Well, I spent the weekend working the coast, and the majority of it fishing the Humptulips chinook. There were kings, but it wasn't easy. The water was low and clear, running from 550 to 500 CFS after dropping from above 1000 during the week, there were fish hanging around the hatchery area. Many of the chinook had been in the fresh for quite a while, and while they were a fantastic fight, they were not worth eating. We did manage a couple bright ones though.
On the upside, the lower river had a very regular fish presence in the usual holes, but they were not thick by any means, and with the low water, take downs were hard to come by. We did find the fish lower were a little bit brighter. We need rain out there to draw the fish in, and then it will be back to business as usual. Even more acceptable was that as much roe as we chucked into the river, we filled up on tons of eggs while we were out there. Plus the chum are ginourmous!
The crowds at the hatchery are not that bad at the moment, and there are enough fish to tug on to make it worth the drive to fish from the bank, but the lack of concentrations in the lower river makes it really tough to run the boat out.
The few fish we did pick up did not disappoint though. Most of the coho were 10 + with the average at 15, the chinook were large, the smallest kept was 13 lbs. We did hook fish every day, but not in the numbers that make it worth the drive. I have rescheduled my weekend trips until we get more rain.
But don't worry! The coho are THICK in the Snohomish system, and will more than make up for the lack of fish in the hump.
Nate Treat Fishing
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"Specializing in Fishing Instruction and Shore Guiding on Washington's Rivers."