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View Full Version : Dolly Varden.....great little charr



DocSpotty
08-09-2008, 09:03 PM
Well my favorite part of the fishing season here in Alaska arrived yesterday…it’s not catching those big old salmon or halibut…..but fishing for rainbows and dollies as they follow the salmon upstream to feast on their eggs. Spent the morning to early afternoon on a little creek which is not only chock full of sockeye and dollies but grizzly bears also. Started with an early morning drive down to the Kenai Peninsula (left at 2:30am) meeting with a couple of friends. We hopped in a boat and motored about 30 minutes up to one of the small tributaries…..unless you know where to look you would never spot it. The view of Mt. Illiamna traveling across the lake was spectacular:

http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j32/DocEsox/Iliamna.jpg

We got to the mouth and it was guarded by the typical white-headed sentinel….you can see the eagles nest in the trees at the top of the hill:

http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j32/DocEsox/BaldNest.jpg

The first 100 yards of tall grass and tree falls all over the creek discourage nearly everyone from investigating the fabulous waters above….of course, the numerous bears seem to have some small influence too. The river was choked with sockeye everywhere but they had just started to spawn. Within a few minutes we had the first beautiful dolly:

http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j32/DocEsox/FirstDolly-1.jpg

But then the next several holes produced nothing and we thought perhaps we were a week or two early for the dollies. But we persisted and managed to catch a few fish:

http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j32/DocEsox/PrettyFish.jpg

http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j32/DocEsox/Dolly.jpg

About this time we ran into the first of 3 bears….unfortunately I wasn’t able to get pictures of them before they ran off. But we found a few reds like this one who met his demise from some very large canines:

http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j32/DocEsox/RedBearBite.jpg

Despite not catching many fish it was hard to beat the absolutely gorgeous day and the great scenery along the creek:

http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j32/DocEsox/DollyCreek.jpg

http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j32/DocEsox/DollCr.jpg

Then one Cardell, one of the other guys started switching beads and found the magic one…so we all rerigged and started catching the fussy dollies everywhere. The four of us probably caught about 20 dollies each….it was great fun:

http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j32/DocEsox/NiceBuck.jpg

http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j32/DocEsox/LastDolly.jpg

One of the last ones I kept for the dinner table, my wife loves the little beasts. We were flabbergasted after filleting it and discovering it was a female…it had a huge kype on the lower jaw and body coloring of a male:

http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j32/DocEsox/DeceptiveHen.jpg

Maybe it was just having some kind of politically correct gender issues. Anyway we hiked back to the boat and about 20 yards short of it I stumbled in the creek and went swimming up to my neck….50 degree water is dang cold when you waters are full of it. Also pulled a lower abdominal muscle and can hardly walk today…..didn’t think fishing was supposed to be this debilitating.

On the way home I stopped off at Quartz Creek, one of my favs, to see if the sockeye and dollies had made it up there yet. It only took a few minutes of fishing to find out:

http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j32/DocEsox/QuartzDolly-1.jpg

The reds were thick and so were the dollies….probably caught 15 in the next few hours then finished driving home. A whole heckuva great day with the charrs.

Brian

steve092
08-09-2008, 10:56 PM
Awesome report!

Those pictures of those fish are unreal!!

soulsurfer
08-09-2008, 11:03 PM
Doc

you got that neck of the woods wired !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thanks for the reports

ThemBastards
08-09-2008, 11:08 PM
Always love your reports Doc. Beautiful fish

Troutman65
08-10-2008, 12:24 AM
I just love the great looking fish up there. Thanks for the report. Congrats on your sweet catch.:Envious::Big Grin:

Wingnut
08-14-2008, 01:08 PM
Simply beautiful! :Cool: :Big Grin:

one_leg
08-14-2008, 01:41 PM
Get well soon. We need more out of state reports just like this one.


Great pics too. I really appreciate it when people include some scenery amongst the fish porn.

O_L

troutdog
08-15-2008, 12:20 AM
Hello Dolly! Great report Doc Spotty, the nature channel doesn;t have anything on your reports....I always look foward to reading about your adventures. Keep em coming, hope that ab pain is a thing of the past for ya!


TD

Ronira
08-15-2008, 07:46 AM
Very nice report, what a pretty place. Thanks for all the information, great read.