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Thread: Friendly Silver Advice??

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    Member Firefisher's Avatar
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    Default Friendly Silver Advice??

    Guys, I'm looking for some advice on catching silvers. My wife and I save up all year to get up to Alaska (from Florida). What started off three years ago as a "trip of a lifetime" has turned into our yearly vacation, and a passion, and here we are on our third year. We've done the Russian, and fished the Kenai in Soldotna for reds, but we're hoping to get into some silvers this year. I've done a lot of reading on-line, trying to avoid bombarding the forum, but it's coming down to crunch time, and all the info I've found is so vague..."silver salmon are aggressive feeders and highly acrobatic when hooked..." So here I am, looking for you guys to hold my hand along the way if you will. Questions: will they be pushing up the river in hoards like the reds on the edges of the rivers in knee deep water, or scattered throughout? Will I be casting out into the middle of the Kenai for them? Am I sticking to the mouths of rivers at incoming tide? We'll be on the KP from 8/10 through 8/24. We plan on hitting Seward and Homer and anything and everything in between. I thank you profusely for your help guys, and sorry for the long read.

  2. #2

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    Where to start. My wife and I started like you 12 years ago. We fell in love with Silvers. Your timing should be good. Do you spin, bait or fly fish? IMO I think you need to find "Happy fish". Crowds don't work so well with Silvers. First and last light work well for Silvers. Think about a fly out or specific destination for Silvers. Consider a guide for a day of fishing the way you prefer for Silvers. We started on the K. P. Moved to Kodiak, then to Southeast to find "Happy fish". The journey has been a great one. The type of fishing you want to do will somewhat determine where you go. Check the regs. Flies, spinners or bait?

  3. #3
    Member Sierra Dragon's Avatar
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    And don't forget the Mat-su valley. Silver fishing on Little-su Eklutna, Ship, and the parks streams is as good if not better than KP.As for equipment think downsizing the king tackle a bit and your good to go. Silvers run along the banks like the reds and will strike at spinners, flies, roe and shrimp. The techniques will change slightly at each drainage so be prepared to be flexible.Dawn or dusk are the best times, and as said previous they don't like crowds.

  4. #4

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    The time you are here should see pretty decent numbers of silvers entering the streams down on the southern end of the peninsula. My experience has been that these are usually best during low-light periods and if you can hit an incoming tide that coincides with a low-light period, that is probably the best. Don't be afraid to put on the waders and walk away from the crowds too. I had a nice long stretch of the Anchor River all to myself this spring because I was willing to walk a ways to get away from the 20+ people all standing next to each other in the first hole the trail took them to. In one evening at that hole I caught (and released) a nice steelhead and a 22 lb king. Eggs work well, but I prefer the standard spinners and flies to avoid having to deal with the mess. Good luck.

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    Member Firefisher's Avatar
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    Thank's guys. I'm bringing spinning rods and a 5 and 9 weight fly rod. I've flossed reds with the 9 weight, but that hardly constitutes flyfishing, imo. The 5 is for rainbows (got a 22" on the Russian last year -highlight of my trip), although I've seen pictures of some 'bows up that are worthy of the 9 weight, wow! I'd love to actually make some casts to silvers, and strip a fly in to get a strike. I think I'm pretty good for lures and flies-vibrax, pixies, egg sucking leeches, wooly buggers. Like any of you married guys know, we will have a better time on the water if my wife's drag is screaming, so I'm pretty much open to whatever gets the bite. We're in an RV, so we're open to anything and anywhere, and quiet, happy water sounds just like what we're looking for. By that, do you mean pools, and slow water?

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    Member Sierra Dragon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefisher View Post
    We're in an RV, so we're open to anything and anywhere, and quiet, happy water sounds just like what we're looking for. By that, do you mean pools, and slow water?
    No he's refering to finding locations where there are less than 25 people fishing within sight of you at any given time. Silvers get spooky and stop biting when there are loads of people flipping shoulder to shoulder like you see when fishing for reds. Silvers come into pretty much every river so there are pleanty of locations to try. Unfortunately the more highway accessable locations do attract large crowds quickly and so when silver fishing it's definately a case of the early bird getting the fish. dawn comes early here. (i.e 3:30 or 4:00 am) and your best chance is to set up on a good location before first light and wait for the fish to come to you. the early hour weeds out all the casual fisherpeople and most of the action will be before the sleeping in crowd show up to spook the bite off. (sleepin-in crowd meaning people who set their alarms for 6 am. )

    you are looking for spaces where the fish hold up and pause on thier jouney upstream. pools, gravel bars, eddies behind rocks the usual locations are all good.

    as to what to use depends on the location and type of water, the three lure types, spinners, bait and flies all have times when they are the best to use and I am by no means the expert. cloudier, slower the water tends to favor bait, clearer water favors flies, spinners follow the whole range depending on color, type and how you are using them. watch what your neighbors are doing is a good start but be prepared to buck the trend if there isn't much action going on.

    i.e. one day at the Tailrace I watched a whole pile of fisher people tossing and drifting eggs for silvers with limited sucess. One older grandmother swapped her bait to shrimp and was limited out within 15 minutes while the rest of us watched in envy.

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Silvers are much more active in the early morning (like 4am early). Spinners, eggs and various streamers seem to work the best for me. I like the Vibrax line of spinners in a #3 or #4 (get an assortment of colors...pink or chartreuse bodies if you need suggestions). Cast directly across the creek or slightly upstream and let the spinner flutter as the current takes it down. Reel slowly to keep the blade spinning and just off the bottom. Wait for it to just stop or if you feel the line go slack (like the spinner quit spinning) then set it! Usually they will hit as the lure starts swinging out downstream of your position. Cast up under overhanging cover if possible (very effective downstream on the Little Su).

    Shoot me a PM when you get here and I might be able to sneak away and take you for a run on the LS.
    AKmud
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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    If you really want to get into arm ripping silvers you might look at changing your itinerary to include Valdez towards the end of your trip. If the fish are not in super close you may want to rent a boat, but usually towards the end of your trip you can get them from shore with spinners.

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    Member Firefisher's Avatar
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    your best chance is to set up on a good location before first light and wait for the fish to come to you. the early hour weeds out all the casual fisherpeople and most of the action will be before the sleeping in crowd show up to spook the bite off. (sleepin-in crowd meaning people who set their alarms for 6 am. )

    Looks like my wife won't be catching any silvers ! I thank you for your input, and anything else you might have. Any tips for picking them up in salt?

  10. #10
    Member rhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sierra Dragon View Post
    dawn comes early here. (i.e 3:30 or 4:00 am) and your best chance is to set up on a good location before first light and wait for the fish to come to you. the early hour weeds out all the casual fisherpeople and most of the action will be before the sleeping in crowd show up to spook the bite off. (sleepin-in crowd meaning people who set their alarms for 6 am. )
    I brought the wife and son last year, motorhomed the parks highway. I was limited out every day before they got out of bed, the last day I made my son get up (teenager) at 4am (that was a treat), we both limited out by 6am.

    It makes for the perfect afternoon nap... or after breakfast nap... or after early fishing nap. It's awesome!

    Have fun!

  11. #11

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    We will be on the KP in a motor home the same time you are. Our 14th trip in 11 years. Like you said it's a Passion. All the advice below is great. You might consider going north up the Parks highway your first week. Montana, Willow, Goose creeks can offer some really good Silver fishing. Also Chums, they love flies. Maybe a day up to Clear Creek on a day drop off. Mahays in Talkeetna will drop you and pick you up. Then head down the KP. Try to fish early, late and two hours before and after high tide. Big tides can bring in new fish. The only luck I have had in Salt was after we got our Halibut on a charter. Some of our best days for Silvers were on a flyout for a day. They can fly you out and drop you off for a day. A couple times we have found ourselves, by ourselves with a couple hundred Happy Silvers. Some of my all time favorite fly fishing. Natron Air, High Adventure Air in Soldotna are both good. Hope you have a great trip. Post a report when you get back.

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    Member Firefisher's Avatar
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    Thanks MT. We may head up to Montana for the first day or two. We did it two tears ago and crushed the pinks. The wife loved it-nice campground with immediate access. It was our first salmon experience, so we really had a blast. Never saw any silvers, hopefully they'll be there around 8/10. when are you making your trip?

  13. #13

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    We will be there the 13th thru the 20th. If you go to Montana look for Salmon with black tails. Those are silvers. They will be in among the Chums and Pinks. Try Goose creek. It is only about 4miles from Montana. Can be a blast for Chums and Silvers.When you head down the KP try the Anchor, Deep Creek and Ninilchik close to the salt. Again a couple hours before and after the tide. When Silvers are real close to the salt they can be very aggressive. Best advice I can give you is to make sure you get your fly down to them. You can drift a foot over them all day and never catch one. Good luck. Make sure your wife gets into them and you will be going every year. I mean, if she real wants to go you should take her just to keep her happy. Have a great trip!!!

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    Member Firefisher's Avatar
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    MT, you mentioned heading north of Anchorage in the beginning part of our trip, and to the KP later. Is that advice based on driving logistics, or your experience with timing the runs? I'm going to start another thread with that thought, and hopefully get a couple of bites on it. I've been looking into the Little Susitna in that same area, and read a lot of mentions of it on the forum. So here it goes; Little Su, Montana, Willow, Goose. Got it. I think...

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    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTguy View Post
    We will be there the 13th thru the 20th. If you go to Montana look for Salmon with black tails. Those are silvers. They will be in among the Chums and Pinks. Try Goose creek. It is only about 4miles from Montana. Can be a blast for Chums and Silvers.When you head down the KP try the Anchor, Deep Creek and Ninilchik close to the salt. Again a couple hours before and after the tide. When Silvers are real close to the salt they can be very aggressive. Best advice I can give you is to make sure you get your fly down to them. You can drift a foot over them all day and never catch one. Good luck. Make sure your wife gets into them and you will be going every year. I mean, if she real wants to go you should take her just to keep her happy. Have a great trip!!!
    This MTguy only has 36 posts and every one of them is spot on w/ good knowledgeable advice. He's definitely a keeper!





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  16. #16
    Member Firefisher's Avatar
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    Agreed. Exactly the type of help I've been looking for. I owe that guy a beer (or 12) .

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    Thanks for the kind words full bush. My wife and I fell in love with Alaska the first time we were there. friendly Alaskans showed us "bright sockeyes" when we couldn't figure out why people would want to catch the red ones. Stan at the Anchor Angler became a friend and helped us on our way to catching Silvers on flys. We were grateful for the help we got. Always will help if we can, if someone asks. I hope Firefisher and his wife have many great trips together. Firefisher, something to look forward to: Kodiak, Yakutat and Valdez. Good luck

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    Member Firefisher's Avatar
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    Tight lines and sore arms, MTguy!

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    Hi guys. I just moved to Alaska in June. My kids have been here for two weeks and they head back to the lower 48 this Thursday. We hit Resurrection Creek down by Hope a couple of weeks ago and caught 8 pinks. I would like to take them to one of the Parks streams where they can catch some more fish, hopefully a couple of Silvers. I've read the posts about Montana, Goose, and Willow Creeks. I know where the creeks are but I'm not familiar with where to go once we get there. Any advice would be much appreciated. BTW, we're not opposed to getting up early. Thanks so much.

  20. #20

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    Yellowstone - there is a great hole on Montana creek. Park on the right after you cross the bridge over Montana creek. Walk to the creek, the hole is up stream about 100 yards. From there you just work your way down to the mouth down stream. Should be Pinks, Chums and Silvers. Have a good time.

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