Summer salmon is one of my favorite seasons. Its tough to beat a hard fighting, great eating fish. I like catching sturgeon, but they just don't strike like a king. I haven't started guiding yet this year, but have started fishing out of my new boat with some family and friends. After every trip, we make a couple of modifications. I'm super excited that the project is almost ready.
Since several relatives were in town, we decided to give some summer salmon on the Columbia River a try. My dad, brother, two uncles, and my self made it to a very windy river Sunday afternoon. We were slightly underdressed for the weather, but catching a salmon always seems to warm up a person's blood. I think we were 20 min in when my brother hooked up our first fish. To my surprise, it was a nice 10 lb hatchery keeper. As was our next Chinook, and our next, and the next 2 after that. We were blessed with 4 keeper Kings and a nice sockeye Sunday afternoon. What a great reward for our efforts against a 20 mph wind. Fortunately Monday's forecast was a lot better.
We were up at 4 am to discover the forecast was a lie. I wonder if the forecast agencies are in cahoots with the state. I imagine more goods are sold with a good forecast then a bad one. Anyway, we motored our way up to the fishing grounds against another 20 mph wind. It's not an easy task to pilot a craft and get all the gear out. Fortunately my bro knew what needed to happen and was a big help. Once again, his rod was the first to go off. Oddly, of the 14 salmon we hooked, his rod(or a rod he was closest to) hooked 12 of them. He must have been putting off a good vibe. Fortunately he likes to share. We ended going home with 8 Kings, 1 jack, and three sockeye. I was super surprised to see so many hatchery keepers. We were well rewarded for toughing out the nasty weather. We had our share of mishaps. Tangled lines and lines in the prop, but only had one King spit the barbless hook. My uncles are still smiling over all the fun they had.
We were using super baits stuffed with tuna behind a Pro Troll flasher, just like everyone else. Here's what I like best about fishing the summer run: putting the down riggers away. I like my crew to feel like they all are "fishing". When ever I can, I get the riggers off the boat and get back to the basics. We were using 8-10 oz. of lead to get the lines down on a adjustable sliding dropper I developed 2 years ago. If you like to fish with lead, this rig is easy to make, and super slick to use. The weight slides up the main line on a slider, but can be "pinned" anywhere above the flasher via the small planer board release clip. I won't bore you with the many benefits of this rigging, but I'll include a picture of my latest version if you'd like to make one for yourself. I'm bummed I don't have any pics of our outing. It was hard enough just to get lines out, let alone pose for pictures. Today my family will be processing so my uncles can take home a cherished resource of the great Pacific North West.
Captain Dave's Guide Service, Booking Now! Columbia River salmon - including Summer & Fall Chinook and Sockeye, and Lake Roosevelt Kokanee and Trout.
Captain Dave's Guide Service
Official NWFR Sponsor