All this rain hasn't been great for the sport fishing tribe, although it may be good news for the fish. Streams are high and off-color, which isn't the worst thing if you're a silver salmon coming in out of saltwater, but it certainly makes life tougher for anglers. You can't see the fish, they can't see the lure, and high water moves some fish out of their usual holding spots.
If you haven't already, you should learn to use the current stream flow information that's available online. You can find links to it on the adn.com fishing page or by searching online. We like to see water levels at least down to historically average flows to make fishing worthwhile.
The long-range forecast for Southcentral calls for decent weather today and Friday, followed by another week of rain. Let's hope the weatherman is wrong about so much rain.
The guys at Mountain View Sports Center report that the silvers are in all around the Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound. K13 lures have been the ticket recently on the Kenai. Guides there were limiting out on silvers Wednesday. If you're going out of Whittier or Seward, try jigging hoochies tipped with herring.
They also say grayling fishing in the Interior has been excellent. The Chena and Gulkana are two of many rivers that have been fishing great lately. Try sight-fishing with small spinners or dry flies, nymphs or emergers (It takes a long time to grow a grayling, so think about catching and releasing these beautiful fish).
There are tons of pinks and chums in Parks Highway streams all the way up to Byers Lake. If the water comes down, fishing should be good. Bright, medium-sized spinners work the best for the salmon. Once the water clears up, fly fishers should find some very good rainbow fishing. Beads will work, but you should also try flesh-imitating streamers, and black, ginger, off-white and olive leeches.
For an option around Anchorage, try Bird, Campbell, Ship or Jim's creeks for silvers. Get there early in the morning for best results. Cured roe under a float works the best where it's allowed, so make sure you know the regulations.
Derby time in Seward
As noted, the silvers are in, which means it's time for the 56th annual Seward Silver Salmon Derby. The derby begins at 6 a.m. Saturday and runs through noon Sunday, Aug. 21. Anglers with tickets compete for $100,000 in cash and prizes for the largest silvers landed, for the first and last fish caught, for catching tagged fish released into Resurrection Bay, and other categories.
Prizes include $10,000 for the heaviest silver overall and $5,000 for the runner-up. The top 20 fish all win cash or prizes. Top prizes for tagged fish are $50,000, $10,000 and $5,000. Everyone with a derby ticket is automatically entered into a drawing for $1,000.
Last year's overall biggest fish winner was Harold Foley of Anchorage, with an 18.89-pound silver.
To enter, you need to purchase a daily ticket for $10 or a season derby ticket for $50. If you're going to fish, do yourself a favor and get a ticket.
Fish can be landed either from shore or from a boat.
For you early birds, tickets go on sale from 6-10 tomorrow night at Derby Headquarters (across from the B Dock fish cleaning station); if you buy your ticket Friday, remember that it must be validated Saturday before you start fishing.
Ticket sales will resume at 5:30 a.m. Saturday at the headquarters and at participating retailers and fishing charters around Seward.
Check the links on the adn.com fishing page for more information, including the official derby rules, or call the Seward Chamber of Commerce at 1-907-224-8051.
The Daily News fishing report is published each Thursday. For the latest and most comprehensive information every day, check the links on adn.com/outdoors/sportfishing. In addition to reports from Department of Fish and Game biologists across the state, you will find lots of photos in the Nice Catch galleries, links to current weather, river and stream flows, tide charts, fish counts, salmon run timing, fishing derbies across the state and how-to videos. You can also buy a fishing license online, check the regulations, read a blog with the latest fishery closures and emergency orders, and sign up for our fishing newsletter email.