Sorry about the delay in getting this posted, I was at a family reunion and haven’t had access to a computer. First this is a summary of Labor Day 2012 adventures with the fish report being posted under the most productive stream for the weekend. I fished 4 rivers; the Grays, Elochoman, Kalama and the Skokomish Rivers
Saturday morning I scouted the Grays and the Elochoman Rivers. Both streams are very low and after hiking into dozens of holes I never did see a salmon. I did hook and release a smaller steelhead, maybe 6 pounds of airborne fun on the Elochoman River. The fish clobbered a River-Fisher spoon I had drifted through an eddy downstream of a large bolder. Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning I fished the Kalama for a number of hours. On Monday while on the way to a family ho-down (more on that later) I also fished the Skokomish for about 10 minutes. I did not officially hook a fish but did have a Chinook follow my gear as it ran through the drift I was fishing.
Saturday morning after scrambling in and out of numerous holes on the Grays River and the Elochoman River without seeing any salmon I decided to hit the Kalama. When I was younger I fished the Kalama a lot and it had produced for me all year long. I started up by Red Barn, working all the deep runs and tail out pools I could find. I was hooking fish consistently using drift gear but my goal was to relearn the river and scout as many holes as possible so I started moving hole to hole avoiding the fly-fishing only water and fished down to Modrow Bridge. Throughout the course of 4 or 5 hours I hooked over 20 chinook and a number of coho. Not every fish made it to the bank but every fish that did was released to continue it’s journey upstream. I was aching and hungry so I called it a day and headed back to the family reunion armed with the makings for hours of fish stories freshly under my belt. On arrival back in Napavine there were a number of raised eyebrows when I mentioned that I released everything and didn’t keep a fish for a BBQ on Monday. What BBQ? Easy solution, I had inadvertently wrote myself a free fishing pass! I HAD to go again Sunday morning to get a fish for the BBQ on Monday.
Sunday morning I hit some of the more productive holes that I had fished the day before but all I could catch were Chinook. Not complaining, but I was hoping to get a chrome coho for the BBQ so I stayed on the move. Saturday I had fallen down an embankment/mini cliff and I still was pretty sore. My wading was less than sure footed and my old bones were starting to protest hiking in and out of the various fishing holes so I settled in just upstream from the Modrow Bridge for my final stop of the day. After hooking a few fish on my drift gear I broke out a jig and float and found the slot. I went bobber down every few drifts and ended up keeping the guest of honor for Monday’s barbeque. For the day I had hooked 10 or 12 chinook, releasing all but one fish.
Monday morning we all met at the recently re-opened Rib-Eye restaurant for breakfast before heading to Port Orchard for the previously mentioned barbeque. Breakfast was very good with large portions being the norm. After breakfast the rest of the gang headed for Port Orchard via the most direct route while we went the scenic route looking for an adventure. We hit the Skokohmish Salmon hatchery on Purdy Creek and there are a bagillion chinook in the holding pond and creek. From there we drove down Purdy Cut-off along the Skokomish counting cars but lost track when our count hit three digits. I did stop and fish for a few minutes but time was short, I had beer to drink and a fish to cook... On arrival at the “Funny Farm” in Port Orchard introductions were made, fish stories shared while everyone was properly lubricated and I got to work cooking Sunday’s fish. Not wanting to miss a ho-down, the resident donkey Petunia opened the front door and wandered through the house to join the party and make sure that my chef skills were up to her standards. Although I am still sore all in all it was a great Labor Day weekend, shared with family, friends and fish.
I had a few other pictures but the "River Report" photo feature is the old format and limits you to just two pictures.
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