09-27-2006, 10:13 PM
Can anybody give me some info on walk in fishing areas on the Nehalem? I am headed there mid October (19-22) and heard that the fall chinooks also frequent this area around this time of year. Any chance they are accessible to the boatless or have I heard incorrectly? Any info about wade-in areas would be appreciated.
Assuming Nehalem OR (vs WA) - The chinook run there is peaking now and you'll probably have some coho as well which are much more willing takers on the fly. I had friends from Seattle who went every year for the big fall kings but they fished the tidewater from boats with cut plug herring.
Winter steelhead starts in Nov, so you might be too early for that unless they have some summer fish which I am not familiar with.
Gorgeous river, explore it I think you will find a lot going on in Oct.
The most obvious will be the huge kings which avg 20# plus, best way I have found to catch them on a fly is early and late hours and use a fly that wallows around in the current instead of zipping by.
I had tidewater pools on the way to work and fished them every day for years. The chinook basically hit when they want to and dont when they don't. When new fish enter a pool they seemed to turn on (aggression).
If I charted out the success verses off days it didn't make any real trend except early and late, new fish = BANG.
Two of my best flies were my bunny rat (search the site) and an estaz bodied spider based on Knudsen's. I've watched guys do well with dark nymphs as well for holding fish.
I am no expert on chinook in rivers on a fly but did hook serious numbers when I lived there for 12 years and all I can say is HANG ON TIGHT you are in for a ride.
The coho are going to be much more cooperative and you can get them on baitfish patterns in tidewater or on flies fish with a strip after the swing upriver. I have great luck with black but some use bright colors for them. The most fun you can have for them is to fish them on top, using a Miyawaki popper in tidewater or a waking fly of some sort upriver, like a pollywog.
Tidewater and upriver fish are different and require different approaches. Fish still tasting salt can be approached a lot like stripers and blues - they are going to eat.
Fish upriver must be enticed with something that brings out a deeply imbedded memory, I think it even goes back to smolt aged thinking in the fish but then again who knows. You have to be crafty for fish in the river as they aren't grabbing everything that goes by in any stretch of the imagination. They turn on and off and you need to be there when they turn on.
There are searun cutts in that river as well, you might run into some. Gorgeous fish and much larger than the trout you see in PA.
My favorite is of course the steelhead...
good luck and give it hell you will hook something you won't soon forget
10-08-2006, 08:42 PM
I have only fished the mainstem once, but I used to fish the North Fork fairly often. The North Fork has some decent walk-in access near the fish hatchery. Just to the north of the hatchery a bridge crosses the highway....just to the North of the bridge there is a Longview Fibre logging road that cross a small creek, if you follow this road for a mile or so (give or take a little) it will climb a hill and then there will be a pullout on the left...you can park here and hike down to the river (it is probably a 1/2 mile hike). The north fork gets all the same species that Juro mentioned.
There are also many other rivers in the area which should be fishing well then including the Trask and Wilson.
One more technique:
When Chinook are running early in the morning over shallow riffles, they will often snap at quartering flies. We used to fish the tules (a strain of early running, early maturing Chinook) on the Kalama using this strategy, starting at virtual dark and hooking fish until they stopped running, usually about the same time as the sun hit the water.
Had some exciting times.