One Finale Note:
Many of the checklists that we sent out suggest everything under the sun. In a fishery as marvelous as Alaska, it all works. Please remember that the above recommendations are merely that, recommendation. You are by no means required to purchase all of this equipment. The suggested tackle and clothing mentioned here is what we found to work best for most fishing conditions.
The Best Fly Rods for Rainbows:
Iliamna Rainbows are big and a six weight rod is ideal. Anglers can get away with a 5 weight, but the next size larger is usually recommended. Three or four-piece rods are ideal, if you are buying a new rod, but two-piece fly rods are excellent (just a little more cumbersome to travel with). Personally, we’ll never buy another two-piece rod again. Contemporary multi-piece rods are superb and ideal for travel.
The Best Fly Rods for Sockeye, Chum, Pink and Silver Salmon:
An eight weight rod is perfect for Silvers. Strong enough to whip them and light enough to make the battle a pleasure. A seven or nine weight rod will suffice but the former often tires the fish to near exhaustion and the latter isn’t enough fun during the fight.
Grayling Flyfishing Tackle:
If you have the room, take along a lighter (4 weight) rod for grayling, near the lodge. Stick in on 9 foot, 4X leader and a few (one small breast pocket box) of your favorite dry flies in darker colors (Adams, Dark Cahills, Gnats, Humpies) in size 12 and 14. Add one standard (8-9’ 4X leader) and you’re set for grayling.
Leader and Tippet:
The cardinal rule is to keep it simple, strong and short! The leader list should be and is a short one:
- 6 trout leaders, 7’ long, tapered to 2X
- 2 salmon leaders, 6’ long, tapered to 0X
- 1 spool each of 0X, 1X, 2X, 3X 4X Fluorocarbon Tippet material
- 1 bag of BB or Size 1 split shot
You’ll want a floating line for your trout rod and a sinking tip for both rods in a type 3 or 4 sink rate.
Review the rest of the checklist for gear, as a reminder to bring things like rain jackets, and you’ll be all set. The only thing necessary to add to this list is water. Bring these tackle items along and you’ll have all you need and nothing else!