Weekend salmon fishing hover highlights in a drought season…

Posted: September 24, 2012 by Hellcat in Fish Reports, Gear Fishing, Salmon, Trout & Steelhead
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Local and national forecasters both are predicting our current drought in Oregon and SW WA could be the worst ever since the Trailblazers won a national championship. Remember that year? I was 3. So I do not. I won’t forget this year anytime soon though. Let’s take a look at a weekend on hover….what a difference a year makes..CRH

One year later after a record breaking and amazing early fall season on a river twenty minutes from my house things are certainly not what they were. With the river, even after damn control, running at twenty percent of last year’s flow we are seeing a catastrophic situation for returning salmon. Both chinook and coho. The water is so low we are even seeing summer steelhead still being caught occasionally. Totally unheard of.

While the appeal behind this particular hovering scenario offers a unique opportunity to fish extraordinarily deep water in a small river (35-50′) it should be noted the water these fish must navigate prior to entering appropriate holding water has to cooperate for the stars to align. Exceedingly heavy pressure on the fishable water is also an indication local anglers are at wits end on a variety of water to choose from. Alas the options for the small river angling enthusiast this early fall, locally, is the worst I can ever remember.

Dark, dying fish are doing their best to fool us into thinking it’s much later in the year than it really is. Our first dark fish was released three weeks ago. The stress of the low flows and abnormal water temperatures are causing havoc on these fish retaining their chrome sheen that we all covet so much. While a few lucky anglers (including myself) have been able to tangle with some beautifully bright, fresh fish…the majority of the catches are akin to a preponderance of disappointment among the anglers fortunate enough to be reeling them in.

Needless-to-say the will power to persevere and procreate for these truly unbelievable creatures called chinook salmon should not be underestimated. We will continue to see shots of fresh fish moving in to our rivers even as this drought persists. The closer to the ocean the river….the more likely you’ll be able to locate these fish and find the ‘players’ or biters among the groups. Remember, these fish need a ‘sense of safety’ to ‘play’ or bite….so if you’re on a piece of water with snaggers (common in low water seasons) simply take your bait and move along. Flossing water will never produce biting fish even if they are fresh.

Finally, here are some pics and clips from this past weekend whereupon the AAA Diamond Back went a mere 1 for 2 and was in the minority of fish hooking boats. A chrome bright round-rocketed buck on Saturday fell victim to my stick and a very, very lucky 20ish # chrome hen managed to spit my 2/0 at the side of the boat yesterday. I bend over and made a vomiting sound immediately afterwards. What else can describe that feeling?

Quick little movie and pictures located below….

Pictures here…

  1. daheller says:

    Nice fish and nice going. NASCAR fishing at its finest. Dance for rain. Sal

  2. Nookslayer says:

    Holy crap man. I love nookie as much as the next guy but not enough to go make left turns all day… That is right up there with the day on the bank in combat mode on those secret fisheries we used to haunt with 500 of our closest friends at 0’dark thirty. Maybe I should go “hover fish” with my drifter and throw my 10wt with full sink tip. I’m sure those Daryls in the married up boats would appreciate a fly guy.

  3. Oneshot says:

    i would try the hover at least once to get a nice king like that.. combatting has its fun.. at times..

  4. Hellcat says:

    Thanks, Jon!

  5. The Hustler says:

    Nice fish. Way to pull one out…no pun intended.

  6. scott says:

    i know that spot and river. a little crowded. the spot ive been fishin has been crowded as well. nice fish. i hope we get some rain soon!

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