I use a 6wt single hander with a butt for trout and dollies in the Kenai and have found that about right. Occasionally you'll get a salmon on but usually they are going to break off anyway due to the difference in tippet so no big deal.
I take a 10 1/2 ft. 5/6 switch for silvers though I rarely target them. 6wt spey would work for silvers. Quartz is small. Too small for anything but a single hander IMHO. I use the same 6wt set up as I do in the Kenai since you are targeting the same fish. the last couple of years there seem to have been more dollies than bows in Quartz.
Quartz creek is a small stream and a switch rod would be overkill. Would be good on Kenai. A 3 wt would be ridiculous. I mostly use a 5 or 6 wt in AK. Stream has mostly DV in the 12-24" range, some RB. Could also fish Russian for RB. Hike upstream. There are 2 lakes at Summit, one has RB, other is mostly DV, usually best at inlet stream. Lake fishing is much better in Matanuska Valley than Kenai. Lots DV in Anchor River and Deep Creek.
6 wt (420 gr.) 11’-7” Meiser is perfect for swinging the Kenai. I had to use a 10’ type 6 tip to get down where I wanted but River was about 150% normal flow. If swinging it’ll work, if nymphing I’d use a single hand.
Upper Russian is good and loaded with bears.
Unless the weather has changed, water flows are significantly low in Alaska this year. Depending on where you fish, Quartz will be small water.
I wouldn’t get your hopes up to much on Quartz. While it used to be the place to go for catching dollies, it now gets so much pressure that the fish have been caught several times and will openly refuse beads. In one recent trip, I counted 3 guides passing by as I hiked out. One with a group of three people, hiking a one mile section, in water no wider than 10 feet across. Welcome to the new Alaska road access fisheries.
A bead head pheasant tail nymph can work really well for Alaska dollies. And I’ve always fished a six weight. Single hand on Quartz.
I’d certainly give Quartz a shot. It’s a beautiful stream and does have the possibility to sight fish.
There are bears, especially near the Russian.
As for the Kenai, similar to Quartz, the rainbows this time of year receive an extreme amount of pressure. With that said, you may have to play with different flies. I have seen some great blue wing olive hatches. Don’t forget flesh flies.
Hiking up the Russian can be good too. If it’s plugged with sockeye down low, fishing the upper is a pain due to incidental snagging. LOTS of bears on this stretch. They all see plenty of humans but it only takes one startled bear to make an encounter turn hairy.
As for swinging flies, I’d consider that the rainbows are intermingled with sockeye. You will snag the hell out of half dead salmon trying to get to a rainbow. Nymphing is much more productive and easier to fish. Besides, you’ll find fish running shorelines.
Fished both upper and lower Summit. No luck on the smaller upper Summit, but we caught quite a few trout on lower Summit, especially on the south end. Had to wait until twilight (10pm) to get any kind of dry fly action. Fish were bigger than we remember from a few years ago. A few over 20 inches with good shoulders on them. One of my buddy's sons caught his first fish on a dry fly...he's hooked!
Used balanced leeches on a sinking line and a parachute Adams for dries. Probably would have caught more if I knew what I was doing. First experience with a float tube...made so much noise I probably scared every fish off for a hundred feet.
We caught a few fish on the upper Kenai, but I have to admit that the indicator fishing isn't for me. We caught fish, but it's not my idea of the most fun. Gorgeous river though.
Explored Quartz Creek but there were so many spawning reds I couldn't even guess how to fish it without snagging them. It was a treat just to see them all. We also had fun watching the fishing at Blue Creek (?) that empties into Turnagain. Alaskans have BIG creeks.
Resurrection River by Seward, reminded me of a small version of the Hoh. There has to be coho in there in another few weeks. Seems like perfect swinging water with plenty of shore access.
Alaska is incredible, although it is amazing that everywhere we fished....we could always hear a highway. I'm sure the locals have places further from the road...but the easy access to all that water means possibly fishing next to a main road. Sort of ironic.
Can't wait to visit again next year!
Glad you got into them on Summit. You fished the right area. The fish have been averaging about 16 inches for me the past few years but there are much bigger ones occasionally. What color leeches? I’ve stuck to baitfish patterns there other than a Carey. The Kenai fishing is fun for a bit but I prefer the lakes. Most people ignore them up there except for in the winter when they ice fish. Never caught many on dries there but sinking lines are money.
Black and olive leeches..just 'cause those were the only ones I had. Wish I had a chance to use some fish patterns, but my sling bag got snatched out of the guide boat while we weren't paying attention at the pullout. I guess I can get pretty involved blabbing my own BS with a beer or two in my hands...really busy pullout.
We had pretty good luck with the dries, but had to wait really late...cut into the fireside whisky. Also got eaten alive a couple times by mosquitos out there. Best location for us was along the reeds on the south side. Fish were rising and jumping pretty consistently. Was also really warm temps. T-shirts in AK? Got a sunburn.