October 28, 2023 Northern Angler Fishing Report
Well the month of October is coming to a close and I think that all of the anglers that love to chase our fall steelhead are left shaking their heads. There have been glimmers of hope that the runs will show, but so far, even with the latest rains there seems to be a trickle of fish. So far, I would classify our fall fishery as a bunch of “unsupervised children” based on the number of skippers in the system without a solid number of adults in the mix. Where are the big fish that we saw the last few years? This run so far reminds me of 2014, so maybe a 10 year cycle? One thing is for sure, we need to now, more than ever protect our wild run steelhead and really look at the management and harvest numbers. The coho and king run has been incredible! There have been so many fish in the system, that it reminds me of when I first started guiding with kings still rolling in up to Halloween. There are tons of eggs in the system and the fish that are in the rivers have put on their feed bags. I have been on the river every day since the end of September and I can tell you that it has been a grind to find steelhead opportunities each and every day. Most days we are getting it done, but anglers must capitalize on each and every opportunity presented.
Hopefully this rain will bring in some fish and make November a solid month with adults in the system. The fall season has been super fun with great weather and active skippers doing what they do best, humbling even the most experienced anglers. It is really fun to see how aggressive the skippers are this year and we have had a blast with them, it would just be nice to see more adults around. The kind that absolutely kicks your butt and leaves you questioning what you possibly could have done to land that fish. There have been a few of those types of fights, but not what we are accustomed to seeing for this time of year, especially with the number of salmon that are in the system. I remain optimistic that the fish will show, but sometimes I feel like Charlie Brown waiting for the Great Pumpkin to appear!
Looking forward to a bit of a weather change and see what will happen. Stay tuned!