Steelhead and Chum, oh my… 10/23/2010

I had the opportunity to get out and fish this weekend as my wife and son were visiting in-laws in Portland. The original plan was to head up to the Methow and camp out, fish for steelhead and possibly do some stillwater fishing on Big Twin lake. But our plans changed and decided to head up to Fortson Hole on the North fork in search of some steelhead. Thao had done well the week prior with three steelhead pulled from the runs.  Today would be my day, or would it? Short story, no steelhead but a nice view aquarium of salmon in the pool with: Sockeye, Chum, Coho steelhead, SRC, and Whitefish. What more could you ask for? Well, it would have been nice to hook one of those salmon or steelhead. The whitefishing was pretty good, and we even kept a few as Thao wanted to pass them along to his mom so she could make her fish soup.

After we thorough pounded the water, we headed toward the hills by the Sauk in search of Chantrel mushrooms and possibly Matsutakes’ We’d heard it’d be a good mushroom season, but that too was un-productive but the scenery made up for the lack of mushrooms to our baskets.

Sunday we ventured through a raging storm to hit Chico creek in search of a tug of salmon in the salt. We did find many pods of salmon, but they were shy to bite. Both Thao and I passed flies through these pods to no avail…

I did hook one, but too bad it wasn’t legally hooked, so it was worth a photo and released. My friend Jeff on the otherhand did well in Hood Canal hooking 30-40 Chums during the flood tide and fishing till it was dark.  Next week, Chum on the fly and perhaps one or two for the smoker. I can’t say that I am a fan of Chum, but Thao swears by the smoked version.  Perhaps a bit too wishful thinking, but at least we’re seeing fish versus the lack of Coho and Kings this season.

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