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Old 10-16-2011, 10:55 AM
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Default So Where Exactly Are Those Trout?

One thing about trout fishing in Alaska, at least the area I fish in is that there seems to be no (I repeat, no) indigenous trout population as it would be known in the lower 48. From ice out in spring when they migrate far up the headwaters of their natal flows throughout the year they are on the move.

After the spawn they start to drop back down the rivers and creeks only to be met by the upstream migration of the various salmon species. With each successive run of salmon the trout turn around and follow along back up the rivers again. As the salmon finish their spawning and begin to die off and drop back down the waterways them selves the trout are also on the move once more. Some rivers have a high enough population of trout that they will always seem present throughout the season but here in the mountains I deal with the transient population and it can be perplexing. Now it is mid October and they are dropping down from the highlands to feed and winter over in the deep pools of the big rivers but now it is getting quite cold and each day becomes more of a challenge. The reward lies in the possibility that I will hang a big one on the next cast and they do get big here. Although these fish are not genetically classified as steelhead in every system it is the same game. They can be rare and they may be big. Something I should add here is that especially at this time of year and almost always these fish will not be caught on a dry fly. I don't use plastic beads and floats because I am a fly fisherman so the fishing is done using traditional streamers and wet fly patterns. It is a case of reading the water and trying to work through every run & pool as effectively as you can do it and so you're almost always fishing blind. Actually seeing a fish and knowing where to cast is not to be expected because they are so widespread that you can never get used to seeing them. This does not mean that it can't happen but chances are that by the time you see one it has also seen you. So you cast and you mend, you swing and you twitch, and you wait. I will be at it again tomorrow and maybe Tuesday as well and I'll keep the faith.

I guess that's why I have switched over my fishing costume to the cold weather extreme wear for the remainder of this year. I wrote this post about the fish and some of their behavior for those who may one day plan a do it yourself trip here and include trout on the list of species to be fished for.
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Last edited by Hardyreels; 10-16-2011 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: So Where Exactly Are Those Trout?

Say Ard, do the fish in the interior behave differently regarding dries? Meaning the fish that see no salmon returns? Its amazing how much the salmon impact the entire ecosystem up there. I'm guessing that those fish can't waste the energy on dries and have to key in on the high portien source, where as the interior fish have to eat everything they can.
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Old 10-16-2011, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: So Where Exactly Are Those Trout?

That's pretty much the case bill, once you get into Fairbanks area it is usually warmer than in the mountains here and they do get some dry fishing there. Here the grayling seem to take great advantage of stone, Caddis, and Mayflies when they are available but still the larger fish are hugging the bottom waiting for that motherload to come along. I have seen large char and trout take flies down on the Kenai but the hatches were like a snow storm, that's what got them up. hatches like that are somewhat rare.

This is big fly grease line swinging country round here WT
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:33 AM
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Default Re: So Where Exactly Are Those Trout?

Man Ard you got it miss it from time to time though right? Although fish that take a swinger can definitely make up for it. I've been in a small fly funk lately and the lake run fish are kinda taking a back seat to #18 and 20 BWOs and #22 Gnats, but now the "leaf hatch" is on. Haha could you imagine a 25+ inch Ak Bow on a #14 Cahill!!!
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:25 PM
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Default Re: So Where Exactly Are Those Trout?

Bill,

I've been fishing fairly small flies considering the size rivers I'm on lately. Yesterday I got one hung on a blue Spey pattern and had several bumps that did not get hooked. If I knew exactly where they were I could use smaller flies but right now I need fairly visible stuff and getting them down is the key.

The search for the big one continues......................

I would guess this fish in the 16" range, it grabbed the fly in some heavy water and felt much larger but alas it is not a giant. Still this particular river is host to some beautiful trout. I will continue to fish there until it is simply too cold. They are dropping down from the high country and sooner or later I'll get that fly in front of a big boy.

[IMG][IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG][/IMG]

That fly is about 2" long but tied on a Partridge Bartleet #6, I was going to fish with big olive sculpins but just couldn't give up on the classic patterns. I really want to catch the fish but I also really want to do it on all those pretty flies. I sit at my tying table and make flies all winter, they look so good in the jaws of the vise and I have to know if they look good enough to the fish. I truly believe that there is just so much river that I am not getting the fly in front of the fish. I need to slow down and work every stretch until I reach the bone.
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Old 10-20-2011, 11:21 AM
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Default Re: So Where Exactly Are Those Trout?

I spent the other day in a local ditch swinging a #10 Hardy Demon (an Alexandrea variant) and manged to pick up half a dozen or so of the same size but no where near as pretty a fish! And pellet heads to boot but it was tight line and I'll take what I can get here in the Big O!
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