King Salmon Season Ends, Dolly Varden the Fish of the Week
July 25 was the last day of king salmon season. No more cha-wee-cha! We still see them and of course flies and lures meant for other species get attacked by kings.
Several of our anglers made the most of the last days of king season. Jeff and Mike from Missouri wanted to go fly fishing for kings, at which we spent the morning. Jeff didn’t get one, but Mike got two big ones, beautiful fish which were both released.
Then they wanted some dollies. We traded the 10-weights for five-weights and went dolly fishing. I showed them how to skate the gurglers and they proceeded to catch fat dollies until Jeff said, “Can we got catch some rainbows?” We changed flies and locations and they got four nice ‘bows on black streamers before suppertime. Quite the day they had.
The Barnes family from Toledo is currently visiting us. I fished Annette and Hannah, mother and daughter. Hannah wanted to try to get a slam, difficult because so few silvers are around. She got a nice king first, then we tried sifting through pinks and chums for hours, looking for that silver. We didn’t find it, and my fishermen have yet to get one.
The Gretkierewicz family, mostly from the Detroit area, is also visiting. Yesterday patriarch Dr. Paul and son Russell fished with me. We were looking for grayling and rainbows, but what we found were zillions ( not really but it seemed like it) of big dollies. At first they were tossing a Pixie and a Dardevle and raising complete havoc with the dollies.
Neither of them had ever fly fished before. I talked them into trying and set Russell up with a six-weight and a gurgler. He was soon tossing solid 40 foot casts and catching even more than he had been with the spoon. Dad was a little more difficult, but he also managed to get his first fish on fly.
OK, run status update-
kings- slowing down a lot. Season is closed now.
sockeyes- slowing down a lot. we’re still getting a few bright fish but you have to work.
chums- seem to have peaked. Lots still around.
pinks- everywhere, lots of pinks, fun on light tackle.
silvers- just getting started, about a half dozen caught so far this week.
blueberries- coming in very nicely. Ate a bunch today while hiking across the tundra.
And the Fish of the Week is the Dolly varden! There are tens of thousands of dollies in the river with a lot of fish over five pounds. Catching a dolly pushing ten pounds is not unusual- Russell did it on both spin and fly tackle yesterday. I put one of his dollies next to a silver salmon and they were exactly the same size. Fast fishing for beautiful, delicious fish, what more could you ask for?
There is no fish story of the week this week. I didn’t have anyone do anything very weird- no fires, no smacking someone with a fish. I’ll have to be more diligent next week…
That is this week’s Goodnews River Lodge, Alaska Fishing Report.
Life is great and I love my work!
Life is short- go fishing!