Ask any group anglers, “what’s your favourite trout rod,” and odds are you’ll hear of a wealth of different makes and models, somewhere in the 3 – 6 weight range. That’s because rods in the 3 – 6 weight range cover a whole bunch of trouty applications, from presenting tiny flies on spooky spring creeks to banging the banks with big gnarly streamers.

However, many of our guests are surprised to learn that many of our guides prefer a 7-weight when fishing for trout in Western Alaska. Will your trusty 5 or 6 weight get the job done? Sure it will! But we think a 7-weight is the most versatile size rod for trout in our neck of the woods, and here are a few reasons why.

Alaska, Alaska West, Rainbow Trout, Aardvark McLeod

5 Reasons to Fish a 7-Weight for Alaskan Trout

  1. They’re Big Fish. Unlike trout in some other places, Alaskan trout live on a steady diet of easy protein (salmon eggs, salmon flesh, baitfish, mice, etc.) throughout a short growing season. That means they get big fast. Each season, we see trout from 12 inches to over 30 inches at our Alaskan lodges, and while a 5-weight will handle fish on the lower end of the spectrum, you’ll appreciate the backbone when Mr Big hops takes.
  2. We Fish Big Flies. From gaudy flesh flies to articulated streamers to wind-resistant mouse patterns, our trout like big flies. A 7-weight makes easy work of turning over significant bushy fly patterns, especially in windy conditions.
  3. We Fish Heavy Rigs. Along with big flies, when fishing subsurface (flesh, beads, etc.) We tend to use plenty of split shot to ensure our flies are riding at the correct depth. Couple that with an indicator, and you have a clunky rig that’s far easier to turn over with a 7-weight rod.
  4. Presentation Is Not Overly Important. There’s no doubt about it: the lighter the line, the more delicate the presentation. However, on our rivers, a soft presentation is not that important. Sometimes we prefer a loud presentation (think slapping down a mouse pattern to imitate a rouge rodent that just fell into the drink). In the right hands, a 7-weight can present the fly plenty soft enough for our trout while still offering several advantages not available to a more nimble rod.
  5. More Than Just Trout Eat ‘Trout’ Flies. While targeting trout, it’s not uncommon on our rivers to hook a rouge salmon on the very same fly you caught a trout on only moments before. We’ve seen plenty of big chrome salmon taken on sculpins, flesh flies, beads, and even mouse flies! Unlike a 5 or 6 weight rod, a 7-weight (although slightly under-gunned) is plenty stout enough to deal with the occasional non-target species.


If you would like more information on either lodge please contact us by email or call +44 (0)1980 847389