2016 Recap - Fly Fishing for Silver Salmon on the Alagnak River
The Silver Salmon run of 2016 was pretty interesting due to the high water. The Silver Salmon pretty much stack up in the same spots or areas every season on the Alagnak River, almost like clockwork. They will use the same holding water and travel corridors year in and year out, but we always manage to find some new ones with the river in a constant change from erosion or movement of sandbars and drop offs.
This past season we experienced the highest water that I have ever seen, and locals say it was 40 years plus since the waters have been this high. This created more holding water than in years past, and created a slight challenge at first trying to figure out some of the new "honey" spots in the river. All in all, the weather was normal to slightly warmer in August with no real terrible warm and sunny spells like in 2015. The Silvers did show up a little later in good numbers due to the warmer water temps for sure, but maybe by at most a week.
Late August was Peak Fishing for Silver Salmon
The peak week for us was during our 9th week which was the last week in August. We had some great pushes of Silvers into the river system associated with strong SW winds and rain like previous seasons, but they were definitely late. We can usually start targeting them on August 1 like clockwork. They were there on the first of August, but not in any strong numbers. I can remember catching 20 plus Silvers for the day with just one customer on a half day August 1 back in 2014 due to his early 5 day trip ending at lunch. You could not have pulled this off in 2016's silver salmon run, but you sure could have caught a 3 fish limit in that same time.
The best flies for the year were the Megawatt for sure. We used these very thick profiled flies in multiple colors throughout the month of August with great success. The other flies that were good were definitely the string leech pink bunny flies with articulated hooks. Both worked well, and if you could get them in front of Silvers, you usually would draw some incredible strikes.
Over 50 Silvers in a Single Day!
The best day of the season saw over 50 Silver Salmon landed by two fly anglers in our 9th week, or last week of August this past season. The great thing about this was that the area we fished to achieve this was literally a minute from our dock. Who knows how many Silvers were lost after jumping them, but the daily tally was impressive for sure.
I would rate the 2016 Silver Salmon run on the Alagnak River as an average year to just below average. Still, if this was an average year, I still think this river would fish as good or better than most rivers in the world on an average year!