So far, this year's silver salmon fishing has been an angler's dream, and the best may be yet to come.
The Kenai, in near-perfect fishing condition, opened for silvers Saturday, and the fishing has been good ever since. Almost everyone has been bringing in a two-fish limit, and not taking much time doing it.
The hot bite, as usual with silvers in the Kenai, is in the early morning, but a fair bite can occur most any time of day. With the river as clear and low as it is, spinners, plugs, spoons and cured salmon roe have all been catching fish.
Rainbow trout and Dolly Varden fishing have been good, both in the upper Kenai (between Skilak and Kenai lakes) and the first 10 miles of the river downstream from Skilak Lake. Try drifting salmon egg imitations along the bottom.
Fishing for sockeyes at the Russian River and the fly-fishing-only area of the Kenai has improved since last week. Both streams were in excellent condition Thursday, and are expected to remain that way through the coming weekend. Some reds are starting to take on their spawning colors, but many are bright. The "combat" fishing area near the confluence was only at about one-half capacity at midweek.
The area on the Kenai River open to fishing for sockeye is from the powerline crossing, about 1,800 yards downstream of the ferry, upstream to markers just above the confluence of the Russian and Kenai rivers. The Russian River is open from its mouth, upstream to markers 600 yards below the falls. The remainder of the Kenai River drainage is closed to fishing for sockeye salmon.
Silver fishing should improve soon, according to Jack Holister, at Cohoe Cove Campground.
"A few drift boats have been catching silvers," he said. "It will probably improve by this weekend (Aug. 11 and 12).
Lower Peninsula Streams
Silver fishing has been good in the Anchor River, and a few steelhead are starting to show up. Be certain you know the difference between silvers and steelhead, as all steelhead caught must be immediately released.
Pink salmon and Dolly Varden continue to enter the Anchor and Ninilchik rivers and Deep Creek in fair numbers. All three of these streams are running low and clear.
Deep Creek-Anchor Point Marine
Nice catches of halibut are still coming into the beaches, according to all reports. The current series of tides will make it easy to keep bait on the bottom.
Some anglers have been catching lots of Pacific cod while fishing for halibut. While these are often used for bait, they are excellent eating and there is no bag limit. The small worms in some fish can be easily removed by the tip of a fillet knife when the fish is filleted.
The fish should be bled when caught, and put on ice as soon as possible. The fillets are pure white. In local stores, they usually sell for $3.99 a pound.
Excellent halibut fishing can be found outside Kachemak Bay, in lower Cook Inlet. Many boats are coming back to Homer with silvers aboard, caught either intentionally or while fishing for halibut. You might want to ask about a "combo" trip -- halibut and silvers.
Fishing for feeder kings has improved. The best success is trolling herring or hootchies with downriggers.
Bank anglers fishing at the Homer enhancement lagoon this past week were catching silvers and an occasional king.
Resurrection Bay/ Gulf of Alaska
Halibut fishing continues to be good, but silvers are generating most of the excitement. Christy Berg, at Rod 'N Real Fishing Charters, said silver fishing is hot, with most of the action in the outer bay.
"It's about an hour run to get there," Berg said. "We've been limiting people -- six fish -- and taking two trips per day."
Pony Cove and Day Harbor have been producing most of the catches. The fish are feeding, and not very particular about how a herring or hootchie is presented. Most anglers are either mooching or trolling.
If hot silver fishing isn't enough excitement, enter the 46th annual Seward Silver Salmon Derby. It opens at 6 a.m. Saturday and runs through Aug. 19, at noon. This year, lucky anglers will win $100,000 in cash and other prizes. Tickets are $10 per day or $35 for the season.
Rainbow trout fishing in lakes is improving. The Department of Fish and Game has a brochure containing maps that show how to access stocked lakes. For a free copy, stop by the Soldotna office, at 43961 Kalifornsky Beach Road.
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