Blog - Alaska Fly Out
Skip to main content

Alaska Fly Tying Video: Kuepper's Small Fry

5 minutes of quality tunes and fly tying for your Monday.

There is no better way to break away from the grip of cabin fever than by spending some quality time at the vice with some fresh tunes. Keeping the upcoming spring thaw in mind, this video shows how to tie Kuepper's Small Fry, the perfect imitation for chasing trout during the early season salmon fry migration.

Swing and twitch it near the surface during low light periods in early spring. Focus your concentration on pinch points in the rivers, inside bends, and woody debris. Hold on tight as this little guy is rarely hit lightly.

Here is the list of materials needed:

  • Gamakatsu SC15 Size 10 hook
  • White/Cream Uni-thread
  • Small Holographic Eyes
  • Ice Dub Pearl Red Hue
  • Ice Dub Pearl
  • Ice Dub Minnow Back Shimmer Fringe Chartruese Peacock
  • Thick UV Cured Clear Resin


No video selected.

The 3 Most Common Flaws Of Spey Anglers In Alaska

If you are wanting to catch more fish with your spey rod, here is what you need to avoid.

No video selected.

Steelhead Fight

Sweeping the nation faster than "Beiber Fever," spey fishing has taken over the fly fishing community. Every season there seems to be more and more long rods lining the river banks, and with good reason. Simply put, spey fishing is fun. It's fun to cast, fun to learn, offers up some exciting strikes, and is just another effective tool to have out on the water. Effective when used properly, anyways.

The complexities in both casting styles and gear selection that spey anglers need to sort through is mind boggling. Sink tips, versi-tips, scandi lines, skagit lines, long belly, short belly, running lines, and shooting heads are just a few of the choices that clog the mind of the angler, distracting them from fishing effectively. Here are the top three faults that many spey anglers are challenged with.

1. Continue To Fish Only One Type Of Spey Line
Undoubtedly, Skagit lines are extremely versatile. They are a great tool for throwing heavy flies and sink tips effectively, and allow for decent casting even with imperfect technique.

While there are many situations where Skagit lines shine, do not get caught in the mental rut of thinking that it is the best line for all situations. Often in soft or shallow water a sink tip or heavy fly is not necessary. Can you use a Skagit line in these situations? Yes. Is it ideal? Not necessarily. Scandi lines generally suit these water conditions better. The presentation is softer, you can make long distance mends easier, and controlling the swing is simpler.

Fly lines should be seen in the same light as your tool bench. There are tools specifically made to be effective in certain situations. You wouldn't use a hammer to put in a screw, would you? Diversify your line selections, and find yourself putting more tails to hand.

2. Never Adjust Your Cast
Repeating the same cast over and over, without adjustment, is the deadliest of the spey casting sins. Not adjusting your drift is a common flaw amongst beginners and experienced anglers alike. The mental concentration required to make the cast can be overwhelming and distracting, taking focus away from the drift itself. Fishing through a run using only one type of cast is rarely an effective option.

Take a few seconds before you cast and analyze your last drift. Did you feel confident that it was in the zone? What can you change to get it there? Do this after each step downriver, or be doomed to repeat the past. Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result. Don't be an insane angler, be an adaptable one.

3. Always Use A Spey Rod
At one point in time, all anglers are faced with a choice; fish a method that is more effective, or fish the way that you like the most. Sometimes, the desire to fish with a spey rod is overshadowed by the desire to actually catch a fish. If you find yourself in this situation, remember that all river conditions are not created equally. Spey rods are not always the most effective way to catch more fish. If it is success in numbers you are searching for, remember that there is often more than one way to skin a cat.


Lee Kuepper is professional guide now calling the Kenai River home. He is a co-owner of Alaska's Angling Addiction, chasing the Kenai's fabled rainbow trout on a regular basis. He is also a member of Loop USA's prostaff and a Certified Fly Casting Instructor through the FFF.


No video selected.

Fly Fishing For Silver Salmon Without A Rod

Sometimes increasing the difficulty means leaving some critical gear at home.

We are very fortunate to have such spectacular fishing opportunities here in the 49th state. Silver salmon are some of the most acrobatic and hard fighting species swimming in our rivers. Successfully hooking and landing an Alaskan silver salmon without the use of a rod has always been on Lee Kuepper's bucket list. Watch how it turned out.

No video selected.

Vintage Alaska Fishing Video For Your Friday

This classic Tikchik Narrows video is filled with great Alaska fishing footage and advice

We found some vintage Tikchik Narrows Lodge fishing footage floating around the internet. It's always great to see that despite all the changes over time, our Alaska fisheries are still going strong.

Video courtesy of Tikchik Narrows Lodge

No video selected.

5 Common Traits Of Productive Flies

Be picky when deciding on which flies get to take a swim. Here's what you want to look for.

No video selected.


Whether you are tying your flies, or buying them, there are 5 traits to keep in the forefront of your mind when making decisions on which flies are worthy of getting wet. Patterns that take advantage of each one of these 5 traits are both effective and easy to cast. Here are the top 5 traits that the flies in your box should always have.

It is important to use colors the fish are interested in. Resident species such as trout and dolly varden generally prefer more natural, earth tone colors. While salmon, on the other hand, are normally willing to chase around bright, vibrant patterns in pinks, purples, and chartruse.

During dirty or high water conditions, you can do especially well using multi-colored, high contrast flies. Black/White, Green/Yellow, and Purple/Pink can all produce during these adverse conditions.

Hook Orientation
The direction that your hook bend is facing should depend on where you are fishing in the water column. A fly fished near the bottom should always have the hook point facing up, as a downward facing hook will snag up and require sharpening more often. You will find this in numerous sculpin patterns, so beware.

Materials and Movement
Choose a material that moves the way you want it to while being fished. In slow to moderate currents, natural materials like rabbit, maribou, and arctic fox have a silky, smooth flow. Other materials such as deer hair, calf tail, and schlappen hackle have stiffer fibers that hold their shape well, even against heavy current.

Many flies recently have trended towards being very large and bulky. While they may look impressive, they are a burden to cast. Natural materials like rabbit fur provide great movement, but they also absorb a lot of water. This usually makes them heavy and cumbersome to cast. Synthetic materials, like craft fur, not only give a fly good underwater movement, but also make them easy to cast.

Stability relates to how the fly tracks when underwater. Flies that are unstable tend to roll or flip over when pushed on by the current. Lead eyes are often used in many trout and salmon patterns. If the lead eyes are on the wrong side, the fly will roll to the wrong position. Make sure that your fly tracks the way it is supposed to. It will result in more fish.

No video selected.

Ryan Peterson's New Movie "XBoundary" Flows Strong!

Filmmaker Ryan Peterson's new video "XBoundary" highlights the the open pit mining boom in B.C, and follows the impacts and concerns for Alaska. Filmed for Salmon Beyond Borders (

From The Filmmaker - An open-pit mining boom is underway in northern British Columbia, Canada. The massive size and location of the mines--at the headwaters of major salmon rivers that flow across the border into Alaska--has Alaskans concerned over pollution risks posed to their multi-billion dollar fishing and tourism industries. These concerns were heightened with the Aug 4, 2014 catastrophic tailings dam failure at nearby Mt. Polley Mine in BC's Fraser River watershed.

No video selected.

I Am A Flyfisher - The Story of Alaska's Pudge Kleinkauf

After surving cancer, Pudge Kleinkauf decided to spend her life doing what she loves: fly fishing.

By Lee Kuepper

Part of the Indie Alaska series, "I Am A Fly Fisher" follows the story of one of the most well known and respected female anglers in Alaska, Pudge Kleinkauf. I have met Pudge up here a few times, and can tell you that she is quite an amazing woman. More so, I have run into many of the women she has taught and touched along the way, furthering the respect I have for her passions and pursuits in the fly fishing world. 

Find out more about how to go fishing with Pudge.

No video selected.

Alaska's Mountain Kingdom - Ski Video

Get a glimpse of the skiing and winter experience with Ultima Thule Lodge

Truly an incredible project working with Ultima Thule Lodge, Chris Davenport, and the Claus Family. This isn't heli-skiing. This is genuine winter adventure in one of the most awe-inspiring places on planet Earth.

Book your trip today!


No video selected.

Alaska's Top 3 Trophy Trout Rivers

When chasing down your 30 inch rainbow trout, head toward Alaska's "Big 3."

No video selected.


Each year thousands of anglers board a plane chasing the bounty of 49th state, taking a shot at hooking into the rainbow trout of their dreams. While other foreign destinations such as Russia and Argentina may produce some big fish, there is no doubt that the accessibility and accommodations of our Alaska fisheries, in combination with the wide array of time periods, make Alaska a very easy choice when you decide on where to go to hunt for your Troutzilla.

Similar to other waters throughout the country, Alaska has a benchmark length that is considered the "trophy" designation. In Alaska this mark is usually set at an astounding 30 inches. While there are many factors that come into play when embarking on this quest, the first step to improving your odds is choosing the right river system to target.

The "Big 3" is a term that people use to refer to the top three systems that tend to pump out more monster trout than any others in the state. Topping this list of legendary trout rivers are the Kvichak, Naknek, and the Kenai. While they are not the only rivers systems in the state that hold monster trout, there is no doubt that they produce more gigantic rainbows on a regular basis than any others in the state.

Prime dates on these rivers fill in fast, so anglers heading out would be well advised to call, and book their trip early.

No video selected.