We love fly fishing for trout. However, targeting trout in Alaska is a bit different than targeting trout in other parts of the world.
A high abundance of food within a short growing season makes them more opportunistic than most, allowing us to target them with a bunch of different techniques, some of our favorites of which are as follows.
- Mousing. Yes, trout in our neck of the woods eat mice. In fact, in 2014 researchers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service actually found a trout on our river with 19 mice in its stomach. Technically speaking, they were shrews, but it certainly sheds light on why skittering big mouse patterns across the surface works so well at Alaska West during the first half of our season.
- Smolt Poppin’. Each spring on our home river at Rapids Camp Lodge, salmon smolt by the millions make their way towards the ocean only to be corralled by schools of aggressive rainbow trout. Big Naknek rainbows force the smolts to the surface creating a ‘bust’ that allows us to find the concentration of hungry trout where we’re able to target them on the surface with smolt-imitating poppers. It’s fast paced, surface action, sight fishing for huge trout. What’s not to like?
- Boondoggin’. At Alaska West, we run 18 foot aluminum jet-boats with 40 horsepower jet-drive outboard motors. We’ve mounted oars on each hull to allow us to row them in traditional ‘drift boat’ fashion, with one angler fishing from the bow and the other from the stern. It allows us to bang the banks with everything from mice and streamers to flesh and egg patterns, while covering the most amount of water possible. Its an effective way to target trout in our neck of the woods, and one of our favorites.
- Spey Fishing. Swinging for trout on foot with short spey and/or switch rods is another one of our favorite ways to catch trout in Alaska. We’re really lucky to be situated on one of the best rivers in Alaska to swing for trophy-sized resident rainbows, and we don’t take it for granted. Just how good is it? Check out this video to see for yourself.
- Sight Fishing. Stalking intimate side channels to spot brightly colored rainbows in gin-clear water is one of our favorite past-times at Alaska West. Think bow-and-arrow casts, with your guide crawling on his hands and knees to avoid being spotted, to watch a trout snatch your mouse fly off of the surface. Yes, its just about as fun as it sounds.
Interested in catching trout using any of the techniques mentioned above? Drop us a line for more information.