Arctic Charr Spring Fishing
Fishing for Arctic Charr can be fast and furious when they are numerous and slow and boring when few are around.
As the ice leaves the lakes and rivers, Arctic Char start to move again and begin the migration from inland lakes back to the sea, but not going far from the mouth of the rivers that they were born in.
*These river mouths should be where you target the Charr.
Spring Fishing Techniques
- Use light to medium spinning tackle with 6 to 10 pound test monofilament line
- Fast sinking outfits are required for fly fishing with a reel that has ample backing
- Angling from the shore by casting a heavy bodied spoon into the deep water at the mouth of rivers and the shoreline of the estuaries
Most anglers prefer sea going Arctic Charr to those land locked. It’s a major food source for the Arctic people.
When caught, it can be kept in underground freezers that are frozen naturally due to the permafrost.
Sea run Arctic Charr is preferred not so much for its greater size, but because it is considered far better tasting. Even the flesh is redder than the land locker Charr.
Ice Break Up
The sea ice breaks up much sooner than the ice covered lakes due to the arctic storms, heavy winds and large waves. With recent warming, the ice break up is happening several weeks sooner than just 10 years ago.
Sea ice starts to retreat in the arctic starting in March so spring fishing for Arctic Charr can start much sooner in the south than it can around Baffin Island.
State of the Arctic
As the snow and ice melts in the Arctic region, the area becomes muddy and very slippery as the mud and water sits on top of the permafrost. Water-proof gear and breathable clothing is a must during this time as temperatures can vary greatly if one is fishing inland where temperature in the spring can range from -20°C to 20°C in the south.
Boats are readily available in Alaska and a good guide is recommended. However if you want to go further north chasing larger Charr in an untouched wilderness, make sure you pack a thick pack of chest high waders as there are few boats and shore fishing is done using waders. Book your guide ahead of time and check what gear they recommend.
Other key gear you’ll need includes a satellite phone, emergency medical kit as hospitals are far away, lighters, breathable gear, a compass and emergency rations.