When most anglers think of tailing fish, the first thing that comes to mind is likely skinny water tropical species – Bonefish, permit, redfish, etc. Right? Well, what if we told you that at Alaska West, under the right circumstances, we’re fortunate to witness big, bright, silver salmon exhibiting the same behavior..
During periods of high water, particularly at the height of the run, it’s not uncommon for dozens upon dozens of aggressive coho to stack up in slacky edges off the main river, sometimes less than a foot deep. As they take a break from their spawning migration in these skinny water lies, fish can be easily spotted with their tails, and even dorsal fins, protruding through the water’s surface, similar to the flats species we all know and love.
Unlike bonefish and permit, tailing silvers aren’t indicative of feeding silvers of course, as they don’t actively feed once they enter freshwater. However, they still remain as aggressive as ever, and odds are if you find a pod of silvers with their tails in the air, they’re going to eat your fly.