It is time for Alaskan fishing trips to begin! We are starting the season with charters to pursue Rainbow Trout, Dolly Varden and Arctic Grayling. It is catch-and-release only, but you can still pursue these species and take their picture before you set them free. Here is what to know about these species, as well as information about performing catch-and-release safely and ethically:
- Rainbow Trout: A popular game fish in Alaska, Rainbow Trout are often easy to catch because there are so many of them. They have beautiful scales in a rainbow pattern, hence their name. While you cannot eat them during this part of the season, they are also a favorite for the grill. Rainbow Trout can be picky about bait, and they are most commonly pursued with fly fishing. We offer both gear and fly fishing equipment, so let us know your preference before you embark.
- Dolly Varden: The challenge with Dolly Varden is that it is easily confused with other species. This can be a problem because these species have different fishing seasons and you risk sanctions if you believe you caught a Dolly Varden but it ends up being a Bull Trout or Arctic Char. Fortunately, being on a fishing charter will help you distinguish them and assist with ethical catch-and-release so you do not injure any species you accidentally fish out of season. When it comes to game law violations, ignorance is no excuse. That is one reason to go on guided fishing charters—to reduce mistakes.
- Arctic Grayling: Many customers specifically request Arctic Grayling because they are beautiful and gullible about bait. They eat just about anything, so whatever looks tasty at the end of your rod will attract them. These fish are distinguished by their silvery scales and oversized pink and powder blue dorsal fins. They often have purple or turquoise flanks, and they look as though they were rubbed with gold dust. If this is the fish you wish to target, do not forget your camera, since they are truly an Alaska treasure.
Since these species are available only for catch-and-release, you need to understand a few elements of this practice. One, this does not mean you can catch a fish and throw it back with the hook still in its mouth. We will smooth out the barbs to make hooks easier to remove. Also, before you let the fish loose, hold them still in the water so they have time to breathe in oxygen and feel stronger. Imagine how you would feel being forced to hold your breath for a couple of minutes, only to be expected to run a marathon right after the ordeal. Fish need recovery time, too.
If you need assistance with catch-and-release, please let us know. We bring tools and a plan on each excursion, so if you’ve never removed a hook or handled a fish, this will be your time to be educated.
Phantom Tri-River Charters offers Alaskan fishing trips in both full- and half-day excursions. Call today if you have questions or to make a reservation.