Fly Fishing for Coho Salmon (Silver Salmon) Print
Brian O'Keefe Photo

Meet The Fish: Silver Salmon

The "fall prince" of salmon, cohos are often referred to as "Silvers" for their distinct chrome-plated appearance when fresh from the sea. These hard-fighting salmon are available from July to November with most runs peaking in September, but in some river systems coho adults may be present for 10 months out of the year! Cohos vary wildly in size, with adults ranging from 3-25 lbs and averaging 7-12lbs. From the tide rips of the open ocean to the smallest tributaries, the coho is a ready and willing dance partner for the fly angler. Coho are available in all regions of the state, with Southeast, Kodiak, Bristol Bay, and the Kenai Peninsula receiving the largest runs. Click here to view photos of some fly caught silvers from around Alaska.

Gear and Flies:
Coho are aggressive biters and hard fighters that will provide an angler with hours of entertainment on a 7 or 8wt rod. Reels should be of the large arbor type to keep up with the blistering runs these fish can lay down, and should have a good drag system as well. Depending upon the method of presentation, fly line choices include sinking tip lines, full-float weight-forward lines, and multi-tip systems to deliver your offering to the proper depth. Coho are receptive to a vast array of flies, but some of the best (in our opinion) are Hareball Leeches, Clouser Minnows, Egg Sucking Leeches, Dolly Llamas and Coho Kryptonite.

Sage ONE 9' 8wt
Sage Respose 9' 8wt
Winston BIIIX 9' 8wt
cho 3 9' 8wt

Abel Super 7
Lamson Litespeed 3.5
Nautilus NV 8/9
Sage 4280


Rio Grand WF Floating
Rio VersiTip Line
Scientific Anglers Wet Tip IV

Hareball Leeches in Pink , Aleutian Queen , Chartreuse
Clouser Minnows in Chartreuse/White
Dolly Llama in Black/White , Pink/White , Pink/Purple
Coho Kryptonite in Pink and Chartreuse  
Popper Wog