The snow is melting fast and Dolly Varden, cutthroat, and steelhead fishing is right around the corner. There is a lot less snow at sea level this year so hopefully things will start a little more quickly than they did in 2007.
The dolly and cutthroat fishing is just about to pick up. Currently they are still holding in the lakes where they have spent the winter in a state of semi-starvation. As we gain more daylight the dollies (and cutthroat) will out-migrate to the saltwater where they will spend the next several months feeding voraciously on salmon fry. In my opinion, the dolly fishing around Juneau is as good as it gets in S.E. Alaska. In April the dollies have the wild fry to chase and then DIPAC hatchery releases tens of millions of chum fry in mid-May which immediately turns the fishery from hot to absolutely ridiculous. Look for Dollies to start heading out in mid-April and the Dolly fishing to really pick up in early May and continue through mid June. Some good early spots include Sheep Creek, Dupont, the mouth of the Amalga Harbor Salt Chuck, and lower Cowee Creek. Hot patterns include Clouser Minnows in olive or gray, Thunder Creeks, and our local favorite the Green & Gold Salmon Fry . A hot fly from last season is the Stinger Clouser. It is tied like a standard Clouser but it has a stinger hook near the back of the fly. This helps hook more of the notorious short-striking Dollies.
As always, it is hard to predict how the steelhead season will go. There is a huge snow pack in the alpine. Almost as much as our record snow pack of 2007. If last year is an indicator, the run will start a bit later but the steelhead will linger in the streams for a longer period of time. This would mean that steelheading will get rolling around the end of April and stay strong through late May. Keep in mind that most SE runs are quite small and catch and release is a must to keep the runs continuing for years to come. Top producing flies include Thunder MOAL Leeches, Neon Shrimp, Polar Caballeros, Steelhead Globugs, and the infamous Jerry Garcia Sculpin. We have a huge selection of string leeches, articulated leeches, and Intruder-style steelhead flies as well.See you on the water! Brad