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Oregon's Fall Chinook are Kid's Play
by Tim Rozewski

So what does it take to boat a big fall chinook? Lately in Oregon it just takes a license, pole, and bait!

With decades of effort by biologists, sportsmen, and private land owners, Oregon's Salmon and Steelhead runs are shining brighter than ever. In fact, Oregon's Coho (Silver) runs are even coming back so strong that some off-shore and river seasons have been re-established. What's next, once forgotten Dory fleets to reappear along the sandy coastlines? But what's not as surprising, yet not much of a secret either, is Oregon's paragon Chinook runs. Spring or Fall? Just fish em' all.

It doesn't take a fisherman long to recognize the value of good fishing buddies. The problem for me has been trying to chose between them when the fishing is hot all over the region. With one buddy stationed on the Columbia, one at Tillamook Bay, and my father at Winchester Bay I enjoy the frustration of having to chose! This 38 lb. king was taken by our father/daughter/grandpa crew out of Winchester Bay this past August. In fact, we were off-shore, and it was a beautiful day to be on the pond.

Fisherman come from across the country every year to battle some of the countries most renowned table fare. But the question I get the most isn't "how?", nor "when?", rather....it's "where?". The question isn't in desperation in hopes of finding fish. No. The question is about how to chose a location from the many producers. One thing is for sure, every fisherman will remain a fisherman and try to tell you that the other place is better, just to have more fish to themselves.... should you expect anything less?

It would be no surprise to report that Tillamook Bay is a hot spot, just try to count the number of boats in the bay on an October morning. And it should be not surprise to suggest that the Rogue river is as popular to the fellow bank angler as any stretch of drifts in the Northwest, just ask Grant Martinesen about his 71 lb. Chinook he distroyed a fly on! Oregon has at least another dozen rivers that produce 30+ lbs kings, including the Columbia, the Willamette, the Salmon, the Trask, the Siletz, the Umpqua, the Elk, the Sixes, and the Chetco....not to mention three other rivers that I just happen to fail to mention for selfish reason. One thing is for sure these days, it's not necessarily where you go anymore...it's "How long may I stay dear?"

~Good Fishin' - Tim

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