Good Day Drifting the Clack

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BananaMan

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Got out the drifter Monday and did alright on the Clack. Released three hatchery fish and a native. Kept these three. The top two since they were hens and the bottom one because it was a big buck pushing 15lbs. All fish were very bright that I kept but the ones released were turning already. Seems kinda early for colored coho. Hopefully there are more fresh ones to come. Sorry for the bad quality pic it was taken by my phone.
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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There has been very little rain, and water levels have suffered, in turn the fish got stuck below the Bowling Alley for two weeks, and just stewed. The first push up the Clack and into the Creek was boot-tacular, both Coho, and especially Chinook. Freshies should be here, but they are not that fresh to begin with, coming to the Clackamas, and up Eagle Creek. If you have an opportunity to get yer drift up to the Cowlitz, I would for sure. It is the last week of Finned Coho retention, and they are big, like huge big. There are more Finned Fish in the Cow right now than Clippers, and lots to be had. One Finned per day, and two Brats, total three adult Coho, but they are Sea Lice bright and monsterous.
 
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BananaMan

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Very Nice

Very Nice

That sounds awesome. What is the river like? Is it a drifting river or more a river for a bigger motor boat. I have another boat so just wondering whats the best route. I have never fished in WA. Is the cowlitz a side drifting river, plug pulling or trolling..? I may give it a go Sunday. Will it still be open than? A guy at the Clack told me he pulled a huge fall nook out of there too. Are they open for retention?
Thanks
 
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FishSchooler

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IS that a amb 6500 I see in the picture? :D
 
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BananaMan

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IS that a amb 6500 I see in the picture? :D

Yes it is. I know a bit overkill for Coho but my good old trusty 5500 stripped a gear while fighting a monster steelie (looked like a very early winter or very late summer) through some fast water and haven't had a chance to repair it yet. I also lost the fish :mad:.. My fault though for not servicing it this year. I bought a red cheap Abu wannabe from Joes for a reel I let friends use on the boat. I tried it out and I am sorry to everyone I have done that too. That thing is an extreme POS. Don't ever buy one unless you only plan on only trout fishing with it. The drag sucks and any mad fish over 10 lbs will do what it wants to you.
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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The Clack is more suited to low draft boats, like drifters, or shallow V-hulls, with pumps. I like to drift the banks, and the most productive method out of a boat just about anywhere, is backbouncing wicked bait. Everyone in a guides sled on the Cowlitz will be side drifting spinning gear, but again backbouncing the Cow is super productive, same with pulling up over the shallower flats and swinging spinners for the Steel that are still in there, from Summer, and the new push of Winters should be on their way. I think the finned Coho gets shut down on Sunday night, check to be sure before you go, but there are usually a bunch of fish up north.
 
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Hannibal Mike

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Midwesterner to give it a try!

Midwesterner to give it a try!

I will be visiting the 15th through 18th and would love to catch salmon. Any suggestions where shore fishing might work. I will be in Troutdale and can pick up bait/spoons from Jacks or someplace. Any tips would be appreciated. I am bringing my nephew (he's a good local fisherman), but we have little salmon knowledge. Hannibal MO Mike
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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If you will be in Troutdale, the closest River is the Columbia, or Sandy. The Sandy is full of Coho right now, and should be for at least a couple more weeks. Try drifting small presentations of good eggs, or I hear little black jigs are working like a charm too. They are in there, and will bite if they find something reasonably presented, so give it a go, and ask around at Jacks, they normally don't B.S. you with what works. Bank finshing at Cedar Creek is kind of the go to spot for lots of anglers, you have to get there, early, and it is a hike in to say the least, but there are a lot of stacked fish there, and the pickens are pretty easy. You will floss a few, but that is what you get trying to fair hook a fish with 100 others within 10 feet of it. Just kick the ones hooked on the side of the mouth or face back, and retain the ones hooked from inside the mouth. Chances are, if the fish are movin up the Creek you will be into some flesh, but remember Salmon are elusive, and a chase is sometimes required, so start lower on the river, and work your way up. Dabney and Dodge Parks, then Cedar Creek if nothin down low.
 
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Hannibal Mike

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Great News!

Great News!

I have read that some of the guys are using 8' or bigger rods (probably with good flex). Is that better than say a common med/heavy 7' ugly stick tiger? Is the rod more critical than reel. Travel with rods gets tough on planes. That sure sounds like fun. Are evenings ok for drifting? Should a guy use waders? Thanks again, Hannibal Mike
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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I happen to us an 8'6" rod, and an old(good old, like real Swiss, not bad old) Abu. It is what most drift fishermen use around here for salmon, and steelhead, but the Tiger will probably do just fine from the banks of the Sandy. Yes to waders, and yes to evenings, pretty much the first light, and last light bite is the best time, although I have been having good luck in my neck of the woods just about anytime I pound the Creek. If you have a muskie setup, that would work, or anything that would handle a flippin big cat. I wouls also say, that both th rod, and reel working in unison, or collectivly well, is the most important thing, rather than having a great rod, with a junk reel. The tiger combo will probably do fine, if you spool up the proper mainline, and have the drag set up right.
 
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Hannibal Mike

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Love ot catch a salmon or 2 !

Love ot catch a salmon or 2 !

Our fish are sometimes large, but few are as fast as salmon. I really do look forward to the fishing. I have caught a few trout in streams and a few silvers in AK, but this sounds fun. Do you use a small float or strike indicator and try to drift the bait through dark holes? I can just imagine the fun if the fish goes downriver on you! I am making notes on what to bring and where to go. Now, if the weather will just cooperate! Thanks a tonnnnnnn! Hannibal Mike
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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Aggressive Coho, and Steelhead will hold in riffles, or sections of faster moving water...The fat, lazy Chinook stack into pools and are more willing to hit your stuff in slack currents. More so than Coho, and Steelhead for sure. I don't drift fish with a float, purely because I like to feel everything on the end of my line, discern between strikes, and rocks, and I feel the presentation for what I drift would be ruined if I used a float where I fish. Hope that answers a little bit of the drift float question...You can definitely use one, but the most aggressive fish are going to be in water wherea float would hinder performance. Just my 2 cents...
 
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Hannibal Mike

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That make sense!

That make sense!

Fishing the riffles and current runs sounds good! I won't have the feel that experience brings, but it will be better with practice. Would a thin braid (20lb) with a flouro leader work? Braid gives me a better feel in some circumstances. The shock of a strike/run would be awsome on braid and graphite. Is the Sandy easy to wade or a bit deep? The weather looks decent for Weds - Sat. Have rod - will travel.
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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I drift fish riffles, with 15 lb. UG mainline, and 6-10 lb. mono leaders...I don't have much experience with flourocarbon, and the only ones I do are pretty bad...So I'm sure a tough leader, and the 20 pound braid will suit you perfectly! Don't forget about swinging spinners in every possible location you can put one in the water on the Sandy. They seem to be kind of a hot ticket this year.
 
Troutski

Troutski

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Good luck...

Good luck...

Fishing the riffles and current runs sounds good! I won't have the feel that experience brings, but it will be better with practice. Would a thin braid (20lb) with a flouro leader work? Braid gives me a better feel in some circumstances. The shock of a strike/run would be awsome on braid and graphite. Is the Sandy easy to wade or a bit deep? The weather looks decent for Weds - Sat. Have rod - will travel.

Good luck HM, you are right on the hit using braided line....I also like flouro leaders. Defiantly bring your rain gear.....this is Oregon.

Chuck
 
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Hannibal Mike

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Another question1

Another question1

First, thanks so much! Next, do you cast to the riffles and mend your drift like fly fishing? I have a 6500 rocket abu that I like and plan to use, but it is not great for casting splitshot and eggs/yarn. Do you strip line and use a fly cast motion? An open face reel is easier to cast for light bait/spinners, but they don't have as strong a drag system. What do you think of a good shimano openface with 200 yards of line? I'm excited about these waters. Hannibal Mike
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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A heavier spinning reel, and rod, would probably be better suited to casting just a few split shot, and tiny baits, or yarn. If you have one of those, bring that, but if you are trying to decide between the Amb. Rocket, or an open face Shimmy. I would almost pick the open face, if you are good about your retrieve, and line management. But generally those are normally used for inshore monsters, and the open faces, I have only used them mooching for Salty Chinook, and trolling for Albacore. Test all of your reels out... Put a few split shot on the end of your line, and cast each one a bunch, and adjust the brakes, and drags, as best you can, and then decide. 200 yds. is way plenty in the way of line. On a spinning setup, I am running 118 yds. of 20 lb. braid, this is for a creek that is 40 feet wide at its widest, and I still let the fish play me a bit, and run all over hell. For the Sandy, you will sure ly be casting most of the time, so definiately bring something you know will fling your lightest tackle, but still able to handle a big cat or nice muskie, lets say. I'm sure you'll have something, and in one of my posts, a buddy id fighting a 15 pound fish full of piss, and vinegar...On bass gear...Just goes to show ya that if you play them right heavy trout gear will work!.
 

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