It goes without saying that Alaskan rainbow trout are different from their brethren in the lower forty-eight. Their feeding behavior alone more closely resembles the predatory nature of a Northern Pike than that of a resident trout.
Therefore, with mice, sculpin, salmon smolt, and huge chunks of dead salmon flesh on the menu, often times bigger is better when it comes to fly selection.. But not always!
In fact, our pal Stuart Foxall recently reminded us of this fact with the photo above of a leopard rainbow trout caught at Alaska West on.. wait for it.. a size 18 Elk Hair Caddis. Go figure!
Contrary to popular belief, not all surface action in Alaska is on mouse flies. Are we saying you should ditch your rodent box for traditional dry flies? Absolutely not. Trust us, it’s hard to convince a trout to nose up on a blue winged olive, while big hunks of protein-rich salmon flesh tumble by all season long. Why eat the garnish while the steak is getting cold, right?
However, whether in Alaska or elsewhere, one thing that remains true of all trout, is that they are notoriously opportunistic. If there’s calories to be gained, there’s a chance they’re going to eat it.
So, if you’re working a fish that just doesn’t seem hungry enough for a full meal, why not try tying on a snack? You might be surprised.