Alaska Chum Salmon

Fishing Trips – Pictures of Fighting Dog Salmon Anchorage, Alaska

July Salmon

summer_salmonLittle Susitna River chum salmon can be called July Salmon, since they are available the entire month of July. The upriver chum run starts in late June, and quickly balloons to huge schools charging upstream in mid and late July. Later, the quantity of ocean fresh chums tails off throughout August, but during July fierce-fighting chums provide big time fishing fun for fishermen flinging lures into holes where the fish school on their upriver run. Similar to Little Susitna River silver or pink salmon fishing, when your Fishtale guide finds chum schools massed in the fishing holes, fish fighting battles can erupt nonstop for hours with lots of chums hooked, lost, and landed. Bring your camera on this Alaska fishing trip, because it provides great opportunities for catching action pictures, then snap trophy photos after landing your hefty lunkers.

Dog Salmon

tigerfishHistorically chum salmon have been one of the most abundant fish species in specific regions of Alaska. In the huge Yukon River and Kuskokwim River Drainages of Western Alaska, chums are particularly important . During the period when sled dog teams were used as a major means of winter transportation chums provided a readily available source of protein to feed the dog teams — hence the nickname, Dog Salmon. You’ll also discover these fish fight like a vicious junkyard dog. Like king salmon, a dog prefers to slug it out in the depths as it surges downriver on long powerful runs. When you think it’s time to land your junkyard dog, the dog will likely surprise you with incredible stamina and ability to summon unfathomable strength for additional power fighting tactics.

My next door neighbor went with Fishtale and caught good fish. Fishtale knew what they were doing, so I booked a trip. I’ve gone with them every year since. I take my wife, my kids, and my clients. The only complaint I have is they charge too little. Comparing them to others they don’t charge what they’re worth.”  — Dick Edwards,  Anchorage, Alaska

Calico and Tigerfish

The flashing silver shape of an ocean fresh chum can sometimes be mistaken for a silver or sockeye salmon, but as the chum matures for spawning, its silvery coloration transforms to a series of wild looking pink, purple and black vertical stripes, inspiring another name, Calico Salmon. The color pattern is unusual and striking, and in the eyes of a lovesick chum these calico patterns may be the definition of, “Ultimate beauty.” A calico colored chum is spectacular with its wild tiger stripes, and when one combines the color patterns with the fish’s never-say-die fighting attitude, it is only logical that an intellectual fishermen, ahem, should come up with my favorite moniker for the July brawler — Tigerfish.

Fishtale River Guides is one of our favorite annual summer “mini vacations” — a wonderful short time getaway for our busy summer work schedule here in the Mat-Su Valley. We also love to take visiting out-of-state guests on Fishtale River Guides’ trips. The fishing is awesome, the scenery and wildlife outstanding, and the guides make the trips even more enjoyable with all their knowledge of the area.” — Connie J. Bingham,  Palmer, Alaska

Trip Planning and Lure Selection

Regardless of what you call this wild tiger of a salmon, if you are in Alaska near the Anchorage – Wasilla area during July, and develop a hankering to tussle with heavyweight fighting fish, schools of chum salmon will be here, lurking in dark Little Susitna River holes and waiting to ambush your lures. Although most of our guests¹ chums are caught on our homemade Flashtrap Spinners, they will also attack a variety of flashy flies and artificial lures, including Kwikfish Plugs, Pixie Spoons, Mepps, and Super Vibrax Spinners. Alaska’s state sportfishing record chum weighed a whopping 32 pounds, but Little Susitna River chum salmon average 8 – 10 pounds with big bad boy bucks pulling the scale to 14 or 15 pounds. If catching these fish sounds like fun, and you’d like to reserve seats on Fishtale’s guided Alaska fishing trips to catch chums and other salmon species click Prices and Reservations.  When considering when to schedule fishing trips you may want to examine our Little Susitna River Salmon Run Timing Chart.