Bad Luck or Bad Fisherman? I need help...

Hello OFF.

I’ve been a long time lurker of OFF. I thought I would introduce myself and share some info and stories/reports.

I’ve been an avid fisherman since I went with my father to a trout stocker pond. I hooked my first fish at 4 years old and I was hooked! I grew up camping with my family. Every summer we’d go camping several times. I would spend weeks before tieing all my leaders, reading, cleaning my tackle and gear. I was obsessed! Of course I kept fishing. More and more. Bought a boat did some sturgeon fishing. Always trout fishing in the summers and on camping trips. When I was 18, I started Salmon fishing with family. My grandfather in law would take me on his trips he would buy with a guide. Every fall and spring we go with Don Keller or Doug Wilhite… I could have spelled their names wrong though.

I’ve fished the Clackamas River heavily for trout. I know a lot of holes and have caught my fair share. But to be honest, I am tired of Trout!

I recently thought to myself why I haven’t tried to Salmon fish. I guess my excuse was I thought it was too difficult. So determined, I headed to Fisherman Marine supply and bought a combo package and some blue fox spinners. That was on 9/5/2010.

Everyday thereafter I was fishing. I fished 2-4 hours everyday at Clackamette Park. Throwing spinners under the bridge, at the mouth, and on the island across from meldrum bar. I have been unsuccessful and it sucks!

This last weekend I had a very tuff time. I went out to the Sandy with a friend. We stopped at Glen Otto Park and I was throwing a #4 Blue Fox Green spinner for 10-15 mins and I hooked on a Silver. So I was reeling it in and the hook came out of the mouth! I lost is! This was after 7+ days and many hours of throwing spinners. So I kept fishing that hole and many others. We went up to Dabney park and hiked the river shore and seen 0 fish. 2 fisherman were up the river a ways and been there all morning with no bites or any action in the water. I ended up burning through 5-8 spinners from snags etc. What a bad day. Ended up fishing the whole day and NOTHING. So Sunday I wake up early again and head to the Sandy @ Glen Otto. After my 40 min drive to Glen Otto, I fished for 15 mins and got a snag. I tried to work the snag free and ended up busting my new fishing Salmon/Steelhead Rod. The rod was a Berkley Tactix, Usually I always have a spare, but this time I didn’t. So I had to drive back to Oregon City to pick up my trout rod.

After grabbing my trout rod, I went to McIver park and worked the whole by the boat launch. This time I was trying eggs and a bobber. I saw my bobber get 1-2 bumps, but nothing was caught and 2 other guys were also skunked. Sunday was day 7 of fishing and catching NOTHING.

Yesterday evening, I went back to Clackamette Park and threw spinners for 1-2 hours with nothing. I tried Green, Blue, and Black Blue Foxes. Snagging every 20 mins or so and losing one every 1-2 hours is my average! Gets VERY expensive to be buying these lures all the time.

This morning I went out to the island across from Meldrum Bar from 5:30am to 6:45am and fished egg and bobber. Didn’t see any fish roll or have one bite.

I need some serious help! I would love to go with someone who knows what their doing and can teach me a thing or two or three! I want to learn and I want to fish and be successful! I’ve been fishing non stop and can’t catch.

I've tried throwing spinners and eggs so far and nothing... Although I did hook one, I didn't land it, so it doesn't count. And it made me soo upset! lol

So far I have lost or broke:
10+ Spinners @ $3-4 each
1 New Salmon Rod
1 Canister of Roe
a ton of gas

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Welcome to the forum!!! IMO I don't think it is bad luck or a bad's fishing....thats why it is called that. I spent numerous times doing exactly what you have been doing. I was a professional snagger and going through a ton of gear....then I started fly fishing and my luck changed and I was hooked. I got my steel on my 6 wt and I am going to go after a salmon with my 8 wt. I just have to do the same as you and grovel to find someone to take me...:D I think that fishing for steelies or salmon is very frustrating unless you have "it" like a lot of members do... I love trout and dry fly fishing so that keeps me from getting too frustrated. Good luck with your fishing and hope you get one soon.
Sounds like you are doing things right - and hey you got into one, in the lower Sandy no less! You are doing better than I am - I haven't gotten into a Silver yet and fished the Sandy two seasons now. So keep at it!
Welcome to the forums. Yeah, those fish don't come easy. Something tells me once you land that first one a whole new world opens up for you.
Thanks for the replies thus far... It's hard to tell whether or not your doing the right thing when you aren't catching I guess... This is my first year Salmon fishing from the bank on these rivers. So it's been very challenging.

I completely understand that I'm not going to catch something EVERYTIME I go, but I would like to catch something! lol.

I would like to master the different techniques and rivers. I live 3-5 mins from Clackamette Park... I am itching to catch a fish! I would like to limit my tag out and get my freezer full. Anyone who is willing to help me I would greatly apperciated it and lunch is on me if we go out!

I seen some guys using corkies on Meldrum bar and were successful yesterday evening.

How do you use Corkies, and/or Yarn?
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Give it more time. Salmon/steelhead fishing is like this, but when you start catching them you will never want to catch a trout again.

For all the pictures I've posted, my tag only has 3 entries this year. You will be releasing most of the fish you catch. Try not to get false expectations.
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I buy 'dollar-store' wobblers to test unfamiliar water for snags. $4 spinners add up to a lot of missed filet mignon.
My son says if you fish where there are none, it limits your chances, so the first year, follow the herd, and take good notes!
His freezer is quite well stocked, but I'm still in your boat. Success is imminent!
I can tell you with real experience to just keep at it! Look at it this way- you at least had one on in the first week!!! I, as a lot of people on here know, fished hard like you are doing for a year before I hooked anything! Finally starting just last month: 4 steelhead, 2 Nooks and a coho! I went through ten times the gear you're talking about, it's a persistence game. Hang in there my friend, the fish will come. Believe me there were times I thought I was cursed and maybe I was but it seems to be broken now and your skunk will die sooner or later! Keep it up and welcome to the forum!! (To be honest, one Nook and the Coho were with a guide but the steel and other Nook were on my own.)
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Most Blue Fox spinners come with another hook called a siwash. It is a single offset hook which will generally give a better hookset into the fish as well as cut down on snags. Use them and you will be happier.
jeffcycles said:
Most Blue Fox spinners come with another hook called a siwash. It is a single offset hook which will generally give a better hookset into the fish as well as cut down on snags. Use them and you will be happier.

What's the easiet way to use the single hook? How do I remove the treble hook & re-attach the siwash (single hook)?
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Hey Jerry, welcome to the forum.

Spinner snag ups are part of the game. It indicates your fishing near or at the bottom, which is where you want to be. Try a Siwash and see if it helps. Make sure to set the hook deep early in the fight.

A few of us have taken to making our own type of blue fox (rattle bells) to keep the replacement costs down as well as bragging right when they catch fish.

Hot cohos are coming still. When on the move they destroy spinners. When they begin to stack up @ cedar creek the method usually changes to small presentations, corkies, yarn flies ect.

Hang in there, keep the faith.

Fishing is often hours and hours of nothing peppered with moments of line peeling insanity.
Greetings Fellow OFFers.

Yes...To OB-1 You listen.
I had to stop caring if I caught fish or not.
Being out, Not working the job, No expectations at all, Be Ready for anything.

My Simple Rules For Living:

1. Have confidence in what you throw.
2. Fish where there are fish.
I only keep what I have by giving it
3. Carry the message to the fisher-person who still suffers, IE - Pass on what you have learned.

Don't get impatient or doubtful. That negativity will lead you down the path of the FLOSSER.
And forever will it dominate your destiny.

No Flossing, No Snagging...PERIOD!!

Hope that helps.
jerry said:
What's the easiet way to use the single hook? How do I remove the treble hook & re-attach the siwash (single hook)?
use a split ring to attach the siwash. If your treble hook is attached to the lure with a split ring you can just slide the treble hook off and replace it with a siwash. If the treble has the lure wire through it you just need to cut the treble hooh off add a split ring then put on the siwash. If you have time, and you don't need much of it, you can get into making your own lures and save some money.

As for the catching of salmon in rivers it's nothing like trout fishing. Remember trout for the most part are resident fish, they live in the general are all year long. Now salmon, ontop of the actual fishing part, you have to be at the right spot when they come through the river. One day they may be in the lower river then a rain comes along and boom they head up river. Or take the Sandy, there may be a small number of fish in the system, they could be still hanging out in the Columbia. Then along comes a good rain and boom again fresh fish in the system. it's a timing thing. You also might want to keep an eye on the fish counts at the dams, that way you know when and how many fish are moving. Salmon fishing is fishing with a wee bit of hunting tossed in for fun and frustration.;) good luck and welcome
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jerry said:
What's the easiet way to use the single hook? How do I remove the treble hook & re-attach the siwash (single hook)?
you need to cut the trble hook off and atach the single one with some pliers just closing the ring on it using a split ring!!
jerry said:
What's the easiet way to use the single hook? How do I remove the treble hook & re-attach the siwash (single hook)?

clip the treble hook off with side cutters, and attach the siwash with a split ring.
The siwash hooks I've gotten with the blue foxes have an open eye. I just cut off the treble and slipped on the siwash and crimped it on. Is that not the right way, aka with out the split ring? And Jerry theres still time save yourself before it to late turn back now. I'm joking of course. Theres a steeeep learning curve but keep reading, watching, asking and trying and your odds will go up. And I didn't know there was a Meldrum bar/island on the Sandy. The only one I know of is on the Willamette. Is there one on the Sandy?
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Welcome to the site! I think you'll find that any day you hook a Salmon and get to feel that tug even just for a second or two is a good day! Sure you'll have better days but there'll be plenty of days with no fish on the bank. It's not about catching fish, it's about being out there. The Coho run is just starting to show up so you have plenty of time to catch fish. Here's a tip, my favorite Coho spinner is copper #3 Blue Fox. And like was mentioned earlier remove the treble and put on a siwash hook, some people say you miss strikes with them but I disagree. And when you do hook up it's usually embedded into the side of they're mouth.
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