Catching Coho Salmon, also known as Silver Salmon, is a great way to spend your time at Joy’s Kenai River Cabins.

Alaska State Record Coho (Silver) Salmon

Fisherman with Silver Salmon caught on the Kenai RiverThe State record Silver Salmon is 26 lb 11 oz caught in Sitka last summer. Adults usually weigh 8 to 12 lb and are 24 to 30 inches long. Adults in salt water or newly returning to fresh water are bright silver with small black spots on the back and on the upper lobe of the tail fin. Spawning adults of both sexes have dark backs and heads with maroon to reddish sides.
When hooked, an ocean-fresh Silver or Coho Salmon does not merely fight, it explodes from the river showering water in every direction, jumping, cartwheeling, and tail-walking across the river’s surface. Be ready because Silvers will switch things up in the middle of the fight with lightning-quick bursts of underwater speed. As the Silver gradually tires, and you lead the spirited fighter toward the net, watch out for last-effort fireworks. A suddenly ballistic Silver Salmon on a short line can easily break free unless you give line and immediately let the fish make one more run.

How to fish for Silver Salmon on the Kenai River Silver

Fishing gear on most chartered fishing trips is provided by the guides. They have the boots, waders, and fishing poles set up to catch fish. Check out our What to Bring information.

Here’s how I fish the Kenai River for Silvers

My personal choice is an eight-foot ugly stick with a sturdy spinning reel. I use a 30 lb test line. I put three .3o oz pressure lead weights about 18 inches from the hook, using a 20 to 15-pound test line as a leader then I put a red single barbless hook to add a little color like a pink salmon egg bead or a red piece of yarn to hide the hook. The trick is to get your rig on the bottom of the river and your hook bouncing off the rocks. I fish about three feet from the bank in about two feet of water. another way I enjoy fishing for Silvers is with a bobber and cured eggs.

What’s it like on the Kenai in the summer?

Daylight is constant during June and July. The sun rises at about 4 AM in the morning and then the sun sets at about midnight. It seems that it never gets dark enough to really see the stars before the sun is coming up again. This gives you adequate daylight to fish Silver Salmon to your heart’s content.

Alaska Wild Logo
Mountain Patrol
Alaska Native Forest