Ahhhh, summer is finally here and the fishing is good! Air and
water temperatures are warming, lots of fry are swimming off the
beaches, and Dollies and cutts are showing up in good numbers. It is hard to tell if the steelhead season has already peaked or there is still another batch of fish coming. Many of the
fish that are currently in freshwater are paired up and spawning. I can't
over-emphasize how important it is to leave these fish alone. Look
for single fish particularly near the mouth of the streams where the
freshest fish tend to be. Often the fish farther up the creek are
already in spawning mode. Use some discretion and we'll all be able
to fish these magnificent runs long into the future.

Probably the best bet right now is sea-run Dolly Varden fishing.
DIPAC just released their first batch of 24 million chum fry in Gastineau Channel. This
is later than normal but due to the cold spring they are
holding the fry longer to allow them to mature. There will be another
release of 12 million fry in the first half of June. All told they
will release over 35 million fry in Gastineau Channel and over 47
million fry in Amalga Harbor. Amalga Harbor has not had a release yet but DIPAC expects to start some time in early June. The Dolly fishing is already very solid
in the channel. Now that the DIPAC fry have hit the water it will go into over

Fishing the lower half of the tide is most productive. Three hours
before the low until three hours after the low is best. The higher
end of the tide tends to spread out the fish. Expect a lull in the
fishing right around the low, too. A few spots to try include Sheep
Creek (from the creek mouth all the way around to the Thane Ore
House), the beach near the Douglas Bridge, little Kowee Creek on
Douglas Island, Salmon Creek, the area where Peterson Creek flows
into Amalga Harbor, and Echo Cove. Eagle Beach by the Boy Scout Camp
will open on June 1 as well. This is by no means a complete list of
spots. Dollies move all over in their search for a meal so try your
luck at other spots. Another good technique is to look for birds
(Arctic Terns in particular) feeding on fry. Birds can often lead you
to the fish!

A five or six weight outfit and floating line with nine foot 3Xleader is the best setup. If dollies are splashing around eating fry
try to cast a fly right on them and strip it quickly. When they are
in a feeding frenzy they tend to be much less selective and will
recklessly grab a fly zipping away from them. If you don't see much
going on, move around covering the water with casts in all
directions. Also try letting the fly sink 10-20 seconds and then
strip it in. Keep your strip short and quick. If short strops don't work try a longggggg continuous motion strip. Don't let the Dollies
get too good a look at your fly. Some good patterns include the
Gray/White Clouser Minnow or the Olive/White Clouser Minnow in sizes
2, 4 and 6, Neil Creek Darts in Olive/White , Gray/White and All White , Salmon Fry in size 6, and
Stinger Clousers in Olive/Whit e and Gray/White . For a little added fun, try a topwater pattern. Stripping a surface pattern can elicit a vidious grab from feeding Dollies and cutts. One of our favorites is the Wiggleminnow Rainbow .

See you on the water. Brad