It's been quite a long while since my last post, but my trip this past weekend is worth putting one up. Sorry, but I need to keep the location secret on this one. Since I don't really have any great Chum opportunities close by that I care to fish, the Coho are pretty much done and the winter steelhead haven't really shown up yet, I figured I would take some time to hit up one of my trout rivers to see what would happen. Given the time of year, I figured that beads would probably be a good choice, but I took along some hardware as well.
At the first hole I started off with an 8mm bead in a two toned bright orange/peach color. Sort of a half live/half starting to die egg pattern. First cast hooked up with a small trout that got off, and the rest of the hole produced nothing. I proceeded to also run a silver/green 1/8oz Kastmaster through the hole as well as a 1/8oz pink Roostertail with a silver blade. The Roostertail got one solitary hit, but that was it for the hardware. I then headed downstream and hit up another a hole using the same bead as before. Up near the head of the hole I hooked and landed a small rainbow, maybe 8", and at the tail I hooked and landed a whitefish of about 10".
Continuing downstream from there I decided to hit up one other hole that I know can hold good sized fish, but I had personally never caught anything of notable size from before today. Going with just the bead again, it was only a few casts before I saw the bobber drop on the far side of a submerged boulder. I set the hook and soon realized that I had finally managed to tie into a good sized fish out of this hole. It stayed deep and fought strong, but no line ripping runs or crazy acrobatics. I was almost certain that I had hooked up on a reasonable bull, as in my experience that is exactly how they fight. When I first got the fish close enough to see though, I could make out a dark stripe on the side as well as a more yellowish body. At first I thought it may have been an extremely late season pink hen, but didn't consider that to be very likely. Once the fish tired enough for me to get it in close I saw much to my surprise that it was a very good sized rainbow, by far the biggest wild rainbow I have ever landed that wasn't a steelhead. It was probably at least a solid 18" if not more, and very thick; I would guess about 2.5 pounds. It had probably been sitting in the river since June feasting on the parade of eggs coming downstream from the Chinook all the way through to the Chum. After the pictures and some quick/rough measurements, I sent it back to continue its egg feasting. Definitely a new personal best for a wild 'bow from a river. I have spent a good amount of time fishing this particular western WA river, and caught many 'bows from it, but this one was in a totally different class altogether. Made my day for sure!