Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion  A boat is enveloped by fog as it makes its way slowly up the Kenai River on Monday August 24, 2015 near Kenai, Alaska. Silver fishing has drawn crowds of anglers to the river since mid-August and will likely continue to do so through mid-September, though the river presents good silver fishing opportunity through late fall.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion A boat is enveloped by fog as it makes its way slowly up the Kenai River on Monday August 24, 2015 near Kenai, Alaska. Silver fishing has drawn crowds of anglers to the river since mid-August and will likely continue to do so through mid-September, though the river presents good silver fishing opportunity through late fall.

Options abound for silver salmon anglers

  • By Rashah McChesney
  • Wednesday, August 26, 2015 8:42pm
  • News

The visual simplicity of a foggy early morning fishing trip on the Kenai River is contradicted by the aural complexity of the whining of dozens of fishing boats taking anglers to the favorite fishing holes for silver salmon. Guides say fishing has picked up in recent weeks and September’s promise of a run of larger silvers looms.

While the season started slow, it has steadily picked up since mid-August said guide Eric Loomis of Eric Loomis Fishing Alaska.

He said silvers have been biting on both the Kenai and the Kasilof rivers, though he has focused on the Kenai River in recent days because it’s closer to his business and the fishing has been good.

Both rivers will see a lull in the run at the end of August and beginning of September, but fishing will again pickup on the Kenai River in September.

Not so for the Kasilof, Loomis said.

“The Kasilof never does kind of pick back up again,” he said.

While the Kenai River’s silver fishery will continue for months, effective silver fishing on the Kasilof is slowed dramatically after Sept. 15 when the fishery moves to no-bait as a way to protect steelhead.

Capt. Mark Ledden, of Kasilof River Guides, says he typically stops guiding for the season when the fishery loses bait. But, until then, Ledden said the Kasilof River is a completely different fishing experience than the Kenai River.

“The drift boat experience is quiet,” he said. “There’s not as much traffic over there, especially with the Kenai being so good.”

The river also forces anglers to be patient.

“Without the ability to run back up to different holes, you kind of have to wait and see about the hole you’re on,” he said. “You can’t follow the fish back up once they go.”

While anglers can be seen fishing for silvers from shore on both rivers — typically from the Crooked Creek Campground on the Kasilof River or Centennial Park on the Kenai River — both Ledden had Loomis suggested springing for a guided trip.

On the Kenai, Loomis said the silver salmon run spreads out along the river and being limited to one hole or one portion of the river could make or break a day of fishing.

“Right now, it’s good on the lower river. The middle stuff above the bridge has been kind of slow and it’s just barely starting to pick up at Bings (Landing) where, if you work you can get your limit, but it’s like an all-day deal to get your limit,” he said. “You need to be able to move to follow the fish.”

Reach Rashah McChesney at rashah.mcchesney@peninsulaclarion.com or follow her on Twitter @litmuslens.

Tight Lines is published weekly from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and on the third Thursday of the month from October through April. Share comments at tightlines@peninsulaclarion.com.

Clarion file photo In this June 3, 2009 file photo, anglers work the Kasilof River from a drift boat.

Clarion file photo In this June 3, 2009 file photo, anglers work the Kasilof River from a drift boat.

More in News

The Alaska State Capitol is seen in Juneau, Alaska, in 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Supreme Court rules against forward funding for education, confirms limit on legislative power

Setting multi-year budgets in Alaska requires cash on hand, justices said

Sarah Palin speaks at a July 11 Save America Rally featuring former President Donald Trump at Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
What to watch: Cheney in trouble; Palin eyes comeback

Sarah Palin jumped on a vacancy in the state’s congressional delegation as a potential springboard back into elected office

Assembly members participate during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly to revisit gravel pit legislation

A proposed ordinance would overhaul borough code addressing material site permits

Campaign signs decorate the outside of Paradisos Restaurant on Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Election 2022: Where, how, when to vote

Polls open at 7 a.m. Tuesday

As measured by the CDC, dispensing rate reflects the number of prescriptions dispensed per 100 persons per year. While the United States’ dispensing rate peaked at 81.3 in 2012, the Kenai Peninsula’s rate was 100 or higher every year between 2001 and 2015. Graphic by Ashlyn O’Hara.
Borough creates grant program to distribute opioid settlement funds

The Kenai Peninsula Borough will offer hundreds of thousands of dollars in… Continue reading

Alaska Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer speaks during a press conference announcing the administration’s push for changes to the state’s election system on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021, in Anchorage, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Kevin Goodman, State of Alaska)
Just 2 Alaska lieutenant governor candidates say 2020 presidential vote was fair

Alaska’s lieutenant governor will oversee the 2024 presidential election

Kenai Peninsula School District Superintendent Clayton Holland stand near the entrance to the district’s Soldotna offices on Thursday, March 17, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Academics, staff recruitment among district priorities for upcoming school year

The superintendent is ready to see KPBSD return to the district’s pre-COVID-19 academic performance

Raymond Bradbury preserves his salmon while dipnetting in the mouth of the Kenai River on Saturday, July 10, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion file)
Personal use harvest reports due Monday

Northern Kenai fishing report

Evelyn Cooley competes in the barrel race at the Kenai Peninsula Fair on Aug. 12, 2022, in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Music, magic, daredevils and pigs

Kenai Peninsula Fair brings an assortment of activities to Ninilchik

Most Read