Alaska's Premier                                                              Fly Fishing Source

Alaska's Premier Fly Fishing Source

The Clouser Minnow is typically tied on standard saltwater hooks like the Tiemco 811s or Daiichi 2546.  We have our shop standard shop clousers tied on the 811s.  These are fairly expensive hooks and Umpqua offers the U400 series which is a similar hooks, but about half the price.  For silver and other species of salmon, these hooks are great.  For saltwater (bonefish, permit, etc...) it pays dividends to go with the better hooks.

Personally, I like the Tiemco 9394 for tying my clouser.  This is a 3x strong, 4 long nickel plated hook.  The reason I like these hooks is that I can create a longer profile to my clousers, which I like for salt and estuaries.    This hook only comes up to a size two, so when I'm looking to make a larger profile clouser, then I us the 811s 1/0. I hope this helps,

Best Regards,

Mike Add a comment

The best hook sizes for Alaskan coho flies are #1/0, #2 and #4. Coho like big flies and don't shy away from a relatively big hook. 

If you are tying your own flies or are buying flies for coho, this range of sizes is ideal.  Add a comment

The Mega Dolly Llama is a deadly pattern for both kings and silvers.  With that being said, the Mega is a 1/2" longer and uses the largest conehead produced. This means that it is harder to cast and can be a arm/should destroyer after long fishing sessions.  We recommend sticking with the #2 for silvers unless you need the added weight for getting the fly deeper.

We hope that this is insightful.

-Alaska Fly Fishing Goods Add a comment

Salmon fishing during the third week of July will land you right in the middle of the pink salmon and chum salmon runs. Dolly Varden char and cuttroat trout will be available too. In some areas sockeye salmon are running. Sockeye tend to return to river systems with lakes on them and sockeye are not nearly as wide spread in the Tongass as pinks and chums. 

Silver salmon and kings will be around out in the saltwater but not in fly rod range. For a selection of flies for this time of year check out our Chum & Pink Selection. Add a comment

For Alaska fishing, where you might be chucking lead eye leeches for Dolly Varden, followed by bulky mouse patterns for rainbows and then even dry flies for grayling, you need something that can do it all. 

We recommend a slightly overweighted floating line. By this we mean if you are using a 6 weight rod, the line should be more like a 6.5 or larger. This will help turn over big flies, cast well into the wind, and load your rod easily at close quarters. 

Three of our favorites are:

They all excel at the heavy fly game and still are smooth enough to land a dry fly when you need to. They are also very high quality and will last for years.  Add a comment

The Simms Riffle Jacket is as solid a non-Gore-Tex jacket as we have seen. It is breathable, dependable in the rain and good looking to boot.....

Is it enough jacket for a week long float trip in Bristol Bay? Depends on the weather. If you get a fairly normal week of decent weather with rain here and there, then yes it will do the job just fine.

However, if it rains for multiple days in a row you would be better off with one of Simms higher end jackets such as the G3 Guide Jacket or G4 Pro Guide jacket. They are built to shed water for a longer period of time and keep you dry in really adverse conditions. 

If you can squeeze it in the budget, you'll never be sorry you bought a better jacket! Add a comment

For good rainbow fishing out of Anchorage you will have to do a little driving. Here are a couple of options:
  1. Drive down to Cooper Landing on the Kenai. It is ground zero for big trout. Check in with the fine folks at Alaska Troutfitters about getting a guided day on the water. The Kenai is a challenging one to fish if you don't have a boat. If you time is limited a guided day is money well spent.
  2. Drive north out of Anchorage and head for some of the great streams off the Parks Highway. Willow Creek, Montana, etc are all good trout rivers. They are much more fishable on foot. The rainbows are generally not as monstrous as Kenai bows, but there are some really nice ones. It might take some walking to leave the crowds behind but you can do it. 

Either way you go, you'll have some fun! Add a comment

Rio's In Touch T Series Heads, such as T-14, T-11, etc are 30 foot in length and come with welded loops on each end. These 30 foot heads are intended to be cut to shorter lengths. Typical heads are 10', 12' or 14'. 

When you cut the head, you will need to create a way to attach your leader. You can buy a pack of  Rio Braided Loops and add them to the head. We suggest the 3-6 weight loops since they fit best on the relatively thin line diameter of these heads. 

If you are comfortable tying an Albright Knot, you can add a butt section of monofilament and then put a loop in it. We generally do not suggest a nail knot since they often pull off the head when placed under heavy pressure.  Add a comment

There is lot of discussion on this subject and here are some thoughts.

Light noise makers, like cow bells, are great for awareness.  Talking in loud friendly voice or singing is great too.  As far as using air horns and what not, I've heard of bears actually be provoked into charging because of how startling a loud squealing blast that they put off.  The best thing to do when encountering a bear is to talk in a loud calm voice and slowly back away.  Waving your arms and making yourself look bigger while doing this is good too. Stand you ground if you need to, but do not freak out and never turn and run.

Bear spray vs firearms.  Firearms are only good if you know how to use them in a close confrontational situation.  Statistics show that firearms are less effective for protection than bear spray. We like to go with bear spray.  It's easy to use and very effective when used in bear charging situation.  Remember that bear spray is only really effective at 30' or less.

Honestly, if you stay calm and collected in an encounter, you'll be fine. When moving from one fishing spot to the next, take your time and make plenty of noise.  This will help warn the bears of your presence.  Mostly they do not want to be around you and will vacate the area.


Add a comment

For September silver salmon fishing in Yakutat I would recommend the Silver Salmon Fly Selection. It has a variety of great silver flies. 

I would then add Dolly Llamas in #2 in Black/White, Pink/Purple, Pink/White and Tutti Fruiti. 2-4 each. 

Finally, get a Rio Salmon Steelhead Leader 3-pack in 16lb test and a spool of Maxima Ultragreen Tippet in 15lb. 

You will be all set! 

Should be a great trip.  Add a comment

All Answers

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Alaskan Fly Fishing Handbook

The Alaskan Fly Fishing Guide's Secret Handbook To receive the download link enter your email. We respect your privacy.

By entering an email you will also subscribe to our latest news, special offers and latest how to's.

Fishing in Alaska for the first time?

Fly Fishing in Alaska for the first time Brad Elfers has been a fly fishing & river guide in Alaska since 1993.
He opened Alaska Fly Fishing Goods in 1998.

Get an expert answer to your Alaska fly fishing and travel question! See answered questions.