How To Catch Arctic Char On Fly Rods

Arctic char are cold water fish that are part of the salmon and trout family. They are very common in parts of Alaska and Canada.

These fish have light spots (color varies from white to pink) on their bodies, a boat-shaped bone or vomer and smaller scales than lake trout.

Fishing Techniques

Arctic char are some of the most challenging and exciting fish to catch on fly rods. They’re opportunistic and aggressive, so you need to know how to read their behavior in order to maximize your chances of hooking up on these beauties.

Arctic char live in the cold waters of arctic, subarctic, and alpine lakes, as well as saltwater. They often display polymorphism, which is when two or more different types of char occur in the same lake.

When fishing for arctic char, it’s important to understand their habitat and food choices. This will help you choose the right bait and fly to target them.

In rivers, char feed on insects like caddis, chironomids, mayflies, and mosquitoes. Matching the hatch is crucial for catching them.

The best time for arctic char fishing Alaska is the post-thaw period, which occurs in late June and July. This is when char move up from the depths of their summer homes to eat in shallower water and to make spawning runs.


Char are known for their hard fighting attitude, and a well-timed hookup can be an exciting experience. These ferocious fish can reach sizes of 20 or 30 pounds, making them a unique trophy for those who have the patience and perseverance to catch one.

They can be caught on a variety of lures, including spinners and spoons. They are also fond of jigs, and will respond to a wide range of jig patterns.

If you’re fishing in a river, a weight-forward floating line will work best. Flies with a streamer or egg pattern are another good option.

Arctic char can be caught in a variety of rivers and lakes, but they are especially fond of colder waters. They like to sit in groups in shallow water, where they can easily be seen and targeted by anglers.

They will readily take a variety of lures and jigs, and will respond strongly to live bait. They will also eat a number of different types of artificial bait, such as worms and small dry flies.


Char are a very tasty fish and can be found in some of the clear bottom lakes and streams in Alaska. They are known for their aggressive attitude, and are a favorite for many sport fishers looking for a challenge.

Arctic char are large fish, and can reach sizes of 10 pounds or more in some lakes. They have light spots on their bodies and off-white edging on their pelvic fins.

They have a dorsal fin shaped like a salmon or trout, and a tail that is subtly forked. Their diets include plankton, invertebrates, insects, caddies and smaller fish.

The best time to target arctic char is from late May through early July, when they congregate on rivers to feed on smolts as they migrate toward the ocean. However, they can be caught all the way into September.

Arctic char respond well to lures that mimic their food, such as streamer imitations, beads, leech and smolt imitations along with dry flies. Spin casting works well too, with an 8-9 foot rod that has a fast-spinning action.


Char are scrappy, aggressive sportfish that have made a name for themselves throughout Alaska. These fish resemble trout in general shape, size and behavior but have colorful spots on their flanks and backs that make them stand out from their close relatives.

They also develop a stunning spawning color during the northern autumn. This spawning pattern is unique to the arctic and is a beautiful sight to behold.

Arctic char can be found in hundreds of lakes and streams throughout Alaska and are an exciting and challenging fish to catch. Some fish may exceed 20 pounds.

When angling for char, you will want to bring a rod and reel that are specifically designed for the rigors they will put up. A medium heavy to medium fast spinning or baitcasting rod is recommended for this purpose.

For your safety, you should also carry a top-quality rain jacket with hood and pants. These waterproof coats and pants are crafted with fishing in mind, and will keep you comfortable while roughing it in the harsh Alaskan weather.

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