It's Prime Time for Salmon Fishingby Staff
Bellingham Herald, May 19, 2010
If life is short, salmon fishing is shorter. It's one of the shortest seasons in the state. Not just the season, but prime fishing. By my estimate, it's about a month of good spring fishing and about two weeks of good summer fishing. And guess what? The clock is ticking.
Salmon have arrived at Riggins and about 300 have arrived at the Rapid River hatchery. Fishing has also been good around Riggins and in the Little Salmon. Flows are up on both rivers. There's rain forecasted for the weekend, so it's probably not going to be T-shirt weather and clear water.
While high, off-color water doesn't help fishing, it brings more fish into the river. When the river starts to recede, fishing goes nuts.
Fishing also turned on at Hells Canyon last week. The good news there is the fish have reached the end of the line. It's either stage below the dam or swim into the trap. Anglers there get to fish in a bucket, albeit a very large bucket.
While fishing conditions are not ideal, there's nothing that can't be overcome with a little more lead and some bait. Chinook have great noses, so they're going to find your roe or tuna ball if you get it down to them. Same goes for the ol' Kwikfish and herring wrap. Get it in front of the fish and the rest pretty much takes care of itself.
But a quick word about those chinook noses. They work both ways. Bad odors will turn fish away.
A lot of the chinook trollers are meticulous about regularly washing their plugs and handling them with rubber gloves to keep off human scent. I don't think it's as critical when they move upstream, but if people around you are catching fish and you aren't, try washing your hands or using some fish-attracting scent.
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