It was a nice clear and sunny fall day in the Hood Canal. Perfect for a drive and perfect for some fishing with a friend in search of Mr and Mrs. Keta AKA Chum, and also know as El Guapo the dog. We busted out of town at 8 am for the 2 hour drive south towards Olympia and the 101 and up towards Hoodsport, WA, home of the largest WDFW Chum hatchery in the state of Washington.
The tide was high at 11 am and when Jeff and I arrived we were greeted with 50 of our closest friends, not the fish, but our favorite gear guys throwing all sorts of lures, corkies, yarn, pencil lead, cannonballs and whatever they could to entice the toothy Chum to bite. These fish however had another thing on their mind, it was the natal waters of their youth, time well spent in the concrete channels of the hatchery.
When it was evident that we could not get on the water via the stairs, we opted to head to the northshore along a skinny channel that would fit no more than 4 anglers. That would be 4 regular gear throwers, but somehow we fit in 2 flycasters and 4 other gear guys into that slot and kept our distance from the private tidelands to the north.
Hot flies were Crazy Chartruese Charlies, Jeffs Chartruese and Fuschia turd fly in size 6 with a tiny bead chain eye or no weight at all fished with a full intermediate 8 wt. line on an 8 wt. Scott STS 9′ fly rod with Galvan T-8 and the appropriate backing.
These fish were much more aggressive and on the bite than the Chico fish of the week prior. They chased down our offerings and leaped and tumbled in the air while we tried to lasso them in for a quick release.
All in all a great day, Jeff land a dozen, I only landed 5 but lost several more. It did feel good to test out the gear and my hope of the lost salmon season was renewed with the return of my friends, the green and purple salmon they call the Chum of the seas.