The thing about fishing is that sometimes you catch them, sometimes you don’t. We rarely get skunked, but when you are fishing for big fish, many times you either get something big, or you get nothing. So far this season, the success rate for catching the big trophy steelhead and salmon has been basically zero, but that all changed today. The low water levels and unseasonably warm weather had kind of shut down the fishing, the fish just didn’t seem interested in biting. After a couple days of rain, which usually gets the salmon and steelhead moving upstream because they know winter is coming, we were hoping for better luck on our favorite big game Columbia River tributary; the Klickitat River.
When we got to one of our favorite fishing holes, we were a little disappointed to see that the river water was still clouded with silt from the recent rain. Normally, that is not a good thing. We waded out and started fly fishing with our favorite Klickitat River flies. After swinging our trusty flies and running a few nymphs through the hole, it was pretty clear the fish were not going for the “river runs through it” action, so I figured I would throw some shiny stuff at them. The only other fishing rig I had with me was an 8lb. test setup that I normally used for smallmouth bass, but I clipped on a 1/4 ounce Thomas Bouyant gold spoon and threw it out there. A couple casts and I got a big hit. I set the hook and started reeling, rod tip high. I knew right away that it was a big fish. It surfaced briefly, confirming it was a good one and headed for the bottom. I walked towards the fish and kept reeling, but with the drag set for 8lb. test line, more line was going out than coming in. Back and forth, I finally got the fish onto the bank, as I did, the hook broke off in the fish’s mouth.
Sure enough, it was a very nice fish. Not the steelhead I’d been trying for, but a nice native Chinook salmon, probably a female Spring Chinook
The fish went about fifteen pounds or so, because I thought it was a female on the way to spawn, I figured it was good fishing karma to take a few photos and put her back in the river
A great day of fishing. Caught a big one on really light tackle, got the photo to prove it’s not a fish story and there is a female salmon swimming up the Klickitat river to spawn. Think I’ll have a beer.