Fly fishing for spring chinook salmon in the bay

It was another perfect weekend for salmon fishing, starting with a drizzly Saturday morning, no other boats around, fish everywhere. Ed and I fished hard, swinging flies, stripping flies, plugging, you name it. Many of the holes that had not been holding fish all season had lots of fresh fish Saturday. But we could not buy a grab. By the evening, we moved down into tidewater. There we intercepted a big slug of kings. They rolled all around us for about an hour, but wouldn’t eat our flies.

Sunday I decided to sleep in. I drove around the river and saw lots of boats. The sight of so many anglers convinced me to drive to another river. But that river was slammed, too. Tidewater? The bay? Sure, why not? The bay was quiet, just a few boats. I put in and rowed to a good vista where I could watch for rollers. I made coffee and fried some eggs. While I ate breakfast I watch the bay like an osprey. There was a light wind from the Northwest, allowing me to see the subtle surface clues that show currents and depth. On the outgoing tide, the bay was looking more and more like a river, and one spot in particular looked like it would swing, with a hang-down into deep water for good stripping.

I moved into position and dropped anchor. Sometimes that can be a chore, but this time it went smoothly. I tied on a #2 red comet and made a long cast. The wind was at my back, making me feel like a casting champ. Lightning struck twice, first with a fat jack, and second with a brute that weighed in at 26 pounds! Both fought hard, but were eventually tailed boatside.

Rob Russell Spring Chinook on the fly

Rob Russell Spring Chinook on the fly

I will cry when springer season is over in a few short weeks, but until then…


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5 Responses to Fly fishing for spring chinook salmon in the bay

  1. jay nicholas says:

    Nice. No — nice to the tenth power! I hope that football-size Jack foreshadows a good run next year. And one final thought, Rob, next time they spurn your kwikfish — try a wolly worm. I hear springers eat ’em like candy. I’ll even tie some up for you.

    Season ain’t over yet man, let’s go fishing!


  2. Jeff Mishler says:

    That is so cool considering two weeks ago I fished there and didn’t see a whiff of the critters. Red? Chinook don’t eat Red? Flies? Chinook don’t eat flies! Yeah right! See you soon in one of our haunts….


  3. Rob Lewis says:

    Your a fishing Gawd Rob! Thats just Awesome!!!


  4. Rob R says:

    just a lucky bonehead, no special powers. piles and piles of fishless hours/days…but thanks for the encouragement!

  5. Rob, shouldn’t you be at work or something!! Nice article sir.


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