: Chummy Whummy Time
The end of Octoer through the second week in November is Chum salmon time in the Tillamook area. Wondering if anyone else fishes for these characters? Over the years, I've had lots of fun chasing them on the Miami, Kilchis and Wilson-- the river of choice being governed by water conditions.
I'm interested in the Puget Sound, Hood Canal fisheries for Chums and have heard about float-tubing for them off the mouths of certain creeks and rivers. Does anyone have any advice about when, where and how to persue these fish in those venues.
Thanks in advance.
10-18-2005, 07:55 AM
Eric you have Estuaries on your mind. Hood Canal is a very accessible place and a float tube will get you into places that are less populated than Hoodsport. Most streams in the Canal have a population of Chum and the fish most years will stage at the mouth waiting for high water to get home to there spawning gravel.
Most folks wade the shallows and get as much action as they want but a float tube is a good option on lots of deep points where the fish school (and jump up and down hollering here we are come and play) Hood Canal is also a real pretty place to be this time of year. I stongly recomend it too all fly fishers who are frustated with long lines on Steelhead streams :lildevl:
10-18-2005, 05:52 PM
I fish for them each November on the Skagit. I honestly don't think we have a stronger fish for its size here in the PNW and there is nothing like hooking into one in the high teens or low 20's to put a bend in your rod!
Most, if not all, the Puget Sound and Olympic Peninsula rivers have them. Using your float tube in Hood Canal as Moonlight spoke of can be very productive, just avoid Hoodsport unless you like lots of company.
One more thing I just wanted to ask: how many of you have caught an early-run steelhead while fishing for chums? I've never pulled this off with a fly rod, but caught a few back in the olden drift rod days. Steelhead seem to like to lie right in the middle of chum schools -- perhaps to gobble loose eggs. Wondered if this were a universal chum phenomenon or occured only on the Tillamook drainage streams.
10-19-2005, 07:49 PM
I have caught chum while searching for early steelhead but don't target chum in the river. If I need a pull on my rod that bad, I will head to the salt for them. I did pick up a lovely chrome bright steelhead hen a couple Novembers ago while fishing with OC. On the next cast, he hooked into a monster dog that just tore up the river. To this day, I don't think I've seen a hotter or bigger chum in freshwater.
Hey OC, you still have that pic laying around of the two uglies?
10-19-2005, 09:02 PM
I have only caught one early hatchery steelhead when fishing for chum on the Skagit. But I do look forward to the grab and fight of the large mid-teen to low 20's chum the Skagit is home to each November.
10-20-2005, 02:45 PM
I have caught chum while searching for early steelhead but don't target chum in the river. If I need a pull on my rod that bad, I will head to the salt for them.
I am starting to think you are one of those flyfishing elitist types so often spoke of on certain gear fishing web sites. Of coarse they are always speaking of them in the nicest of ways. :lildevl:
10-20-2005, 07:08 PM
Are you implying I am a steelhead snob?
I don't know if I should be offended or flattered. ;)
Christ, Tip you have been called that more than once in your life and you never seemed bothered by it. Don't start now.
Tip you should tell the chum story of being down on the Hood Canal in a float tube and having that boat go by you with some really good old boys in it and one of them having to relieve himself #2 real bad. It is one of the best true fishing stories of all time. :hihi:
One more thing no matter what sinktip said or made it sound like I do not catch Chum Salmon on purpose!
10-21-2005, 01:08 PM
Oh man OC you have given me a visual I didn't need on a Friday. 'tip with an old chum on and some grey beard in the background taking a lose one off the side of his boat. Something is very wrong with this picture.
FYI: I have never caught a chum in my life. :tongue: Just ask homey.
10-21-2005, 01:26 PM
OC is right. Of course, he doesn't catch steelhead on purpose either :razz:
I'm somewhat limited in telling the story he mentions by the fact this is a family friendly site and I have two much respect for the Moderators to run afoul of them. :chuckle:
I will say that years ago I witnessed a near fist fight happen at Hoodsport in a jetsled filled with 6-7 half-drunk good ol' boys. Apparently one of the crew, who had to tip the scales at close to 300#, somehow managed to sneak enough privacy to answer a certain constitutional call of nature involving a small white bucket. As he was finishing his duty, the boat owner turned around to observe said 300# man hunched over the small bucket and tempers subsequently flaired. Insults were exchanged, challenges uttered and expletives hurled. Of course this was quite humorous from the vantage point of a nearby float-tube. Especially the chest to chest staredown with said 300# individual still trying to secure his clothing. My sense of amusement soon ended as the situation was diffused and the bucket in mention was dumped overboard. Needless to say, I chose to look for fish up-tide for awhile.
10-21-2005, 02:30 PM
'tip that is to funny.
What's the matter Tip? Don't you like to chase big Browns. You are getting to be one heck of a snob when it comes to fishing! I thought you told me the story a little differently in that the guy didn't have a bucket but found a private place on the deck of the bow of the boat. A real steamer on an early morning in November, eh! I'm sorry Kerry, but now you know the rest of the story.
10-21-2005, 03:28 PM
Nope, there was definetly a bucket. What we could never figure out was how in a boat that size with that many people could the big guy get most of the way through his business before anybody else noticed.
It does give a new meaning to foul hook-ups though. :whoa:
Before we get too far afield with the field latrine stories, I want to revisit a comment Sinktip made about not targeting Chums in the river. Note that he also said that when he wants a pull on the rod, he gets 'em in the salt.
Therein lies the rub.
Chum deteriorate so rapidly that, unless one catches them within hours of leaving the ocean, they're a very sorry sight. Not called Calico Salmon for nothing. Huge canines; reds, blacks, yellows, greens and colors not to be mentioned predominate on their scaleless hides. Hideous caricatures of the splendid fish they were virtually the day before. You have to be brave, foolhearty and adequately gloved to reach into the maw of a rampant buck to retrieve a fly at the end of a dogged battle.
Down in the tide zones, it's a different matter. For one thing, besides putting up spirited resistance, they are of one the few anadromous salmonids that take avidly while on the run, making for fast and rewarding fishing. A clean, bright buck Chum is a worthy adversary for most of us. A hen, silver and gleaming as she arcs into the air, is one of the thrills we seek as flyfishers. Were it not for the fact that we're spoiled by Chinook, Coho, and Steelhead, the Chum would rank much higher on the continuum of desirable targets.
10-21-2005, 06:45 PM
I've spoken with Les Johnson on occasion about the lowly chum. He is amazed that fishing for them has become as popular as it has. He said when they wrote the first FLyfishing For Pacific Salmon that they didn't even include them as everyone viewed them as a trash fish. But hey, you got people targeting carp now too :eek: Maybe we are all slipping down that slippery slope to hell.
(steelhead snob and proud of it)