First I will start with some clarification. These two species are very closely related. In fact, to know the difference you actually have to do a dissection and look at variations in the digestive tract. That being said, guides generally know whether the population you’re fishing for is a Dolly or Char. Both species along with Lake Trout, Bull Trout and Brook Trout are members of the Char family. This has to do with the presence of vomerine teeth on the upper palate. OK. Now that we’ve got the science out of the way, how can you target them?
Certainly we can start with the Upper River Drift and Kenai River trips. You’ll be catching them right along with those Rainbows, and the fish in the Kenai system are Dolly Varden. We have various fisheries on the Ultimate Expedition that can target one or the other, and it’s not uncommon, because of the multi stop venue, to catch both on the same day. We target some sea run Dolly Varden, that return in incredible numbers where the fishing can just be insane in terms of volume. Catch these fish in September, when they overlap with the Silvers at the bay of pigs, and you’ll get some real beauties in spawning colors. This is another great resource for experiencing some of the hottest Dolly Varden action anywhere is the Crescent West Fly in late July to the end of September. And I just have to tell you, the Crescent West Fly In is probably my favorite venue for close-up viewing and photography of Brown Bears.