Often confused with each other, Dolly Varden and Arctic Char comprise a cherished part of the Rapids Camp fishing program. How do we know which one is which? While there are many scientific ways to determine the actual species, we believe in keeping it simple.
Dolly Varden is an Arctic Char that lives in the ocean but returns to fresh water to spawn. Much like a steelhead vs rainbow trout. Dollies are usually around in plentiful numbers during June and July with some arriving as late as September in some creeks. Typically in the cookie cutter 18”-24” in size and willing to feed on flies. Dolly Varden can (and will) produce 100 fish days if you are a fish counter. Their bluish-green backs, pink spots and fire engine red bellies accurately reflect the character they were named for in the Charles Dickens novel, Barbary Rudge.
Our Arctic Char fishing revolves around some of the most fabled creeks in the Katmai region. Though they remain in freshwater their entire life, the Arctic Char of Katmai grows big. Incredibly big. Every year we record Arctic Char measuring well over 30” by multiple guests. Their olive-brown backs, orange flanks, and giant white spots make them just as brilliantly spectacular as they are old. A 30” Arctic Char could be up to 30 years old truly making them the dinosaurs of Bristol Bay.
Fly Rods: We recommend 4 weight to 6 weight medium to fast action rods capable of casting split shot with a strike indicator, and dealing with the occasional big rainbow or sockeye.
Reels: Good quality reel and drag that matches rod.
Lines: Floating lines are best