Aside from bears, no animal represents Alaska better than the salmon. Numbering in the millions, Alaska’s salmon—from birth to death and beyond—feed not only the bears and birds and trout. They feed the forests and the taiga, the broad coastal plains and high mountain lakes. In more ways than we can count, they feed the world. The best part is they feed us as well—not only our bellies, but our souls. They scratch that itch that can only be scratched by big, bright, ocean-going fish born in the shadows of mountains. It doesn’t get much more Alaska than that.
Probably the greatest thing about silver salmon is that they are the least salmon-like of any of their anadromous cousins we might come across in Alaska. Their jaws don’t lock up once they hit freshwater; in fact, something more like the opposite seems to often be the case. Whether they are eating, or curious, or simply being aggressive is beside the point. Toss a fly over a school of migrating silvers—preferably of the pink popping variety—and get ready to watch a dozen fish fight over a hunk of foam like bridesmaids leaping for a bouquet. There’s nothing subtle about it, and that is exactly the point.
PERFECT SETUP | SILVER SALMON
Popping gurglers and jigging streamers for silver salmon in Alaska should be on every angler’s bucket list. Designed with a stout butt section for pulling on larger fish, the R8 CORE 890-4 paired with an ARBOR XL 6/7/8 Reel and RIO Grand WF8F is a perfect setup for Alaskan silver salmon fishing.
There are plenty of reasons to fish for sockeye. They fight harder than most summer steelhead you’ll find, and when paired with a cedar plank and a bed of hot coals make for one of the more pleasing dinners to be found in any backyard. But beyond the straightforward fun and gastric delights, a day fishing for sockeye is also an opportunity to partake in an integral part of Alaska. Sockeye are the fuel that keeps the engine running—from the purse seiners to the tribal fishers, from the fishing lodges to the set netters on beaches of Bristol Bay. We can thank sockeye for all those beefy rainbows, for the char that fight over any fly colored orange, for keeping the bears so full they could care less about you. Without sockeye, places like Bristol Bay, and indeed Alaska itself, would not be possible.
PERFECT SETUP | SOCKEYE
It’s been said that sockeye will fight harder than any summer steelhead you can find of the same size. The R8 CORE 890-4 paired with a TROUT 6/7/8 and RIO Grand WF8F line offers supreme stopping power when these fish decide to head back to the ocean.