Slipped out early this morning to target pink salmon on the Fraser river. The Fraser has been closed to salmon fishing for a few weeks now due to warmer water temperatures and low return numbers of sockeye. Yesterday they re-opened the river so I thought I would see how things were looking.
When I arrived at the river the sun was just coming up and there were a few fish rising. It was not the best time to be there as the tide had switched and was now heading out. Despite the tide there were still fish moving through and my hopes were high.
I started on the fly and it only took a few minutes before I was into my first fish, a nice little male pink salmon. The fish put up a nice fight and in the end was released to continue on its journey. I fly fished for a while longer, enjoying the solitude of being the only person there fishing on such a beautiful morning. The action on the water died down and less and less fish were surfacing. I decided to switch to gear and began casting a pink lure. I fished the gear for about half an hour and whike I was paying attention to the scenery around members are had another fish whack my lure. I instinctively set the hook and it was game on. After a short but aggressive battle my second fish came to hand. I unbuttoned the hook and sent the healthy female pink back on her way.
I fished for an hour or so more and did not see many risers. More people joined me at the river and began fishing. With the lack of action and lack of schools pushing through I decided it was time to head home.
The fish are there, and it is still early in the run, the big numbers and big schools of fish have yet to push up the river. Next weekend should improve and I anticipate that it will be quite a sucessful time on the river. This fishery is an excellent opportunity to get someone interested in fishing or to take the kids out for their first salmon. Enjoy it and don't forget... respect the fish, treat them gently and obey the rules.