So you are coming to Great Alaska for your dream fly fishing trip. Awesome! We are looking forward to sharing our amazing area with you. Now the next part- what should I bring with me? Remember Great Alaska will provide all necessary tackle for your daily adventures if you have none of your own, (or choose not to bring yours). But for those who like to fish their favorite rods and reels, or for those who plan on fly fishing exclusively, here is a Great Alaska Fly Fishing Gear List to get you started:
The Swiss Army knife of Alaskan fly rods:
If you are only going to bring one rod with you, an 8 ½ to 9 foot, 8 weight, "fast action" fly rod with an extended Alaskan "fighting butt" will get it done. At least 150 yards of quality 25# backing is a must (remember, when trout or Silver/Sockeye fishing, we occasionally hook 50 pound King salmon, so your gear must be strong enough to have a chance to handle that!) along with a very good drag system. Set it up with a high quality weight forward, fully floating line and you are good to go for most of our fly species. (This is the 1 fly rod that you can use for nearly every species we target, except for King Salmon and offshore Halibut.
For those who enjoy wade fishing, or who plan on fishing in front of the cabins each night, we recommend bringing your lightweight "gore - Tex" style waders. We will have hip waders for use when you need them but we have a limited number of full chest waders- so if you plan on wade fishing I'd recommend bringing a pair of comfortable and well - fitting Gore Tex wader and Wading Shoes. You can get them for a fair price and they are an investment in comfortable daily fishing adventures. Most of our daily conventional fishing is done from boats, and you won't need waders then, but much of the fly fishing for salmon, Trophy trout and Steelhead is done both in and out of boats, and so you may want to seriously consider bringing them. PLEASE REMEMBER FELT SOLE WADING SHOES ARE BANNED IN ALASKA- RUBBER SOLE OR “CORK” STYLE ONLY. Call the office if you have any questions.
For Rainbow Trout & Char: (June 1 - Sept. 31)
Rods/line: a single 7 or 8 weight rod, 9-10 feet with fast action and a “fighting butt” combined with a good fly reel with a very good drag, strung with 150 yards of minimum 20 lb. backing and 1 weight forward, fully floating line (in a weight matching your rod)
Terminal Tackle: Over sized “Alaska style” strike indicator, a variety of removable split shot, “Trout Beads” (with a supply of tooth picks to “peg” the bead) and a variety of Flesh Patters and attractor patterns.
For Sockeye, Silver & Pink Salmon: (June - September)
Rod/Line: 7 or 8 weight rod, fast action with “fighting butt” 200 yards 35 lb. backing (new generation braid is best for backing)Weight forward, fully floating fly line with a collection of 6 or 8 foot pre-tied salmon leaders.
Terminal Tackle: Split shot, Tapered 6 or 8 foot salmon leader and “Coho Flies” (colorful streamer flies with 3/8” gap).
For Chinook/King Salmon (6.1-7/31)
Rods/Line: 10-12 weight single handed rod with the very best reel you can afford, strung with 300 yards 40 # backing. (2-handed spey rods s are very popular now in 12 foot length) Line: 1 weight forward, “Sink- tip” line with about 15- 20 feet of sinking tip, with a approx. 5-6" per second sink rate. We are not casting giant distances typically, but shooting heads, "multi tip" lines all work well.
Terminal Tackle: Pre-tied salmon leaders to 12 pound) 6-8 feet long, split shot and variety of strong hook tied salmon Flies
small selection of Baettis (mayfly) and Caddis in 12, 14 or 16’s plus some buggy nymph patterns.
Pre-tied Leaders - salmon (6 foot to 10 pound or thereabouts:
Pre tied leaders - trout (12 foot, to 6 or 8 pounds)
Spare tippet wheel of 4, 6 and 8 and 10 pound leader line (but you could get by with 1 spool of 6 if you had to)
Split shot removeable weight dispenser - various sizes
Nippers to cut line, forceps or needle nose pliers to release your catch.