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Species Spotlight: Dolly Varden

The Dolly Varden Trout is a beautifully coloured member of the Salmonoid family, this fish is considered by many to be on of the prettiest of all the salmonoid species and therefore it is a sought after prize by many. This fish makes for some stunning photographs when caught and is a species that any discerning fly angler should tick off their species list.

Name: Dolly Varden

Also known as: Dollys

Scientific name: Salvelinus Malma – Char Salvelinus

DOLLY VARDEN Description

The Dolly Vardens back and sides are olive green or muddy gray, shading to white on the belly. The body has scattered pale yellow or pinkish-yellow spots and there are no black spots or wavy lines on the body or fins. Small red spots are present on the lower sides. The fins are plain and unmarked except for a few light spots on the base of the caudal fins.

Average DOLLY VARDEN size

The average size that you will catch is around the 4lb mark.

Where to catch Dolly Varden

The best destination to catch this species just has to be Alaska,  the Alaskan wilds are world-renowned hotspots with destinations such as Alaska Trophy Adventures, Mission Lodge and Goodnews River Lodge all being some of the top places to fish.

Dolly Varden Fishing methods

This species will change their feeding habits at certain times of the year, if they are feeding on fry and juvenile fish then spinning with lure tackle or fly fishing using flashy large patterns work. Once they change to feeding on Salmon redds you will be best fishing Salmon egg imitations.

Contact us

If you have any queries or questions around catching Dolly Varden or any of our Freshwater Fly Fishing holidays contact us today. You can call our office on 01603 407596 or email our fly fishing expert, Peter Collingsworth, at and we can put you on track to the best destinations around the world. You can watch some action at our lodges in this dedicated playlist just for this species!

Tight lines,


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