08-30-2001, 11:58 AM
Was out chasing fish the other day on the lower end of the river and could not find any searuns or steel ghosts, high water must have washed them out. Came to a slow drift and noticed fish rolling, had to be pinks. So being bored and running out of time, I put a bright pink #8 on and fished through. On a sloppy cast that made it out to the main current, had a slow tug and then a short run. My first thought was, humpy. Proceeded to reel him up and give him his freedom when, he takes off upriver and depletes my fly line and then the backing. Could this be a silver or a ghost? After a couple of good runs and nice head shakes on the 6 weight, I pulled him to hand and to my surprise, "humpy". Nice fish very good color no net marks and what fight from a pink salmon! I guess I should not always under estimate them old pinks.
Great story of how one should appreciate even the lesser species. Once I moved away from the PNW I realized just how much I love humpies, chum, sockeyes, jacks, dollies, cutts not to mention kings, coho, and steelhead.
I know I am not alone when I say that I appreciate chum salmon. Believe me I now have cold November days looking out the window at leafless trees and hard cold ground or snow dreaming of the days when I would battle several 15-20 pound chums before breakfast on a saturday to kick off the weekend while waiting for winter steelhead to arrive. They aren't pretty but fresh dawgs when they get on the bite are a fish that would be all the rage if they existed in some part of the country where there were no other species to compare with.
I caught a chrome pink on a fly rod out at Sekiu one year that fought like the dickens in open water. It didn't jump like the hooknoses but it sure kicked my butt.
Also caught a bright chum about 12 pounds out at Bush Pt from my boat, I thought it was going to be a 25 pound chinook the way it fought.
Anyway, you're right we should count our blessings - some places the prime target species is carp }>