Story last updated at 3:22 p.m. Friday, August 9, 2002

Anglers prospecting for silvers
by Sepp Jannotta
Casting About

High in the Rockies it was the miners who toiled in the quest for silver, moving mountains in the process.

Along the coast of Southcentral Alaska, it is the intrepid anglers who pursue silver, searching for those flashing green streaks of light and shadow as they slip into the regions' bays and streams.

If the silver salmon catch that is showing up each day in the Homer Harbor is any indication, the prospecting for silvers in the salt water along the Kenai Peninsula has been excellent recently. The charter boat crews have been unloading totes brimming with bright fish on a daily basis.

Fish and Game Area Biologist Nicki Szarzi said the silver fishing in Cook Inlet has been outstanding.

Heath Harrington at the Anchor Angler said the trolling has been good off Bluff Point, and some anglers are starting to pick up silvers outside the mouth of the Anchor.

The action for silvers at the Fishing Hole on the Homer Spit has been quite good also, despite the recent run of weak tides.

Anglers have been having the best luck starting about two hours before the high tide, said Bert Washburn of the Sport Shed tackle shop.

And best of all, the late run of silvers will be just starting to show up as the tides pick up steam in the next couple of weeks.

"It's probably going to start building within the next week or so," Washburn said.

The freshwater streams have seen a few pulses of silver salmon pass upstream, with the weir count for Deep Creek showing close to 50 fish for a run that saw 3,700 fish make it past the weir last season.

Anglers have reported catching a few silvers in the Anchor.

There are still some bright humpies to be caught in the streams as well.

Both silvers and humpies will generally strike a spinner or a leech pattern, though silvers can be very shy.

Meanwhile, the fishing for Dolly Varden continues to be the best fly-fishing bet, as nice bright sea-run Dollies can be taken on nymphs and salmon egg patterns. These broad-shouldered fish can even be seen feeding on the surface in the evening, though they are predominantly focused on the thousands of salmon eggs and are tough to catch on a dry fly.

Meanwhile, the halibut fishing in lower Cook Inlet continues to be excellent, with anglers catching big halibut on herring and other bait. Jigging has been quite effective, also.

For those who are looking for a little something extra for their seafood chowder, the late-summer clamming tides will be at their best today through Sunday. Clamming in Kachemak Bay requires a shellfish permit in addition to a valid Alaska sportfishing license.