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Ask the Pro's: Best Time to Fish the Russian River for Sockeye Salmon

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  • I was looking at the sockeye fish counts for late run Russian River. Are the new fish showing up silver (chrome) like the early run Sockeye? I fished this June and had lots of fresh silver Sockeye Salmon but was looking for a trip next year but in early August.

    - Jeremy

  • Hi Jeremy,

    I would recommend fishing the second run, from Skilak Lake down to Soldotna. While there will be chrome fish in the Upper from the second run, they take a bit longer to get up there and there will be a lot of fish that are starting to color. The 2nd run typically starts running good around the 15th of July, in the lower & middle river. To fish what we call the middle river (Skilak Lake to Soldotna) will require a guide to access the majority of that section, you can access it on foot at Bing's Landing, Morgan's and Swift Water.

    The second run fish are usually the bigger fish and there will be lot's of chrome fish down in those stretches of the river.

    Anything we can do or need any more questions answered, please let me know.

    - Mike

    Mike Brown - Owner of Mossy's Fly Shop in Anchorage, Alaska
  • Congrats on visiting Alaska...again! Each year salmon runs can be either early, late, or on time. Some years, yes, you can catch harvestable sockeye in early August. They may not be silver/dime bright but still in good enough shape to make good table fare. Other years they may be too far gone in their spawn and not make the best table fare. However, there will be Silver Salmon present as well which fight super hard and are my personal preferred salmon to eat as they have a higher fat content than Sockeye Salmon.

    So basically win win! Good luck on your future trip!

    Cheers - Adam

    Adam Cuthriell - Part owner of FishHound Expeditions. His wife Kathryn Cuthriell and business partner Dave "Reps" Repta make up the rest of the company as well as their dogs Hatch, Rado, and Pike. They fish, live, and guide in Alaska year-round. When not guiding on the rivers they guide ice fishing on Alaska's numerous lakes. Originally from Colorado, he began guiding at the age of 19 while receiving a degree in Outdoor Recreation Leadership. Adam is also a current state of Alaska EMT.
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