The Buoy 10/Astoria season is THE most popular fishery in the Northwest. And rightfully so with upwards of 1,000,000 salmon passing through it really is hard to go wrong.
I've been booked for months for this season and the phone still keeps ringing. Good thing I've been able to find dates for later in the fall on the coast for fall Chinook or pass along a few other guide's numbers.
I spent five hours on Sunday packing the boat and truck with everything I thought I would need for six weeks of fishing away from home. Of course I forgot a few things, I always do. But I actually got out of the house at an earlier time than I expected.
That was a first. Normally I end up leaving about two hours later.
Part of it is I am a procrastinator. Maybe I'm a little lazy, maybe sometimes I just don't want to mess around with fishing stuff on my days off and also I think I work a little better under the last minute pressure. But of course that causes me to forget stuff, or not find what I am looking for.
I normally don't like to start fishing in Astoria before the 12th of August. I want a good chance of really getting into the fish and showing my clients the kind of fishing Astoria is famous for.
Usually I'll end up booking a few days before my target date just because I get the calls and am already booked for those prime dates. We usually get into some fish anyway and a lot of time I'll get out into the ocean and slay 'em.
But this year is different. The guys who have been fishing the river for the last week or so have been getting a lot of fish. A lot of fish.
With the dam counts already the second best for this date that there have ever been and the numbers of jacks last year, it's no surprise.
I am glad I waited, but I am glad I started today too.
We had an early limit with several more hooked.
It was a great start to this year!