Alaska's Premier                                                              Fly Fishing Source

Alaska's Premier Fly Fishing Source

Chasing steelhead on the Situk is prime the last week of April thru the first tree weeks of May. Go to patterns include Dolly Llama #2 in black/white, pink/purple, pink/white, pink/black, pink/steelhead blue and black/red.  Other really really good patterns include Steelhead Glo Bugs #2 (Garcia, pink/chartreuse, purple/chartreuse and orange,) Fish Emission Eggs #6 (salmon egg, trans pink, OR cheese and flame #4,) Liquid Wrench (red/orange, fuchsia/pink,) and 907 Leech or LE Egg Sucking Leech.  If these patterns are not found on our site or are temporarily out of stock, please check with us.  Often we will be getting fresh stock through out the late winter and early spring.

Beads are evermore gaining popularity among steelheaders and can be deadly on the Situk.  The best sizes and colors are often dictated by weather and water conditions.  General rule is to fish big in high and off colored water and go smaller when the conditions clear and drop.  Go to colors are pinks, reds and oranges, but don't count out blues and chartreuses.  When steelhead see lots stuff on the warm side of the color scale, going to the opposite side can be deadly.  I often find myself fishing more solid/opaque beads during dark and cloudy days and more translucent/transparent on brighter days. There are some really good beads that have a lighter degree of opacity/translucency (cloudy) that can be dynamite too.  Check out our Guide Model Steelhead Beads.  Here you will find lots of the beads/colors that we like to fish.  Most of these beads are offered only in one or two  of the larger sizes (110mm, 12mm, 14mm.) Guide Model Trout Beads which are offered in 6mm and 8mm can be good for when the water gets lower (Dark Roe, Tangerine, Ruby are good!).  Lastly Mottled Beads and Glow Beads have some really good colors that come in size 6-14mm.  Most of the beads in our Steelhead Bead Selection come from these last two categories.

Best of luck out fishing! Add a comment

How well would g3 simms waders hold up to devils club?

This is an excellent question!  

Of all of the spiny plants found in Alaska, the micro barbs from  Devil's Club (Oplopanax horridus) a.k.a. Alaska Ginseng is the Kryptonite of breathable waders. If you don't know this plant , be sure to look it up.  It is found from Northern Coastal BC through South Central Alaska.  It can be found along rivers, lakes and open shaded forest and is usually densely clustered together.  Watch your hands and exposed skin!.

The Simms waders tend hold up much better than other breathable waders in the bush wack battle, but are by no means impervious. The G3 Guide Wader's legs, from mid thigh down, are reinforced 5 layer Gore-Tex. This helps them sustain abuses such as Devil's Club much better than other wader brands, especially low end models.  The biggest weakness to the G3 is that it is designed to be the lightest and most breathable wader on the market.  From the mid thigh up, the G3 is only three layers Gore-Tex, which is often where most of the branches of Devil's Club hang. If you can, go around the cluster, but if you must go through it, tread lightly,  move slowly and  you'll be good. Try to run through it like a train and you might get derailed.

The best wader for this scenario is the G4 Guide Wader. The 5 Layer reinforcement is provided from the waist down and all through the rear. This makes it a much heavier duty wader than the G3. Be forewarned, the Best of the Best may be bulletproof, but when the kryptonite comes out, the Man of Steel falls vulnerable. Moral of this story: no matter how good of a breathable wader you have, you need to move slow and carefully when dealing with plants such as Devil's Club and other spiny/thorny bushes and leave the brush busting to the bears that you scare off of the water.

Also be sure to take advantage of Simms Repair Department and send you're waders in for evaluation and repair at the end of each season. !st time is free!
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Late July in and around Petersburg will be prime pink salmon and chum salmon fishing along with Dolly Varden. Unlike pinks you find a hundred miles up a river, the pinks right at the river mouth are good fun and still pull pretty well. The chum are usually more spawned out.

Bring a 5 or 6 weight to fish for Dollies eating eggs They are very fun. Petersburg also has quite a few cutthroat trout. 

So even if it isn't primarily a fly fishing trip, bring your rods! Let me know if you have any other questions. Add a comment

If you are visiting Skagway this summer and want a guided fly fishing trip you have some good options.  Fly Guides in nearby Haines Alaska has two different trips to choose from:
  1. Take a fly out trip from Skagway via small plane. You will land at rarely fished spots and fish for whatever species of salmon is running at the time as well as Dolly Varden char. These are very small group trips, generally 2 anglers and 1 guide, so check early for availability. Trips are offered from mid July through the end of summer. 
  2. Take a quick fast ferry ride from Skagway to Haines where the Fly Guides will meet you and take you fishing on a river in Haines. They will use vehicles to access good local fishing. All gear is supplied. Half and full day trips are offered. 

For more information contact the guides at

Best of luck!

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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!

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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. 

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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.

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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

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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!

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