It’s no secret that coho/silver salmon in Alaska race towards a pink fly. Our selection of the best flies for silver salmon goes beyond just being pink and flashy – the fly needs to be weighted and swim with a wiggle or jig too.
5 Best Silver Salmon Flies
This list has evolved in western Alaska where guides see silvers get hooked all day long. Seriously, fly fishing for silvers on some of Alaska’s western rivers gets downright silly. Even on rivers like that, subtle differences between patterns does make a difference in the days’ tally – even though most of these patterns are 2.5-3” long, pink, and weighted with dumbbell eyes!
Pink Clouser Stinger
Like all good Alaska silver flies, the pink and white clouser checks the right boxes; pink, 2.5” profile, and weighted. We rate this fly number 1 for subsurface silver salmon flies because it gets down fast and, more importantly, is super durable if tied correctly. We recommend tying this pattern yourself with extra large eyes and with a stinger hook to improve hook placement. Unfortunately, they do not commercially produce clousers with stinger hooks yet.
Pink Starlite Leech
The backbone of coho angler, the starlite leech means business. When the silvers slow down on eating pink, a purple starlite is the next go to. Tied commercially by Solitude Fly Co this fly hits the checklist of color options, having flash, weight, and for the most part is fairly durable. Not only is it great for coho / silvers, but we love fishing it for chums too!
Coming in pink, purple and black variations the Hareball is a necessity for the salmon angler’s box. As mentioned above, do not be afraid to change up the colors and go to black. This pattern carries more water than the starlite of clouser, but otherwise checks all the right boxes. With a slightly bigger profile than the other patterns, we’ve used this pattern successfully for king salmon too. Notably it is durable and has a slightly larger profile than the rest of our list, which can be a good variable to have.
Can’t go wrong with the infamous Dolly Llama when fishing Alaska. For silvers, we love the fuchsia and white combination or the chartreuse and fuchsia combo! Weighted, right length, and right color – you know the drill!
Maybe not the most productive fly, but definitely the most rewarding way to catch a silver. Try slow popping first thing in the morning or at over a fresh pod of silvers!