Dry fly fishing for rainbows and grayling in Wood Tikchik State Park can be phenomenal. Rob Fuentes, owner of Alaska’s Bearclaw Lodge in Bristol Bay, reminds us it’s not uncommon to have good dry fly fishing for grayling in Alaska, but it is a little uncommon to have great dry fly fishing for rainbows in Alaska. We wrote about it in the February ’20 issue of Fish Alaska in the article titled “Rising to the Top” by Marcus Weiner.
In this video, Rob explains how to dry fly fish for rainbows and grayling in his neck of the woods. One of the great things about fishing in Rob’s area is that you don’t have to have a major hatch going on to get rainbows to rise to your fly. They are opportunistic.
Consistent dry fly patterns for Alaska include caddis patterns, Adams, Klinkhammers, parachute Adams, Adams Wulff, and many others. Since the fish aren’t really keyed in on any particular hatch, any buggy-looking dry can produce.
Regarding presentation, Alaska trout aren’t nearly as picky as fish in the Lower 48, but it is helpful to provide as long a drag-free drift as possible. Rob’s guides do a lot of fishing from boats as they drift down the river. A simple, cross-stream cast from the boat generally results in a long, drag-free float. They do wade fish, too, and then you’ll most likely have to cast upstream to get the longest drag-free float possible.
Rob suggests a 6-weight rod as some of the fish are good sized. A weight-forward floating line is generally a good choice due to the size of the fish and the speed of the current. Rob likes TFO rods for the job.
Great dry fly fishing for Alaska rainbows does exist. If you’re interested in learning more, call Rob at (907) 843-1605 or visit their website.