Arctic Char, also know as alpine trout and salmon trout, are found in cold water rivers, streams, and subarctic coastal waters in depths of 3 to 230 feet. Best fishing techniques for Arctic char include fly fishing and pin casting using dry flies and bright-colored lures. Peak fishing season for Arctic char is from early spring through late summer.
Habitat: Ocean, River, Coastal Waters
How to identify Arctic Char
Arctic chars, in general, have light spots on their bodies and off-white edging on their pelvic and anal fins. These characteristics differentiate the Arctic char from salmons and trout, which are similarly shaped, close relatives. Arctic chars have an adipose fin between their tail and dorsal fin. They also have a small bump below their pelvic fins. The tail of the Arctic char is angular and subtly forked.
Where to catch Arctic Char
Arctic chars are found from the North Pole to the South Pole and back up again, making them present worldwide. They can also be found in Alaska, the Aleutian Islands, the Alps (Spitsbergen), northern Canada, Great Britain, Iceland, Russia (northern and southward to Lake Baikal, Kamchatka), and other places. They spawn in freshwater lakes and calm river pools in autumn/winter when waters get below 39 degrees Fahrenheit. After spawning, they return to the ocean. They tend to stick to shallow waters and can be easily frightened by shadows.
The following are habitats where you can catch Arctic Char:
- Backwater Fishing
- Channel Entrances
- Current Edges
- Dams and Falls
- Outside of Bends
- Overhanging Trees and Bushes
- Ripples, Currents, Swirls and Sprays
- Rivers and Streams
- Rock and Boulder Pockets
- Small Pointed Waves
- Undercut Banks
How to catch Arctic Char
Arctic chars are known to be good fighters. Anglers who choose the fly-fishing method to catch Arctic char should head to Alaska from late May through early July when fishing is best. However, they can be caught all the way through the end of September. Arctic char can also be caught using spin casting.
The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Arctic Char:
Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Arctic Char
Arctic chars respond to the same tackle used for salmon and trout. Anglers who fly fish for Arctic char should use bright-colored lures, such as streamer imitations, beads, leech and smolt imitations along with dry flies. Spin casters should use an 8-9 foot rod with fast-spinning ability. Heavy spinners often work well, as do other large baits.
The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Arctic Char: