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How to fish for Artic Char

Arctic char is both a freshwater and saltwater fish that is native to Arctic, sub-Arctic and alpine lakes and coastal waters. No other freshwater fish is found as far north. They have a circumpolar distribution around the Arctic Ocean, and many landlocked populations exist in lakes in the higher latitudes of the northern hemisphere. Sea-run Arctic Char commonly weigh from 5 to 10 pounds while freshwater Arctic Char can range in weight from 1/2 to 5 pounds. The Arctic Char feed on insects, crustaceans, snails, mollusks and smaller fish, such as salmon fry. They have also been observed eating younger Char.
Light to medium action spinning gear with 10 to 20 pound line work well. Fly rods that are 9 feet and 7 to 10 weight with large-arbor reels that have a capacity for 250 yards of 30 pound test backing. Char will readily take conventional tackle such as spinners, spoons, streamers and dry flies. Lake trolling with a boat is a productive means of working the most water. Most Arctic Char will feed in shallower water and not routinely stay in deep water. When in rivers and streams Arctic Char like to hold near swift current. In winter, ice fishing with jigs or bait works.
Spinners that work for the Arctic Char are the 3/4 and 7/8 ounce Blue Fox Pixees, either with orange or pink centers, the Eppinger fluorescent orange potato bug(Fluorescent orange spoon with black spots), the white and pink Blue Fox Foxee While fishing in saltwater from a boat, shooting heads work best. Sea run
Arctic Char will take white, pink, or orange Woolly Buggers or Zonkers. Many patterns developed specifically for Arctic Char are gaudy and resemble Christmas tree ornaments more than specific fly patterns. Flies in sizes #6 through 2/0 tied with lots of Flashabou, Krystal Flash, and Ice Chenille are particularly effective. 
For silver, non-spawning char in the river or ocean, use a stripping retrieve that draws the fly perpendicular across the current in short erratic pulses. Vary the speed and length of the stripping motion until you start hooking fish.


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