Silver Salmon Fishing in Alaska
Silver Salmon are also known as "Coho Salmon" and are probably the most sought after species by fly anglers, and why not? – they are the most acrobatic of all Pacific salmon species. Most silvers spend the first few moments after the hook up in the air, and who does not like to see that? They will chase down a fly or lure longer and faster than any other species out there. Silver salmon average about 8 – 10 pounds with larger ones in the high teens in the river system fished by Angler’s Alibi guests. So, while they are not the largest salmon, what they do in their fight is what makes them the top sought after species in Alaska.
When We Fish for Silver Salmon
The peak fishing season for silver salmon on the Alagnak River occurs any time in the month of August, with some peak days still in September. Several factors such as weather, ocean conditions, and river temperatures affect the run and the “bite” with the fish that are in the river. Our best silver salmon fishing occurs on windy, overcast days, preferably with SW blows – so the weather may not be the best, but the fishing is! This weather seems to not only bring in massive quantities of new silvers, but also ignites the existing silvers in the river to be much more aggressive.
Suggested Fishing Gear
Silver salmon are targeted on both fly and spinning gear. At Angler’s Alibi, we utilize whatever the guests want to in order to maximize our catch. With spinning gear, we use jigs, spoons, and spinners in pink, silver, orange, and blue. With our fly rods, we like to use 8 to 9 wt. single hand rods with an intermediate sink tip in most situations. Silvers are known to hit top-water patterns so it is a good idea to have a floating line in addition to the sink tip lines. If throwing a Spey rod, we like to use 7 or 8 wt. rods with intermediate tips or floating heads on Skagit type lines due to weighted flies or highly wind affected top water patterns.
Silver Salmon Fly Patterns
There are all kinds of silver salmon patterns, but what is important to remember is that Silver Salmon prefer to hold in deeper slower water along current seams, and along river banks outside of the main current, especially along weed beds – my favorite term used for this is “frog water”. It is possible to also catch pike in some areas while targeting silver salmon. Weighted flies with flash, and bright color in pink, purple, orange, and silver are the ticket.
These are a variety of great Silver Salmon fly patterns for silvers on the Alagnak River. We fish these flies, or variations of them, in different colors. Pink tends to fish best, but Silvers can get picky at times; this is when we try out color and size variations. These flies can all be found at Alaska Fly Fishing Goods – but please note that Angler’s Alibi supplies all flies and tackle at no extra charge.