Wednesday, September 30, 2015

River Report: The Salmon Return, and It's Time for a Steel Comb

The salmon season on the river (sockeye and chinook) has been closed since July 18 because of low water and high temperatures. Still, I'm hoping that some salmon make it up to spawn. October is usually when I first see them, but I went early to see how things looked--and to see what else I might catch while there.

The Bridge Run is still long and wide and waist deep. Not bad, considering the low flows. But that's a good news, bad news thing for me. There's a leak in the crotch of my waders that always gets me wet at the lake. I thought with the river so low I'd stay dry this time. But no.

There have been midges swarming in our yard for the last few weeks, and they were much in evidence on the river. I also saw a mix of mayflies and caddis. I watched for October caddis but didn't see any yet.

The Bridge Run usually gives up a trout or two, or a couple of smallmouth.

This time the best I could do was one whitefish. 

It was an easy wade across. I made my way upstream to the Glide. It was good to be on the river again.

The Glide, too, is waist deep. I walked all the way to the upstream end and began to fish my way down. Back at the tail out a big fish splashed and swirled. A few minutes later I saw the unmistakable dorsal and tail of a chinook. That's the last I saw or heard, but at least one salmon has made it this far.

I worked the Glide twice, once with a big deceiver-type fly and once with a bead head nymph. I didn't get a bump. There were rises at the downstream end, and I tied on a caddis dry and had fun with that for awhile. I got many hits and one hookup, but didn't bring anything in. I'm pretty sure they were whitefish.

If there are salmon there's a good chance there are some steelhead, too. So far there are no restrictions on steelhead. The day time temps are now mostly in the 70's and night time temps are dipping into the 40's--and last Sunday some folks were registering in the mid-30's when they got up. So the water will be cooling down and conditions will be improving. I'll be back to work those deep runs with a fine-toothed steel comb.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful water Jim. I'm anxiously awaiting my first steelhead trip here in about 5 weeks. Nowhere as grandiose as the Pacific Northwest , but I'm still looking forward to swinging flies on my two hander for a week (even if I do get skunked).