Dolly varden are a fan favorite during the back half of our season at Alaska West. Big, vibrantly colored, aggressive fish? What’s not to love?
Towards the end of our season, dollies stack up in staggering numbers behind spawning salmon to benefit from the gravy train of fresh salmon eggs tumbling down river. More than any other species in our river, dollies key in hard to the egg drop, shifting the majority of their focus on eggs. Therefore, it’s hard to argue the effectiveness of a single bead.
However, one thing we really like about our dollies is that they can be targeted using a whole bunch of different techniques simply by incorporating an egg ‘element’ into other fly patterns. For example, dead drifting a steak and eggs combo, or sliding on a bead in front of a streamer for an ‘egg sucking sculpin’ imitation can make for a super fun change of pace during a day of dolly fishing.
But, what about mousing for dollies? Easy! Simply slide a bead onto the stinger loop of your mouse fly, or even tie the bead to the tail of the mouse (see photo above) for a makeshift dolly skater that’s sure to elicit some exciting top water action!
Like we said.. What’s not to love?