Consistency & Cohos on The Salmon River

On the second to last day of September, I drove north for a four-day fly fishing trip on the lower Salmon River at the Douglaston Salmon Run. The fishing reports coming out of the lower river the five days leading up to my trip were spectacular. The Kings and Cohos were consistently moving into the river. There weren’t large pods of fish, but rather hundreds of fish evenly spread out throughout the day, creating perfect fall salmon fishing conditions. I was excited to get back on the water. I arrived in Pulaski late Friday night and my head hit the pillow some time after midnight. When the alarm on my phone chimed in the dark telling me it was 5:00AM and time to get up, it took a lot of will power not to hit snooze. I gathered up my gear, packed my truck and headed to The Lakeside to grab breakfast before the sun rose. By the time I was paying my bill, the sky was full of light and I was anxious to wet a line. I drove to the Douglaston Salmon Run, picked up my day pass and got my 10’-8wt Scott Flex fly rod ready for battle. The water level out of the reservoir had recently been dropped to 350CFS so I erred on the side of lighter tippet and went with 2X fluorocarbon Trout Hunter to the fly.

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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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