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Dry Fly Fishing

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  • Dry Fly Fishing

    Am headed your way (Anchorage) arriving July 17th, and fishing for a week. We are looking to do a little of everything, but would definatly enjoy dry fly fishing for Rainbows and other trout/salmon.

    Any info on hatches and patterns during that time frame would be greatly appreciated....thanks

  • #2
    Trout July Dry Fly

    I hate to be the bubble buster however if your fishing standard streams along the highway system during that time of year you will be hard pressed to find dry fly fishing for trout in most of the systems.

    That is not to say you could not accomplish the task however your chances of having productive fishing in those systems would lend towards matching the hatch which would be Beads, and Flesh.

    If your lake fishing of course you could dry fly fish with the standard Damsel or Leech patterns under the surface and a general attractor patter such as a Down Wing Coachman Trude on the surface.

    If you were to catch a river system that has rainbows available on the road system that are staging then you could fish the surface again with a general attractor pattern and raise fish been there and done that. Most of this type of fishing is spot fishing between salmon as the rainbows follow to catch them spawning later in the week / month.

    That being said if you’re flying out some of the same general rules apply however there are systems such as the Gulkana that are more of a traditional Trout fishery that time of year. The Gulkana System has the full gambit of traditional dry fly fishing during that time of year unfortunately it is in one of the more remote parts of that system from Paxon Lake down to the Forks. There you will find sporadic May fly hatches, Blanket hatches of Caddis and Stone Flies. The System also has a decent run of Reds and Kings lending it-self to be a good float fishing trip.

    Another Example of dry fly fishing that time of year would be down in King Salmon which also has a wonderful Caddis Hatch as well as May Flies. You can take Rainbow’s holding in traditional water fishing dries on a regular basis during July, but again much more effective fishing matching the hatch Egg Patterns and Flesh Flies.

    I know I am rambling Sorry!

    That being said there are rivers, creeks and lakes that will allow you to fish the surface but for the most part you may want tot target a specific species such as CHUMS for Surface fishing and chase rainbows under the water during your fishing visit.

    I am sure there are people who have difference in opinion concerning my statements and dry fly fishing for Bows during July would love to see any and all comments regarding the subject. I will state depending on the location of your destination you could find your-self dry fly fishing a size 2 Mouse pattern for trophy trout.

    Best of Luck and Tight Lines!

    Richard Mousseau


    • #3
      You are actually coming in a great time to dry fly fish on the russian river if you hike (up above the carcases!) a little bit and get up real early and on the water real early to get first shot at the fish, make sure to bring the mouse! Otherwise dry flies should work great for grayling whereever grayling are, in the susitna drainage you should have excelent bead fishing which can be just as fun as dry fly fishing if the streams are low (watching takes etc.) I've heard that on kodiak that time of year dry fly fishing for dollies can be awesome, although it might be a bit early. Stocked bows will hit dries in lakes all day long. Bows will hit dries in un pressured streams no matter what the salmon are doing use big flies like turks tarantulas and sofa pillows and drag them accross the surface right over the trouts heads! Silvers will hit poppers early in the morning if they are stacked up and un pressured and I've had a clients stimulator get inhaled by a chum that was 10 feet down while fishing grayling. I also once hooked a 35 pound king on a size 18 adams but I think I lined him.
      I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.


      • #4
        I also once hooked a 35 pound king on a size 18 adams but I think I lined him.
        That had to be a good time.

        Thank you for the information. It is still early and I plan on hanging out here a bit to pick brains, gather what intel I can.

        I actually tie a great Deer Hair Mouse and here in Michigan we fish them at night for some exceptional Brown Trout....when they hit it sounds like somebody threw a brick in the river.

        This will most likely be a once in a lifetime trip for us and we're just wanting to make the best of it............though truthfully.....being in Alaska for a week, regardless of how we do fishing, just being there, ya can't go wrong.

        Thanks again.


        • #5
          Our trout generally are not looking up that time of year. The salmon runs povide such an insane food source with eggs and carcase flesh, that it is rare that rainbows are looking to the surface.

          Grayling is a different thing, if you truly want to dry fly fish, try targeting grayling. Size 14 to 20 EHC, Humpys, Royal Coachman, or Griffiths nats work OK. Size is more important than color, or fly type when grayling are feeding.

          If you want to catch rainbows, you need to be using egg imitations, with the painted bead being the most effective. You rig and fish like nymphing with split shot to get it on the bottom, and a strike indicator. Technique is all about getting a dead drift down and into the areas where they are feeding on the natural eggs. Pressured water will mean you have to be pretty accurate with the size, color and translucency of your bead ("match the hatch" so to speak). Flesh flies are fished the same way, dead drift and on the bottom. About the only other effective way is using streamers on a swing, like a wooly bugger, olive zonker or the Alaska standby "egg sucking leach".

          There is a lot of information on this on several of our Alaska flyfishing fourm boards.


          • #6
            I echo powder monkey when I say that the Russian can actually provide some very good dry fly fishing during that time of year (shhh.. don't tell anyone). It's real unpredictable, so bring some nymph,egg,and flesh patterns as backup. Trout fishermen are so obsessed with the egg and flesh patterns that time of year that they don't even bother to try dry fly fishing. Personlally, I always try the dry fly first... then move onto other options if the fish are being too stubborn. Don't necessarily look for a hatch to match because often the presense of bugs don't indicate that trout are looking up...strange as it may sound. If there is a hatch it will be sz 12 grey/black caddis 99% of the time. Try EHC, stimulators, and the mouse is always worth a try too. Don't try and get too technical... just fish attractors. Nearby Quartz creeek is another option if you want to get away from the crowds of the Russian... fishing is a bit tougher there, but if solitude is important to you STAY AWAY FROM THE RUSSIAN!
            There are also some good lakes to hike into that can provide dynamite dry fly fishing in the evenings (remember evenings are much later here in July). I can fill you in on those if you want as well. Obviously I'm a Peninsula guy, so my info pertains to that, but if you want to fish the Valley north of Anchorage you could certainly find great fly fishing up there. Just remember that July is peak tourist season and you will find crowds almost no matter where you go, unless you are willing to hike a good ways. Good Luck

            fishing isn't about life or death... it's more important than that.


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