Silver Salmon (Coho)

Fishing for Silver Salmon

The silver salmon, also known as "Coho," is a species of anadromous fish in the salmon family, one of several species of Pacific salmon. In North America, coho salmon is a game fish in fresh and salt water from July to December, especially with light fishing tackle. It is one of the most popular sport fish in the Pacific Northwest of the United States and Canada. Its popularity is due in part to the reckless abandon which it frequently displays chasing flies, bait and lures while in saltwater, and the large number of coastal streams it ascends during its spawning runs. Its habit of schooling in relatively shallow water and often near beaches, makes it accessible to anglers on the banks, as well as in boats. Like all Pacific Salmon, Cohos are born in streams where they stay for about a year before heading out to sea. There they stay for one to three years, feeding on small fish like herring, before returning to the stream of their birth for spawning. They are typically the last of the Pacific salmon to enter the rivers in the summer. Cohos average about 6-12 lbs as adults and top out over 30lbs.

How Frontiers Can Help Your Dream Silver Salmon Become a Reality 

We have five decades of experience and our services are free. There are no surcharges for our efforts and advice. So why not give our team a call! Remember, we want to speak to you so we can best advise you! Below you will find a list of our fishing experts. Contact one of our consultants and they will do the following for you:

  • Talk you through the options and provide you with impartial advice that you will not receive directly from a lodge. We have 50 years of sporting travel experience!
  • If you like what you hear, we will book your trip and assist with all preparations.
  • Frontiers will provide you with our industry leading pre-trip prior to your departure, which will tell you what to pack and how things will work.
  • If you need equipment, we will put you in touch with some of the most knowledgeable people in the business. They will provide you with exactly what you need.
  • While you travel, Frontiers provides 24-hour emergency contact.


Silvers are mostly targeted by fly fishermen in Alaska. Most of the lodges we represent have great runs of silvers (coho salmon)!


If a fly angler could only choose one rod to fish for cohos, the smart choice would be a 9 foot, fast-action 8-weight. The 8wt is a very versatile rod, and all manner of presentations to all sizes of fish are possible with it. Given the room and conditions, such as a calm day on a wide-open tide flat fishing for small to mid-sized cohos, an angler could get away with fishing a 7-weight, but for the most part, the 8-weight is the tool of choice. Reels for coho should be of the large-arbor variety, with enough capacity to hold 150 yards+ of 20# backing, and should have a  smooth, powerful drag system. The best all-around line for coho is any line with an interchangeable tip system, and one that includes everything from full-floating to full-head fast-sinking options. While not totally replacing the practice of individual lines for individual tasks or situations, the tip-system lines provide the ability to switch levels and presentation methods without carrying 4 or 5 additional reels or spare spools.


Fishing stripped streamers and nymphs (pink is the best color) may be the most popular methods of fly-angling for coho, but the most exciting method would surely be topwater fishing. In this technique, floating flies constructed of spun deer hair or foam are "popped" or "chugged" along the surface of the water over schools of fish. 

Ask The Expert

Senior Program Manager

Specializes in Alaska and Canada fishing, and South America fishing and big game programs.

Department Manager

Specializes in South America fishing and shooting departments. Plus, fishing in Mongolia and Canada.

UK Managing Director


Intricate Bay Lodge

Fly out to the best rivers of the Katmai from this newly built luxury lodge

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Hoodoo Sportfishing Lodge

Located on the extreme northwest tip of the Alaska Peninsula near Nelson Lagoon

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Bristol Bay Lodge

Fly-out fishing in Wood-Tikchik State Park, Bristol Bay and Southwest Alaska

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Mission Lodge

Multi-species luxury fly-out lodge in Bristol Bay perfect for groups or singles

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Crooked Creek Retreat and Outfitters

Luxury all-inclusive multi species fishing and adventure lodge in Kasilof, AK

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Goodnews River Lodge

They don’t call it the “Goodnews” River for nothing! Front-page worthy locale

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Aniak River Lodge

Extraordinary diversity - all five salmon types, trout and everything in between

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Alaska Trophy Adventures Lodge

Remote 160 private acres within Katmai Natl Park on the fish rich Alagnak River

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Reel Action Alaska Lodge

Lies within the Togiak Wildlife Refuge, famous for mousing for huge rainbows

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Tikchik Narrows Lodge

Amazing peninsula lodge with every imaginable species and daily fly-out fishing

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Kulik Lodge

Katmai National Park, Southwest Alaska, between Kulik and Nonvaniuk Lakes

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Unalakleet River Lodge

Located on Norton Sound of the Bering Sea, 395 miles Northwest of Anchorage

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The Lodge at Whale Pass

Prince of Wales Island, SE Alaska; serious fishing meets serious adventure!

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Alaska Clearwater Sportfishing

Drift boat fly fishing the Kenai River. No experience needed to catch fish!

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Bear Trail Lodge

The Naknek River is the Number One Rainbow Trout River in Alaska

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Alaska Expedition Lodge

Sight-cast to fresh silver salmon straight from the surf in the Gulf of Alaska

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Alaska’s Boardwalk Lodge

Thorne Bay: Southeast Alaska Luxury Fishing and Multi-sport Adventure Lodge

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Grosvenor Lodge

Located in Katmai Nat’l Park between Grosvenor Lake and Colville Lake

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Royal Coachman Lodge

This fly-out lodge sits on Nyukuk River - Offering 24-hour fishing

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No See Um Lodge

Perched on the Kvichak River with access to Bristol Bays finest fly out fishing

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Talaheim Lodge

Small Water Heli Fishing That’s Great for Small Groups and Completely Remote!

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Skeena Spey Riverside Wilderness and Lodge

Catch mint bright huge Kings and steelhead with top guides from a superb lodge

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