Alaska silver salmon are known for their acrobatics on the line and bipolar personality. Some days they strike anything you throw, like a school of piranhas, and compete with one another to get to your lure or fly. Other days they get moody and tight lipped, and it takes a little coaxing to get them to eat. Being prepared with a variety of presentations is the way to go with coho, as switching it up often ignites the bite. Alaska silver salmon are strong, fight hard, and are delicious to eat.
SILVER SALMON — AUGUST, SEPTEMBER, AND OCTOBER
FLY TACKLE: A 7- to 9-weight, 9- to 10-foot rod with matching reel with ample drag is a smart starting point for Alaska silver salmon. Attach a floating line to a 100 yards of backing, and use leader material that is a little heavier, we suggest in the 15- to 25-pound-test range. These fish are toothy and love to take you into the wood. Sink tips work okay, but we find that most silver salmon on the Situk River are laying in places where there is little-to-no current and are typically laying in fairly shallow lies. Weighted streamers work the best with the Dolly Llama being the bread and butter for most Situk coho anglers. Color options are endless, however a solid collection of bright colors (pinks and greens), as well as more subdued colors such as black, white, and olive are also extremely effective. Your local fly shop will likely stock more than a few different patterns that will consistently put silvers in the net.
SPINNING & DRIFT GEAR: 10- to 15-pound spinning rods with a medium action in the 6 1/2- to 7 1/2-foot range will work best. 3000-3500 series reels with 30- to 40-pound-test braided line and 15- to 25-pound-test monofilament leaders are required for these hard and heavy fighting fish. An assortment of lures are known to work and an angler can spend hours and hours trying to decide what to use. Blue Fox Vibrax in sizes 4 and 5 seem to produce the best followed by 3/8- and 1/2-ounce twitching jjgs. Whatever you decide to bring, the best advice is to bring more than you think you’ll need, as the tree-choked Situk is capable of eating its fair share of gear, particularly when casting and retrieving for Alaska silver salmon.