Reeling ‘Em In: Silver action is picking up in Anchor River

Varney reports on fishing

The silver run in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon has been pretty close to a languishing yawn this season. Anyone with the basic observation skills of a Dollar Store garden gnome couldn’t help but notice that sustained coho catches were somewhat sporadic, with most of the take downs occurring during the tidal flows through the entrance channel. The coup de gras came when the gill nets dropped and the lagoon became as exciting as bogus cheers from the meme fans of a televised boxing match. We’re talking serious snoozer city.

It’s amazing how the seasons fluctuate. Back in 2014, the action was so ripping hot that line flingers with the skill sets of railroad ties were getting more takedowns than contestants in a World Wrestling Entertainment Summer Slam. Not so much this time around, but back then, the lagoon nearly became an elbow-to-elbow piscatorian circus, much to the chagrin and peevish discomfort of seasoned farts such as our small, land based, fishing crew.

Since Turk, Willie and I granted congested angling conditions the same status as an eminent apocalypse or having Alaska landscapes tattooed of on the soles our feet, we opted to fish just on weekdays during the principal glimmer of dawn. Thus, we had the lagoon pretty much to ourselves when the coho became morning-grouch hungry and nasty strikers as the curtain of darkness slowly rose from the mountain crests lighting the bay with a zirconium hue.

Hopefully, next year’s run will spawn another 2014-like memory. Until then, the good news is that the river fishing has picked up and there are reports of more silvers invading the freshwater streams just itching for high flying, back flipping duels.

It’s time now to take a look at the fishing report for the week of Aug. 25 – 31.

Freshwater Fishing


The Anchor river level has gone down and is running clear. Just as we had hoped, the high tides have brought in a nice batch of silvers and they are an energetic group.

A couple of friends of mine reported hits and haul-ins on roe, red bell spinners and one of my Z-Rays that they borrowed using a moose hindquarter as collateral.

Add to that the reports of steelhead being tangled with and we can conclude that the party just might be on.

Oh yeah, the pinks are still bouncing around the Anchor trying to figure out why they are there in the first place, but dips are not being overwhelmingly obnoxious.

Coho fishing has been pretty fair at times and continues to improve on the Deep Creek and Ninilchik rivers. Again, early casting with roe clusters suspended under a bobber is doing the trick along with flashy spinners, if the eggs start to bore them.

Anchor River coho salmon counts are now on the Fish Counts website.

On Aug. 24, 20 fish passed through for a total of 703, so go get ‘em.

Dolly Varden

Dolly fishing on the lower Kenai Peninsula roadside streams including the Anchor River has been poor to fair. Many of the Anchor dollies have scooted up river, but the hangers-on are still suckers for bead presentations along with small spinners and spoons, and flies.

Saltwater Fishing


Good halibut fishing was reported in various offshore locations even with the ripping tides, and catches included some slabs that must have taken a backup crane to land when the tides were on fire. If you get a chance, scope out some of the charters Facebook pages. There are hold-fillers shown there that will tempt you to put in a call and go nail some of those hunks with a guide who knows where they lurk.

If you don’t already have a preference, there are a lot of fine and reputable charters available in Homer, Anchor Point and Ninilchik.


King trolling gained a bit of strength once more in locations near the mouth of Kachemak Bay. The best results were garnered trolling with herring behind a flasher. Spoons were also working well.

Trolling for silvers has picked up somewhat, but is still behind the curve in Kachemak Bay and Cook Inlet. The best coho fishing has been at the mouth of Cook Inlet near Point Adam and along the Chugach Islands.

Silver run in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon has been given Taps, but there should be a few dawdling stragglers that could provide a thrill for those of you with the patience of a geoduck clam.

To check out what’s happening in the Northern Area fishing climes, click on the following link where you’ll find their latest report:

Please review the Emergency Orders and Advisory Announcements below in their entirety before heading out on your next fishing trip.

Emergency Orders

Emergency Order 2-RCL-7-03-20 and 2-RCL-7-04-20 closed all eastside Cook Inlet beaches to clamming for all species from the mouth of the Kenai River to the southernmost tip of the Homer Spit in 2020.

Until our final fishing report for the season, next week …

Nick can be reached at if he isn’t at the Anchor trying to keep thug pinks from stealing his next-to-last Z-Ray.

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