Tag Archives: Coho Salmon

Easy Home Smoked Salmon Recipe: A Sweet, Salty, and Salmony Manna from Heaven.

Smoked Salmon is one of the tastiest, healthiest, and belive it or not, easiest things to make at home, so long as you have a little patience. The process is cakework, and the time it sits makes it taste great.

Easy Smoked Salmon

Easy Smoked Salmon

There is basically only 4 totally “needed” ingredients, and only a 4 easy steps between you and Salmon Heaven. My recipe is for a dry brined salmon, which is then hot smoked, which I feel is simple, easy, and imparts a beautiful flavor to the fish.

Ingredients you will need.

Salmon (I prefer Coho, King, or Sockeye, but Pink, and Chum Salmon also smoke well. Even Steelhead Trout can work great).
Dark Brown Sugar
Sea Salt
Spices (garlic is the only “NEEDED” spice, but you could add others according to taste).

Ok here we go.

Step One:
Prepare the fish… This is easy, just filet the fish, cut some long slits into, but NOT through, the meat every inch or so, and then cut into portion size peices (about 4 ounces each). You could also use salmon steaks, but I feel that filets allow more brine and smoke flavor to get into the meat.

Step Two:
Brine the fish… Mix 5 parts brown sugar with 1 part sea salt. Then add in spices to taste. The ratios need to stay the same, but the quantity will change depending on how much fish you have to smoke. If I use 5 cups of brown sugar and one cup of salt I might add in 10 cloves of chopped garlic, and maybe a little fresh ground black pepper.

Ok you have the dry brine… now just put your filets in a glass or plastic contaner and cover them completely with the brine… thats it… stick it in the fridge overnight. In the morning the dry brine will have turned to liquid… thats awesome.

Step Three:
Dry the fish… Take the fish out of the refridgerator and rinse it off in the sink. Now lay the filets on a rack and allow them so sit at room temperature for 4-6 hours, less if its really warm in the room. This will dry the fish and will allow it to form a tacky shiny surface… this is called a pellicle. This step is crucial… do not skip it or worry about the fish spoiling by sitting out for a few hours. the salt from the brine that soaked into the meat will impede bacteria growth. The pellicle keeps the remaining moisture in the fish during smoking and allows the smoke to properly permeate it.

Step Four:
Smoke the fish… Put in a grill, smoker, or smokehouse and smoke the fish until finished (5 hours or so varible depending on the temperature of your smoker). Hard woods such as alder wood are most common and give a great flavor to the salmon. Fruit woods like cherry or apple also work very well.

Now Eat and Enjoy.

Feel free to share your own recipes for smoked salmon in the comments section, or let me know how this turned out.

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Filed under Alaska Fishing, Coho Fishing, Cooking, Fishing, Salmon Fishing

Fishing in the Chilkat River in Haines with low Salmon counts

This year was not a great year for Salmon Returns in Haines Alaska. Haines Alaska Fishing was hampered by a closer of the Chilkat River to King Salmon Fishing. Just when you thought it wasn’t going to get worse, the Chilkat River was extra high this year, the high water and high silt content made fishing even more difficult.

So what does it mean when the fishing is hard? Should you take your rod and lock it in the shed? Should all the Yukon fishermen stay in Canada? Of course not.

There are always places that the fish will be. Salmon are predictable, and even in the silty Chilkat there are areas where streams feed into the river and the water clears up. There are places where the current changes and the salmon will stack up, and most of all, there are places that you will catch fish.

With low salmon counts a personal moral question comes up: if don’t need to go meat fishing, should you take fish out of an already reduced spawning pool? Personally I don’t. When I know that I am not going to be keeping the fish I catch I use barbless hooks, and never fish with baits that will be taken deeply. Handling the fish properly also helps to ensure their survival. I always say, do NOT pull fish out of the water if you do not need to, and if you intend to release them.

Good luck next fishing season, whether you are fishing in the Chilkat River for Silver Salmon, or somewhere else, remember to conserve our resources and enjoy the time you spend on the water.

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Fishing in Petersburg Alaska for big Salmon and Halibut

I like to call it the Alaskan Double, King Salmon and Halibut on one trip out on the water. Fishing In Petersburg Alaska earlier this year I made it happen, although it was on accident.

While Trolling for King Salmon we had a few baits at different depths. One bait was running pretty deep and, as sometimes happens, a halibut came up off the bottom and took the herring. After finding the depth the fish were sitting at we were able to get a few nice Kings in the boat as well. We even ended up with one suprise Coho Salmon, they are usually not in the area at this time of year.

Petersburg Alaska is a very nice place to visit. It has a unique Scandinavian feel and is one of the most “Alaskan” small towns in Alaska.

City of Petersburg Alaska

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Filed under Alaska Fishing, Fishing, Halibut Fishing, Salmon Fishing, Uncategorized

Salmon Fishing – Spoons and Spinners for Silvers

So I have decided that my aboslute favorite lure for Silver Salmon Fishing is the Vibrax Spinner, followed by the Pixee Spoon. Both are made by Blue Fox.

When fishing for Coho spinners and spoons can be used in rivers as well as in saltwater. Look for a school of coho, motor over to them, and start catching fish. You can literally limit out in no time at all.

Another great thing about spinners are the ease of use. Tie on a snap swivel, click in the spinner, cast and reel it in. If you are new to fishing for Salmon in Alaska, try spoons and spinners first. You will not be dissappointed.

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Saltwater Silver Salmon Fishing in Sitka Alaska

September is a good time to target Silver Salmon / Coho Salmon in saltwater in the protected waters of Southeast Alaska near Sitka. Recently we were out trolling around in a secret honey hole when we came into a school.

We were trolling herring, and as is typical when you get into a feeding school, there were times when we had multiple fish on at the same time. A good trick to targeting Coho Salmon is to change up the depth by having baits at different depths until you find the fish. Then quickly adjust your other rigs to match the depths of the ones that were on the fish.

On our first double hookup we got one of the fish in the boat and lost the other. We re-rigged and went back to troll through the school again. On the 3rd pass we had hit the right speed and depth and we got another double hookup. This time we landed both fish.

It was a really fun day on the water. Take some time off and get out fishing before its winter and all you can do is sit in an ice hut.

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Filed under Alaska Fishing, Coho Fishing, Fishing, Salmon Fishing

Silver Salmon Lure Selection

When fishing for Silver Salmon in Alaska’s rivers, lure selection can make a big difference. In many parts of Alaska spoons are one of the most popular lure options. Pixie/Pixee spoons are the most common. Blue Fox brand Pixee spoons come in a wide variety of colors.

From my experience silver and red as well as gold and red are the most productive patterns. That being said it is always a good idea to have a variety in the tackle box. A snap swivel will allow quick lure changes, darker colors are often more productive in cloudy water, and if visability is really low, rattling spoons can also do well.

Another popular choice is spinners. Small spinners such as Rooster Tail’s or Vibrax can be very productive.

Finally, but certainly not least is Flies. Fly Fishing can be very productive for Silvers. Bright Flies, in shades of red an orange do well, as do pinks. Be sure that you are fishing sinking flies as surface strikes from spawning salmon are rare.

I hope that you get a chance to get out on a river this season while the Coho are still running. Enjoy your time.

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Filed under Alaska Fishing, Coho Fishing, Fishing, Salmon Fishing

Alaskan Salmon Fishing in Southeast Alaska

So I still remember the first time I ever went Salmon Fishing on the Chilkoot River just outside Haines Alaska. It was a beautiful day and the Coho were in the river.

I had gone to the local bait shop/grocery store/clothing store/gun shop (Real Alaska one stop shopping) at a place known in town as Oleruds. I asked the guy behind the counter what people were using on the river, and he told me that everyone was fishing pixies. I grabbed about 5 in three different color combinations and headed out.

Unlike fishing for salmon in southcentral alaska, where it is known as combat fishing, here in Haines there were only a couple other people on the river. I tossed in my Pixie and let it almost bounce along the bottom with the current as I brought it in. Within a few casts I had a hit.

The fast and acrobatic Silver Salmon charged up river taking line while making huge leaps out of the water. After a good fight he was on shore and I was able to pop a gill to bleed him out, put him on a stringer and go for more food.

By the end of the silver run that year my freezer was stocked with beautiful fresh fish. Because I was fishng only a mile or so from salt water the silvers I got still looked pretty much like ocean fish and had not turned to dark or gotten spawned out.

After a day of Great Salmon Fishing fishing it was nice to head back to the little town I lived in to relax and enjoy the fresh air. I was glad I had moved to Haines, what a beautiful place, and what a perfect lifestyle.

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Filed under Alaska Fishing, Coho Fishing, Fishing, Salmon Fishing