Can anyone give me the scoop on the Hood Canal Chum Runs? Are these fish catchable with fly tackle from the same points/beaches where Coho are found? What is the best time to find them out in the salt?
Virtually all streams(even small creeks) draining into Hood Canal have chum runs. Look for them in the esturary area of the stream mouth in the saltchuck as they stage for a week or two before ascending the stream. Chum like to ride a high tide in as they move into the freshwater environment particularly on a cloudy day. Also, at dusk they will move from the saltchuck into the stream. The best time to fish is at dusk on an incoming tide.
There are three chums run timings for Hood Canal streams: early(early Oct to late Oct.), normal(early Nov. to late Nov.), and late(early Dec. to mid. Dec.). Spend some time to getting to know the timing of the runs of some of the streams and you should be able to have good success at the mouth of the streams for chums.
Thanks for the info. I'm psyched to try catching them while they're staging at rivermouths. I guess I'm also curious as to whether or not Chum are available from beaches that may be located along migration paths but are not necessarily adjacent to freshwater. Coho, for example, often travel into shallower water within fly-casting range during the tide change.
I'm guessing that the further away the Chum is from freshwater when he takes the fly, the more "silver" and feisty he'll be.
In any case, what's the weight on a typical chum? Do they put up a good tussle on fly tackle?
alright, the northeren reaches of hood canal, foulweather bluff, that park across from salisbury point,and salisbury point will produce chrome brite chums starting thick in the second week of october,NOW. foulweather bluff to appletree point on the west side od the sound will be top producers too. chums follow the shoreline more so then silvers. when ever you got a little current break or slick whatever you call it close to shore usally in the same spot everytime your at the beach is where they will be following. belive me on this my grandfather could write a book on catching october dogs. usually the little trail of weeds that is always in the same spot when your trying to fish that is the highway for the dogs, 5-15 of water. cathing them on fly in this situation is 90% luck than skill but there is some real good ways to catch them too thou. i went out yesterday with a buddy lauchned at eglon in hansville went to pilot point and trolled those eel grass flats of 10 feet water and both limited out on chrome chums, good smoked. got 1 silver apiece too. there was a baitball when it was getting dark started flicken and caught so many blackmouth from 12-20 inches it was unreal. but any ways yeah stick too that slick on the shoreline. later Ben
oh yeah woolyworm they average 8 to 15 lbs. there like all muscle. in creek mouths they dont fight as well because there green. but when they are chrome they are the hardesy fighting salmon i have caught no joke even to king. they bolt like a f-14 when hooked with repeated jumps and 20-50 ft runs. they are my favorite salmon to catch when brite. at a creek mouth they will test your skills and will easy take chum candy on slow retrieves.
Good info. I'm excited to hook a few chrome-dogs. I've been pretty religious in my use of chartreuse and white clousers (Size: 1 and 1/0) for Silvers--and the results have been good. Do you think this same pattern will work for the chum? What's your favorite fly for nailing 'em in the salt?
Also, I hear that Coho and Chum salmon look very similar when they're in the salt. Any tips on how to identify the different species?
Any other suggestions on chum flies? It's interesting, some info I've read says "anything small and green." Other sources say that chum are very difficult to trick into taking any sort of fly or lure. But from the responses I'm getting, it sounds like that's not true.
The Hood Canal creeks all seem to have different characters. Some seem to attract pretty bright "stagers," especially early, while on others the fish are definitely darkening by the time they show up. They all seem to respond pretty well to green chum candy w/ a slow retrieve on an intermediate line (a clear line won't hurt).
There's Hoodsport, of course. If you've never done it, you might as well give it a try. You'l likely catch some fish, but like most of us, I imagine you'll tire of the whole scene quickly enough. Down near Potlatch is another place where hatchery fish (and anglers) pile up. The best thing is to drive the shoreline on the west side of the Canal, stop at the creek mouths, and watch. If the fish are there, you'll see them jumping and rolling. You can often find someplace where you can get a little elbow room. Make sure you check the regs carefully.
The far south Sound (Johns Creek, Kennedy Creek) also has a big chum scene, as does Chico Bay near Bremerton. Chico has a ramp right there for launching a small boat or even a pram.
I'd be intersted in other peoples ideas for change-up colors for chum candy. I've had luck w/ pink and orange. I'd be interested too in learning from Ben what kind of flies and retrieves would be good for "bright" chums at the pass points, as opposed to the creek mouths.
chums are very hardddddd to hook on a fly when they are bright i caught one this year a couple of weeks ago on a clouser but it was a fluke. i was referring to other ways of fishing but not for the likes of this web site. unless someone wants to know. my favorite combo is purple and green i have done real well at the places mentioned above on that combo. anybody who fished chico creek knew how last year was so terrible there. not the 30 fish days of a year before because the whales hung out in dyes inlet feeding on them 4 years ago. now the precious l pod is right back there with all the seal lovers gasping at there beauti. so expect no fish days there this year. Ben