Outdoors
OUTDOORS Capital City Weekly Generally speaking, the cold month of November is a transition month for fly fishers in Southeast Alaska. Most of our fall-run silver salmon have moved far upstream, having found their natal waters, and with few exceptions, they now glow like fiery embers resting in deep quiet pools. Fall Dolly Varden are also on fire at this time, fully dressed in festive spawning colors. Their deep olive shadows sway in harmony in the soft edges of currents as they rest patiently behind deeply cupped redds carved by cohos, opportunistically waiting for a tasty egg or chunk of carcass to drift by. In November, local rivers can rapidly swell from repetitive days of rain. But just as fast as they rise, they can also drop and soon settle into crystalline, slow flowing gems once ambient temperatures plummet and begin to hover in the low 30's and 20's. At this time of the season, in spite of the cold and spreading darkness, fish can still be charmed into taking flies. The flies we choose and the techniques we use, however, must take into consideration these ubiquitous cold and late season conditions in order to be effective. I particularly enjoy this unique time of the angling season when days are short, fishing is challenging, and our local streams are both quiet and for the most part void of other anglers.

Late season cold prescription: flies that move

Flies tied with marabou tend to
Photo By Rich Culver
Flies tied with marabou tend to "come alive" when fished in slow moving currents ubiquitous in the late-fall and early winter.
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