Tip #4 Effective Low Level Flyfishing!
Alaska contains some great fishing, often right under your nose. That small pond or lake next to the road or just a short walk through the trees may contain enough hungry fish to keep an angler busy til his arm falls off.
A fine evening catch of Rainbows
taken from a lake just 15 minutes
from the center of town.
Discovering these hidden jewels is half the battle. The other challenge lies in effectively fishing these waters. Most small lakes and ponds in the state have no established boat ramp for launching a trailerable boat. The shoreline may also be private property, or lined with willow and alder making it impossible to fish. And then there are the lily pads.
A large number of ponds and lakes in Alaska have shallow shorelines choked with pond weeds and lilies. Fishing these areas presents it own problem.
The solution is simple. Consider using a small inflatable raft, a canoe or even a "belly boat" and swim fins. All are lightweight, easy to transport and perfect for those inaccessible places that may be teeming with fish.
Flyfishing in the evenings can be extremely productive; especially from 9pm until well after sundown. With Alaska's long twilight, you can literally fish straight through til the sun comes up. A calm evening will show where the fish are concentrated by observing the rises or dimples on the surface. I've caught dozens of trout in a few hours on the fly with not another soul on the lake.
But flyfishing is quite challenging from a canoe, raft or belly boat. The angler is three feet closing to the water's surface during his/her casting and it will take some practice to adjust to this new perspective. The easiest way to improve your low level casting skills is to sit on your lawn and practice casting. It won't take long to figure out the new timing of your backhaul and presentation to keep the line in the air. Once you've mastered that, its time to hit the lake and give it a try.
My all time Favorites for
Left, #12 White Miller
Right, #12 Mosquito
Since small rafts, canoes and belly boats are much less stable, anglers should always wear a flotation device. Practice your casting fully dressed as you would be on the lake. That way you won't be adjusting to a new set of variables when you should be catching fish.
Pick windless evenings when the lake is glassy. Start your trip about two hours before sundown (9pm or so). Quite often when others are stoking up the campfire is the time to get out for the fishing. Work toward areas where rising fish are beginning to show. Quiet approaches will allow casts of 30 feet or less to catch fish. And often you will be surrounded by opportunities. A #12 mosquito or White Miller fished dry are my all time favorites. Visibility is the key more than "matching the hatch."
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