Silver Salmon, or Coho Salmon
The silvers are no doubt the most popular species to target on the fly. The typical silver salmon will jump several times immediately after being hooked, changing directions and often creating havoc with the angler that is trying to get the fish under control. After this initial blast of energy, if the angler still has the silver on the line, the fight will continue for quite a while with even more jumps possible. This is why silver or coho salmon are the most preferred species in Alaska on the fly.
Our favorite flies for targeting silver salmon are pink in color, and all have a weighted head. Some amazing patterns are the Megawatt from Alaska Signature Flies, the dolly llama in pink/white, and pink string leeches. We use these daily and fish from the boat while drifting, from anchor, or while wading. Silver salmon like to hold on the edges of the river in deeper slower sections or on the edges of bars. Stripping flies once they descend is the best presentation for this species as they are the most aggressive and seem to ignite on a fly that is rapidly departing from their cone of vision.
The peak fishing occurs during the month of August all the way through the first week of September. The peak tides are all related to weather systems. Any time we have a SW wind in the bay with rain, you can count on tides that will bring in larger than average numbers of silvers. Some of the major storm events we have called “silver tsunamis”.
Silvers are my favorite salmon species to target on the fly and if you ever experience one, you will see why!
Check out some great HD footage of Alaska silver salmon fly fishing with Angler’s Alibi!