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Went out in Troutdale area Tues, Wed, and Today.

My Blue Fox #4 all silver spinner was devoured by a healthy bright chinook of an estimated 12-15 lbs. When I got it to the boat I released it (Willamette rules style) with pliers and then sat in my chair and suddenly realized I had let a keeper go.. oh well.

A couple of 2-3 lb smallmouth were all that the rest of the morning gave me, but I considered it a good day.

Wednesday was very different. The water was glass and a little lower, revealing some interesting seams. I anchored above where two seams collided with some cooler, milkier colored water. High tide at 9-ish.

I fished above the seam for an hour in all directions with my spinner. Then i went deeper and anchored, until I heard some swirls back near the seams in 7-8 feet of water.

I tied on my Coho plug, a pink Brads Wiggler, and cast into the most interesting water.

*BANG* FISH ON! I fought it for maybe 10 minutes and then it decided to jump over my bow and shook the plug out right in front of my eyes. I assume it was a Steelie.

I got my composure and recast into the same general area. BANG !!!! This one fought for 15 minutes and was much heavier. Alas, She was a beautiful wild Steelhead and I had to let her go.

After a successful wild Jack Chinook release and yet another mystery fish that fought like a chinook and broke me off, I finally got a fish to the boat. This time, after a violent take and a brief aerobatic display, a 7 lb Buck succombed and became destined for the smoker.

After a few casts I decided to put some sand shrimp gel on the line and the plug. On the second Cast, as I was slowly reeling in the plug, I felt the most Violent Take I had ever felt on this plug. WHAM! The beautiful 26 lb Chinook ran and ran and worked me over for a good half hour at least, before I netted Him and Lay him beside his baby brother.

Thursday, (Today) I arrived at my hole at 6:30, repeated my routine and after about 2 hours a massive Hen Chinook Took my Coho plug and ran me 3 miles downriver ( I use 12 lb test for those plugs).

I got Lucky and landed her after about 30-40 minutes with the netting help of a friend.

This fish went straight to Otto's for smoking., as the freezer is full (mostly with shad)

Hopefully this is a good sign of things to come over the next couple of months.

-Dave Rooksby

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Great post-- another inspiration to try plugs! I never have any luck with plugs, but I keep thinking I'll get the hang of it. I don't use 12lb test, however, so maybe that's part of my problem...I don't think of fallies being line shy, nor have I ever fought a fish for half an hour; perhaps it's time to rethink my program a bit!
Thanks for sharing the details of your hunt.

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1,243 Posts

I think the reason for the lighter line, is so the plugs dive down deep enough. As you increase line weight, diameter increases and resistance in the water increases - thus less diving for the plug.

I know some guys that use 15LB main line for Fall fish for this reason. I'd like to know if anyone has used Spider line or equiv that has a smaller diameter compared to mono. Wondering if the 50/60Lb Spider (or similar) dives down about the same as the 15Lb/12 mono.

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