Feb 1st, 2020
Of all the anadromous species – meaning those that are born in freshwater, mature at sea, and return to their natal rivers to spawn – silver salmon are perhaps the most enthusiastic and willing participants for the fly angler. In Alaska, they return to rivers in great numbers, super-charged and strong from their time at sea, and they aggressively chase both wet and dry flies. Once hooked, they put on a show, running across pools, up and downstream, cartwheeling across the surface and making great aerial leaps. On the right days, their abundance and strength can make anglers throw in the towel early due to pure exhaustion. Across Alaska, a handful of destinations are located on prime silver salmon rivers and a well-timed trip can put you in the heart of the run!
Alaska West is a large, luxurious tent camp set in the heart of the lower Kanektok river’s finest fly fishing water. The Kanektok is by all standards a remarkably diverse fishery, perfectly suited to both single-hand and Spey rod anglers. It offers one of Alaska’s best opportunities to target both king salmon and fresh silvers with the fly. High catch-rates, easy wading, and open backcasts are the norm, making this destination a fly angler’s delight.
Rapids Camp Lodge is an easy to reach full service fly-out Alaskan fly fishing lodge with excellent home waters and one of the most diverse and exciting fly fishing programs in Alaska. Seasoned hardcore fly anglers appreciate the wide range of water the lodge frequents. This includes staples like the Brooks, Moraine, Battle Creek and the American River. Rapids Camp also has an excellent coastal program for targeting silver salmon.
Kulik Lodge’s fishing program has two main components. Guided jet boat fishing on their remarkable home river and guided fly-out fishing to a wide range of famous waters in the greater Katmai National Park region. One thing that sets their program apart from others is that guests can make the decision to fly-out onsite without any advance notice. This enables guests to remain agile in light of the prevailing conditions and not be committed to a fly-out packages were the weather to close in. The lodge has jet boats cached in a variety of key systems that are home to rainbow trout, arctic char, grayling, lake trout, pike, and all five species of Pacific salmon.
Located on the shores of Lake Iliamna (Alaska’s largest lake), Rainbow King Lodge is a large, easy to reach luxury operation that has rich history in the region. Rainbow King has an extremely unique fishing program that offers essentially private access to many of the region’s finest streams and rivers – Dream Creek, Southeast Creek, Upper Copper, The Gorge of the Newhalen River, Gibralter, and others that are secured by private leases. The season runs from the second week of June through the last week of September and anglers can target rainbow trout, Arctic char, Arctic grayling and all five species of Pacific salmon.
Located on the extreme northwestern tip of the Alaska Peninsula is one of the most remote sport fishing lodges in Alaska. Hoodoo Sport Fishing Lodge sits on the only privately owned land on the Hoodoo River. Due to its remoteness and limited access, the Hoodoo has remained one of Alaska’s most unspoiled fisheries. Fishing in solitude with minimal competition for prime water is the everyday normal at Hoodoo. Experience one of Alaska’s most robust and wild salmon systems, combined with excellent guides and luxury accommodations to create one of Alaska’s most unique and sought after fly-fishing destinations.
Dierick’s Tsiu River Lodge has been family owned and operated since 1997, and Greg Dierick has been fishing this river since he was a boy. Greg and his father, Ed, built the lodge after forty years of fishing this fantastic system. The Tsiu is a clear, pristine river that is home to a world-class run of silver salmon. The river is shallow and its sandy bottom allows for safe and easy wading. The river banks are mostly clear of vegetation allowing for easy casting situations. Most well-presented flies are eagerly met by the acrobatic silver salmon and most return with sore forearms from catching, not just casting.
You would think that in a state as large and wild as Alaska that finding a truly remote, ultra-scenic location absent of competing anglers would be easy. The fact of the matter is that such places remain rather rare and unique, especially when coupled with their own little world-class fisheries. The aptly named Epic Alaska Wilderness Safari is one of these hidden gems that has it all. Located on a pristine bay at the base of the Alaskan Peninsula and ringed by gorgeous snow-capped mountains, the Sarari camp offers not only a stunning wilderness experience but some of the best fishing for sea bright salmon available.
Please give us a call at 800.552.2729 or send us a message HERE if you’d like to chat more about any of the destinations above!
The tackle used to target silver salmon is not overly complicated, but having the right setup will certainly make the day’s fishing easier. A fast action, 9′ 8-weight is right size fly rod for the job, and any 8-weight sized reel with a reliable, adjustable drag will pair well. Fly line choice is important here and we recommend a floating, integrated shooting head style fly line. These fly lines have short, heavy heads and narrow running lines which allow anglers to quickly and efficiently cast good distances with heavy, weighted flies. To recast these types of fly lines, the angler must be sure to strip back all running line, but as silver salmon prefer quick, long retrieves, the system works well. Tapered leaders of 9′ in 0X to 2X complete the outfit. Working together with our friends at Sage and RIO Products, we’ve put together this customized setup to ensure your success.
• Rod: 9′ 8-weight Sage X (890-4)
• Reel: Sage SPECTRUM MAX 7/8
• Line: RIO Products InTouch OutBound Short WF8F
• Leader: RIO Products Powerflex Plus 9′ 0X
• Tippet: RIO Products Fluoroflex Plus 0X – 2X
Fish Globally and Shop Locally – Find Your Local Fly Shop
Fly Water Travel encourages our clients to support their local fly shop. To find a shop near you, click the link below or give us a call for a recommendation at (800) 552-2729.