Rainbows in Alaska naturally occur up to 18 pounds or better in the Iliamna, Bristol Bay drainages. Rainbows are caught June through September. Due to the distraction by millions of Salmon, most serious Rainbow Trout anglers prefer fishing before and after the heavy Salmon runs (June and September).
Grayling are God’s gift to entry level fly rodders and light tackle fanatics. They’re thick in nearby streams and will attack a fly all season long and in the worst of weather. Most Grayling average 10 to 14 inches with trophies measuring 21 inches and weighing 4 pounds. Their reputation as a sport fish is in their susceptibility to dry flies and the gracefulness in which they take.
Char are commonly associated with the Dolley Varden since they are biologically the same, averaging between 2 to 8 pounds with a maximum of 20 pounds. Very hard fighters for its size, the beautiful orange colored markings have always been admired by anglers. Char are abundant in most waters in Alaska that have heavy salmon runs. Char are not shy of salmon and will feed among them on any tempting fly that passes.
Chinook (King) Salmon:
The largest of the Pacific Salmon, Kings are the first to return to their birth place to spawn and die. Adults weigh from 15 to 80 pounds but expect those in the 25 to 50 pound class to give you a most sensational challenge on rod and reel, striking at streamer flies or lures. Mid June to late July ensure you of King Salmon.
Red (Sockeye) Salmon:
These salmon enter the Bristol Bay and Iliamna drainages by the millions in late June and early July, and for the first few weeks that they are in fresh water, they can put up a fight equal to a Rainbow, but by the time fall arrives, their eggs and their decomposing bodies (imitated by the carcass flies) will the main part of the trout diet.
Chum (Dog) Salmon:
Average 8 to 12 pounds and though not considered an aggressive fighter as the other species, it does have a keen appetite for the streamer flies and lures. There is as much respect for his fighting endurance as for any other salmon. Late June through mid July.
Pink (Humpy) Salmon:
Smallest of the Pacific Salmon, averaging between 3 and 5 pounds, arrive in mid-July and August. What Pinks lack in size, they make up for in aggressiveness and non-stop action. They are excellent sport on smaller rods.
Silver (Coho) Salmon:
Fishing for Cohos is best during August and September, peaking during the best of the season’s Rainbow trout fishing. Most Silvers weigh between 10 and 14 pounds, and (pound-for-pound) are the most exciting salmon on the end of a fly line.
Northers are the freshwater alligators of Alaska. Poor fighters, but their strike is vicious, they’re usually big and hit anything that moves! Pike reach 25 pounds and measure 40 inches in Alaska Waters. A full day of pike fishing will undoubtedly tire you out.
Alaska’s largest fresh water fish, inhabiting large, deep, cold lakes with best fishing just after ice-out, which could be anytime in June or July, especially in higher elevations. However, they can be caught at the mouth of inlets and outlets of lakes June through September.