The Chinook salmon season is winding to an end. As usual the fishing has been very exciting. Many fish lost and some landed.
That’s the way it goes with Chinooks: they are tough on the gear and the angler!
This is the setup that I use:
LeCie 14’8″ 10/11; I use a long rod to facilitate lifting heavy sink tips and full sinking heads out of the water. Short rods are a real handicap when it comes to doing this. This is a heavy duty rod but when you are hooked up to a big spring it comes in very handy.
Quadra reel filled with 300 yards of micron or braid of 65 lbs. Trust me, you will need the 300 yards when you are stumbling down the gravel bar trying to catch up with a chinook that is headed back to the ocean.
Compline running line – 50 lbs.
I create a compact floating head of 27′ from the heaviest possible line weight and loop my tips to that.
Tips vary from 15′ sink 7 to 18′ of T17. In fast water against a high bank I use full sinking lines (2/4/6 or 3/5/7). The fly needs to be close to the bottom for the Chinooks.
4 feet of 30 lbs monofilament; looped to the sink tip with a bimini twist.
Flies; black/purple/blue, chartreuse, pink. For fresh fish I use chartreuse, for pooled up fish I use black or pink. I tie them on tubes or stinger-style and use a 3/0 bait hook. The big hooks increase the landing percentage dramatically compared to smaller sizes.
I hope that this is helpful for those who want to give fly fishing for Chinooks a try. Make sure that your heart is in good shape!
Jaap Kalkman – Guideline Power Team