Well I've been fishing the rivers for the past 3 weeks, hooked a few jacks but I don't generally target salmon. What I'm looking for is early steelhead that make their way into the rivers right alongside the chinooks.
For the past 3 weeks, I've come home with no stories to tell, no pictures, and a horrible skunky aroma clinging to my gear.
Yesterday morning I started at an old faithful spot, that did not produce. Talked to some guys who were saying the salmon seem late this year and we still need some rain. I agreed heartily but assured them there were lots of fish in the river. They balked when I spoke of mid-September trout. "I don't waste my time going for rainbows until at least mid-October".
I told them I believe that mother nature would show me good karma. That for putting in leg work and time on the water while the rest of the steelheaders were at home, I would be rewarded.
I tried two more spots, nothing. It is now noon. I pull up to my last spot of the day and cut through the property I have access to. I put a few drifts through my favourite pool and no dice. I decide to tie on an apricot bead 8mm and underneath it a chartreuse roe bag. This tandem combo is a reliable producer for me.
First drift and the float shoots down. I assumed it was a weed as the river IS still pretty warm and there is lots of growth, but I set the hook and *immediately* felt a powerful tug and then the pin started whizzing. There were a few times I thought for sure it was a small chinook as there weren't alot of headshakes, but several divebomb runs and a few rolls on the surface. No aerial displays.
2 minutes later this sweet sweet beast was at my feet. This beats my previously best "early steel" by 9 days.
I know there will be internet fish warrior defenders of the universe so please note that the bead was originally 2" from the roe bag. It slid up at some point.