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Top Mistakes Made Fly Fishing in Alaska

Posted on March 05 2013

Fishing Scenery by Louis Cahill Photography
Whatever you do, enjoy the scenery. Photo: Louis Cahill

Sometimes we think it’s easier to tell you what to do by telling you what not to do.  In today’s edition along those lines, we suggest that you don’t do any of these 5 things on your next fishing trip to Alaska.

Top 5 Mistakes Made Fly Fishing in Alaska

  1. You waded too deep.  Tons of fish in Alaska – salmon and resident species like trout – get caught in shallow water, and/or right up against the bank.  Don’t feel like you need to barrel into a piece of water – cast shallow!  Even if you’re going to get deep eventually, fish the near, shallow water first.  You might be surprised at what you find right at your feet.
  2. You moved too slowly.  One of the best reasons to fish in remote areas in Alaska is that our fish are aggressive.  Fresh salmon swipe instinctively at flies that get near them.  Trout have a very short feeding season so they need to get it while the gettin’s good.  For you as an angler, this means that you don’t need to pound a particular piece of water.  If he’s there and he’s going to eat it, he’s probably going to eat it on the first couple of casts.  Make a couple of decent presentations into any piece of water, then move on!  It’s much more important to cover more water than it is to get a bunch of perfect presentations into every lie.
  3. You ignored the ‘other species’.  Another great reason to fish in remote areas in Alaska is that the variety is awesome.  Don’t get overly focused on one particular species – they’re all fun, and you’re probably going to release him anyhow.  Bring along the equipment and the mindset to tackle every available species.  You’ll have more fun, we promise!
  4. You didn’t fight the fish hard enough.  In Alaska we rarely fish with tiny flies or light leaders.  The fish can be big and strong. When you hook one, fight him hard!  You’re probably going to increase your chances of landing him, and it’s much easier on the fish if the battle doesn’t last as long.
  5. You forgot the DEET.  Yes, there can be bugs.  Nothing works as well as bug spray that contains DEET.  Here’s our favorite – but whatever your brand of choice, don’t forget the DEET.

More Alaska Fly Fishing Tips

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