WHEN: Silver Salmon run on Kodiak generally end of August, peaking mid-end of September and slowing down mid October.
We fish the road system which in total length of road from Pasagshak to Monoshka Bay about 65 or so miles. But, the main fishing rivers we like on this road system are within 30 minutes—many even closer. Our favorites are A. Buskin River and B. Olds River. That being said, every year the secondary rivers can really surprise us like 1. Salonie Creek 2. Piller Creek 3. American River and many others. It’s a fun challenge to see which rivers are producing that year. It’s part of the fun. The Litnik River on Afognak Island, is a fun surprise.
We fly out on a float plane and land on Afognak Lake and then walk from there. It’s a morning-tillnight trip (bring your own food and what we pack in we pack out, including fish and we’ll wear our waders to and from). In 2020, we stayed overnight and it as very successful. We will try to make this happen more but the over night is optional. The flight to Afognak is not included in your original amount. Limits on Silver Salmon are 5 a day on Afognak, but we can catch and release as much as we want. I also like to keep fresh pink salmon which are great for smoking.
Dolly Varden are also plentiful and can be targeted using egg patterns but they seem hit regular spinners and flies on occasion.
BRINGING FISH HOME: We have companies on Kodiak that will process your fish for around $2.25 per lb. (outgoing weight) and they vacuum pack, box it, and have it ready to go by the end of the week. Plan on paying $100-$200 for fish processing. Goal is to bring home 40 -50 lbs of salmon. If you go Halibut fishing and also catch rock fish and pacific Cod, that’s a bonus.
1. WADERS and Boots style (some bring all in one’s and that’s great. Don’t recommend 100% neoprene). Boots cannot have felt on the soles. Rubber style soles is worn and some come with “traction screws” already put in the bottom of them. I like one size bigger on the boots myself i.e. I wear a size 8 shoe so I would buy a size 9 for the wader boot. That’s just me. Fishing Rods and Reels that handle 8-20 lb. fish. I use an 8 wt rod and matching reel with 30 lb. tippet. If you’re a good fishermen, you can get away with 20 lb. tippet. Spin Casting folks need Rods and Reels to handle these sizes of fish. There are many ways to set up your tackle for fishing and would be hard to explain it all here, depending on how you fish.
2. Tackle: (can all be bought there)
a. 20-30 wt tippet or tapered leader
b. Chartreuse closures or white closures or egg sucking leaches or there are many other fly choices.
c. Lead weights (there are many personal preferences here, but I don’t like the big ones so I usually buy the BB size split shot)
d. Hook remover forceps or needle nose pliers. (latter is bulky for me though)
e. Nippers (like toenail clippers).
f. Hook sharpeners (helpful, but not necessary) (THE LATTER 3 I USUALLY HANG ON MY WADERS FOR EASY ACCESS)
g. Fish Stringer (I like the yellow ones they sell at Rays)
3. Camera equipment Go pros are fun and fine, but make sure you keep them waterproof.
4. Bug spray. 2016 was the worst years I have seen for what I call “No See ums”. Typically have not had a problem.
5. Polarized Glasses. (I like the ones with readers on them)
6. Hat. (base ball cap is fine, but helpful if waterproof)
7. Rivers are not terribly cold so I get by just fine with a pair of wool socks, Jeans, long sleeve shirt and Rain Jacket
8. Gloves. I don’t see many people wearing them because it’s just not that cold, but personal preference.
9. Sun screen. optional, but most never wear it (personal preference)
There is the option to go Halibut Fishing and we use Kodiak Island Charters (look up website if you desire). They are reputable and I can help book this for you. They Charge $375 and can take up to 6 people on Moon Shadow and Harvest Moon and 8 people on U-Rascal. You can opt to go with a charter of your own choosing, if need be, but they are all about the same price. This is not included with your deal with me but I help set it up. Tipping is usually around $400 per boat of 6 (total) or $500 for a boat of 8 so typically around $75 per fishermen. The captain and the deck hand usually split this.
Yes, there is high probability of seeing Kodiak Grizzly Bears and lots of other wildlife. They are generally respectful of fishermen if fishermen are respectful of them. But it’s best to be prepared with Bear Spray or Pistol that is suitable—although most don’t carry a weapon, I can’t make that decision for you. It’s a personal choice. There are no black bears or moose on this island, but do have blacktail deer. I have never used a weapon on a bear nor do I want to and most encounters can be avoided. But again, you have to make that decision for yourself.