by David Johnson
End of an Awesome Fall
It's sad to see it go.
I hope all of you had a blessed Christmas season! I did!
Now that it is late December and I've finished my fall chinook season I thought I'd share a wrap up of last fall.
From catching hundreds of Columbia fall chinook in August and early September to catching hundreds of fall chinook on the coast from September to December, we had an awesome season.
Fishing on the Columbia this year was almost a no brainer with a million salmon moving up stream.
Because of all the action and not much technique involved, this is a great fishery for beginners, non-fishers or people that simply like to catch fish.
Ready for battle!
The Astoria fishery is an excellent choice for large group trips to!
We had lots of kids and women join us for the Astoria fishery.
It was also one of my best years for Oregon coast fall chinook. The conditions could not have been better, with a dry September that had a record amount of rain at the end and a record dry October and November, we caught limits or near limits on almost every day. I would much rather have no rain than too much because you can't fish in the mud.
We tried new places and old stomping grounds and used new things as well as relied on our old stand by techniques. Fishing herring, eggs and bait wrapped plugs all really paid off.
I like the fall coastal fishery the best because of the varied techniques and hands on fishing.
This fall I also picked up a new ClackaCraft drifter. Let me tell you it is one slick fishing machine! Easy rowing, light weight and perfect for low water skinny water drifting we put a lot of fish in the boat.
As mid-December approached and the arctic cold set in, I broke out my steelhead gear and hit the bank one morning. On my second cast of the first morning of steelhead fishing I caught my first winter steelhead of the 2013/2014 winter steelhead season. An hour later I had my last fall chinook of 2013 on the bank as well.
I fought that beast for at least 15 minutes using my light GLoomis 1141 (rated 4-8).
I saw a few dark salmon swimming around in the hole but then I saw a bright one go by and a couple casts later my float went down, I set the hook, and fish on! I'm pretty sure it was that fish.
From that morning on I started to target steelhead instead of targeting salmon.
I would like to give credit to all the great tools I have had at my disposal to catch all these fish. The lightness, strength, and most of all, the sensitivity of my GLoomis rods and the effectiveness of the Mag Lips, the Short Bus Flashers, and the spinners.
Another factor contributing to our success was all the quality bait I had at my disposal. I put in a lot of extra care and attention to detail curing my eggs, resulting in some of the best quality eggs most have used. I also hand pick and personally vac pac my sardines and I usually pump my own sand shrimp.
After such a great season it's hard not to get excited about next year. So are other people, as I already have people booking for next year. And of course I'm booking steelhead dates too.
Thanks to all the clients who joined me this year. I hope to see all of you again on the boat next year. And next year I would love to see some new faces too.