Adam Cuthriell, headman at FishHound Expeditions, is on the podcast to break down fly fishing in Alaska and talk about the remoteness of Kodiak. We find out how to put together a remote wilderness trip, which species and times of year are best, the recommended gear setup, and one must-have fly that rhymes with a famous international person!
We also hear an epic story of when Adam had a close encounter with a bear and almost got himself eaten. We discover some tips on how to avoid situations like that and what to do if you ever find yourself in such a situation.
Click below and listen to the Podcast about Fly Fishing Alaska with Adam Cuthriell:
(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)
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Fly Fishing Alaska Show Notes with Adam Cuthriell
05:10 – Trout in Alaska grow up to 2 feet because they eat meat – they use streamers, salmon smolt, and mice.
06:30 – Adam was a firefighter before he got into the travel business. He started with just a boat now he has 10 full-time guides, 18 boats, and 5 locations.
10:20 – Anchorage is the hub for Alaska. The following day, they fly out to the camp via helicopter.
12:10 – They use nice inflatable rafts.
14:00 – September is Adam’s personal favorite time to fish. Most of the time during early summer, it doesn’t get dark and you won’t see stars.
14:40 – Trout are resident species, leopard rainbow trout, arctic grayling, and dolly varden trout – they get really fat.
16:00 – They encourage people to be wearing a headnet because sometimes the wind gets still and the bugs might bite.
18:45 – They fish 2 clients and 1 guide per boat but they offer gear-boat deluxe trip with a gear-boat man who’s one step ahead of the game – he sets up the camp, lunch, tent, fire, etc.
21:10 – They got silver salmon in Alaska – they’re aggressive and big. Adam loves to fish them.
22:10 – On the top water, they fish pink poppers.
25:40 – We answer Chris Cook’s question about rods and lines. FishHound Expeditions provides all gear – they fish 6 or 7 wt for trout, and 7 or 8 wt for salmon. For lines, they use a weight-forward floating line.
28:50 – They swing flesh flies. In September, they use streamers like Dolly Llama.
30:30 – A lot of the rivers that they operate in are small to medium size – a far cast is about 20 to 25 feet.
35:50 – Adam tells the story of when he almost got eaten by a bear – it’s like one of those ‘I Shouldn’t Be Alive’ stories. We learn some tips on how to avoid that kind of situation – be loud and don’t surprise the bears
41:05 – FishHound start commercially operating on mid-May, then season ends by the end of October. From November to April, they guide ice fishing.
42:35 – Adam has been living in Alaska for 10 years now. He used to live in Colorado.
43:50 – In winter, the snow gets thick from 600 to 1000 inches – Adam and his 2 year old daughter go snowboarding
45:00 – Adams tells us how we can do a DIY trip to Alaska just doing road-access fishing
47:50 – There’s a fly shop in Anchorage Alaska called, Mossy’s Fly Shop owned by Mike Brown. Adam mentions some more fly shops that are generous with information.
52:00 – Late July and August are when most of the resident species present – rainbows, arctic grayling, arctic char, kings, sockeye, pinks, chums, and silver salmons. You can catch 9 to 10 different species on one fly.
53:50 – Adam’s biggest addiction is steelhead
54:46 – The Karluk River in Alaska has the largest returns of steelhead in the state. The best time to fish for them is in the Fall.
57:45 – Russ Miller was on the podcast at WFS 303 – he talked about when the gold bead was introduced for nymphs
1:00:30 – An extra rain jacket is a good thing to have or a good heavy-duty rain jacket made with gore-tex. Bring an extra set of waders too.
1:03:30 – You would need to get your fishing license ahead of time. You can have a digital copy on your phone but it’s best to have it printed in case your phone dies or something.
1:05:00 – Any variation of the fly called, the Dolly Llama works best for fishing in Alaska. The other one would be a bead. Adams recommends a mouse fly too.
1:08:15 – The two-handed approach is awesome whether it’s a switch rod or traditional spey.
1:09:45 – Don’t forget your sleeping bag. When you book a trip with FishHound, they will remind you via email of the things you need to bring, so make sure you read those emails.
You can find FishHound Expeditions on Instagram @fishhound_expeditions
Website at FishHoundExpeditions.com
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Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below
Fly Fishing Alaska Conclusion with Adam Cuthiell
So there you go. If you want to book a trip of a lifetime in Alaska, you can connect with Adam and the FishHound team.
Keep in mind the things you need to prepare for the trip like an extra-thick jacket, sleeping bag, headnet, fishing license, etc. FishHound will give you a checklist anyway and remind you via email what to bring once you book with them, so make sure you read those emails.
Also, once you’re there fishing, remember to be loud and make your presence known to keep the bears away. And if you ever find yourself standing next to a hungry bear, scream angrily as loud as you can like a wolverine just like Adam did. It doesn’t guarantee that the bear won’t attack but at least increase your chance of surviving that situation. You have two options: be bigger than your fear or get eaten.