Flies for Alaska are in some ways similar to what people use in the Lower 48, and in some ways different. What we use up here depends in part on what time of year it is, as well as personal preference. If you’re planning a trip to Alaska and have never been here before, you’re probably wondering what flies for Alaska you’ll need for your trip. Even some of you who have been here several times or who live here are probably curious to hear what flies are recommended by one of the most reputable fly shops in Alaska. Watch the video, and see what Mike Brown, owner of Mossy’s Fly Shop in Anchorage, Alaska, suggests for flies for Alaska.
In this video, Mike breaks down flies for Alaska into two categories: flies for anadromous fish, and flies for trout.
Anadromous fish include salmon, steelhead, sheefish and the smaller sea-run dollies and cutthroat. Since the feeding response of most of these species is diminished, many flies for Alaska aimed at anadromous fish are colorful, attractor patterns. Silhouette, profile, movement and colors from light to dark all need to be considered so you can be ready for whatever the conditions are. Perhaps equally important is the hook. It doesn’t necessarily need to be large, but it does need to be strong and sharp, especially for king salmon. Some specific recommendations for Alaskan anadromous fish are the Fishaholic in chartreuse and blue, the Trailer Trash (various colors), and a Pink ‘Wog.
Trout in Alaska eat a lot of eggs and salmon flesh, but when eggs and flesh aren’t abundant, Alaska’s trout eat aquatic insects and other aquatic organisms such as salmon smolts, sculpins, juvenile lampreys and more. Good flies for Alaska trout include nymphs and dries, such as Prince Nymphs, Pheasant Tail Nymphs, Stimulators, mosquitoes, various streamers, sculpins and so on. The salmon-egg and salmon-flesh buffet usually starts in August and goes through most of the fall. Later in the fall, flesh still produces, and streamers and sculpin imitations become important again. Three recommendations of trout flies include: Dolly Llamas in different colors; mice patterns (Morrish Mouse; Mr. Hankey); and sculpins like the Danny Boy.