Alaska Chum Salmon Chum, "Dog", "Tiger", "Calico" Salmon run into Lake Creek in late July. These unique salmon are mottled with vertical parr marks that become more apparent as they prepare to spawn. They are known for their fierce strikes and powerful runs and are a thrill to catch for both spin and fly fishermen alike. Chum salmon average 10-17lbs in our home river system. Chum salmon tend to congregate in slack-water areas off the main river channel as well as backwater sloughs where they also will spawn come early September. Chums are fun to catch as they are very aggressive and will hit flies, jigs, spoons and spinners from the river-bottom to the water's surface. Watching a chum trail your fly or lure for some times over 20 feet is an exhilarating precursor to the hit and the fight that follows.
Chum salmon spin fishing techniques for Alaska include pitching light weight spinners in shallow pools, swimming subsurface jigs and retrieving spoons mid-river while concentrating on slack-water area and the seam between the main river channel and an eddy or current break. Many of the backwater sloughs and oxbows we fish are clear and fairly shallow. Spinners and light jigs offer versatility when sight casting to chums in these clear-water areas. As with other salmon, always cast beyond schooling fish to avoiding spooking them. Chums that congregate in deeper areas of pools and sloughs tend to be the most aggressive. Fast retrieves often trigger the most aggressive fish into explosive strikes.
Equipment Needed for Spinning/Bait Casting for Alaska silver salmon
|Rods:||Typically 3/8oz - 1/2oz spinning rod geared to 8-14 lb. line.|
|Reels:||Bait casting - we suggest Abu Garcia's Ambassador C3 5500 series. Spinning - size = 195yds/10 lb test, ie. Pflueger President 6740|
|Lines:||Stren or Berkeley Trilene XL - for castability 10 - 14# test|
|Lures:||Blue Fox Vibrax Spinners 3/8 oz, Blue Fox Pixee spoons 1/2 oz, 1/8 - 1/4 oz marabou or bucktail jigs|
Fly fishing chum salmon offers awesome spot and stalk action. Chums in shallow clear pools can be fished with subsurface flies or top water gurglers and wogs. Chums are highly territorial and will chase readily after any large, bright gaudy fly presented with an erratic retrieve. Chums hit hard and provide fly fishermen with an unparalleled fight. Chums are popular with fly fishing guests in late July and August as they provide a wonderful addition to great silver and pink salmon fishing. Chums often are found in the same proximity as these other salmon species. Chums are typically the largest of the salmon we catch while fly fishing in August.
|Fly Rods:||We use 8 weight medium to medium-fast action fly rods with a strong back-bone to handle strong chum salmon|
|Reels:||Lamson Konic 3.5 is a good economical, high performance fly reel. The Ross Evolution LT #4 is an awesome, more expensive reel, but will be a top-rate and versatile reel for life|
Also please check out our signature Alaska fly patterns page for more fly recipes. Chum salmon are very aggressive and these fish are fans of slack water areas off the main channel and in backwater sloughs and eddies. Swing, strip or skate one of these flies through schools of holding chums. Presentation in front of chums with fly swimming across or away from their nose almost always triggers aggressive strikes. Usually chum flies do not need to be weighted heavily. Bead chain eyes or 3-4 lead wire wraps on the shank will suffice. This will simply help the streamer to sink immediately after presenting your cast. Chums will hit top water, so be sure to reference the gurgler from our Silver fly page. Usually you will see chums in areas you find silvers. Many of our fly fishing guests have found that green flies are most successful overall, but mix things up to discover what works best for you.
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Our Alaska salmon fishing lodge offers great chum salmon fishing in the months of late July and August! Our lodge is blessed with a great family of long-term guests!
Make chum fishing trip reservations early for peak dates!