There's one thing we used to say about Alaska Fishing,
It's like Dancing, You gotta get down baby!!
The only fish you really are going to get up are the silvers and only in certain situations when they are just milling around in the backwaters. If lead isn't your thing, use tips to get down, but these fish hug the bottom in most situations. Weight all your subsurface flies with beads or wrap and you'll stay in the zone more. It's just a different mentality from Atlantics.