Fly Fishing for Wild Alaska Steelhead

Spring is the time for wild Steelhed in Southeast Alaska.  As the days start to get longer and the weather starts to warm a bit its time to get out and stalk some Steelhead.  When we say stalk we mean it because although there are several streams in the Sitka Area that have runs of Steelhead they are relatively small and the water gin clear so a stealthy approach is part of a good technique.  Steelhead start entering the area rivers mid march well before the start of visitor season here in Alaska so rivers are generally uncrowded.  I had the opportunity to fish these amazing fish on a few occasions last spring with friends and fellow guides and enjoyed great success.  Poly base layers and fleece mid layers are a must as are a solid fully waterproof fishing jacket with a good hood and unless you have a high tolerance for pain I suggest some finger less or the like fishing gloves.  Fishing gear should include an 8 wt fly rod with a quality reel that has a good drag spooled with a  floating line.  In my experience indicator rigs with flourocarbon work best here but  people have good success with streamers too.   A net is critical if you want to actually land a fish most of the holes that hold fish are small with not enough room to play a fish until it tires enough to be tailed.  Please practice catch and release the Steelhead runs of Southeast Alaska are relatively small and every fish counts.  Additionally the Alaska Department of Fish and Game sets very restrictive regulations to protect Steelhead so if you do decide to keep one make sure it is legal to do so.  I have personally been checked many times by the troopers, they are out there where you least expect them.  They are likely the only other people you will encounter, solitude is abundant this time of year.  Check our fish report for current catches and techniques but specific locations and patterns are trade secrets best shared over a cup of coffee at the fly shop or on the way to the river with the guide.