Sitka DIY advice

NRC

WFF Supporter
Have browsed through prior Sitka threads, but nothing is quite ringing my bell, so I am selfishly creating a new thread to solicit advice. PMs are fine.

Mission statement: I am visiting my younger sister in Sitka. She recently relocated there and I want to teach her how to do some DIY fishing, and fish on my own while she’s at work.

Dates: June 1-7

Rods I will bring: 8wt & 7wt & 6wt. Various lines float and sink. Sister will spin fish.

Flies I know I’ll bring: big meaty streamers, eggy stuff, salmon fry

Stripping basket: you’re goddamn right I’ll bring it.

Desired types of fishing: easily accessible and fun. I am big into fishing Puget Sound and would be thrilled to just catch dollies and sea runs from the beach. But low key river fishing for bows or whatever’s jumpin’ is great too.

Advice sought: any and all. I have perused the Sitka roadside fishing guide and have plenty to work with there. But there’s a ridiculous amount of knowledge on these forums so I couldn’t help myself and had to post.
 

g_smolt

Recreational User
That's good timing for Dolly Varden on pretty much any beach you can get on, but I would stick to the flats at both Starrigavan and Indian River. Might be the odd king nosing around the hatchery gate at Sawmill creek that time of year, but prety much everything else will be either spawning and don't need you bothering them (stelhead), or still offshore (all other salmon). A fella with some good walking skills could probably find some rockfish around Japonski island, and there can good fishing in the local lakes around that time as well.
 
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NRC

WFF Supporter
@g_smolt , I notice fishing for bows is absent from your post, and I know from the pics you post that you’re a big AK rainbow guy. I’ve found plenty of good info on some area lakes, some of which have bows. Hard to tell if the Indian River has many. Am I right in thinking that if I wanna fish moving water, it oughta have salt in it, and if I wanna catch bows, I oughta plan on fishing in water that’s not moving?
 

g_smolt

Recreational User
I do love me some rainbows, but I fish for those about 750 miles away from SE AK.

The rainbows in Indian river are juvenile steelhead, for the most part. There are places to catch rainbows in moving water on Baranof Island, but they aren't a lot of them on the road system. Blue lake and Sawmill creek between the dam and the falls have rainbows. Not sure what the access road looks like - it was closed when I was last there in 2019.

Fish some fry and baitfish patterns off the beach at Totem park - the Dolly action can be pretty damn amazing on the right tides.
 

NRC

WFF Supporter
I do love me some rainbows, but I fish for those about 750 miles away from SE AK.

The rainbows in Indian river are juvenile steelhead, for the most part. There are places to catch rainbows in moving water on Baranof Island, but they aren't a lot of them on the road system. Blue lake and Sawmill creek between the dam and the falls have rainbows. Not sure what the access road looks like - it was closed when I was last there in 2019.

Fish some fry and baitfish patterns off the beach at Totem park - the Dolly action can be pretty damn amazing on the right tides.
Aye aye cap’n!
 

NRC

WFF Supporter
Thanks Merle! There are many like it, but this one is mine! Which isn’t to say it didn’t already exist before I started doing it ;)
 

g_smolt

Recreational User
Those are nice ties, and they look like they will hunt pretty well.

Here's a pretty standard May/June selection for SE AK salty dollies, with a lake fly thrown in for good measure -
2021-03-18 16.50.40-01.jpeg

Hard to beat the 3" sz6 3/16 eye white/gold stripped fast wherever Dollies live. 2.5" Grey/silver and a bit smaller works well too, especially on overcast days and change-of-light situations. The ones tied on sz8 jig hooks are my "Fryolator" pattern, developed specifically for May/June salty Dollies in SE AK.
The black leech is the single most versatile fly for the tannic lakes of SE AK. if you want to make it an egg-sucker (which can make all the difference some days), slide a 6mm bead on the tippet before you tie it on.
They might be a bit pedestrian, and the only challenge to tying them is staying awake while you're doing it 'cause they're pretty boring, but this is part of my go-to selection for guests until the salmon get close enough to fish for.
 

NRC

WFF Supporter
Sparse and white was next on my list, as the little dumplings pictured above are probably a bit fat for fry, although the rabbit slims a bit when stripped fast. Thank you for the ideas and motivation!

If I get bored of these I’ll start working up some big dumb shit on size 2’s for tossing at rockfish or the odd ling on a type 7 at the location you mentioned.
 

Gorgefly

Active Member
I’ve fished smolt patterns all over AK (mostly road system) and pretty much the only thing I take now is a sparsely tied white crystal bugger. Size 4-8. I don’t fish much in Sitka when I’m there but it’s probably my favorite town in AK. Enjoy.
 

JohnB

Active Member
Sparse and white was next on my list, as the little dumplings pictured above are probably a bit fat for fry, although the rabbit slims a bit when stripped fast. Thank you for the ideas and motivation!

If I get bored of these I’ll start working up some big dumb shit on size 2’s for tossing at rockfish or the odd ling on a type 7 at the location you mentioned.
Please post pics. Especially if you start casting big dumb shit for lings. Sitka is on the list!
 
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