action. In shallow riffles, particularly behind chums, the rainbows will often eat dries readily. As the salmon spawn subsides, we have much success on ginger bunny flies as they imitate both a dying minnow or decaying salmon flesh, both crucial late season food sources for trout.
Trout Fly Fishing Gear
Fly fishing rainbow trout in Alaska is a world-class Alaska fly fishing experience. It's important to have the right gear to maximize your success. We typically fish 5-7 weight medium action fly rods when pursuing trout on Lake Creek. Three fly lines we would recommend having is a double-taper floating for dry fly fishing, a weight-forward floating line and a interchangeable sink tip line such as Rio's Versa-tip series. 3X tapered leaders are ideal for dry fly fishing and small nymphs, whereas we get away just fine with straight 8-10lb. mono leaders for streamer fishing. We like Maxima Ultra-green leader material due to its abrasion resistance. 3-5 foot leaders are sufficient for most streamer fishing methods in our river system. A fly reel with a smooth, strong drag is sufficient.
Trout Fly Patterns
- Leech Patterns
- Sz. 8 - 4, black, ginger, purple
- Bunny Leech
- Size 8 - 4 ginger, white/pink, brown
- Battle Creek Special
- 8 - 4 orange/white
- Sofa Pillow Dry
- 8 - 6 orange or green body
- Glo bugs, trout beads
- peg with sz. 8 - 10 nymph hook
Follow the link above to our Alaska peak fishing calendar. When you visit will determine which salmon species are running strong in Lake Creek in addition to great fly fishing for rainbows. The very best fly fishing periods for trout are early to mid July (along with king salmon), and again in early August through early September (along with silver and chum salmon).