Homer Alaska - Outdoors

Story last updated at 5:57 PM on Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Dolly Varden: They're pretty and good fighters

There is another "gangsta" fish that is starting to lurk in the saltwater near the mouths of their 'hood tributaries and sneak up streams.

It's a tough homie and isn't adverse to a nasty rumble if provoked.

I'd probably cop an attitude like that, too, if my nickname was Dolly.

Dolly Varden also are known as Bull Trout (highly preferred nomenclature by the dude side of the species), but are technically char.

When the males enter the dating scene they develop a hooknose as well as a dark body and orange/white spots. Other female trout genres find this Vegas pimp look disgusting, so the bucks are left to squabble over the attentions of less discriminating Vardettes.

During this transition, Dollies acquire the appetite of a rabid football fan who routinely demolishes buckets full of heart-clogging munchies equaling the entire carbo contents of a convenience store, all before kickoff.

This is where you come in.

If you want to sample these feisty and tasty trout, char or however scientists define them, flip the hoodlums various small shiny lures or even a single salmon egg bounced along the bottom. Egg pattern flies are cool, too.

Come to think of it, these hogs probably won't really give a serious squat what you're serving.

If it's hook up time (not the way normal fishermen think) at the spawning grounds, they'll snarf up almost anything including the remains of a mauled Snickers if it gives them extra vigor to kick the $#^+ out of rivals trying to share the cribs of fine looking hens.

I'm not sure why the idiots get into those beat-downs, because they don't die after spawning unless they are stomped into bait paste during the dating games.

If the wannabee cage fighters would just chill out as they approach seasoned citizen status they just might make it back for 10 or more spawn parties.

Even as fish, that alone would make them legends in AARP.

Now it's time for a look at some of the state's fishing report.

The areas upstream of the two-mile regulatory markers on the Anchor and Ninilchik rivers and Deep and Stariski creeks opened on Aug. 1 to fishing for bad @$* Dolly Varden mentioned previously and rival small gangs of steelhead/rainbow trout.

Knock off targeting or harvesting salmon upstream of the 2-mile regulatory markers.

We'll remind you one more time that cohos may not be removed from the water prior to release.

Silvers taken out of the water count toward the limit of the person hooking them so they must be retained unless the angler has the intellectual prowess of a Gummie Bear and the hefty bank account of a congressman to cover the fine.

Fresh water stuff

The lower portions of the Anchor River, Deep Creek and Stariski Creek are open to sport fishing except for king salmon, including jacks.

Ninilchik River is open to the harvest of hatchery king salmon, if you can find one.

Silver salmon are starting to arrive in these streams and things should start to rock by mid-August.

Remember, steelhead trout hooked in the Anchor River, Deep Creek, Stariski Creek and the Ninilchik River must receive the "Free Willy" treatment and not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

Pink and chum salmon are available in Kachemak Bay streams, and in commercially processed pet food cans.


Halibut fishing hasn't moved up much, according to state reports, on the Kachemak Bay Super Suck-O-Meter.

Things do improve if you move within sight of Kodiak or an adjacent foreign country, although charters report fair to good results if you travel to central, southern Cook Inlet, or north toward Anchor Point.

We won't report tales of "mushy" halibut this week because of a plethora of disturbing photos sent to our Reeling 'Em In headquarters depicting significant soft or flabby flesh with pockets of jelly-like tissue that turned out to be revenge pics of ex-significant others.

Not cool.


Anglers are whacking pink and sockeye salmon within Tutka Bay Lagoon.

Fair catches of silvers continue to be reported around Flat Island.

Silvers are starting to arrive in numbers so small at The Fishing Hole that one jumper is being counted as another coho every time it breaks water.

Trolling success for king salmon is a joke in most locations. Better catches have been rumored north of Whiskey Gulch where Jack Daniels rules the reports.

Other salt water reports

Lingcod fishing remains about the same. No guarantees. Great, if you catch one; a good time fishing, if you don't.

The minimum size for these ugly but succulent entrees is a minimum size of 35 inches and there's a limit of two per day and two in possession.

Don't even think of using a gaff on any of these fish intended for release.

Cod, pollock and a variety of flounders are plentiful off the end of the Homer Spit and we'll talk about them next week.

Personal Use

The China Poot personal use dip-net fishery remains open through Aug. 7 with some fish still roving around looking for a canning pot.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com.