Just a quick photo highlighting why we love our Western Alaska Rainbow Trout. Not only are they big, aggressive, and take flies resembling small mammals, but we think they’re some of the most beautiful trout in the world…Period. Here’s our proof.
We love rainbow trout and we think you should too.
Here are, in no particular order and for no particular reason, 4 posts about Oncorhynchus mykiss.
4 Posts About Rainbow Trout
- 4 Tips for Trout Fishing in Side Channels. Alaska side channel fishing is a lot more like normal ‘lower 48’ trout fishing.
- Rainbow Trout Rig Roundup. Learn how the experts gear up for bo-bo.
- 5 Favorite Flies for Trout in Alaska. Mice, sculping, flesh, leech.
- Why We Like Flesh Flies. Because trout really like flesh flies.
More Posts You Should Read
We’re right in the middle of kicking off our summer seasons at Alaska West and Rapids Camp Lodge – and we’ve got a few open spots at each location.
We’d love to have you come join us this summer! With that in mind, here are
10 Reasons to Go Fishing in Alaska This Summer
- Fun for the whole family. Novice kids, hardcore parents, less-mobile ‘experienced anglers’…there’s something for everybody in Alaska, and that makes it a great destination for family trips.
- Long days. Alaska gets about 29 hours of sun per day right now. OK, that’s an exaggeration – but it’s basically light all night. There’s no excuse to slow down because it got dark!
- Mousing for rainbow trout. Alaskan rainbows eat rodents, and fishing rodent imitations is about as fun as it gets.
- Doin’ the Hop. Rapids Camp’s airplanes let you cherry pick. Here’s how.
- Two-handed heaven. Whether you’re swinging flies for chrome salmon or fishing sculpins and flesh for giant trout, there are endless legit opportunities in Alaska for you spey folk out there.
- Fast-paced action. There are definitely fisheries in Alaska that are extremely quality- and technique-oriented – but pretty much all season long at both of our Alaska operations, we can take you to places where you’ll lose count – we promise.
- The best silver salmon fishing in the world.
- Natural beauty. It’s really pretty up there.
- Tons of variety. Five salmon species. Dollies, rainbows, grayling, lake trout. Halibut on flies!
- The Last Frontier. Vast wilderness, real people, wildlife galore – and crazy fishing.
If you’ve got a window to go fishing this summer, we’d love to talk to you about fishing at Rapids Camp or Alaska West – drop us a line any time!
The Chinooks are In
Last week we told you about a steelhead on the Dean – today it’s a king on the Naknek!
After a full day of prepping the lodge for soon arriving guests, Rapids Camp Lodge freshman guide Curt Schaumburg hit the Naknek River to get acquainted with his new home water. It didn’t disappoint – in less than thirty seconds Curt was hooked up… rod doubled over, line peeling off the spool, and a smile that was stretched ear to ear.
More on the Early Season
Doing the “Hop”
Have you ever had that urge to just pick up and move once you had fished the best of a stream? Not just to the next riffle, or run, but to a totally different river all together? See new country, fish first waters, and just plain stay on top of the bite regardless?
At Rapids Camp Lodge we have the ability to fish multiple drainages in a single day. Our aircraft stay with the guests, allowing the versatility to move at the drop of a hat. With many destinations available throughout the season, it is truly an angler’s utopia done buffet style.
There are two types of “hops” that are done at Rapids Camp – a ”rainbow hop” and a “silver hop”. They are far from a silly dance that the name seems to infer – rather a well thought out, meticulous approach to keeping our guests hooked up and in ever-changing scenery. After all, variety is the spice of life and life is good.
The “rainbow hop” typically will consist of 2-5 location changes throughout the fishing day – taking the meat of the stream and cherry picking it on the way back to the aircraft. Then it’s off to the next. We have several such routes that allow the angler to do this with minimal effort, never touching the same water twice.
The “silver hop” can take on a few different forms. Whether it’s targeting tide water fish and moving with the push, hopping from gravel bar to gravel bar fishing to pods, or hitting different drainages all together on the Pacific coast, these tactics keep you in the fish and will have you “hopping” for joy!
Posts that will keep you hopped up
Summer brings fishing in Alaska, so today we’re rounding up our best posts about fishing in Alaska.
Top 10 Alaska Fishing Posts
- Bead Fishing for Rainbow Trout. It’s super effective, no doubt about that.
- Top Mistakes Made Fly Fishing in Alaska. Don’t be that guy.
- Alaska Silver Salmon Flies – 5 Favorites. Some go-to options, even though it usually doesn’t matter too much.
- Mousing for Rainbow Trout – 5 Tips. Good things come in groups of 5!
- Dan Herrig’s Naknek Swinging Rig. Target the big boys like a pro.
- Secrets of the Flesh Fly. It’s one of the most consistent trout catchers in Western Alaska.
- 6 Ways to Catch More Silver Salmon. You can always catch more.
- Pink Pollywogs and Poppers. Surface action is fun.
- The Best Silver Salmon Fishing in the World. We said it.
- Rainbow Trout Fishing – Mend Less. You don’t need to be that precise, usually.
More Recent Roundups
We do a lot of spey casting at our lodges, and in turn a lot of spey casting instruction. When working with anglers on their casting, we tend to see many of the same casting faults while making the transition from single hand fly casting to spey casting. Here are the 3 most common spey casting faults we see on a daily basis, and how to correct them of course!
Don’t Rush It!
In other words, slow down, slow down, slow down. Whether single hand casting or spey casting, many anglers rush the cast creating many casting problems. Remember, a perfect cast is that that unrolls with just enough energy to reach the target, no more, and no less. Like all fly casting, more ‘power’ is often counter productive, resulting in a less efficient cast. Slowing down allows the rod to load deeper which is where the true power comes from.
However, creating the d-loop and coming through with the forward cast are not the only parts of the cast where slowing down is beneficial. According to our lodge manager at B.C. West, Kara Knight, it is important when things aren’t going right with your cast to slow down every part of your cast as well. Slow down your setup, the lift, and the sweep too. If your cast seems to be going downhill, try slowing everything down first, and you may be surprised at the improvement!
Aim For the Tree Tops
A very common problem with those making the switch from their single hand rod is not stopping the rod high enough on the forward cast. Most of us understand when traditional fly casting that a straight line path of the rod tip results in a nice tight loop. However, when using a much longer spey rod, some anglers often don’t realize how high one must stop the rod to achieve the same ‘straight line path of the rod tip.’ A high stop of the rod on the forward cast is also necessary to achieve the trajectory required for your loop to unroll above the surface of the water. Stopping too low directs the loop towards the surface of the water, robbing you of your maximum distance.
When making the forward cast, tell yourself to ‘aim for the tree tops.’ This will help remind you to stop the rod high and correct a number of casting issues. Remembering to aim high will also help to use more bottom hand throughout the stroke as opposed to too much top hand, which is yet another common casting fault! Aim for the tree tops, and you’re bound to eliminate several casting faults.
Proper anchor placement is absolutely key to all good spey casts. One can do everything right throughout the cast, but if the anchor is not positioned correctly, the cast will likely crash and burn. We could write for days on anchor placement, but why not let our buddy Tom Larimer explain anchor placement in video form. Need more? Here’s a video on advanced anchor placement as well!
More Spey Casting Tips
When it comes to tube flies, we’re big fans. Tube flies are fun to tie and offer many advantages over traditional shank-style flies. However, unlike traditional flies, storing tube flies can be a bit of a hassle.
For the most part, a simple Plano box does the trick. That is, until a gust of wind comes along while you have the top open, blowing your flies all over the river. Fly wallets work great at times as well, although wet hands can become a problem when trying to remove only one fly at a time. We’re constantly searching for the best way to house our tubes while out on the water, and while there are more options out there today than ever, we still find this old school trick to work extremely well. Enter, drinking straws.
Yep, those drinking straws. Simple plastic drinking straws found at your local grocery or drug store work wonders for storing tube flies. At only a couple bucks for hundreds of straws, it is an extremely cheap solution. Simply cut to length and slide each tube fly into the straw so that the head of the fly sticks out the end. This way, each fly is far less vulnerable to being blown out of your box when searching for the right pattern, and removing flies from your box with cold wet hands is a breeze. Best of all, housing your tubes in drinking straws compresses even the bulkiest patterns down allowing you to fit more flies in your box! With that said, some flies that incorporate large dumbbell eyes or coneheads may not slide easily into some straws. However, the extra weight on these flies usually keeps them in the box anyhow.
Want to get really organized? They come in a bunch of different colors to help color code your patterns for quick identification. Or better yet, look for clear straws so that you can see your fly through the straw.