Reeling ‘Em In: Starting to see silvers

Now that the silvers are just starting to nose into our local streams, we have received several emails asking for hints as to how to go after them.

That’s a tough call because almost every hard-core stream stalker that I’ve run across over the years has at least a half dozen techniques. A couple of which are top secret crypto while the rest are sharable because you’ll end up looking like a clueless dipstick if you use them.

Here at the Reeling ‘Em In, we appreciate that there are few things more exciting than having a silver slam your setup and go airborne like a jazzed Olympic competitor during a gold medal tumbling run. The overused term “awesome” comes to mind but doesn’t cut it when it comes to a fracas with those river warriors.

Thus, a few basic suggestions and insights to get you started.

First, fish the tides. As they push in so do the fish.

Silvers are notorious for abruptly going on “the bite” which can be swift, chaotic, and short lived.

The dull silver sheen of dawn is a prime time to hunt.

On sunny days, when sol’s rays flood the river, the action tends to slow down quickly. Silvers are spooky and avoid direct sunlight like it’s a grizzly sow with triplets to feed. Target bank overhangs and shaded sections for the lurkers. They also hold in the back eddy swirls behind exposed rocks and obstructions in the river.

Tip: When casting metal, it is important not to stop retrieving until your lure is almost to your boots.

I’ve have had wicked hits just as I was preparing to lift the hook.

A couple of those events involved hefty thugs that struck so viciously and without warning that I came excruciatingly close to requiring a change of waders.

If you are using a fly rod and pursuing fish holding in slower currents, don’t toss your fly and line on top of them. Cast upstream or to side of where you think the fish are holding then start your retrieve as short strips with the occasional pause. Silvers will jet out of a school to chase and pop enticements like bright pink jig flys or flashy spinners. Me? I’m a Z-Ray guy.

Also, it’s always a primo idea to check with your local tackle shop for an insight on what your quarry has the hots for lately and what type of setup you’ll need to score.

It’s an even better idea to check the current regs and emergency orders to make sure the gear you intend to use is legal as well as the lures you’ll be tossing.

Time now to take a look at the fishing report for Aug. 8, 2023.

Freshwater Fishing

Fishing for Dolly Varden on the upper sections of the Anchor River, Deep Creek, and Ninilchik River has been puny to nearly okay with the fish scattered throughout those sections.

Fish the incoming tides for newbie dollies or amble the upper sections of the streams until you locate a pool supporting a dolly convention. Fly fishing gear utilizing beads, streamers, and smolt patterns should fire them up. Spinning? Give size 0 to 2 spinners or small spoons a shot.

Dolly fishing in Bridge Creek Reservoir remains righteous. Nice numbers and catches of small fish are being reported. Casting bait, small lures or spoons have been bringing them to shore.

Although some are showing up, expect pretty lousy fishing for silvers in the roadside streams over the next week. Even though only a small number of coho are nosing around, you might want to practice your casting skills while no one else is watching. If you are going to embarrass yourself, do it when the only other set of eyes near you are in your reflection from the water.

Don’t forget to fish at the mouths of the streams during the incoming tide to welcome the novice and gullible silver river runners.

Saltwater Fishing


Halibut fishing has yet to cool heat in Cook Inlet. If the weather chills it’s attitude, head for the more distant locales where the serious meat lurks and in larger numbers. If things look dicey or you prefer to be able to see the details of

nearby land, drift until you find the fish, throw the hook, drop a chum bag and soak bait.

Then let them come to you.

King Salmon

Trolling for kings has been fair in Kachemak Bay with strike zones scattered throughout the area. Bluff Point and Point Pogibshi remain the best target areas.

Other Saltwater Fishing

China Poot personal use dip net fishery for sockeye rocked along the last week with “limit” being the name of the day. Not much change is forecasted for this coming week.

Pinks rule Tutka Lagoon. Well, not really. With a collective IQ of a briquette, they just swim around in circles slamming into each other until something eats them or they die from boredom.

Silver fishing remains acceptable to good in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon. Salmon egg roe clusters or cut herring suspended under a bobber are still nailing them.

Fish the tides and early morning hours. Note when “the bite” occurs, such as the tide flow, time of day, weather conditions, and how long it lasts. You’ll look cool knowing when to walk away rather than slowly losing the feeling in your butt on a bucket while trying to recall what the limit is on bullheads and miniature Irish Lords.

Coho fishing within Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet has been a mix of successes. Point Pogibshi and the Silver Ridge areas have been the best bets for silvers.

Humpies continue to arrive in unruly mobs in Cook Inlet. Anglers wanting to target them should try floating around from Point Pogibshi to Flat Island. Give them a chance and they’ll probably jump in the boat just to see what’s going on.

During the past week, lingcod anglers have continued to boat them along the outer coast. Use leadhead jigs with a white grubtail for some impressive results.

Looking for some grab bag fishing? The end of the Homer Spit has the good, the bad and the exceptionally ugly waiting for you out there. Running shoes are recommended.

Emergency Orders

Emergency Order 2-RF-7-20-23 reduces the rockfish bag and possession limits in Cook Inlet to three per day and six in possession of which only one per day, two in possession can be nonpelagic.

Emergency Order 2-RS-7-53-23 extended the personal use sockeye salmon dip net fishery in China Poot Creek through Sunday August 13.

Nick can be reached at if he and Jane make it back from a round trip to Soldotna through the traffic and mob swirling around Salmonfest 2023 in Ninilchik. Last year it was like trying to negotiate a slow-motion demolition derby while avoiding a few partiers who were higher than Mount Redoubt and had the reflexes of a three-toed sloths.