Estuary fly fishing for spring chinook

It’s nearly impossible to find good numbers of spring chinook without also finding lots of anglers. Salmon attract a lot of attention from all members of the food chain, from the cormorants and cutthroat that suck down fry, fingerlings and smolts, to the seals, sea lions and humans that target adults. While each fish is a gorgeous spectacle in its own right, salmon are analogous to fruit on a tree, and there are lots of eager would-be pickers. So salmon angling, regardless of your methods, requires a willingness to share with others, even while being ridiculed as a “damned snagger.”

Despite those annoyances, fly fishing for these amazing animals is the most rewarding sport I have yet to encounter. It has brought me closer to the rivers and estuaries that I love, and it has helped me to see these systems as a whole, rather than a bunch of varied “spots.” And occasionally the river rewards me with a fish, just to keep the fire burning bright and hot.

Last weekend my Dad and I spent three days chasing kings with our fly rods. Those incredible days taught us volumes about chinook behavior and reminded us that flies can be even more effective that bait or hardware.

Here are some images to inspire you to explore your local estuary…

Spring Chinook Fly Fishing in Oregon

Spring Chinook Fly Fishing in Oregon

Spring Chinook Fly Fishing in Oregon

Spring Chinook Fly Fishing in Oregon


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8 Responses to Estuary fly fishing for spring chinook

  1. Rick Allen says:


  2. fisheater says:

    Awesome pix. Thanks for sharing. Hard for anyone to call that flossing when the fly is that far down the fish’s throat. Nice work!

  3. Zach says:

    Is that sun in the pictures. I don’t you were fishing last weekend. Don’t lie to us Rob.

  4. Rob R says:

    I promise all those pix were taken last weekend. Friday and Saturday were sunny and warm. Zach!

  5. Andy says:

    Nobody ever catches salmon on flies in that spot. 🙂

  6. Chris says:

    Very nice indeed Rob.

  7. Jay Nicholas says:

    Sneaky Pete to RR Homebase. Nuthin’ goin’ on here, over. No wakes. No rollers. No fish whatsoever, from all I can tell. Well, maybe, possibly, mighta had me one pull. Just a little pull, if it was a pull at all. Nah. No point driving over here. Just stay put. Right. Call ya if I see anything. Really. Promise.

    Sneaky Pete, out.


  8. Goyito says:

    Rob, I have no intention of going to that estuary because your fish were on the smallish side and were already coloring up badly, making them completely unacceptable by this weekend, rotten in fact. As an aside, could you provide me with the street address of that largest house in the back ground, the one with the big chimney? I think I know the people who live there, and wish to return a weed eater that I borrowed from them years ago, but can’t recall the exact street it’s on. Thanks for your help. Goyito R.

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