Salmon fishing is not for the faint of heart. Anglers often describe salmon fishing as some of their most exciting and thrilling exploits. Salmon are fickle and challenging fish, however landing that “big one” becomes the story to tell friends and family. Salmon are varied in species and habitats. Migratory salmon travel from rivers and streams to open water, estuaries are favored spots for some species and freshwater, land-locked species are found in the mainland United States. Ocean trolling offers a legendary opportunity to experience open water fishing and access some if the largest species, including Coho and Chinook salmon. Many experienced anglers utilize fly-fishing during salmon runs, capitalizing on prodigious numbers of fish in confined areas.
Salmon fishing is generally not a beginner sport, but a step to accelerate to after mastering other species. Atlantic salmon is the most popular variety to fish, utilizing hand-made or store-bought flies, though spoons and live-bait can be reliable options, especially as fish migrate to spawn. Salmon are larger than most freshwater fish and require more durable equipment than your basic sport fishing rod. A sturdy 10-foot spinning reel is necessary for bait fishing, and specialized trolling rods are necessary for ocean-going excursions. Large, flashy lures are popular options for catching the eye of salmon and they often will pursue any moving bait, hence the popularity of fly-fishing salmon.
The most reliable method to fly-fish salmon is to utilize dry-fly fishing. Take time to note what the fish in the area are eating and select a similar fly. After spotting a target fish feeding in the vicinity, target slightly upstream when casting and angle across the current to reduce drag and aim outside of a 10-foot radius. Hungry fish will eagerly target the morsel and allow you an unprecedented view of the catch.