Posts Tagged ‘Chinook Salmon

17
Oct
14

River In Transition

I would like to show two spots along an Oregon coastal river I was fishing this week. October has been dry, hence the Chinook Salmon have been kegged up in tidewater waiting for a freshet to move up into freshwater to spawn. This week the rain came enough to raise this river about 18″ in about 36 hours. During this time the holding lies changed, the fish were on the move and the water turned from clear to mocha and then to what is known in the Pacific NW as ‘steelhead green’. The fish came and meaningful connections were made.

The two spots, I am showing, were excellent for swinging a Comet and also for watching the Salmon muscle up through the rapids. They show the transition over about twenty four hours time. 

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This shelf was an excellent spot for watching the Chinook nose up through the waters at various heights. I know it is a lot of images to wade through, but they give a nice sequence of the changes.

rapids broken topIMG_6021raw

lower shelf-SwittersB

River lower shelf 2-SwittersB

River lower shelf 4-SwittersB

The Chartreuse Comet was a consistent producer. Of the seven fish I hooked into, six nailed the Green Comet and one to a Pink Comet.

green comet-SwittersB-salmon-comet-photography-fly pattern

16
Oct
14

A Big Tree………How big?

I was working my way up a Oregon coastal river searching for Chinook salmon. I was focused upon the water, moving up pool to pool looking for signs of fish. I suddenly came upon the largest fir tree I have ever encountered. I wanted to explain the size. Not having a tape measure for circumference or diameter measurements, I used the only thing I had with me…a 9′ Winston rod. I placed the rod as best I could so the width, at least, could be judged. Truly a beautiful tree towering over other fir and alders. The root system was partly exposed winding through the grass and other trees like pythons, thick and strong.

big tree-rod length-nature-Oregon-photography-SwittersB 

12
Oct
14

Comet Sighting in Oregon

green comet-SwittersB-salmon-comet-photography-fly pattern

First significant Fall rains may, finally, raise the coastal rivers and flush Chinook salmon up out of the bays and tidewaters into the fresh, sweet waters. A chuck & duck (heavy fly pattern that may well embed itself in the back of your head on the forward, power stroke of a cast…so you duck or bend forward on the forward stroke) fly pattern to dredge the pools is a Comet. I know these are much bigger than usual, with bigger hook and dumbbell eyes. Oregon salmon often like that chartreuse green color. 

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Comet-Fly Tying-Fly Pattern-SwittersB-Photography

16
Sep
14

Fly fishing: Anticipation in the Fall

The Chinook are staged in the bays and tidewaters on the coast waiting for the freshets, the early Fall rains, that will cool the water temps, raise the levels, create that draw that pulls the large fish upriver to spawn. The large rainbows are enjoying the drop in overnight temps in the Central Oregon lakes. The feeding will accelerate in the weeks ahead. I intend to search out the mammoth Chinook Salmon and the big ‘bows in the weeks ahead. The preparation of gear is part of the fun. Moving down the ancient checklist from years of planning and many mistakes along the way helps in prepping for the outings. 

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The photo ops may be awesome along the way: water, rocks, vegetation, mountains, horizons, trees and big fish may combine for awesome memories. Life’s clock ticks and I must grab these moments now with less ‘maybe next time’.

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07
Sep
14

The Tail End

a chinook salmon-king-fall chinook-fishing-SwittersB-Oregon-photography

of Summer in Oregon is a favorite time for anglers as Fall Chinook (Kings) arrive on Coastal Rivers and within the Willamette Valley/Gorge via the mighty Columbia River. This morning, we ventured forth in the dark to meet our guides (Richard & Susie)…Brother and Sis-in-law’s, on the Columbia River. It was a gloriously warm day and to cap off the wonderful views, companionship, conversations and boating…I harvested a beautiful Chinook Salmon. This beautiful fish will provide sustenance for the extended family during birthday celebrations this coming week.

Yesterday, over 40,000 Chinook Salmon were counted moving over (through) the Bonneville Dam viewing station. With such information, it was probable that hundreds of boats would be staged on the river today to attempt to catch one of these classic beauties of fishdom. And they were…a real zoo.

VIEW THE CHINOOK PASSING BENEATH THE DAM HERE…IT UPDATES EVERY FEW SECONDS (sometimes the cameras are down for awhile, but come back and wait for it to load…worth it)

salmon tails-photography-fish-art-SwittersB

The salmon, about 20+ pounds and 38″ long, put up a nice battle. Most often, I reward the fish with freedom and take the image and am satisfied. But, today’s adventure was the reality of salmon fishing…harvesting the fish for food.

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There came a point this afternoon to where the temps rose high enough that this nearby fire boat would have been a refreshing if flooding relief from the heat……

fire boat-spray-drill-Columbia River-photography-SwittersB

A special thanks to Richard & Susie, who hosted my wife and I today. They put us over fish, kept us comfortable and ‘hydrated’ and kept us safe in heavy boat traffic.

richard susie  fishing

17
Oct
12

Chinook’s Passing By…Cyril Kamir

This is beautiful to watch. Epic, grace, power, bittersweet…the renewal of passage, procreation and death. Only to be followed, hopefully, by yet another similar procession. Watch this short but sweet procession of Chinook Salmon in the Wenatchee River.

Yesterday, I heard a fly shop guide remark about the State of Washington launching a chopper to check on delayed Salmon off the mouth of the Columbia River. Allegedly they spotted a massive 20 some miles long pod of salmon staged some distance from the mouth of the Columbia River. The rains have just started and those fish will be arriving….late, but hopefully with optimum conditions. (back up)

12
Oct
12

Trout Remain…Back to Layers

Today, in Portland, the weather has turned. It has rained the better part of the day. A much needed rain to slowly reduce the critically high fire dangers in the forests and raise some of the very low rivers a tad to flush up Silvers, Steelhead and Chinook. 

But, I just have not had enough of a fill fishing for Trout. Time seems to be dwindling away with the change in the weather; certain waters closing soon for the season; and attention turning to Winter Steelhead (for the hardy ones) or just tying away and fantasizing for next year.

Just a few short weeks ago, this nice trout took a Caddis pattern on a warm afternoon, with the sun starting to set.

For some there are waters open year round and if you can brave the temps and winds, they can be a nice escape. Preparation is in order from your gear, what flies to use and making sure someone knows where you are. If you are not accustomed to being outdoors in the Winter (hunting, snowmobiling, skiing, fishing, photography) make sure you do consider more than where you are going to find fish and what flies to use. Think survival and preparedness.

I might soon get out and toss a few October Caddis, olives and midges for surface activity. And, there is that whole world beneath the surface to probe.




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