Rich Culver photos As fresh water fishing in Southeast becomes more limited in the fall, cutthroat trout still offer opportunities for adventurous anglers.
As October slowly wanes fresh water fishing opportunities in Southeast Alaska become more limited. Silver salmon, the primary quarry of fresh water sport anglers in Southeast Alaska for the past month and a half, are no longer lustrous and chrome but instead, they now glow like candy apples or red sleds at Christmas. Even Dolly Varden once ubiquitous in the summer seem to have vanished from their shadowed pools. However, even during this seasonal lean period in Southeast, adventuresome sport anglers can still find and enjoy plenty of opportunities for angling relief in the form of still water fishing for fall-run cutthroat trout in our numerous lakes and salt chucks.
As for fly lines, the ideal line for still water conditions is one that sinks slowly and places the fly one to three feet below the surface. I prefer a type 1, intermediate, and I fish it slowly with deliberate two-to-three inch strips while pausing briefly in between each strip. The flies I use are small, size 8, marabou leeches. The natural marabou moves freely in the soft water undulating and pulsating when slowly retrieved which I find crucial to enticing fall-run cuttys in cold late-season conditions.
Sill water fishing in my opinion is the most underrated and least exploited segment of recreational sport fishing available in Southeast Alaska, yet it offers excellent early and late-season angling opportunities when local rivers and coastal streams are void of salmon or when rivers are blown out from heavy rains. In addition, still water fly-fishing offers peaceful solitude and many times hot action for fall-run cutthroat trout. Good luck fishing and tight lines!