A Muddy Day Afield For Chums

Ahh, the joys of childhood in fall. I remember it mainly as a mixture of fishing and getting wet/muddy, though not necessarily in that order.

Seems Jason Brooks’ son Ryan will have similar memories.

Here’s Jason’s write-up of last weekend’s chum salmon trip:

With the recent rains I figured this past weekend would be a good time to hit the local rivers and streams for some Chum action. Chad was over for the day as well and had never caught a Chum, and Ryan has been asking to go fishing…so off we went.

Our first plan of action was to go hit the Skokomish River. As we turned from 101 onto the Purdy Cuttoff road I saw the tribe was out in force in Purdy Creek, the intake to the hatchery. I assumed the hatchery had already met its egg take goals, as there was no way a fish would make it through all the nets.

TRIBAL NETS ON THE SKOKOMISH. (JASON BROOKS)

We continued on and I began noticing nets in the main Skok as well. After walking into a Chum hole I like to fish we set and up Ryan began “fishing”. We tried jigs under a bobber tipped with shrimp but no takers. A group of guys were above us drifting fishing a run and doing “OK” with a fish on about every 15 minutes. Chad just had to put a stop to that, so he headed up there and after another 30 minutes he hooks into a fish and loses it…after that, his eastern Washington magic kicked in and the bite was off (Chad has the ability to shut a bite off faster than anyone I know!)

RYAN'S FIRST GO-AROUND WITH WATER AND MUD. (JASON BROOKS)

Ryan decided to give his hip boots a try and then when he was knee deep he found that “perfect rock” on the bottom of the river. I caught his just as he stood up holding the rock, one look at me and he could tell Dad wasn’t too happy that he decided to get soaked in November. So, Ryan and I decided to head back to the truck, where I had a change of clothes for the kid, and hit Hunters Farms for some hot dogs and popcorn. Chad stayed to fish and make sure nobody got any more bites. On the way back to the truck Ryan found some really nice mud puddles to walk splash in. Of course the deepest one is the one he fell all the way down in and continued his quest of getting muddy and wet.

 

WELL, AT LEAST HE'S NOT POURING IT OUT INSIDE THE TRUCK. (JASON BROOKS)

After an hour of drying out and watching Curious George movies in the truck I called Chad and he still had nothing. He added that nobody else has caught a fish since we left either but I am sure it had nothing to do with the nets in the river all the way to the salt water. So I told him to beat feet back to the truck and we were off to Minter Creek.

Thank goodness Chad had one of those web surfing phones for directions, as we both had never been there before. I must say this is a “creek” at best. Due to the amount of people in the “hole” Ryan had to sit on the sidelines until I hooked a fish for us to play together. He was down to his rubber boots and last set of dry clothes so I told him to stay out of the mud…what I lesson I soon learned, a 5 year old at Minter Creek…there is no way he was staying out of the mud!

I hooked two fish in the tail and Ryan helped get them in, and couldn’t understand why I pushed them back into the creek.

 

FAMOUS MINTER CREEK. (JASON BROOKS)

15 minutes later I looked over and the kid was knee deep and stuck in the muck. I helped him get out and we went for a walk along the creek to occupy his time as Chad continued to fish. We decided to leave just as it got dark and headed home. Chad took two bright Chums with him, one of which was a hen, and I got the eggs for some future steelheading trip.

Ryan had a great time and said he wants to go back…I on the other hand and still trying to get all the mud out of my truck.

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