These last few weeks I’ve spent chasing late season chinook with RR. Some days it has been quiet enough to hear the dinner-plate sized maple leaves falling in the woods. Others, the bobbers are exploding the surface all around us like grenades being launched. Salmon splash under alders and myrtlewood. Leaves stack eight feet deep on a riverbend after a windstorm. Fists balled against the cold, colder still after losing a big fish.
I picked up my first fly-caught Siuslaw chinook, disproving my theory that these local salmon don’t bite. But I’ve mostly spent the last few weekends back bouncing kwikfish in huge water I’d never have considered fishing. To steal Ethan’s term – it’s tactile, exploring these pools with your hands. It’s practically like snorkeling in the swirling, rushing water, prowling the depths where fresh fish are likely to hold. I’ve caught fish in places I’d never considered fishable with any kind of tackle. All in all, a good few weeks learning about these awesome fish after they leave the estuary. -MS