You may have noticed that I didn’t do a report last week. That’s because there really wasn’t much to report. On the day the previous weekly report came out the rains started up which allowed the remainder of the mature salmon to head up the river. Since then we’ve had spells of rain and unsettled weather typical for this time of the year. I have been dying to go to the rivers after hearing great reports but I’m on a well deserved Daddy Duty with my 2 daughters. Oh the sacrifices we have to make but I do look forward to when my girls are older and I’ll be able to take them with me. My 5 year old daughter caught her first trout at 28 months and loves to fish!
A few boats have gone out prospecting for the first winter feeder chinook but other than the odd chum and a few undersized fish I’d heard about that’s been about it. Recently I did hear a report of a boat that did have some success.
I’m sure in the next few weeks a few more reports will come in as we start to approach this great fishery. I’m my opinion and that of fellow fisherman that would agree with me, these winter feeders are the best tasting fish and pound for pound are the strongest fighters as well. Since all they are doing is feeding and bulking up the oil content is high and meat quality is as good as it gets. Mid winter the winds die down and if the sun is out you can have some spectacular days out there.
This is one of favourite fisheries of the year for myself and a few of the other locals that head out. You really have to hunt for these fish and that can be a challenge but when you do find them they are eager to bite. A lot of the fish can be undersized but it’s a numbers game and sooner or later the rod bounces hard and you can get some nice keepers from 9lbs up. A trophy would be in the mid to high teens but I landed a beautiful 26 lb’r a few years back and I know of a couple of fish up to 30lbs as well.
There is no real commercial fishery for these fish but the odd time I’ve seen them in the market they sell for upwards of $26 dollars a pound. The typical method for catching them is finding bait and running the lines close to the bottom. Sometimes they can be found a little higher up and you find they are mostly at a particular depth. We usually don’t use bait since primary spoons and some hoochies get the job done. Every year certain patterns of spoon and hoochies begin to emerge as their favourites. We’ll have to wait and see what they want this year.