Well it has been 7 years since I have seen the sun shine in Oregon, in the summer. Damn it’s hot!!!. I know 70 and 80 degrees is not that warm, but from what I am used to, this is hot. Anyway, I am home on vacation now, and having a great time. The creek that I have been fishing for the last 30 years, for winter Steelhead, has Chinook returning to it for the first time in 20 years. When I was 18, I can remember days on the creek, where you could catch ten to twenty of these big kings per day. Then back in the mid to late 80’s, because of lack of funding, the kings run was shut down at the hatchery, resulting in the decline and eventually the end of the Chinook to Eagle Creek. I am glad to say that 6 years ago the state funded a private hatch box, and this is the first returns to the creek this year. It is not a coincidence that I am home at this time. I did not want to miss the first year the Kings came back. I called ahead to some of my friends before I returned, just to see if there were any kings in the creek. The reports I got were not good, but I had a gut feeling that they were there, and my friends had just not spent the time to really look. Well I am glad to say that in the 3 days I have fished, since my return, the fishing has been great, and the Kings I have found have been in great shape. I have got into about 20 fish, and landed about half of them. The biggest so far, being about 25 pounds. These fish have just a bit of color, but they still have white belly’s, and the meat is still bright orange, and they are very firm, and full of fight.
About 20 years ago, I made a fly out of pheasant breast, and it was the best King fly ever. I have not been able to find this feather again, so I used yarn flies for these kings. I used the same tie that I use for the Steelhead, I just used bright reds and oranges, to mimic an egg pattern. It worked fairly well. here are some pics from the last trip with my friend Steve.
Steve is the one I have to give the credit to, for starting me out with the fly rod. I have been fishing with Steve now for over twenty years. When I was just a young fisherman, catching fish in any way that I could, Steve in the one that took me aside and showed me that you can catch fish with a fly pole, and you can be very successful, if you learn how to do it right. Since then, I have been fly fishing with Steve, and it’s a great fishing partnership. Of course we have come to the point that when we see a fish, (if we can hold back from yelling "Fish in the Hole!") we try to keep it to ourselves, knowing that if we say anything out loud, the other guy will have there line in the water before the words are spoken. So we play some games with each other out there when it comes to fish, but the time we spend together now is great, and we can fish together without any problems. We are both freaks when it comes to fish, so with that in mind, if we see a nice big one, the river gets quiet, and fishing is the only thing going on. The less Steve talks, the more I assume that he has a big fish in front of him, but I back off, you have to let a guy have one now and then.
So good luck out there. Remember if you have a place you want to fish, and some people are saying that there is no fish, then go check it out for yourself’s. I found a gem of a fishery at Eagle Creek, I also have not seen another soul down there. So it is the best vacation ever.