Our Signature Alaska Fly Patterns

There are many Alaska fly patterns that are successful when pursuing various Alaska salmon, grayling and trout species. We have narrowed down our choice of fly patterns to a select few endorsed by our guide team. Here are some essentials for your Alaska fly fishing packing list.
    alaska fly fishing fly patterns and recipes for salmon and trout
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Our signature Alaska fly patterns and fly tying recipes

  • Clousers
    green clouser fly pattern

    Clouser Flies

    Clousers are the bread and butter fly of the fly fishing industry. The Clouser is quite possibly the most versatile fly in the world fished reliably in both fresh and saltwater environments with a high success rate. Alaska is no exception. These flies are our go-to for silver, chum and pink salmon + spring rainbow trout. They are effectively fished at various depths and with various swing and retrieve methods.

    The Fly Pattern: Clouser - White/Chartreuse, fluoro red thread. We also have much luck with Chartreuse/Turquoise and Pink/White Color combinations.
    Body/Tail Danville 210 Denier Flat Waxed Thread (Fluro Red), Large Northern Bucktail - White, Large Northern Bucktail - Chartreuse, Flashabou
    Head Brass Eyes (silver/gold) - Medium (Increase weight for higher water conditions)
    Hook Daiichi 2546 Saltwater Hook (Size 6)

  • Hareball Leech
    Alaska Hareball variety leech fly pattern

    Hareball Leeches

    An incredibly large variety of leech patterns have been made famous by Alaska fly tiers. All have their place and application. The great thing about leech patterns is they mimic such a wide variety of food sources found in Alaska river systems. They're superb natural action entice violent strikes from all salmon species and monster rainbow trout. The Hareball leech is one of our favorite leech fly patterns. A similar variation we often uses is the Starlight leech. Also we tie many leeches with marabou, which tend to have faster sink rates compared to the more dense, buoyant bunny strips. All are effective. Hareball leeches are dynamite when we spot cast / strip retrieve to large schools of salmon schooled up in slack water.

    The Fly Pattern: Hareball Leech (Purple), Pink Danville Plus 6/0 Thread
    Weight .035 or .030 Lead wraps over shank of hook.
    Body/Tail The tail is Krystal Flash with a single Purple Rabbit Strip. The body is tied with Large Cactus Chenille with a Purple Rabbit strip palmered over top followed by a hackle of collared Schlappen.
    Head Silver Dumbbell eyes - Medium (Increase weight for higher water conditions)
    Hook Tiemco 811S, sizes 6 - 1/0

  • Gurglers
    Alaska float trips

    Alaska Gurgler Fly Pattern

    Gurglers are our top water fly pattern of choice for triggering aggressive strikes from silver and chum salmon. Big rainbow trout are also known to smack these flies tied in colors similar to mouse hair. The fly is typically fished with a quick popping strip retrieve, or a slow sweeping strip producing a slight side to side swimming motion. Gurglers are easier to cast v.s. deer hair Wogs and are easy to tie and are quite durable. We also have much success with these flies in our nearby northern pike lakes. They also can be tied with flashabou tails, or without the tail altogether.

    The Fly Pattern: Pink Gurgler
    Thread Danville’s 3/0 or Monocord, white
    Body/Tail Body is constructed of white closed-cell foam, with five evenly-spaced segments. Foam should be 1/2″-3/4″ wide for most flies. Use foam at least 1/8″ thick. Tail is made of a Large Rabbit Strip plus five or six strands of pearl Glimmer or Krystal Flash (Red).
    Rib White Rabbit Strip palmered between segments
    Carapace or Shell Closed-cell foam pulled over body and secured just behind eye. Trim foam leaving an excess of about 1/2″ protruding beyond eye
    Hook Daiichi 2720 Wide Gape Stinger Bass Hook (Size:1/0, 2/0) with optional weed guard of 40lb mono

  • Smolt Fly
    Alaska smolt fly pattern

    Alaska Smolt Fly Pattern

    Just after ice out millions of baby salmon smolt begin their migration downstream Alaska rivers bound for the salt waters of the Pacific ocean. This is the first major forage opportunity for hungry rainbow trout. So, with that in mind, we must "match the hatch" so to speak. Our smolt fly is best fished with a intermediate or sink-tip fly line presenting the fly subsurface on the swing. Short strips at the very tail end of your downstream swing often entice aggressive strikes. Our smolt pattern often is a secret weapon for wary salmon in low, clear water conditions when a smaller, sparse pattern can be the key to success when other larger, gaudy flies are ignored.

    The Fly: Lake Creek Alaska Smolt
    Hook Daiichi 1710 2X-Long Nymph Hook Size 8-10
    Thread Danville 210 Denier Flat Waxed Thread in Fl. orange or Fl. red
    Underbody Uni-wire Medium, Silver or red in color is wrapped along hook shank for weight
    Rib White Rabbit Strip palmered between segments
    Body Belly: EP SILKY Fibers - White. Dorsal Wing: ICE WING Pearl UV Hue, ICE WING Silver, 6-8 strands of Jailhouse Marabou Barred Black/White and topped with a few strands of Black DNA holo-fusion or ICE WING Minnow Back
    Eyes 3D Holographic Eyes - 1/8'' 344 Silver
    Head Build up with tying thread and epoxy eyes using Clear Cure Goo or 5 minute clear epoxy

  • Marabou Leech
    Alaska marabou leech fly pattern

    Alaska marabou leech fly pattern

    In addition to the rabbit strip leeches such as the Hareball or Starlight leech, we like to tie up a good selection of marabou leeches. Marabou tends to be more sleek and less buoyant while in the water which equates to a faster-sinking fly that can be presented better in deep water or slow current conditions. Weight can be added to the head of a fly to resemble a jig that can be swam through mid-depth areas, or stripped along the river bottom. This is a very effective fly for all salmon species and rainbow trout alike.

    The Fly: Marabou Leech - Orange Head Variant
    Hook Traditional up-eye Salmon hook size 2/0-4/0
    Thread Danville 210 Denier Flat Waxed Thread Fl. Red or Fl. Orange
    Tail/body 4 Black Marabou feathers, 2 tied in along each side of hook
    Flash 6-8 strands of black holographic flashabou tied on each side of fly
    Collar 2 turns of black marabou topped with Orange ICE dubbing tied with a dubbing loop and teased out with a strip of Velcro
    Eyes (optional):Medium to Large Dumbbell eyes
    Head Orange Cactus Chenille

  • Sculpins
    Alaska sculpin fly pattern

    Alaska sculpin fly pattern

    Sculpin minnows are a major year-round food source for rainbow trout in Alaska rivers. Therefore, the sculpin fly is an essential for the Alaska trout fly fisherman. When all else fails, these flies produce. We fish our sculpin flies subsurface, often right along the very bottom of gravel runs and sweeping stream channels. Natural colors such as olive, black, amber and ginger tend to be the best producers. Vary your color and size based on water levels and clarity.

    The Fly: Lake Creek Sculpin
    Hook Daiichi 2220 4X-Long Streamer Hook (Size 4-8)
    Thread Danville 210 Denier Flat Waxed Thread in Black or Olive
    Body Cream dubbing or chenille substitute (material not overly important, just as long as it's cream or white). Tie to cover 2/3 of hook shank and make a small ball at end closest to eye of hook to splay out pectoral find and dorsal
    Tail, dorsal wing Black or Olive Grizzly Zonker Strip tied "zonker style" and twice the length of hook shank (2-3.5 inches)
    Pectoral Fins black or olive grizzly soft hackle tips tied 2 on each side
    Throat fluro red glow bug yarn under eyes for bleeding gills and cream/white sculpin wool or deer hair at front, trim to shape
    Head black or olive spun deer hair or sculpin wool substitute, trim to shape

  • King Intruder
    Alaska king salmon intruder fly pattern

    Alaska king salmon intruder fly pattern

    Intruders are sleek, flashy flies that are extremely effective attractor patterns when swinging for king salmon in Lake Creek, our main river. We fish these flies mainly with double-handed spey fly rods on the swing in deep water, main river channels where king salmon hold. The King Intruder Fly can be tied with different variations and amounts of flash to suit water clarity as sometimes the slightest color variation makes a world of difference with respect to strikes. The general rule is the more turbid the water, the more flash you should use.

    The Fly: Alaska King Intruder
    Hook Senyo's Articulated Shank (40mm) attached to Gamakatsu Suicide 1/0-3/0 via 1.5-2.5 inch loop of 50-80lb braid. Braid can be replaced with Intruder wire.
    Thread Danville 210 Denier Flat Waxed Thread in Fl. orange or Fl. red
    Collar Purple craft fur covered by 4-6 wraps of Purple Marabou
    Tail 15-20 strands of pearl lateral scale 4-5 inches long, 20-30 strands of silver holographic flashabou 4-5 inches long.
    Eyes Large Dumbbell eyes
    Head STS Trilobal Dub - Fl. Flame tied in with a dubbing loop and teased out with a strip of Velcro.

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Peak Alaska Fishing Seasons
Wilderness Place Lodge features great Alaska fly fishing trip packages. Review our species guide to plan your vacation during peak seasons:
King Salmon June 5 - July 10
Silver Salmon July 18 - Aug 25
Chum Salmon July 25 - Aug 25
Sockeye Salmon July 13 - July 25
Pink Salmon July 15 - Aug 15
Rainbow Trout June 1 - Sept 10
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