Salmon River Chinooks In High Gear

On Wednesday it was still bothering me that my time fly fishing the Upper Fly Zone on the Salmon River the prior weekend had been unproductive. I was thinking of calling it quits on the 2016 salmon season and starting to focus my energy on autumn steelhead or brown trout. Then Thursday evening it hit me I hadn’t looked at the Douglaston Salmon Run (“DSR”) report all week. I surfed over to their website and within seconds of reading their Thursday, October 6th report, I knew what I’d be doing on Friday morning. The line in the report that got me was the note from a guide who fished the Lower Clay Hole that morning who said he conservatively estimated 1,000 fish moved past him. Throughout the month of September, all the charter boat captains were saying that there were huge numbers of marked salmon sitting just offshore. I knew the potential for an epic run was there, but after the last three years, you just couldn’t definitively say it was going to happen. Well folks, it happened.

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Chasing Chinooks on The Upper Fly Zone

On September 29th the Salmon River saw the best run of salmon so far this season. The Douglaston Salmon Run (“DSR”) was reporting large numbers of fish clogging the river entrance in their morning report and the afternoon report mentioned a client hooking 100 fish and landing 20. While the fishing slowed on Friday, I was still anxious to get on the water Saturday morning. Access to the DSR for the weekend had been sold-out for weeks. The first weekend in October is a common time that many anglers who do an annual trip to Pulaski make their trek. With the DSR out of the equation, I decided I was going to target the public water in the Upper Fly Zone just above the Salmon River Fish Hatchery. I knew this area was not going to hold the volume of fish that were in the lower river, but for what it lacked in fish, it would make up for in limited fishing pressure.

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