Trying to catch my first spring chinook.

Fred

Active member
I'm on summer break, and because of COVID I only work a few days, so I'm going to be free pretty much this whole month. So the rivers I have in mind are the Sandy River, Clackamas River, Molalla River, Trask River, Wilson River, South Santiam river, Little North Santiam River, MacKenzie River, Hood River, and Big Creek. I'm closer to and more familiar with the Trask, Sandy, and Wilson. I think my best bet right now in July would be the Sandy or the Trask. So far I've gone on about 5 trips targeting spring chinook, but I haven't really gone on any full-day trips. I went to the Sandy River at Oxbow Park in late May and in early June. In May, a chrome springer close to 20 pounds jumped twice right in front of me where I had been casting spinners for a few hours ;(. In June I saw a more average one that was dark green jump at the boat put in. I also went to the South Santiam River in late May, and I caught some smallmouth bass and saw trout jumping, but no salmon. I Talked to an older timer, and he gave me some pointers. He also said he had the river record for fall chinook in some river out by Coos Bay. I went to the Trask about a week ago and fished the dam hole nobody was there. All I caught were baby steelhead and salmon, but I did see some 10-14 inch cutthroats following my lures. Went fishing at the North Santiam State Recreation Area. We almost got shot by some guy that was shooting at a target. Somehow he missed or something, and two bullets came flying over some guys in a drift boat and zipped past us bank anglers. I heard one zip past my head. All the fishermen there started swearing like sailors at the guy XD. The camp host said someone got a 9-pound spring chinook in the morning. I went trolling for stocked rainbows at the North Fork Reservoir for trout and I saw a spring chinook jumping. I think they closed the Clackamas to spring chinook fishing, I'm not sure. Is the spring run over or is there still a chance I can get one? I'm going to be fishing from the bank using spinners, eggs, spoons, plugs, jigs, and shrimp. Any tips on how to fish with those baits would be helpful. I have 30-pound braid and 1-ounce floats. A friend of mine gave me a ton of salmon eggs to use, but they are years old, so I don't know if that would affect them. What size lures should I use, I'm using blue foxes size five and four. I'll likely be going to the sandy or Trask tomorrow. Also does drift fishing for spring chinook work?
 

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troutdude

Moderator
'I think they closed the Clackamas to spring chinook fishing, I'm not sure." You are correct. Fishing for Springers on the Clack was closed on 7/4.

Me thinks that you're too late for Springers on the other streams. But you should be able to still find some summer steelhead on some of the aforementioned streams.
 

C_Run

Well-known member
The Willamette Falls counts currently show about 30,000 fish and still 200-300 per day moving up so they've got to be somewhere, right? I'd stick with the Santiams. Got a buddy who has done well there this season and even pretty recently.
 

Artwo

Active member
Heard of some recent good numbers (springers) being caught at the Dodge Park area on the Sandy...........early and black spinners is what was reported.
 
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