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Thread: NW AK Photo Journal

  1. #1

    Default NW AK Photo Journal

    My recent bowhunt for Caribou turned into a fishing trip since the hunting was so slow (see my hunt report on the other forum). The fishing was so good and we got so many good photos that I'd thought I'd share. Thanks to DanattheRock for the prep. suggestions.

    Arrived in Kotz on Aug 30.




  2. #2

    Default First camp on the Wulik

    Flew out with sunny skies on the 31st. Used Jim Kincaid at NW Aviation and highly recommend him.



    Looks like it's a good thing we brought a bear fence.



    First camp on the Wulik.



  3. #3

    Default Low water...

    Not a lot of water here, glad were not doing a float and wondering what this will do to Dan's plans as he was scheduled to float this river right after we came home.



    Reminds me of fishing a few spring creeks back home.



    First fish was a Char (Dolly???).



    Next was a nice Grayling.


  4. #4

    Default Change of scenery.

    We moved on the 3rd to the Kugaroruk due to the slow hunting. The hunting never picked up but the fishing just kept getting better.



    Bears and Wolves here.






  5. #5

    Default Fish of the trip.

    It figures that the only guy to arrow a bull also caught the trophy fish of the trip.





  6. #6

    Default Dry Flys?

    One thing Dan did not prepare me for was the Blue Wing Olive hatch/Rusty Spinner fall. Of course, who knew it would be 80 degrees + up there this late. I wish I had just one dry fly with me. Watching all those fish feeding on the surface was torture.

    Look close and you'll see two spinners on the cork.







    What a trip!


  7. #7
    Member TYNMON's Avatar
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    Default Nice Dollies and Actic Char....

    Wondered if you guys noticed that you where catching two different spp of Char..... Acrtic Char and Dolly Varden....

    Key features of the Dolly Varden are large caudal peduncal and large mouth... while char have very small mouth and very small caudal peduncle.... Of course they are independent features relative to the fish sexual maturity....

  8. #8
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    Default Arctic Char Versus Dolly Varden

    Gill rakers is the way to tell them apart. There have been a number of write ups on the differences between the two. From the research I've done they are all dollies in the Wulik. Then again Dollies are char!!

  9. #9
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    Were the char hitting dry naturals as well?

    Word to the wise, when somewhere with grayling, bring dry flies...
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  10. #10

    Default

    Thank you so much for sharing. Great, great pictures.
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

  11. #11

    Default

    Awesome pics.

  12. #12

    Default Can't confirm...

    Sorry guy's but I don't know a caudal peduncal from a whole team of gill rakers so I can't tell you what the eff we were catching but they were a ton of fun. We also had no idea what kind of salmon we caught but someone later said they were probably chum or dog salmon. The salmon were really exciting to catch at first because they were so big but after a while we were just trying to fish through them to get to the dollies/char. Most of the salmon were pretty beat but a few were total greyhounds and jumped and screamed all over the pools. It was the first time I've seen the backing on my 8 wt in a long time, very sexy.

    I also don't know for sure if all those rising fish were grayling or not. I will tell you this, some looked like they were moving way too much water to be grayling. Of course there was a lot of non-feeding surface activity by the big salmon but I made it a point to really watch some of the bigger fish that I thought were actually in steady feeding lanes and there was no mistaking those classic head-slurp-tail rises and they seemed way bigger than the grayling so, who knows.

    If only I had a few duns or spinners I could have confirmed it for you! And thanks for the advise Monk, albeit a little too late. Trust me, I learned my lesson and I'll never make that mistake again.


  13. #13

    Default

    Awesome pics. Thanks for sharing.
    Random guy in Fly shop: "Where did this happen???? In real life or in Alaska?"

  14. #14
    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    Default WOW!

    Awesome, thank you very much for sharing, and inspiring me to go on that trip.

    Beautiful dollies and grayling you caught, I am very jealous.

    TSS
    http://www.myfishingpictures.com/watermark.php?file=133776
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  15. #15
    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    Default more on species info

    http://www.wildlifenews.alaska.gov/i...rticles_id=147

    click this link about dolly varden in Alaska....identity crisis?

    The fish tracker source on ADF&G is another source I use that will allow you to filter species of fish in the State.

    TSS
    http://www.myfishingpictures.com/watermark.php?file=133776
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  16. #16
    Member TYNMON's Avatar
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    Default Dolly Varden and Arctic Char...

    Quote Originally Posted by B View Post
    Gill rakers is the way to tell them apart. There have been a number of write ups on the differences between the two. From the research I've done they are all dollies in the Wulik. Then again Dollies are char!!
    A retired Bio in Sterling spends most of his time doing research on Artic Char... Best key features are caudal peduncal and size of mouth.... Other features there are just too much over lap between the two spp... In many area's they interbreed to make things more confusing!

  17. #17
    Member JediMasterSalmonSlayer's Avatar
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    Question

    Misidentification has not been limited to the southern extreme of the Dolly Vardenís range. In the north, Dolly Varden and Arctic char have been confused by anglers and biologists. To address the identity problem we must go back to original species descriptions. Carl Linneaus, the famed Swedish naturalist and the founder of the modern classification system for plants and animals, first described Arctic char, Salvelinus alpinus, in 1758 from specimens in an alpine lake in Swedish Lapland. Therefore, any fish that fits the original description is considered an Arctic char. Arctic char occur across the northern regions of the world, and three subspecies are present in North America. The Arctic char is a lake (lacustrine) species, which has anadromous forms present in many areas. Anadromous Arctic char generally spawn and overwinter in lakes, then move to sea in summer to feed. Dolly Varden were first described by Johann Walbaum in 1792 from Kamchatka, Russia. Dolly Varden are a riverine species in northern Alaska, and anadromous Dolly Varden generally spawn and overwinter in flowing water. The common anadromous Dolly Varden in Kamchatka is the same species as the anadromous char found in western Alaska.

    The above information was pulled from the article in the previous link I posted. I believe Fish Alaska Magazine did an article on this subject also a couple years ago. I will have to check the back issues, I tend to remember the article explaining the differences between the 2 char species, and that the only way to tell for sure was to take a sample of tissue and do some sort of DNA testing.
    http://www.myfishingpictures.com/watermark.php?file=133776
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  18. #18
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    Talking Send me pics!

    Nice pics guys! Please burn a few and let me put them on my web site. By the way the camping gear looked nice!

    Walt
    Northwest Alaska Back Country Rentals
    Your best bet in rafts, canoes and camp rentals
    Kotzebue, Alaska
    www.northwestalaska.com

  19. #19
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    Default identification

    These two species are tough. The fish identification bible for Alaska (Fishes of Alaska, 1037 pp) notes that the keys for Artic Char are: largest spots are bigger than the pupil or the eye, maxilla extends only to the posterior edge of the eye, absent or feeble kype on spawning males, and (if you harvest it) pyloric caeca >35.

    For Dolly Varden the keys are: Largest spots usually smaller than pupil, distinct kype on spawning males.

    Spot size and kype are the best keys for in the field...

    Cheers!

  20. #20
    Member TYNMON's Avatar
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    Default The man to talk to is...

    As I stated before:
    One of the leading biologist on taxonomy and range is Jack Dean... Retired USFWS Bio.... This guy can go far and beyond what you will find published in taxinomical books... 90% biologist in this state have not a clue on how to key out dolly varden from actic char..
    a) accurate keys do not exist
    b) many of the key features used in the key there is too much overlap in the two spp

    One thing is for sure Artic Char are always associated w/ lucustrine (lake) or anadromous and Dolly Varden are more fluvial and still rely on lucustrine or are anadomous for part of the year.

    Quote Originally Posted by northwestalska View Post
    Nice pics guys! Please burn a few and let me put them on my web site. By the way the camping gear looked nice!

    Walt
    Northwest Alaska Back Country Rentals
    Your best bet in rafts, canoes and camp rentals
    Kotzebue, Alaska
    www.northwestalaska.com

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