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Expert Q&A
Flies For Bristol Bay

We would be happy to help you select flies for your trip to Bristol Bay next summer. We can ship the flies to you in the UK in plenty of time before you leave.

Please let us know:

  1. What your exact fishing dates are.
  2. What river you will be fishing and/or lodge you will be staying at. 

We will come up with a suggested list of flies, beads and leaders for your trip.

Please contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

It will be a great trip!

Using a 5/6 Reel on your 8 weight rod

Great question! In order for a reel to properly fit on a rod it needs to do two main things:

  1. It must have enought capacity to hold the fly line and backing with a little room to spare.
  2. It must balance on the rod so the rod is neither tip nor butt heavy. 

A Lamson Speedster reel for a 5/6 is usually the Speedster 2. It is designed to hold a 5 or 6 weight line and is not large enough to hold an 8 weight line and 150-200 yards of backing.

Second, and in my opinion most important, is the balance issue. The Speedster 2 is so light that the rod would be tip heavy. You can check this by putting the reel on your 8 weight rod, holding your index finger straight out horizontally, and placing the rod & reel on your finger. I properly balanced outfit should balance somewhere near the front of the cork. 

My suggestion is to get a larger reel to use with your 8 weight rod and keep the 5/6 reel for your lighter rod. Thanks!

Heavy Flies for the Tsiu Silvers

For heavy flies try the Dolly Llama in Chartreuse/White, Pink/Purple, Black/White, Black/Charteuse, Pink/Fuchsia and Fuchsia/Blue.  Jig Spankers and Mr. Bodangles are good options too

How to peg a bead.

Good question! Toothpicks are not ideal for pegging beads. Not only are they not natural looking, but they can swell when they soak up water and crack a bead. 

There are a number of pegging materials you can use that work well. Jelly Cord, Monofilament and Pegits to name a few. You can see these three plus toothpicks in our video entitled Four Ways to Peg a Bead.

One additional pegging material that is new and becoming very popular are the Troutbead TB Peggz. They are very similar to the Pegits shown in the video only they are double ended so you can peg 100 beads with 50 pegs. 

Wader Boots for Hunting

We are seeing a lot of hunters who are wearing breathable Simms waders on their hunts. Matching these up with a solid wading boot is critical for comfort and safety.

A boot with outstanding ankle support is needed for hunting as well as packing out an animal. The boot needs to be comfortable for all day use as well as supportive when you are traveling over uneven terrain and carrying heavy loads. 

The Simms G3 Guide Boot is our choice. It is rugged, solid, and fits a wide range of feet. It is already sized to accomodate a 4mm neoprene wader foot, so just order your street shoe size. It only comes in whole sizes, so if you wear a half size order the next size up. 

If you have any specific questions about Simms waders or boots just give us a call at 907-586-1550.

Easy to tie Coho Flies

We recommend looking at three patterns.  The Clouser Minnow, Starlite Leech and Hareball Leech.  These three patterns are fairly easy to tie and can be dynamite for silvers.  Check them out here: https://www.alaskaflyfishinggoods.com/how-to%03-s/fly-tying-alaska-patterns.html

Grayling Leaders & Tippet

The best leader for grayling fishing is a Rio Trout Leader in 9 foot 4X. In the vast majority of cases that size and length will work well. Powerflex Tippet in 4X is a good match for the leader. 

We have them as Single Leaders or in 3-Packs which are handy for a multi-day trip. You can see all of our leaders here

Switch Rod for salmon on the Chilkoot River

The Chilkoot River is a blast in July. Early sockeye, first of the pink salmon and good Dolly Varden fishing. Your 7 weight single hand rod is fine for pinks and Dollies, but a bit light for sockeye. 

An 8 weight switch is an ideal S.E. Alaska all-around salmon rod. It has more backbone for fighting fish, the ability to cast either Spey-style or overhead, and the extra length to let you mend line and more effectively dead drift flies. 

Sockeye really like a dead drifted small fly and an 11 foot switch rod would let you cover more distant runs and get longer drag free drifts.

Hope that helps!

Good Fly Line for Mousing

When fishing mouse patterns, we like a weight forward floating line that will turn over large, wind-resistant flies and load the rod quickly at short distances. Three lines that come to mind that do all these things well:

  • Rio Powerfly
  • Scientific Anglers Textured Magnum Taper
  • Airflo Impact Taper

Go get your mouse on!

Flies for Haines Alaska

Early August in Haines features great fishing in the Chilkoot River. It is semi-glacial but fishes very well. The sockeye run is at its peak so a selection of sockeye flies is a good idea. The Dolly Varden fishing is very good, too. The Dollies are eating eggs at this time so a selection of 8mm beads such as the S.E./Kodiak Medium Bead Selection is ideal. If you prefer to fish egg flies such as Glo Bugs go with Gorman Beadhead Eggs in Peachy King, Unreal Egg Clusters and Glo Bugs in Champagne and Peachy King. #8 and #10 are ideal.

There can also be some good pink salmon in the river. Humpy Hookers, Starlite Leeches in Pink and Lead Eye Egg Sucking Leeches in Purple are favorites. 

For Leaders a Rio Salmon/Steelhead Leader in 9 foot 12lb will work for sockeye and pinks. A Rio Trout Leader in 2x is best for the Dollies. Split shot and indicators really help when fishing egg patters, too.

Call us at 907-586-1550 if we can be of any more assistance. 

Kanektok River Float Flies & Gear

We would be happy to put a selection of flies together for your Kanektok River Float. Our specialty is outfitting anglers with the best flies and gear to insure a great fishing trip. 

The Kanektok in early August will have great fishing for rainbow trout, Dollies and there should be a good push of silvers towards the end of the week as you get into the lower stretches of the river. 

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