Skinny water chinook

R
RunWithSasquatch
I am gonna lay out my favorite low water Salmon attack. Though it works great on low water salmon, Ive caught steelhead doing this. Any water level if there is a seem, or channel you can get your self above, Ive found this to be highly productive.

This technique works better for low water because most slots and seems are accessible with out killing your self to get there.

Fall fishing can be feast or famine. Mostly dictated by rain. My general rule is after one good freshet in late September, or early October, no matter how low it gets after that, the fish are still moving. Slowly, but there is fish to be had.

Most of the coastal streams are dropping right now, and the long term forecast looks mighty dry. Earlier in the season when the rivers were up about a half, to one whole foot above what the levels are now, every morning you could find 20 to 30 vehicles staged along the stream that I fish the most. Summer time level this year was 1.2, and its now 1.4. And with that low level, the people have disappeared. This morning when I ran down stream I only seen 2 or 3 other vehicles, thats it!

Not that I am complaining, these low levels are some of the funnest fishing in my opinion. Fish are easy to find, channels are small. And with the decreased number of people because of water flow, you end up with entire slots and runs to your self. This technique hogs the entire hole.

Easy pickins.

I went 3 for 3 on a short days fishing, and all of them came on plugs backed down into slots, seams, and pockets! When I left the house, I grabbed 1 rod, and a box of steelhead plugs, and away I went.

Here is a video of today's chinook. Took me a whole minute and a half to find him. First time I attacked this specific spot of the day. Generally I have found that if there is a fish there, they will take it right away.

( Bare with the video, my camera has a hard time picking on what to focus, about half way through it gets its self settled down. Fish take at the end. )

[video=youtube;5aIJ-ldZJ9g]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aIJ-ldZJ9g&feature=player_detailpage[/video]

And here is the aftermath, the fish that took my plug.

IMG_1332.jpg

I took two more fish after this one, a coho that I released, and one other chinook that I handed off to a kid to battle with his dad. All came on plugs.


Resampled_2011-10-19_12-23-37_524.jpg

So far this fall I am 3 for 5 doing this technique, and I haven't used it as much as I'd like because Ive been stuck at home. But with these low levels I plan to plug and run until the rain shows.

I prefer Brads Wigglers, they are one of the more stable plug designs out there, handle fast currents well, and they dive surprisingly deep. I think the size of the plug is key also, as not to be overwhelming in the lower waters. We don't want the fish to back down from this, we want them to get territorial and slam it.

I usually use a solid orange Brad's, but most colors work, if not all. I prefer bright colors that draw a lot of attention.

And here is a good set of fish that came on plug, a total of 7 minutes fished on these. I didn't get to the river until it was 11 AM, sun was high, and the fish had moved to the top end of a fast riffle, that was about waste deep. Back the plug in, and the little buck hit within 30 seconds. Tag and bleed the fish, I had to change the plug because he bent the hooks. And back out, and the hen took in about a minute after that. Two runs with the plug, and two fish.

1018101528.jpg

This is the plug that took the hen in the photo above. I had changed over to siwash's for winter steelhead, and the hen put a hurting on those hooks. And had since upsized the hook size. But I feel that the added weight of the heavier hooks effected the action of the plug too much. This particular plug has killed a lot of fish.

36152_105190509546522_100001667194448_41022_6747293_n.jpg

This silver with the same plug from above came in a slot that was 2 foot wide. And about 3 foot deep. Instant reaction once the plug was in the slot.

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Here is a summer from earlier this year, came out of the seem just off my left leg. Hit that same orange plug, 3' off the rocks. Instant reaction.
IMG_0922.jpg


One of the most awesome sights is watching a rod double over while back trolling a plug. One step better is to have a fish double your rod over while you're holding it.:clap:
 
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E
eggs
Very cool I might have to try that out!..

By the way is that steel pic from a sw washington stream? Looks just like a place that was loaded with coho 2 weeks ago... a good pod of 100 below the bridge just taunting us!
 
M
markasd
Great post, great info! Looks like a blast, can not wait to get my boy out fishin!
 
J
JeannaJigs
That river was designed for plugs. It's crazy. I was thinking about plugs last time. Hit my local creek up this week and it's a whole different beast not so well suited. Just too big.

Nicely done. I have a box of no less than 30 plugs for lake hos and steelhead. All of the ones you murdered fish with are proven killers in my box. I always get rid of the stock hooks and swap em for stainless owners. They are slightly heavier but I have not noticed a terrible difference in action.
 
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R
RunWithSasquatch
eggs said:
Very cool I might have to try that out!..

By the way is that steel pic from a sw washington stream? Looks just like a place that was loaded with coho 2 weeks ago... a good pod of 100 below the bridge just taunting us!


Nope, its the Nestucca.

Thanks for the comments guys!

Hope some of you try it out... its a blast. Surprising how well it works.
 
C
colbypearson
Awesome dude!! i digged the play by play you gave me the other day i can't wait to try it next time do that river fishing thing hahaha!
 
R
RunWithSasquatch
JeannaJigs said:
That river was designed for plugs. It's crazy. I was thinking about plugs last time.

Its so true. Anytime I fish that river below 2' its all I can think about wanting to do. Shove a plug, in that fishes face, that I know is laying there, watching my eggs go over its head. The problem is that usually about 1.5' the people are there, and you have to fallow suite with everyone else.
 
E
eggs
Ohh right on.. didn't have to spill the beans on location lol.. I was talking about the kalama up river at the county park.. looks damn near identical to that.. lenght of bend, shallow bar, skinny slot, bank and everything lol

Nice write up man
 
R
RunWithSasquatch
eggs said:
Ohh right on.. didn't have to spill the beans on location lol.. I was talking about the kalama up river at the county park.. looks damn near identical to that.. lenght of bend, shallow bar, skinny slot, bank and everything lol

Nice write up man

Its a fun river.
 
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S
skunk
Very nice, thanks for sharing. I was thinking of trying that this late summer and now I know... I should have! Good to see it works well.
 
E
eggs
RunWithSasquatch said:
Ill drop a Nestucca bomb, its not my local creek, but I do travel up to it several times a year.

I go over there a dozen times or so a year.. might have to hit ya up this winter and chase some steel.. we can trade fishin spots as we go!
 
N
nwkiller
man that is too sick, so are u lightly thumbing it so that it is still kicking the whole time or are you thumb it...free spool.....thumb it. either way that is some great info....and your right you definetly need to "own the hole" to do that trick.... great thread!
 
S
skunk
eggs said:
I go over there a dozen times or so a year.. might have to hit ya up this winter and chase some steel.. we can trade fishin spots as we go!

I'll go with ya, I need to learn a coast river and that one looks like it would be a fun river.
 
R
RunWithSasquatch
nwkiller said:
man that is too sick, so are u lightly thumbing it so that it is still kicking the whole time or are you thumb it...free spool.....thumb it. either way that is some great info....and your right you definetly need to "own the hole" to do that trick.... great thread!


You just leave your drag open, and lightly thumb it back in there. I pause the plug every 2-3" of line, and give it a few seconds, and If I like how it feels where its sitting, ill go 10-15 seconds before I give a little more line. I try not to give much line out per chunk, otherwise your plug will loose its action, and could pass a fish before it picks back up. And you can feel right when the fish is getting ready to terrorize you, can feel its mouth close on it, then you just hang on!
 
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R
RunWithSasquatch
skunk said:
I'll go with ya, I need to learn a coast river and that one looks like it would be a fun river.

eggs said:
I go over there a dozen times or so a year.. might have to hit ya up this winter and chase some steel.. we can trade fishin spots as we go!



I'd be into dragging my drifter up there and maybe getting all 3 of us in for a drift over there this winter.
 
N
nwkiller
nice good info! thanks
 
A
alm21
Great informative post. Thanks for sharing.
 
R
RunWithSasquatch
nwkiller said:
nice good info! thanks

I will add, that I understand its not ideal always to have a rod dedicated to plugging. But HI Viz line makes you a whole lot more effective. The tight slots have a lot of weird current seems, and you have to constantly be changing your rod tip location to stear the plug, and keep it working in the current. And with bright line, its easier to tell where your plug is headed.

I didn't have Hi Viz on this rod, the normal rod I use in that situation I busted over my knee a week ago, and it does have hi viz. And in that situation I tie a preleader of 25lb leader for salmon, and 15lb or 20lb for steelhead, about 5' worth. doube uni knotted to my main braid.

Today, I tied straight to my braid, and they didn't seem to care.
 
E
eggs
I have a drifter build for 2.. but we can plan this sometime late Nov. sometime.
 
W
waco
Thanks for sharing this great info man!!! I know exactly where I'm trying this!! I know a seem where I always see fish I have tried everything but plugs and can get any!!!
 

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