- Tips for Catching Trout in a Recessed Target Area. It’s a bit of a mouthful but it’s a great article – from Kirk Deeter at Field and Stream.
- Using Big Beads as Attractors. Another good tip from Kent at Gink and Gasoline.
- Chard’s Choker Permit Fly. Bruce Chard tell us about one of his favorite bugs on his new blog with Fly Fisherman.
Good luck getting a fly in front of this one! It’s not uncommon for us to spot really nice fish in lies that are pretty much un-presentable. In a situation like this one, your only hope may just be to try a mouse.
More on Alaska Rainbow Trout
Catching rainbow trout at Alaska West is not all that difficult – in fact it’s easy to catch ‘some’. That being said, great anglers catch more, and great anglers catch the bigger ones. Here are 5 ways you can make yourself into a ‘greater’ trout angler in our part of the world.
- Mend less. Our trout are not particularly sensitive about drag-free drifts. Hitting as many good spots as possible is much more important than presenting perfectly. Don’t get all cutesy with your mends – hit more spots with decent drifts.
- Let him eat it. Particularly when mousing or fishing big leech or sculpin patterns, it’s very common to see a fish tear out from under some structure to crush your fly. Don’t jump the gun! Let him eat your fly, close his mouth and turn before you set. With big flies, a quick trigger is a bad thing.
- Leave your 5 weight for the dollies and grayling. Listen Tex, don’t bring a knife to a gun fight. 6s and 7s are the norm for trout on our rivers. Unless you’re sight casting to fish that you know aren’t super-grande, it’s best to fish a rod that’s capable of landing the big boys.
- Fish flesh. Our rivers get choked with salmon flesh, so our trout love eating salmon flesh. Even in the early season when you don’t yet see rotting salmon everywhere, don’t overlook your flesh flies. In small water and big water, early season and late season, good conditions and bad conditions, flesh flies are some of our most consistent producers.
- Fish the couch water. That soft water on an inside bend is often overlooked, and often the home of Big Jerry. Fish it.
Have you spent some time fishing for trout in Western Alaska? Got some more ways to catch more trout? Leave us a comment and share the love!
More Ways to Catch More Fish (or Not)
Summertime in Southern Chile means hot weather and that can mean low water and higher water temperatures. Places that hold fish in higher water can be void of fish.
When water temperatures are high, fish will seek out cooler, more oxygenated water – typically the faster water. Riffles and pocket water are good places to find fish during these times.
The water doesn’t necessarily have to be deep. You can catch fish in surprisingly shallow spots – if the current speed is decent and there’s cover like a riffle.
More Trout Fishing Tips
We fish for brown trout a lot a Chile West. Sometimes we’re fishing on foot, and we’ve got lots of time to read the water and decide where to make our next cast. Sometimes we’re fishing out of a raft, and in that case we’re covering lots of water and making lots of quick decisions about where to cast next.
If you’re covering water and trying to catch brown trout, here at 8 places we think you should fire a cast.
- All along the banks. Browns like to hang out along the banks because they provide cover, a current break, and good access to food in the main river. Any place where there’s sufficient depth and flow, you should try bangin’ the banks.
- Got wood? Downed trees in a river are brown trout houses. Cover them above, below and to the side.
- Around boulders. Your fearless editor saw, by far, the biggest trout of his life, a brown, much bigger than any rainbow he’s seen in Alaska, come out of a boulder garden in Chile. Fish around boulders.
- In deep buckets. Yep, if you’re fishing a streamer, you should let it sink real deep in the deep buckets. That’s how this fish got caught.
- Inside corners. This is one of the most overlooked lies in trout fishing. Inside bends provide a nice soft spot for trout to sit and wait for food to drift by.
- Beneath the foam. You’ve probably heard it elsewhere, but we agree that “the foam is home”.
- Along rock walls. Rock walls provide really nice seams, and we all know that trout like seams.
- Under overhanging branches. The great thing about overhanging branches is that they often make cover for trout right in the middle of current that’s choice for feeding. The problem with fishing overhanging branches is that it’s easy to snag up on them. We’ve caught a lot of great fish underneath branches, so you know what we say? Chuck it in there. Try a sidearm cast. You’ve got more flies. Let ‘er rip.
More Fishing Tips from Chile
4 Things to Learn About Fishing Alaskan Rainbows From This Picture
- They like banks. There’s plenty of structure right along grass and tundra banks. Banks are undercut much more than you would think – giving trout a great combination of cover underneath the bank and access to food in the current.
- They like ledges. Same story, different kind of structure. Rainbows at Alaska West will often sit with their noses tucked right on the edge of a ledge – they get cover and soft water by holding in the deeper structure off the ledge, but they have easy access to (and a great view of) the food that tumbles off the ledge.
- Walking a boat through a run is a great way to target them. We do a lot of trout fishing on foot. We do a lot of trout fishing with the guide on the oars. But when we’re covering a really juicy piece of water (and one that’s not too deep), nothing beats the ultimate control that comes with the guide walking the boat down.
- Fishing in the Keys makes you a good caster. Captain Keith Robbins is the guy in the funny hat, throwing the nice loop, backhand too. He might guide in Puget Sound, but he also fishes a lot in the Florida Keys, and that’ll turn you into a real good caster.
More on Rainbow Trout
In a typical river float with Chile West, anglers have the opportunity to fish lots of different types of water using many methods.
Occasionally there will be an area where the river dumps into a rock wall and makes a 90 degree turn creating a big backeddy. Here the current swirls around creating seams that accumulate debris as well as food for awaiting fish.
If the day is right and the eddy is big enough you can float around and around sight fishing suspended fish – they’re looking for small nymphs and dries that float down the seam where they pick them off.
This can be great sight fishing using very small nymphs under a dry fly. The nymph should be fairly heavily weighted and the tippet should be around two and a half feet long. Nymphs such bead head Caddis pupae or Brassies in sizes 18 to 22 are good choices.
Keep your eye on the fish and don’t rely on the dry as your indicator. Watch for the fish to open and close its mouth or make a sudden turn in direction – this is when it has taken the nymph. Very often they will take the dry fly as well and this take is almost always the classic, slow motion, rise up and sip.
Whether catching them on the dry or the nymph, this always great fun as you can watch the whole show unfold below the surface. It doesn’t hurt that the scenery is usually that of a towering canyon wall with a waterfall!