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Sag river dollies or char and when?

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  • Sag river dollies or char and when?

    Does anyone know if the char found in the Sag are Artic char or Dollies and when the run occurrs? I have two reference books that show they run in September primarily. I have also seen references on this forum to them running in July? One book says they are dollies and one says thay are arctic char. Has anyone fished this char run and what is the river like as far as bank access and wading. I am wanting to make a trip up the haul road to check this out but would like to know when the fish should be there. Also, any lure/fly recommendations or techniques would e greatly appreciated.
    Thank you for any information you are willing to share.

  • #2
    Arctic char and dollies

    Arctic char and dollies are the same thing. One goes to the ocean and one does not. I believe the fish and game bios "sectioned" off different areas to label them all arctic char in that area or all dollies.


    • #3
      Dolly Varden vs. Arctic Char

      Indeed, these fish, though closely related are distinct. This web site from the department of fish and game describes the history of the species identification.

      In another article on the ADF&G site, you can find specific differences: "There are some external characteristics which can be used to differentiate between Arctic char and Dolly Varden. Arctic char generally have a shorter head and snout, a trait particularly evident in spawning males. The tail of an Arctic char has a slightly deeper fork than that of a Dolly Varden, and the base of the Arctic char's tail is narrower."

      The only geographical difference is that one is a lake dweller adn the other riverine. (

      Nevertheless, when it is all said and done, and that fly rod is bent, it doesn't really matter to split hairs...

      Good luck.


      • #4
        How about when?

        I can tell the difference between Dollies and Arctic char, but can anyone tell me when the peak of their run on the Sag would be??? Also, does the haul road become hard to navigate in the snow. I have a good 4wheel drive and I know people hunt caribou up there in the snow. Just want to make sure I should be OK in late September if thats when I need to be there for the peak of the char run. I know these aren't the most popular fish, but someone must go after them?


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