Alaska's Premier                                                              Fly Fishing Source

Alaska's Premier Fly Fishing Source

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As the spawning season progresses into September, the early sockeye start to die and the rainbow trout can often be seen tearing at their carcasses, rolling about to rip off long strips of flesh. As the die-off continues, flesh flies in ginger, off-white, and two-toned with pinkinsh or orangy hues are often the key to success. Try Bandit Leeches, Egg Sucking Flesh Flies, and AFG Rubber Leg Articulated Flesh Fly. As with early season, there will be some dollies or char mixed in among the spawners as well, so be prepared for a little variety.


The start of the summer season is heralded by the return of the sockeye salmon. Reds, so named for the brilliant crimson coloring of their spawning phase, are sometimes recalcitrant biters, and will often frustrate the angler faced with so many unwilling dance partners. Have no fear, just persevere...sockeye are often attracted to small offerings, and flies such as the Sockeye Lantern , Red Hot , Sockeye Fly , and similar patterns in small sizes will sometimes "crack the code" and result in hookups.

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August provides final opportunities for king salmon as the last of these big bruisers enter their spawning rivers on their one-way journey. As with early summer, patterns such as the Stinger Prawn and Guide Intruder are good choices. The sockeye have all turned bright red and are now paired up for their spawning acts. At this point in their life-cycle, these fish are no longer an angling prize and should be allowed to spawn in peace.

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The ice is starting to melt on many lakes with the lengthening days of April, and this ice-out period can bring some of the year's best still wate angling. After 6 months of frigid conditions, the lake denizens are eager to eat and often pursue offerings with reckless abandon. Pike, grayling, rainbow and lake trout, and Dolly Varden are available in many lakes, and these early season fish can often be tempted with leeches like Litebrite Zonkers , minnow flies like Strung-Out Thunder Creeks , and more traditional nymphs such as the Stillwater Stimulator.


July is the prime month for king salmon in much of the state and with each passing day the run builds until its peak. The sockeye run continues to build as well. The run that started in June as ones and twos, now builds to hundreds, followed by thousands of fish streaming upriver.

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