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Thread: Lookin' for good color

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    Member brule's Avatar
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    Default Lookin' for good color

    I'm a Wisconsin taxidermist coming to Alaska from 8-10 thru 8-24. I'm looking to catch and bring home some good specimens for my showroom. Where in the salmons spawning run can you expect to find them their most colorful?

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Depends on what type of salmon you are looking for? Pinks would be neat with their humped back, red bodies and green heads. Chums have neat stripes on their sides. The others are less distinct. The challenge is going to be finding a leagle area to harvest spawining salmon. I am sure you can do it but I am not aware of a good spot off the cuff where it is legal.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Pinks would be neat with their humped back, red bodies and green heads.
    LuJon, while pinks do indeed get the humped back, it is sockeye that develop the red bodies and green heads. The body of a pink turns semi-greenish and then quickly develops yellow and white spots where they're literally rotting. Still a cool looking spawning fish with the back, but no red body.

    As for areas to catch them, the Russian River 600 yards below the falls would be an excellent place to target a sockeye in spawning colors. Pinks and chums in spawning colors could be found in any Parks Highway stream (Willow, Sheep, Montana), and you might luck into a silver that is already turning as well.

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    Member akhunter3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    LuJon, while pinks do indeed get the humped back, it is sockeye that develop the red bodies and green heads. The body of a pink turns semi-greenish and then quickly develops yellow and white spots where they're literally rotting. Still a cool looking spawning fish with the back, but no red body.

    As for areas to catch them, the Russian River 600 yards below the falls would be an excellent place to target a sockeye in spawning colors. Pinks and chums in spawning colors could be found in any Parks Highway stream (Willow, Sheep, Montana), and you might luck into a silver that is already turning as well.
    Brian's got it! I've always been able to hook up with a spawing red (or 10) in the Russian. If you head out the last week it's open there always seems to be fewer people.



    Jon
    Nurse by night, Alaska adventurer by day!

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    You should be able to find some colorful silvers during the later portion of your trip. I would look to the parks streams like was previously stated.

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    Member brule's Avatar
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    Thanks alot for all the advice, I will try those areas.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I stand corrected... I usually only fish silvers since I gave up Kings forever ago. I did find reds this year for the first time but they were all bright silver. It would be neat to see a spawning chum mount with the cool tiger stripes. hard fighting fish so the catching would be fun to boot

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    Member MidnightSunRebel's Avatar
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    Default Great spawning fish

    Byers creek on the Parks Hwy. has great brilliant spawning reds and humpies in late August from what i've seen. My favorite campground is there too, the only time it was busy and noisy was on holiday weekends. Rainbows FTW on this creek!

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    Member big_dog60's Avatar
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    I don't quite know the timing of the run, but I know that dollies/char get very colorful as well if you would be interested in those.

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    Member AKRoadkill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brule View Post
    I'm a Wisconsin taxidermist coming to Alaska from 8-10 thru 8-24. I'm looking to catch and bring home some good specimens for my showroom. Where in the salmons spawning run can you expect to find them their most colorful?
    Here's a Byers Creek Red from late August several years ago:

    And a Silver from Delta Clearwater in September:


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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Depends on what type of salmon you are looking for? Pinks would be neat with their humped back, red bodies and green heads. Chums have neat stripes on their sides. The others are less distinct. The challenge is going to be finding a leagle area to harvest spawining salmon. I am sure you can do it but I am not aware of a good spot off the cuff where it is legal.
    Please point out a nice pink salmon mount. I have yet to find one and doubt that I will...

    A red in it's prime spawning colors would look the best.

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