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Top Fly Options for Alaska Salmon Fly Fishing

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Fly selection is always an important topic when fly fishing, and especially when fishing for salmon. Your success in attracting and luring in salmon will depend on a few factors, and the fly you've chosen is at or near the top of this list in every case.

At Pybus Point Lodge, we offer a variety of salmon fishing options, from our salmon fishing trips on our powerful vessels to freshwater stream fishing options at some of the most remote locations in all of Alaska -- locations that are perfect for fly fishers. What are some of our top recommendations when you're looking for the ideal fly to use for catching salmon? Here are several good options to consider.

Woolly Bugger

This is one of the most popular and well-known fly fishing flies out there, and for good reason. Woolly Buggers can be fished in a variety of ways, from high sticking to vertical jigging. This fly can also imitate several types of baitfish, from caddis flies and mayflies to salmon eggs and shrimp -- making it an excellent choice for both fresh and saltwater locations.

The Woolly Bugger is generally fished on a weighted or unweighted 1/0 or 2/0 hook, and is available in a wide variety of colors. The color you opt for will depend on what type of water you're fishing as well as the time of year, since salmon can be ultra-picky when it comes to their food.

Spey Fly

Deriving its name from the Spey River in Scotland, this fly format is ideal for imitation of smaller crustaceans that salmon are known to eat. This is a small fly that has been around for a long time, and it is still one of the most popular today -- especially in Alaska!

Spey flies generally imitate shrimp or baitfish such as sculpins and sand lances. The traditional Spey fly is typically fished with an unweighted 2/0 hook, and is available in a variety of colors.

Egg Sucking Leech

Eggs are one of the most attractive foods to salmon, and the Egg Sucking Leech can be fished in a number of ways to imitate the motion and action of salmon eggs. This is an excellent option to consider, especially if you are fly fishing for Atlantic salmon or trout.

Stoat's Tail

Especially if you're fishing in a stream or river that has relatively low water levels, the Stoat's Tail might be an excellent fly to go with. This is a small fly that can resemble an emerging caddis or mayfly, and it works especially well in slow-moving water.

This is because it's small and streamlined, able to move quickly even in the slowest of waters. The Stoat's Tail can be fished with an unweighted 2/0 hook if you're using it for Atlantic salmon or trout, and is usually tied on a weighted 1/0 hook if fishing for Pacific salmon or steelhead.

Glo Bug

The Glo Bug line refers to some of the most colorful and creative flies out there, including those meant to mimic eggs or similar food sources such as shrimp or sand lances. This type of fly works well for saltwater and fresh water, and it can be fished with a wide variety of techniques.

These flies are best on a size 10-14 hook. Their patterns are also very easy to tie, which is part of what makes them attractive to many anglers, including beginner fly fishers.

Hairwing Flies

These are long, bright flies that are best for those who are still in the "searching" phase for salmon on a given river or stream. Hairwing flies can be moved around quickly and easily, and they can be used to imitate anything from baitfish to salmon eggs.

This is an excellent option if you're targeting Atlantic salmon or trout, but it's not recommended for steelhead or Pacific salmon because of their coloring. When fishing the hairwing fly on a stream or river, you'll need to use an unweighted 1/0 or 2/0 hook.

Bunny Leeches Flies

This is another loud, colorful fly, one that drags some material behind it to imitate the movement of a fleeing minnow. Bunny Leeches are designed to mimic the leech family, which is why they're often fished in saltwater.

This fly can be tied in both dressed and undressed versions, depending on if you'd like it to sink or float once in the water. The Bunny Leech is most effectively used on a 2/0 or 3/0 hook, and is best suited for targeting Pacific salmon.

Intruder Fly

For situations where you've tried larger flies without success in a given stream or river, the intruder fly is a good option. These flies are designed to imitate a variety of prey, including sand lance and sculpin.

The Intruder fly tends to work best on a size 4-8 hook, and is usually dressed in a "natural" color that will allow it to blend into the surrounding water once cast out. Salmon tend to go for this fly because it closely resembles the smaller crustacean they eat as opposed to a baitfish or other prey.

Crusher Fly

On the flip side, if smaller fly options aren't doing the trick for the salmon you're chasing, the Crusher fly is a larger alternative that doesn't have dumbbell eyes -- this makes it ideal for swinging. It's generally found in sizes 4-6, and is ideal for faster-moving water in the spring and early summer periods.

For more on the various kinds of flies you might consider for your salmon fly fishing needs in Alaska, or to learn about any of our all-inclusive fishing packages or wildlife tours, contact the pros at Pybus Point Lodge today.

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Discover why people like you can’t stop talking about Pybus Point Lodge. More than 30 years ago, the lodge opened as a simple fishing camp, drawing a devoted following in spite of basic accommodations. With new owners and experienced captains and crew, our corner of Alaska has become an unbeatable fishing and eco-tourism resort.

Andrea Tate

Incredible Experience!

Pybus Point Lodge has some of the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen. I mean absolutely breathtaking! In addition to the amazing fishing, I hiked to a beautiful secluded lake, soaked in some hot pots, saw several waterfalls, went whale watching, saw bears and all kinds of wildlife and marine life. As a photographer, photographing a wedding under a waterfall will remain a highlight of my life.

Shirley Johnson

Pybus Point Lodge - WOW!

We had the best time! This was our first visit to Pybus, but it definitely will not be our last. The stunning scenery, amazing fishing experience, and the joy of meeting new friends – all outstanding! We did not want to leave!!! If you are thinking about this trip – don’t think any more, just book it. You will not regret it!!!

Sharon Hedding

Trip of a Lifetime!

We had such an amazing time the staff was so wonderful and the lodge was fantastic! capt Joe was so helpful and always doing what ever he could do to make each day special. a special thank you to both Scott and Jody for taking the time to make us feel like family. can't wait to go back next year

Jason Nielsen

Wonderful and Magical Place

We had an amazing business retreat to Pybus Point Lodge.  Everything was top notch... the fishing, the staff, the boat captains, the food, the accommodations, and especially the scenery. I really liked that Pybus took care of everything from start to finish. Chef John is an amazing cook. We had delicious hot meals the entire trip.  The cabins were amazing and very comfortable.  The fishing was awesome and that’s coming from a guy that doesn’t fish that much.

Brandon Foote

We brought home 100lbs of fish!

My wife and I spent a week at Pybus Point this Summer. We had a beautiful, private room overlooking the bay and our own new, ensuite, private bathroom. What an amazing place for couples to get away together. We set our own breakfast time, met our boat captain after, fished the day along, and returned to clean up and enjoy a nice dinner at the restaurant. Next time Alaska is on the trip list, Sherrie and I will go together, and it will be to Pybus Point!

Kent Danjanovich

Fun in Alaska

This was my first trip to Pybus Point. I stayed in one of their new cabins. The accommodations were incredible, the view onto the bay in the mornings was stunning. I loved the staff and the food was really very good. All of this and they have new boats to take you out onto fairly calm waters to fish. The fishing guides were great. Overall a great experience. Definitely going back.


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