The Arctic char is a cold-water fish closely related to both salmon and lake trout and has many similarities to both species. It is of the Salmonidae family which also includes salmon, trout, grayling and more. Arctic char is circumpolar in its distribution and can be found in alpine lakes, subarctic, and arctic waters including, Canada, Alaska, Russia, Iceland and Greenland.
Despite what their name may suggest, sea run Arctic char actually spends most of its time in freshwater lakes or rivers. They only enter the sea during a short period of time, usually between May and July, to feed before returning to the river to start the spawning process. While in the ocean Arctic char has a silvery color. Once they enter the river to spawn their colors change drastically. Males take on a strong red color on their bellies and jaw lines and develop kypes, or hooked jaws. Females keep a more silvery color throughout their stay in the river.
On Greenland’s west coast great numbers of sea run Arctic char run up the rivers between July and September, preparing for the spawning process. The number and size of the fish that returns to each river varies greatly. Kangia river where we at Solid Adventures operate our lodge, is known for the exceptional amount of fish returning every year. What makes Kangia unique and such a popular fly fishing destination however, is not only the number of fish and the spectacular scenery surrounding the river, but more so the chance to catch a really big sea run Arctic char. Fish up to 9 kg has been caught in this river, making it stand out among most other sea run arctic char rivers in Greenland and the rest of the world.