|Pretty colors are cool and all, but they're the least of the reasons I like the fall!|
If you're not familiar with the salmon runs of the Columbia River, this year's fall Chinook salmon run was one for the record books. The last time there were as many of these fish in the river as there were this year was in the 1940s!
To give you an idea of just how many fish there were this year, here's a graph of the number of salmon per day counted this fall as they passed the first dam in the Columbia River compared to last year, and the last ten years:
|In a nutshell, 2013 was a GOOD year for fall Chinook in the Columbia River!|
I considered my options for what tactics to use. Eggs are probably the best bait for catching salmon, but they're smelly and very messy and I don't like to use them. I decided to stick to what I'm good at and use spinners and spoons. There's nothing quite like the teeth-jarring sensation of a salmon or steelhead hitting a lure! Plus I had to make sure my gear was still in working order for an upcoming trip to Idaho (see this post)!
I found a likely looking spot in the river and picked out my tastiest looking spinners. It wasn't long till I started bringing in some fish, but the first fish I brought in definitely wasn't what I had expected to catch on a big salmon lure. It was a beast of a mountain whitefish! Check out that monster adipose fin - it's bigger than my thumb!
|20 inches of mountain whitefish!|
|I'm not sure how, but he managed to get all three hooks of the treble hook inside his mouth. Anybody know how he did that??|
|Seriously though, did you see the size of that adipose fin?|
|He looks pretty surprised to see me.|
|Still not big for a Chinook, but this 15 pounder is my biggest one yet!|
|Here's Bob just doing what he does.|
|Yakima River Steelhead!|
I've had a hard time moving to Washington from Idaho. Don't get me wrong, I like sagebrush as much as the next guy, but it has been quite an adjustment. But I do have to admit, fall Chinook fishing has been pretty awesome, even if it was in Washington!