No line cannons
Equipment is what you would expect for this kind of fishing. If you're going to target chinook salmon, a strong 9' 9wt rod would be a good choice. If you're like me and hope to hook some of the other species as well as salmon, a good compromise rod is an 8wt. Neither should be "line cannons", as long casts really aren't necessary. What should be your primary concern is the strength of these rods, as you're going to put them to the test should you hook up with a fresh fish. The stronger the rod, the quicker you can bring the fish to shore for a quick and safe release. Reels should have a smooth drag and the ability to hold a couple hundred yards of backing. Not all the fish will take you into your backing, but the few that do will make you appreciate the fact that you have a bit of luxury as far as line capacity.
One critical piece of equipment to bring with you is a hook hone, as you'll often snag your fly on the bottom rocks. Since heavy tippets are the norm for big salmon, it's likely that you'll be able to pull the fly free from the rocks. ALWAYS check the hook point after every snag.
Salmon fishing on the Salmon River isn't for everyone. It is not the river to go to if solitude is what you are after, and tempers have been known to flare from time to time. However, I'm of the opinion that the more sportsmen who stop avoiding the river and start fishing it, the better off it will be. Lead by example is a good motto. I do my best to respect the river, the fish, and my fellow anglers around me. If we all did that, then the ugly history of this great river would be just that - history. Only then will this world class fishery get the respect it deserves.
A Schweitzer/Joergensen Publication
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