Trout, Dollies, and Grayling
- Elk Hair Caddis in tan, olive and
browns #14, #16, #18
- Parachute Adams, #10, #12, #18
- Parachute Brown Drakes, #10,
- Green Stimulators, #10, #12
- Small bead heads in #16 - #12
- Egg sucking leaches in black and purple (rabbit strip variety) #2, #4
- Articulated leaches in black and purple, #2, #4
- Wool head Sculpins in brown and olive, #2, #4
- Flesh flies in tan and white, with a hint of orange,#2, #4
- A variety of sizes and styles from #8 to #4
- Colors and color combo’s include Alaskan Roe, Steelhead Orange
- Peach, Light Roe, Chartreuse and Pink
- Lazer flies in Alaskan Roe and other eggy colors
- Estaz eggs in a variety of colors, #6, #4
- Very sparse sparkle type streamers. #6, #4
Chums, Pinks, & Silvers
- Cerise, Pinks, and a little flash is the name of the game
- Alaskan Showgirl, #2, #1/0
- Hot Shot Bunnies in Pink, #2, #4, #6
- Mercer’s Chumbugger, #2, #6
- Black Wooly buggers, #2, #4 have also worked well for Chums
- Cranberry or Fucia Flash Fly, #2, #4
- For Pinks, the Hotshot Bunnies and Comets in pink, #4, #and 6 are a sure thing!
- 3X heavy wire hooks preferred
- Popsicles, #2/0 or 1/0, #2
- Alaskabous in a variety of bright colors, #1/0, #2
Prepare for rain! The last few years, we have been blessed with plenty of sunshine with temps reaching 90 degrees and not enough sunscreen to go around, and the rain and clouds were a welcomed relief. I have had some weeks over the years where it was rainy and misty the whole week, with a hint of sun as a tease. The flip side to that is weather means no bugs and the fishing is...well, totally awesome!
Temperature ranges 45 - 75 degrees.
Sockeye, Chums, Silvers, & Pinks
- 9’ or 9’6” 9 weight rod, with matching reel capable of handling 150yds of backing
- A good quality, matching, floating, fly line for indicator fishing
- A good quality sink tip with a sink rate of 5.5 ips The Teeny 200 works well
- A second reel where the spools match would be a good idea.
I have fished, and “played” with many different length and weights of rods. One of my favorites is a 10’ 7 wt. When indicator fishing, I’ll put an over size floating fly line on it with great results. So feel free to bring your arsenal of larger rods, if you wish.
- . 9’ or 9’ 6” 10 to 12 weight rod, matching reel, capable of holding 300+ yds of backing
- . My favorite 15’ Spey rod, matching reel, capable of holding 300+ yds of backing
- . Floating Spey Line for indicator fishing
- . Heavy sink tip with a rate of 6.5 to 8 ips The Teeny 300 & 400 work well
With our gear, waterproof bags, and canopies, we are able to wader up, change clothes, cook, and eat without worrying about the raindrops, a major level of comfort while living in the bush.
The weather can be ever changing, with the ocean near by. Volleys of sunshine and rain intermittently throughout the day can be thrown at us. Which means, one minute it’s 48 degrees, windy, and drizzly, and when the sun hits 20 minutes later, you are shedding layers in 75 degree temps, only to repeat the later several times through out the day.The last couple years, morning would greet us with temps in the 50’s and as the sun rose we would have a bluebird day of 80 degrees, but don’t put your fleece away, as with incredible sunsets, comes cooler evening temps.
Gear and Clothing
You will travel, for the most part relatively light, but your clothing will be of utmost importance, to keep you warm and comfy, yet compact enough to fit in 1 large, Water proof duffel. Wool and fleece is still the best thing going after it gets wet to keep you warm.
While packing clothing, I also recommend space bags that conveniently store smaller items of clothing very compactly. Large Ziploc bags work well also. It makes changing clothes a breeze and keeping your clothes organized. 1 for socks 1 for underwear, 1 for long underwear etc.
I also recommend a small roll top, waterproof bag, something that can be clipped close by on to the raft for your convenience. It needs to be just large enough to put an extra fleece pull over in, a cap, fingerless gloves, and your camera. During the float, when everything is secured down, it’s much easier to go into your grab bag in case weather hits, than it is to stop fishing and dismantle the packed gear.
We have all the camping gear. Coleman 3 burner stove, a 2 burner stove, high backed camp chairs for everyone, large table, 4 man tents that we sleep 2 to 3 people in comfortably, Cooking canopy and dining canopy, large coolers that fit in our custom made, aluminum bear boxes, Cups, eating utensils, Cookware, plates, Water filtration systems, tarps, and portable toilet seat on a frame. Top of page
- 9’ 6 weight rod with matching reel capable of handling 150 yds. Of backing
- A good quality matching floating line for dry flies and indicator fishing
- A quality sink tip with a sink rate of 5.5 ips. The Teeny 200 works well
- An extra spool for the extra 2nd fly line
- Sleeping Bag, a synthetic bag rated for 20 degrees (not down)
- Compression bag for sleeping bag
- Self-inflating sleeping pad
- Gortex waders (keeps you dryer) and patch kit
- 4 pair of heavy wool socks
- 2 pair of light poly long underwear bottoms
- 2 pair of light poly long underwear tops
- 2 pair of fleece pants or heavy sweat pants
- 2 medium weight shirts - not cotton.
- 2 heavy fleece or wool pullovers/sweaters
- 2 pair of fingerless gloves
- 2 pairs of sunglasses - polarized
- Head net for black flies and mosquitoes
- 1 pair of waterproof camp boots - ankle high or higher as black flies love ankles!
- Medicated or non medicated powder - great for damp feet if you been in wader for 15 hours
- Space bags or lg. Zip lock bags for separating clothing, keep dry, and compresses
- Large waterproof duffel for keeping clothes, sleeping bag, and pad in (not XL)
- Small roll top waterproof bag - Convenient for camera and a sweater during the float.
- Alaska fishing license (with King Stamp if appropriate)
Fishing Rods, Reels, & Line
If I had to pick two rods to bring it would be a 9’ 6 wt for trout, char and grayling and a 9’ 9wtf or all the salmon species except the Kings. For the large, behemoth Kings I prefer a 15’ spey rod in a 10-12 wt. The torque needed for these powerful fish is delivered with a spey rod, beyond compare to anything else I’ve ever fished with.
For those of you who have a hard time delivering proper presentation, or feel intimidated with “casting fly lines”, The chuck and duck method, that we use for Michigan steelhead and Salmon, is easy and extremely effective. We have a couple of reels that are loaded up with “Amnesia”, a solid filament, and memory free shooting line. With 5 minutes of coaching, you are casting efficiently and accurately, for all species of fish, on any weight rod. Top of page
Anything else lighter is merely “playing around”, and I can appreciate that, experimenting is fun! However, a 6 wt. has the performance to deliver longer casts, land fish quicker, has turning capabilities for 25” + rainbows, and at the end of the day, you have landed more fish!
Rainbows, Char, and Grayling
There is a reason they are called King Salmon. We have landed a few Kings in the 50# class and have had much larger on. They deliver a gut wrenching fight, that is nothing but raw power in its purest form. On the end of all my large lines, I “double” nail knot a 40# butt section. Tie the first nail knot with a long tag. When the first knot is tied, take the excess line and tie the second one 4 to 6” above the first. This keeps the fly line coating from stripping off. I do the same with the backing to the fly line. I’ve lost a few lines because I didn’t!
For my entire sink tip lines and all salmon species, I prefer Maxima Ultra Green as it is very abrasive resistant, and holds up well.
Trout, Grayling, and Char: Sink tips I run 20” of 20 Maxima for a butt section and 15 inches of 10# Maxima for a tippet. Dry lines and dry flies, 9’ 4x, with a 5x tippet spool, if needed to go lighter. For fishing “strike indicators”, I’ll run 8’ of 20# and 18” of 10# tippet.
Sockeye, Chums, Silvers, & Pinks: I run the same rigs that I run for trout only use 12# test tippet.
King Salmon: 40#, Maxima Butt sections are the norm, with a double nail knot. On Sink tips, again, 20” of 40# and 15” of 20# for the tippet. With floating line and indicator fishing, there are times we may run a 10’ butt section, depending on water depth.
I have found that many “manufacturers” of commercial “tippet” spools will say they are rated for 10# test, 12# test, etc. Their 12# test tippet material may have the diameter of 6# test maxima. Please, if you’re using anything other than Maxima, buy your spools of tippet with the comparison of diameter in mind, not the # test they have marked. Top of page
I will list our “bread and butter” selection of flies, as quite a few of our customers enjoy tying their own, or bringing their own to have on hand. For Salmon, once you get the basic idea of color and size, you can let your imagination run wild.
Kurt Roller with a monster King