Salmon season winds down

2009-12-15 16:24:11
Chetco River, Oregon - Freshwater Fishing Report
Ice Box to Mouth

<p>Salmon fishing is coming to a close on the Chetco, but 2009 will be remembered as one of the best runs in a decade, both for size of fish and numbers.

We received heavy rains today, which will likely bring the remaining salmon in the river to their spawning beds, but also give steelhead fishing a boost. We've already caught two steelhead this season and will be on the water again starting this weekend.

Salmon season began in September at the mouth, with better-than-average fishing. It was in late September when one of my clients, Carl Johnson, landed a monster salmon while we were trolling anchovies and spinning blades. The salmon measured 49 1/2 inches and had a 33 inch girth, which puts it in the high 60 pound range, just under 70 pounds.

We continued to do well in the estuary in October until rains pushed a lot of the salmon upstream.

The river opened above the Highway 101 bridge in mid-November, and fishing was incredible, with limit every day for a few weeks.

The run slows early this month, but we caught a few more salmon and some steelhead.

When we return to the water this weekend, we'll be side-drifting, targeting steelhead.

Fish Species: king salmon
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60-plus-pound Chetco River trophy salmon
60-plus-pound Chetco River trophy salmon

Hawg salmon from the Chetco in November,
Hawg salmon from the Chetco in November,

About The Author: Captain Andy Martin

Company: Wild Rivers Fishing Oregon and Alaska

Area Reporting: Oregon, Alaska

Bio: Andy Martin is a well-known Oregon and Alaska fishing guide and charter boat captain. He targets trophy halibut in Alaska, as well as six-fish-per-person limits of silver salmon. In Oregon, he catches some of the biggest salmon in the Northwest, including trophy king salmon over 60 pounds. Oregon salmon and steelhead trips are done out of clean, heated jet boats and drift boats on the Rogue and Chetco rivers. Andy also is a prolific outdoor writer, regular contributing to Fish Alaska, Salmon Trout Steelheader, Saltwater Sportsman, Game & Fish, Oregon Hunter, California Sportsman, Northwest Sportsman and ESPN Outdoors.

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