Ain’t no secret that The Last Frontier isn’t a mecca for the dry fly enthusiast. There are plenty of other places to get your dry fly fix. Some famous places come to mind but they’re all a long ways from here.
Mosquitoes, along with white socks, are probably the most prevalent “hatch” you will ever witness in Alaska. I’ve spent a lot of time North of the Brooks Range and can tell you from experience that breathing them in isn’t a figure of speech. Spend a little time North of the Mat-Su Valley and you get a real sense of feeding frenzy – mosquito style.
Don’t let me mislead you. There are some fairly spectacular caddis hatches in Southcentral. I’ve been witness to a dozen or so caddis blizzards. The kind where bugs are filling the air and crawling about everywhere. Sure you will see a few fish rising from time to time but most of what trout feed on are lying beneath the surface.
When the salmon aren’t rushing their natal flows is about the best time to throw a dry fly or two. Truth be told, anytime before the egg drop is considered a good time here in Alaska. You’ve probably read it somewhere or overheard someone say that trout in Alaska are opportunistic; feeding on whatever comes their way. It’s true to a certain degree but they are trout and much like their cousins down South they can be a tad picky at times.
My dry fly experience [hence skills] are very limited. I would say 95% of the time I don’t have a dry on the end of my leader. I always wonder how my skills would stack up on a flow down in the Lower 48 fishing for those educated trout. Someday perhaps.
In the meantime I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and throwing one out there to test my luck. As of late I’ve been focusing on the dry fly at the tying bench. Last year I got a tip from a friend who suggested emergers. Sure enough they were my “go-to” dry fly both on the flows and the stillwaters.
Here are a few of my attempts. First time tying an emerger and anything this small. Don’t really match any hatch. Like before…more of a training exercise.