Canyoning it can be very productive but dangerous, but not for Danger Boy!

Okay, itís getting kind of late but some of your best Springer fishing is done in July and the water has been so goddamn high over here in the metro area that itís finally dropped and should be okay for the rest of the summer. 

So what does that mean?  Really What?


Get out your bait divers, your K15 Kwik Fish, your sardines, your sandshrimp, your anise oil, your 20 pound test and some pluggin rods with back bone.  I personally use Gloomis 1086 I was using the lighter version that some of my guide buddies use but I didnít like them and the minute I switched to a rod with more backbone I got better results. 

So now what do you do with the above items?

Ya find a nice big king hole.
Or them edges along big eddies
A slot that theyíll sit in to acclamate once they get out of the salt
A huge deep bend in the river
Heavy ripply water
Or a deep slot in frog water

Remember Springers are big and they want to hide unless theyíre doing the wild thing, then theyíre so engrossed the only way to break them up is to snag one and snatch it from itís lover.  Which A LOT of inbred icky people have been known to do.  Isnít that mean donít ya think?  Here youíve traveled all those thousands of miles to get a little and then to have some asshole snatch you when you'íe at yer errrr climax.   That just sucks so please leave them alone.

Hereís a comparison, just imagine you finally are rich enough to do a Pamela Lee Anderson look alike, youíre rolling around in the sack and then some one sticks a huge sharp hook in your butt and pulls you off of her.  Now wouldnít that just suck?  Now you see how it feels
A couple different ways to rig Kwik Fish, my favored way is the last one.  Please try to figure out which one is my favorite color and most effective one.
Now youíre gonna plug the run but the salmon hole your fishing is way uckin deep?  Whatever do you do?

Instead of going 50 feet out (this is with 3 feet of visibility) go 40.  The plugs will sink better.  Now stick a little twisty weight on there: an 1/8 oz lead weight that slides on the line and is held by rubber twisty things.  You know, the kind you used as a kid fishing for bullhead  That will keep that K15 Kwik Fish down there on the bottom and you can quickly take it off for faster water.

Now youíre probably wondering what speed ya go at?

Slower than what  you would for steelhead. 

Now what if the king waps the kwik fish with his tail (youíll notice the rod doing something completely weird) what do you do?

Back up the boat and dig the plugs deeper into itís face and come at the fish again.

What if my Kwik fish was perfectly tuned but alas I put the wrap on it and itís all funky?

Whatever you doÖ donít retune the plug.  Youíre gonna weaken it and if itís a lucky plug (itís got that action that fish lovvvveeeee) you want to have it for a long time.  Just put on a smaller thinner piece of sardine, trim the sardine peice you put on the kwikfish.  Add a shot of anise oil.  Wrap better next time.

Hereís some more tipsÖ
If your buddy canít set the hook on the rod as it slams down because heís
1. Too drunk to notice or care
2. Too weak to pull it out of the holder
3. A frickin idiot
You can set the hook for him.  What do I mean by that?  When you see that rod slammin into the water row as hard as you frickin can back upstream.  This also works on steelhead.  You set the hook for them till they can get the rod out of the holder.  When pulling the rod out of the holder, have them wack the butt hard then put the other hand above the reel and in a circular motion never letting the tip down they pull it out.

Some people like to sit there in a channel of the river and wait for the fish to come up with their plugs.  I hate doing it this way because you just sit there but it is very effective, but very uckin boring!  Another thing when youíre just sitting there hammering a channel is to throw huge globs of eggs (Iím talking big globs) with a dab of anise oil for a kicker and throw over and over again till they come up.  Sandshrimp works also.

As for bait divers?  I like to use bait divers because not only can you get a King on them you can get Summerruns on them. 

Does color matter for bait divers?  No!  Use the clear ones.  Do you really think that diving thing in the color of red is going to attract the fish?  Iím thinking itís gonna spook them if you ask me.  Just stop and think and imagine that youíre the fish.

How long do I go for leader off of the diver? About four to five feet again depending on visibility.

What color do I use for the spin n glo above the bait I use?  What color works the best on your river?  Is it a pink or orange river?  If you canít decide use a metallic spin n glo.

What kind of hooks do I use?  The big ones, what 1 Octs?  Remember VMC boysÖ Remember VMCÖ  Use a double hook set up with each hook going the opposite way.  Not the same way.  The same way will work but it all depends on your personal preferences.

Now hereís some really important tips.

Go heavy on your leader/line material.  These are big aggressive evil fish.  They will break your line if too weak.  I wonít tell you how many fish I lost in the Skykomish last year going after summerruns with 15 pound test and getting into an accidental hog.    I say better be safe than sorry go with 25 pound test with 20 pound leader.  Or 20 pound test with 15 pound leader.
Note the swivel that comes with the plug and note the one I replace it with.  What looks better?
One last thingÖ  The swivels they use on plugs are too small and weak to handle a 40 pound fish jumping around like crazy.  The smaller swivels also tend to allow the line to rub on the plogs bill.  Go buy bigger swivels that are heavier and better made.  Now replace all the swivels on your Kwik Fish and bait divers.

Also donít horse the fish, unless your canyoning it.  Let them tire themselves out.  A good way to do this is to hold them perfectly in the current after they do their runs.  What I mean by that is where the shallow meets the deep on the current seam, and stand above them so they work at it.  The important thing about this advice isÖ

A bad bad product.  The lighted Kwik Fish.  This is the third one I have bought and the third one that leaks.  Do not buy these plugs till they get em right.  They leak and itís too bad.  The concept of little flashing Kwik Fish is great!  Too bad it immdeiately leaks around the battery.

Ah the summerrun.  Them beautiful aggressive little fish that can come in anywhere from June till October, depending on what river youíre at.  Unfortunately, I believe that before we killed off entire runs of fish (that would be the fish that like to come in September because the Native Americans or Commercials would net the mouths of rivers heavily) they came in all year long.  You can read about that in my ďSteelhead Behavior PageĒ.   So if youíre new to fishing and wondering what the heck is a summerrun is hereís a definition.  Remember there is no stupid question when it comes to fishing.

Summerruns come into the rivers between June and December (yes, you can call them fall fish also).  Then they hang out till December to spawn for the Puget Sound Rivers and March and April to spawn for the Eastern WA and inland BC rivers.  When they come in early to hang out they are the more aggressive fish because the water temperatures are warmer and since they hang out for so long, I believe that they still eat when theyíre in the river.  That is probably why bait, dry flies and spinners are more effective for summerruns than plugs are because plugs are more for the territorial spawning winter run fish.  One important thing Iíve noticed about Summerruns is that they taste a heck of lot better than Winterrrun Fish.  Why is that?  Because they have more of a fatty deposit stored up to make their stay in the river more enjoyable.  They usually are a happier, redder, meatier fish than their leaner brothers the Winterrun.

Another thing Iíve noticed about Summerruns is that there are a lot more varieties of them.  Iíve caught some native fish that were completely different than the Winterrruns on the same river.  Some of these varieties have prettier features, fantastic colorings,  and sometimes are a bit more troutlike in features then the Winters, which seem to be more salmonlike.

Youíre best examples of Summerrun fish youíll find up in Canada, where the lack of population and less Native Netting hasnít made as much of an impact on the timing of the runs.  Youíll find that the Summerrun will trickle in August and keep arriving till December with the bulk occuring in September & October.  Then they hang out till March & April to spawn.  A lot of rivers in Canada just have Summerrun Steelhead because of the cold winters & low waters up there.  This can be seen on the upper tributaries of the Skeena Watershed.   The lower watershed I believe does have some great winterrun fishing.

One of the most effective ways and this is where Fly Fishing is at itís zenith, is to fly fish for them or spoon/spinner fish for them.  The Summerrunís Aggressive Feeding Nature and the Fly Fishers natural looking flies makes for a great and productive fishing combination.  So here is a few tips for Fly Fishin which can also be used for spoon fishing since both are so close in their similarty of presentation.

Where do you find the summerruns?  Well, we have to remember in the early part of summer, we experience snowmelt and depending on the winter we can have lots of it or just a couple of weeks.  Snowmelt makes for almost flooded, little visibility waters.  Where will the fish be when they can be anywhere?

They will be along the edges in two feet of water moving to their destination.  The fish will be on the move because with the high water comes heavy currents and not very many places to hang out where the water is deep.  Iíve caught a shitload of fish right where I was wading so Iím always prepared to set the hook on the hang.

So when you cast across from yourself (A Position) and your spoon or fly is hangin in the E or F Position, take a few steps so that if the fish has followed your offering to the shallows and it all of a sudden comes at him heíll strike.  Another trick is to twitch your fly before stripping it in or twitching your spoon before reeling it in.

Now when the water gets low for summerruns youíll find them in the darndest places.  Fast rifflly pockets behind rocks, the water is more oxygenated there and it offers a nice protective covering or theyíll be at the bottom of deep frog like pools.  The fly will work itís magic in the ripples but if in a boulder garden your spoon will be able to go perfectly behind the big rocks.  As for the deep pools?  Your spinner is your best friend and thereís nothing cooler than watching a big steelhead follow you spinner from the depths of the dark green water attack your shiny weapon.

Tune in later forÖ What types of flies and what types and brands of Spoons Angie feels are the best on the market.