My Alaska Fishing shares the secrets of the Dolly Varden char. Dolly Varden are in the same taxonomic family as salmon and trout; however, Dolly Varden are char, not trout. What does that mean to sport fishermen? Not that much. Many people refer to these fish as Dolly Varden trout because the look like trout. If you want to know how to differentiate between a Dolly Varden and  trout you simply have to look at the spots. The two fish are completely opposite in coloration. Trout species have a light colored body with dark spots. Dolly Varden have a dark colored body with very colorful spots. The spots on Dollly Varden are often bright red and/or yellow. The bright red and yellow coloring can also be found in patches on their head and fins. They make a very striking fish. Oddly, it is rumored that they got their name due to fashion. In the late 1800's there was a style of dress that was called the Dolly Varden, and it was a sheer top over brightly colored print. When you see a Dolly Varden char, the story makes sense.

Dolly Varden caught at Angler's Alibi Lodge - Alagnak River, Alaska
Dolly Varden caught by Rebekka Redd at Angler's Alibi Lodge - Alagnak River, Alaska

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