Salmon river fishing can be quite challenging since river salmon are very elusive. Salmons are aggressive creatures that easily get startled and swim away quickly, making them very hard to catch. The best way to fish for river salmon is to know which rivers these salmon congregate, the season when they are most abundant, the equipment needed for this kind of fishing and the bait to use. Below are tips on how to increase your chance of catching a salmon on your next salmon river fishing trip.
Fish in the Right Place
Location is key to successful salmon fishing. River salmon are found in fresh waters with deep pools, fairly fast-moving currents and big rocks. Salmon go upstream to spawn but usually get tired along the way, so they tend to rest in calmer areas of the river and hide behind big rocks or boulders.
Salmons like to stay in quiet river bends or shaded portions of the water, so it is best to cast your line in those places.
Fish at the Right Time
Most salmon seasons start around mid-spring in April when the fish swim up-river and would stay there until the start of summer in July. They would swim back to sea at the later part of the summer, usually at the end of August or early September. It is also around this time when the salmon season typically ends depending on the state’s fishing and wildlife laws and water condition of the rivers where salmon fishing is allowed. In some areas, however, salmon season continues until the fall, so it is best to check with the local fishing shops when the salmon season starts and ends. The time of day when salmon fishing is best is usually early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
Use the Right Equipment
Heavy duty gears are used by most anglers when they go salmon fishing in rivers. Usually, this involves large, rugged reels, 10- to 15-foot rods and 3- to 5-foot leaders attached to various strong lines with a “0” to a No. 4 hook. It is not uncommon for fishermen to carry 100 yards or more of fishing line on their reels. Because of the moving waters in the rivers, the drift fishing technique is commonly used. This means the fisherman would cast his bait upstream, allowing it to drift down and plunking it, finding a calm area of the river and letting the bait dangle in front of the coming salmon. This way the bait irritates the salmon into biting it.
Use the Right Kind of Bait
At the start of the salmon season, the fish are usually excited, active and hungry and will bite into almost any live bait such as shrimps, small fish, worms and leeches. Towards the end of the season, having had a season of feeding frenzy, salmon become quite picky and tend to bite on flies, live or artificial.