Silver salmon fishing heating up

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2001

No matter where you go this weekend, go prepared for silver salmon. These feisty acrobats seem to be everywhere, and their runs are peaking.

Kenai River

The Kenai remains in good fishing condition, and tremendous silver fishing continued this past week. Guides report going out with four anglers at 6 a.m. and limiting before 8.

The best silver fishing to date has been in the lower river, downstream from Soldotna, but silvers are now being caught throughout the river system. Anglers have been catching fish on spinners, plugs, spoons and cured salmon roe. Best of all, the river hasn't been crowded.

Rainbow trout and Dolly Varden fishing continues to be good in the upper Kenai (between Skilak and Kenai lakes) and the first 10 miles of the river downstream from Skilak lake. These fish are feeding on "loose" salmon eggs, so try drifting egg imitations along the bottom.

Russian River

Fishing for sockeye salmon at the Russian River and the fly-fishing-only area of the Kenai has been only fair to poor. Sockeye fishing ends Monday.

The area on the Kenai River open to fishing for sockeye is the "fly-fishing-only" area, 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.

A few silvers were caught this past week in the "fly-fishing-only" area, and this fishing should steadily improve over the next week or so. Be sure you understand the regulations before fishing this area and the Russian River drainage.

Kasilof River

Dean Swerin, of Adventures Northwest Guide Service, said silver fishing on the Kasilof turned on about Tuesday, when the tides started building again.

"A couple days ago, they started boiling in," he said Thursday. It's been good."

The Kenai River has had such good silver fishing this year that few anglers are fishing the Kasilof, Swerin said.

"It's been quiet," he said.

Lower Peninsula Streams

Good silver fishing is reported at the mouth of the Anchor River. This run usually peaks around Aug. 20, but silvers should be available through Labor Day. Next week's high tides should bring in some silvers, especially if it rains. Silvers like to migrate upstream when rivers are cooling and rising.

Dolly Varden and pink salmon continue to enter the Anchor and Ninilchik rivers and Deep Creek in good numbers. Rainbow/steelhead trout may not be retained in these streams.

Deep Creek-Anchor Point Marine

In Central Cook Inlet, halibut fishing has been only fair off Deep Creek. According to Fish and Game, the halibut seem to have moved south, and many boats are now fishing off Anchor Point.

"Halibut fishing is still good," said Jodi Evers, at Deep Creek Sport Shop, in Ninilchik. "The boats are just having to run a little farther (down the inlet). People are still catching their limits."

Homer-Kachemak Bay

The Homer office of the Department of Fish and Game reports that halibut fishing is good, with the best fishing outside Kachemak Bay, around the Elizabeth and Chugach islands, and that silver fishing is "great" around Elizabeth Island.

Feeder king fishing has been "good" near Bluff Point.

A good series of minus tides runs through this weekend. If you plan to rake up some littleneck and butter clams on the south side of Kachemak Bay, be sure to take bug repellent.

Fishing at the Homer Spit Fishing Lagoon for the second run of king salmon is improving, and silvers are showing up in fair numbers.

Resurrection Bay/

Gulf of Alaska

Halibut, lingcod and rockfish fishing has been excellent all along the North Gulf Coast.

Captain Andy Mezirow, of Crackerjack Charters, in Seward, said "Fishing has been stellar." Early this week, he reported a "savage bite" outside Resurrection Bay.

Some of the hottest silver fishing has been in the bays east of Resurrection Bay. If you're fishing for a derby winner, remember that this area is outside the derby boundary.

Also, remember that the regulations for lingcod and non-pelagic rockfish are more restrictive in Resurrection Bay than outside the bay. For example, you can't fish for any species of fish in the bay if you possess a lingcod, even though it was legally taken outside the bay.

You can, however, stop and fish in the bay if you possess halibut and pelagic rockfish, such as black rockfish.

The Seward Silver Salmon Derby, which began Aug. 11, ends Sunday at noon. For derby information, contact the Seward Chamber of Commerce at (907) 224-8051 or visit the chamber's Web site at

Silvers were being caught throughout Resurrection Bay, this week. Fishing from the beach should be good this weekend.

Peninsula Lakes

Trout fishing in peninsula lakes has been good and should improve as the water cools along with fall air temperatures. 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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