A mid-sized Dolly Varden caught on the Kenai Peninsula.Thanks to many fish species, the Kenai Peninsula is a fantastic Alaska fishing destination with its pristine water, pure wilderness, and seemingly endless possibilities. And whether you want to try your luck against massive halibut, wiley salmon, or a bevy of other species, Jimmie Jack Fishing is the place for you! The Dolly Varden is one sometimes overlooked specimen that offers much of the same excitement as its salmonid cousins. To help you better understand the Dolly Varden, we’d like to share some insight that will maximize your experience. 

The Difference Between Dolly Varden and Trout

One of the most common misconceptions about Dolly Vardens is they are trout. And while they are closely related to bull, brook, and lake trout, they are part of the char family. The most effective way to tell the difference is that char fish have lighter spots on a darker body and vice versa. With sizes that can reach over 30 inches and up to 27 pounds, it’s no surprise that so many anglers target these stunning fish.

Dolly Varden Eating Habits

One important thing to remember about Dolly Varden is they display many similar feeding habits to salmon and trout. The less time they spend looking for food, the larger they become. Food sources can diminish quickly after summer, so they eat as much as they can during the warmer seasons. Mid-summer is an excellent time to target these salmonids on the Kenai Peninsula.


Dolly Varden is one of the most common chars in Alaska. These salmonids can be found almost everywhere, from coastal waters to the Bering Sea. Freshwater habitats ranging from three-foot-wide streams to massive lakes can be suitable for Dollies. Although they are widely distributed, some schools may spend their whole lives in one stream!

Kenai Alaska Fishing Charters and Lodges

seascapeNow that you have a little more information on the Dolly Varden, it’s time to post up on the Kenai Peninsula! Boasting well-appointed guest quarters on two separate lodges—The Seascape Lodge and Original Lodge—Jimmie Jack Fishing is an angler’s paradise. And with some of the best fishing packages in Alaska, we’re willing to bet this next trip won’t be your last. Book your stay by reaching out online or calling 907-626-5561 today!