In Pursuit of Arctic Graylings

Apparently the third time is the charm, On the first two outings for graylings I didn’t get any (Talkeetna). Finally on the Chena River outside Fairbanks was the ticket, as the arctic grayling was still the only target fish on my Alaska list I had yet to catch.

Chena River

the Chena runs through downtown Fairbanks, but I fished it about 40 miles or so outside of town, close to the famous hot springs. The Chena meet the Yukon and from there to Pacific Ocean. It’s a nice river and not heavily fished, at least this leg of it.

Chena River

Arctic Graylings: Sailfish of the North

The Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) is one of the most beautiful freshwater fishes of Alaska. Its most striking physical features are the large, sail-like dorsal fin and colorful body markings. In any pursuit of the arctic graylings I became obsessed and wanted to catch one.

Not a Good Start to the Trip

I met the guide outside his shop and we were not off to great a start. We had to travel back to his house to get the boat then drive some more to launch it. Why didn’t he tell me to meet him at the launch with his boat? that would have saved an hour!

Then he invited his girlfriend, who is handicapped and suffers for MS. Not what I wanted to deal with on my fishing trip, but I agreed and said yes.

Getting the raft launched and the guide and his girlfriend ready was another half hour delay into the trip. At this point I’m resigned to not catching my arctic grayling.

Slow Start …But Strong Finish

The guide pulled through and I landed a half dozen nice arctic grayling on fly and lost an equal number. I even warmed up to his girlfriend and we ended the day as friends.

They both thanked me for allowing her on the trip and I have to admit I was glad a he end she came. She’s a nice funny lady that lives life to the fullest.

I am now totally obsessed with the arctic graylings, they are not the biggest or baddest fish in Alaska, but extremely beautiful and graceful in the water.

fly fishing for arctic graylings

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