So, you're planning on fly fishing in Alaska? Do you know the area's different species? What types of fish you can expect to encounter? If not, keep reading for an overview of the area's most abundant fish species.

Pacific Salmon Varieties

The four most populous Pacific salmon varieties in Alaska are: silver salmon, reds or sockeyes, pinks, and Chinook or king salmons. Overall, the Pacific salmon is a great game fish that can put up a fantastic fight and pose an incredible challenge.

It's important to note that while Pacific salmon won't eat after returning to fresh waters, they will still strike subsurface and surface flies. However, fly fishers need to be ready to take in what are a large and aggressive fish species. The king salmon in Alaska can weigh close to or over one hundred pounds.

Steelhead Trout

The steelhead is actually a type of rainbow trout, named for its beautiful silver body and steely color. Like salmon, they like to swim in open ocean or bigger lakes, however they'll spawn in nearby rivers. The steelhead will spawn multiple times in its lifetime.

The steelhead is strong, large, high-leaping and long-running, making it highly prized among experience fly fishers. It's also a great catch for the dinner table and an overall tasty fish. The fish averages between 4 and 12 pounds, but can often exceed 20 pounds, particularly in Alaska.

The Grayling (Trout Family)

The graying is a unique fish, easily identifiable by its high and broad dorsal fin and almost neon blue color on its body and fins. For fly fishing, Alaska graylings are both prized and easy to catch. The fish aren't very discriminating and tend to go for almost any fly.

That said, Alaska graylings do have a few preferences. They tend to like active, moving insects, smaller insects and also dry flies. The fish will also feed on minnows and crustaceans, though traditional light flies seem to be the most effective.

An Alaskan grayling will typically grow to about 4 pounds, but they're a tasty catch and well suited to the dinner table.

Alaskan Arctic Char

As a trout, the Arctic char lives for the pure and cold waters of Alaskan lakes and streams. The fish makes a great catch that's lively and strong, though willing to fall for more flies and slightly easier to trick than the rainbow trout. For fly fishing, Alaskan arctic char is an easy lure, but a fantastic catch.

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