Peninsula's change of seasons has a silver lining

Posted: Thursday, September 03, 2009

For all the fishing opportunities available on the Kenai Peninsula, there are a few weeks of the year I've come to cherish the most.

It starts as a whisper in late July, rumors of a few silvers getting caught in the lower Kenai River.

A few weeks later the back sloughs and grassy banks come alive with the slapping of fins and plinking of spinners.

No noise compares however, to the ultimate sound of August, as line peels off the drag of a reel, complimented by the leaping splash of a coho gone airborne.

Kings are impressive by sheer size, and sockeyes fill freezers, but silvers are my true love.

There are few fish I've known that will strike with such ferocity or violence.

I still remember the first silver I hooked, not even knowing what I was fishing for, though knowing they supposedly existed.

I thought I'd hit the mother of all sockeyes, as the fish at the far end of my line charged up stream and down, back flipping and spinning the whole way.

What I suppose makes the fish even more exciting is how one finds them.

With silvers, I'm brought back to a type of fishing I'm more familiar with.

Growing up in a land of lakes and bass, I was always used to taking a boat or canoe to explore new waters, throwing spinners at likely hangouts with the hope of finding a hungry fish.

Now I can do that on a river, and am often rewarded when I make that perfect drop into a little silver hideout to find one waiting.

With August passed, and signs of the coming winter starting to show, we still have plenty of ice-free fishing left.

First and foremost, the second run of silvers is due to show in the Kenai any day. As one could imagine, I'm looking forward to that.

Meanwhile, trout will be gorging themselves on an all-you-can-eat feast of steak and eggs in the upper Kenai and other peninsula rivers.

Area lakes and ponds are the perfect place to be on a serene fall days.

Suffice to say, the fishing opportunities here are far from over.

While the Tight Lines fishing report will be on a winter hiatus, the Clarion will continue to follow the fish, even as the waters ice over and the snow starts to fall.

On the third Thursday of every month, from now through April, a Tight Lines page will print in your Clarion. Expect not only to find out how the fishing's been, but other useful information on subjects like gear care, and creative ways to prepare all the fish stored up in the freezer.

As a final note, I'd like to offer my most sincere thanks to all the guest columnists who helped make this section what it was this year. I truly do appreciate it.

Dante Petri can be reached at

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