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Grown man plays with dollies

By Troutnut on June 26th, 2013
Dolly varden to be precise. And grayling.

It was forecast to be scorching hot in Fairbanks (95!) so I left town and headed for cool air and a secret stream in the mountains with some beautiful resident dwarf dolly varden. Wild dollies are rare in streams in this area, most of which only have grayling.

It was sunny when I arrived at the stream and there were very few mosquitoes in the ten minutes it took me to fiddle with my gear, so I left the headnet and ThermaCell and DEET in the car and just took one spray bottle of gentler bug spray with me. This was the stupidest thing I've done in recent memory. Within the first hour the sun hid behind a nearby thunderstorm, and the mosquitoes attacked in full force. By "full force," I mean that I had to blow my nose several times to remove mosquitoes. I wish I were exaggerating.

I fished for four hours, catching 14 dollies and 8 grayling, before another approaching thunderstorm enticed me back to the car. The mosquitoes didn't stop me from fishing, but they put a damper on some of my more elaborate photography plans, and I just got some normal pictures of pretty fish instead.

Photos by Troutnut from Mystery Creek #170 in Alaska

 From Mystery Creek # 170 in Alaska.
StateAlaska
Date TakenJun 26, 2013
Date AddedJun 27, 2013
AuthorTroutnut
This thunderstorm took away my sunlight, brought out the mosquitoes, and nearly chased me off the water... but most of the thunder was distant and slowly but surely going the other direction. From Mystery Creek # 170 in Alaska.
This thunderstorm took away my sunlight, brought out the mosquitoes, and nearly chased me off the water... but most of the thunder was distant and slowly but surely going the other direction.
StateAlaska
Date TakenJun 26, 2013
Date AddedJun 27, 2013
AuthorTroutnut
Mosquitoes trying to bore a tunnel into my wader leg. From Mystery Creek # 170 in Alaska.
Mosquitoes trying to bore a tunnel into my wader leg.
StateAlaska
Date TakenJun 26, 2013
Date AddedJun 27, 2013
AuthorTroutnut
 From Mystery Creek # 170 in Alaska.
StateAlaska
Date TakenJun 26, 2013
Date AddedJun 27, 2013
AuthorTroutnut
I caught the first dolly of the day after several tries while hiding behind this willow. It made splashy refusals at the first couple flies I tried. I peeked through gaps between the leaves to watch my fly drift down and see the fish's take. From Mystery Creek # 170 in Alaska.
I caught the first dolly of the day after several tries while hiding behind this willow. It made splashy refusals at the first couple flies I tried. I peeked through gaps between the leaves to watch my fly drift down and see the fish's take.
StateAlaska
Date TakenJun 26, 2013
Date AddedJun 27, 2013
AuthorTroutnut
First dolly of the day. From Mystery Creek # 170 in Alaska.
First dolly of the day.
StateAlaska
Date TakenJun 26, 2013
Date AddedJun 27, 2013
AuthorTroutnut
A dinky grayling in most places, this one was a lunker for this stream. From Mystery Creek # 170 in Alaska.
A dinky grayling in most places, this one was a lunker for this stream.
StateAlaska
Date TakenJun 26, 2013
Date AddedJun 27, 2013
AuthorTroutnut
 From Mystery Creek # 170 in Alaska.
StateAlaska
Date TakenJun 26, 2013
Date AddedJun 27, 2013
AuthorTroutnut
 From Mystery Creek # 170 in Alaska.
StateAlaska
Date TakenJun 26, 2013
Date AddedJun 27, 2013
AuthorTroutnut
 From Mystery Creek # 170 in Alaska.
StateAlaska
Date TakenJun 26, 2013
Date AddedJun 27, 2013
AuthorTroutnut
 From Mystery Creek # 170 in Alaska.
StateAlaska
Date TakenJun 26, 2013
Date AddedJun 27, 2013
AuthorTroutnut

Most recent comments on this post (latest on top)

TroutnutJune 27th, 2013, 11:45 pm
Administrator
Fairbanks, AK

Posts: 2375
Yeah, they would actually. Although it was surprising how picky they were yesterday. I'm sure they weren't looking for a particular item, but many of the fish were skeptical of bigger, bolder flies and I kept having to downsize to get good strikes instead of last-second refusals.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Jmd123June 27th, 2013, 10:29 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2008
Having not been to Alaska myself, I might be full of it, but I would think that those fish, having such a short growing season and not much in the way of resources, would go for just about anything that looks edible!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
TroutnutJune 27th, 2013, 10:27 pm
Administrator
Fairbanks, AK

Posts: 2375
I'm not sure a mosquito imitation would have been effective, because I was fishing my way upstream. All the mosquitoes were 20-30 feet downstream of where I was casting.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
Jmd123June 27th, 2013, 9:43 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2008
How about a #16 Mosquito? Hey man, you're in Alaska, should be plenty of moose mane available for the traditional light-and-dark banded body...and yeah, I've actually gotten a few trout on that pattern over the years...if I remember correctly, an 11" rainbow in Missouri in March...I'd bet money those dollies would take it...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
OldredbarnJune 27th, 2013, 7:34 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2536
You know Jason, it's just not going to be the same for you to fish one of your old streams again, down here in the Lower 48..."The Outside" as they used to call it. You may have gone native on us. :)

Spence


People more often like to use a small parachute Adams, Griffith's gnat, or ant imitation


You posted as I was posting...I was going to offer up the Griffith's gnat for all those midges, I mean mosquitoes gnawling on your leg...:) The Klinki (Klinkhammer) was originally tied for Grayling in Europa.
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood

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