Deep water techniques cover lake and ocean habitat. Sea going Dolly Varden can change their location if the water gets too warm or if the food becomes scarce.

However, those Dolly Varden that are trapped in lakes and reservoirs do not have the same luxury.

Dolly Varden are no different than any other fish in that there are three things that that govern their movements in the water.

Four Reasons to Change Depth

The first is the need to find cover. All predatory fish species are predated on by other species like bears and birds so they take cover and go deep when they are not locating food or spawning.

The second factor governing their location is the need for food. While they prefer a water temperature of between 55°F and 40°F, with 55°F being their ideal temperature, they will move out of this range temporarily to feed, only to return once done.

The third reason that they move about is to spawn. They will move great distances to return to the headwaters of their natal stream. They will also move into the open and swim in very shallow water to get to their location.

The fourth reason, which is regulated by the seasons is the warming and cooling of water. They prefer water that is 55°F or cooler to wards 40°F.

If the water gets above 55°F, this will drive them deeper. Therefore, the best time to fish for them in deep water is in the summer.

In the fall, they are spawning and are found in shallow rivers. In the spring, they are heading to the ocean, which leaves the summer as the only time they can be found deep with the exception of winter fishing in lakes.

Deep Water Fishing Techniques

Casting and trolling are the only two effective methods for fishing Dolly Varden when they go deep. My preference is to trolling when fishing for them in the ocean and to cast from a boat when fishing for them in a lake.

The use of a dual sonar depth finder really makes it easy to know where the Dolly Varden are and how many of them are at the bottom.

When fishing for them over a rocky bottom, the use of a trolling rig keeps your lure or bait from getting hooked on the bottom and the bait at the right level.