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Alaska Exotic

TLetherman

Total Posts: 6
Joined: September 24, 2013

Obviously, lots of travelers to Alaska love to get out and find a grayling or two, the species probably the most representative of fishing in the Far North, but I'm curious how many make an effort to specifically target species like Dolly Varden, Arctic char or sheefish -- species less glamorous than rainbows or king, coho or sockeye salmon.

Personally, I find the anadromous char of northwest Alaska to be hugely interesting and worth whole trips, let alone a day here or there.

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Posted on September 30, 2013 at 10:33 PM
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6 Replies

KSobczak

Total Posts: 4
Joined: October 11, 2013

Re: Alaska Exotic

New to the forum and this is an interesting topic. I just spent 8 days in August on the kobuk river just for the sheefish. Had a great time and also caught some of the largest grayling I have ever caught. Will be looking to do a trip for arctic char in the northwest in the next few years.

Posted on October 11, 2013 at 5:04 PM

MelissaNorris

Total Posts: 8
Joined: September 23, 2013

Re: Alaska Exotic

That is a trip on my to do list. Did you do it yourself or have a guide/lodge? What did you think of sheefish versus Alaska's other gamefish?

Did you get any good photos? Perhaps you would be interested in submitting some to our content contest.

Posted on October 12, 2013 at 4:22 PM

KSobczak

Total Posts: 4
Joined: October 11, 2013

Re: Alaska Exotic

We used a guide - Arctic Wild - because we wanted more experience for the rapids. There are only 3 marked rapids on the river, but the first one (only 1 mile from our put in at Walker Lake) ended up requiring a portage. The upper canyon was barely even a rapid, and the lower canyon required scouting and careful placement of raft. Fishing included lake trout, grayling, pike, chum salmon, and, of course, sheefish. You don't encounter sheefish until the last couple of days of the trip, when near the Pah River. I can't seem to figure out how to attach pictures (attach a file link below has grayed-out box to choose file, maybe because I am on an iPad?).

Posted on October 13, 2013 at 11:12 AM

KSobczak

Total Posts: 4
Joined: October 11, 2013

Re: Alaska Exotic

As far as how sheefish compare to other Alaska gamefish, I would have to say I agree with Lefty Kreh who said ". . . I have never landed a 40 pound fish that fought so poorly." (from 101Fish, A Fly Fisher's Life List). Sheefish don't fight hard, and the tend to swallow your hook, which always seem to catch the gill plate, and then they bleed a lot. We only took fish that didn't survive our attempts at catch and release. They are tasty. However, I am happy we did the trip. Fishing in the Arctic Circle was a great experience. The water was so clear we were sight fishing grayling. Camp sites were amazing and beautiful. And we have caught sheefish. Not many fly fishermen can say that.

Posted on October 13, 2013 at 11:22 AM

KSobczak

Total Posts: 4
Joined: October 11, 2013

Re: Alaska Exotic

Here are pictures from our trip (apparently can only post pictures from PC - iPad didn't work).

Posted on October 13, 2013 at 11:26 AM

MelissaNorris

Total Posts: 8
Joined: September 23, 2013

Re: Alaska Exotic

Wow, Kelly, Those are nice fish and quite a beautiful scenic. I think you should write a little something and submit it to the content contest. We are giving gear away as prizes and featuring the stories and photos that are chosen.

I have heard that they are not mighty fighters and that they are indeed delicious. It does sound like it is worth the trip for the new experience. Plus what a gorgeous grayling!

I bet you did not see many people out there.

Posted on October 14, 2013 at 2:57 PM