Dolly Varden is the common name used for a char of the family Salmonidae that's classified as a Salvelinus Malma Malma. Since
Dolly Varden are sometimes referred to as Dolly Varden trout, that may sound a bit strange until you consider the Brook Trout is
also a Char. For many years, Dolly Varden were thought to be the same species as the Bull Trout. Like the Dolly Varden, a Bull
Trout is a char of the family Salmonidae but a different species. In 1980, the two fish were reclassified and the Bull Trout is now
classified as a
Salvelinus confluentus. The bull trout is listed as a threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.  
They are more plentiful in Canada and Alaska than the U. S.. Dolly Varden are also called Malma and Red Spotted Trout. The
name “Dolly Varden” is thought to have possibly come from two different sources. One is the Charles Dickens novel character
"Dolly Varden" and the other, a type of dress that was popular in the late 1800's.

Dolly Varden are found in lakes and rivers, as well as small headwater streams. They sometimes migrate back and forth between
fresh and saltwater, but not always. The Dolly has migratory (anadromous) and a non-migratory subspecies. The non-migratory
species have a green to grey back and a white belly. Pale yellow or pinkish-yellow spots cover their body. This fish has caused
headaches for fisheries biologists and ichthyologists for years.  They look a lot like Bull Trout and can easily be confused with
them. Although closely resembling trout in body shape, char, which  includes brook trout and lake trout, can be distinguished by
their fine scales and reverse coloration. Char have dark-colored bodies with light spots and trout and salmon have light-colored
bodies with dark spots.
Dolly Varden
Nomads of the Pacific Northwest

by James Marsh
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fishing Journal
November 2013 Issue
E
ven though Dolly Varden are about as pretty as Dolly Parden, they are very much underrated as a sport fish. A lot of their
popularity probably stems from where you find them. They are plentiful in some places and rare in others. When they are
mixed in with other species of anadromous (sea-going) fish, they seem to lose some of their popularity. When found inland,
Fish Species
they seem to be about as popular as the other species of fish they are found with. Dolly Varden are found throughout the Pacific
Northwest, from Northern California to the upper Yukon and Mackenzie drainages in Canada, as well as Siberia and Korea
Dolly Varden prefer water temperatures averaging about 55 degrees Fahirnheit. They don't seem to tolerate as much deviation
from that as many trout and salmon species. They spawn from August through November,and like their cousins the
brook trout, they can take on the colors of the fall foliage. The non-migratory species probably average about 12 to 18 inches
and the migratory species about 18 to 24 inches. Dolly Varden can live for up to ten or twelve years.

Like most trout, they eat aquatic insects, fish eggs and other fish. The beauty of the Dollies doesn't outrank their fight. They are
hard fighting, fast running and often airborne fish. Speaking of beauty, the nice looking lady on the cover of this issue and in
the photo below is Hillery Tobias, wife of Chris Tobias you will be seeing a lot of in this and future journals. He was featured in the
premiere issue. The couple currently reside in Alaska. Chis has contributed more to the journal than anyone, including me. By
the way, a third member of the Tobias family will be arriving soon, so it won't be long before we will be featuring another Tobias
fishing expert.
Hillery Tobias with a nice Dolly Varden