Variety is the deal here, but Alaska’s fabled leopard rainbows are the most sought after species. The rainbows reside in the lakes during winter and spring and move into the streams in late May and June. At that time big rainbows rise to mouse patterns, along with legitimate caddis and mayfly hatches. They also take salmon fry, either dead-drifted or twitched in the surface film. The rainbows average better than 20 inches long with real possibilities of getting a 28-to 30-inch fish. When sockeye salmon arrive, usually before the end of June, the rainbows focus on the eggs from those spawning fish. Anglers simply drift bead patterns behind the salmon to pick off those big rainbows. Dolly varden also are present and they’ll take leeches and nymphs. They range to 30 inches with the average fish going about 22 inches long. In the early season they are bright and fresh from the lakes; as summer progresses these fish gain their spawning colors and become orangish/yellow with developed kypes and white-tipped fins. Grosvenor and Coville lakes also produce lake trout, including fish that stretch to 20 pounds or more. Fly fishers concentrate on lakers that range between three and six pounds, often casting to them from shore near the lodge. As summer progresses these fish move to deeper water where they can be targeted with fast-sinking lines.
There’s no rush here—it’s not like you need to beat other anglers to the prime spots. Instead, you get up early, with breakfast being served around 7 a.m. Then you’re off with a guide to fish for rainbows, pike, dollies and/or lake trout. If you choose to fish rainbows on American Creek your entire day will be spent there, either fishing the lower end using a jet boat for access, or beaching the boat and hiking into the “braids” where you can sight-fish to large rainbows in a pocket-water sort of setting. Likewise, if you choose to fish Hardscrabble Creek or northern pike in the Grosvenor Lake outlet, you’ll spend most of the day, in not all day, in that area. You can fish from the narrow spit of land that the lodge rests on at any time, morning or evening, with the possibility of catching a northern pike, rainbow or lake trout. Early in the season, meaning June through mid July, it hardly gets dark so you can fish until you drop.
Boats and Equipment
Jet boats are the name of the game here.
Grosvenor can outfit all guests with rods, reels, fly lines, flies, and terminal tackle (leader, tippet, etc. Waders and boots are also available for use, which allows guests to save on bulk when traveling to and from the lodge. You will need to bring your own high quality rain jacket. If you bring your own wading boots, remember, felt soled boots are not allowed in Alaska. The lodge restricts metal cleats.