A wide range of trips throughout Southcentral Alaska.
Anchorage: 45°/61°/Partly sunny
Fairbanks: 46°/69°/Mostly cloudy
Streams and lakes are good fishing spots for this colorful char
The colorful Dolly Varden is locally abundant in all coastal waters of Alaska.
Two basic forms of Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma Walbaum) occur in Alaska waters. The southern form ranges from lower Southeast Alaska to the tip of the Aleutian Chain, and the northern form is distributed on the north slope drainages of the Aleutian Range northward along Alaska's coast to the Canada border.
Anadromous and freshwater resident varieties of both forms exist with lake, river and dwarf populations being found among the freshwater residents.
The Dolly Varden was named after a character in Charles Dickens' story "Barnaby Rudge."
19 pounds, 12.5 ounces, Noatak River, 1991, by Ken Ubben. (Same as arctic char.)
The Dolly Varden is the only member of the family Salmonidae, excluding salmon, that has readily adapted to the numerous small- to medium-size nonlake streams that enter the state's saltwater areas.
Since the Dolly Varden migrate to sea from lakes in the spring, a lake outlet stream, stream mouth or beach should be good from April through June. Good Dolly Varden fishing can be found in salt water during May, June and July.
As the mature fish return to their home stream to spawn and feed in August and September, most coastal streams in Southeast Alaska and up through the Aleutian Chain provide good fishing for Dolly Varden. Try fishing near spawning salmon, in deep holes and at the creek mouth on an incoming tide.
Lake fishing for sea-run Dolly Varden can be good from late August through November. The fish begin entering lakes in late August and are in prime condition after their spring and summer growing season. Ice fishing in lakes during the winter can also provide excellent sport for those willing to brave the elements.