There may be no more determined June Hog angler in the entire Washington and Oregon sport salmon fleets than one Evelynne Samwell.
Last month, she and her grandfather, Fred Clarke, went out for Chinook on the Lower Columbia River off Bachelor Island and things started off with a bang — and then a pop.
“Right off the bat I had a take down and lost it,” reports Fred, a Battle Ground, Wash., angler who reads Northwest Sportsman alongside Evelynne.
And of course over the next several hours, their UV pink K-15s with sardine wrappers went unmolested by salmon.
That lack of action can make even the most hardcore angler antsy and want to pull the hook on the whole trip.
For Evelynne, an experienced sturgeon angler, it provided a platform to analyze her grandpa’s knot-tying abilities.
(I’m having her do some step-by-step shots for a refresher photo feature for you in a future article, Fred.)
The afternoon wore on, but with nothing doing by 5, grandpa broke the news that it was time to bring ’em in and go home.
“But she was bound and determined she wanted to catch a fish,” says Fred, “so I left her rod in the water while I cleaned up the boat and reeled my rod in.”
As luck — persistence, really — would have it, don’t you know that Evelynne’s plug got bit.
“Literally at the last minute, her rod went down and she got her fish,” reports Fred.
“She is 7, and really gets the whole fishing thing,” he says.
Damn straight she does!
I don’t know about you guys, but I think I know who I want on my Fisherman’s Marine-NSIA Spring Fishing Classic team next year!
Evelynne wasn’t the only angler catching kings in recent weeks. According to the latest estimates from the summer Chinook fishery, fishermen kept nearly 900 in the last four days of the month alone.
“Catch rates showed an overall increase from last week, but catches decreased in some areas while catches increased markedly in other areas — particularly in the gorge for boat anglers,” reported fisheries biologists Joe Hymer in Vancouver this afternoon.
That brings the summer king tally to 3,499, of which 1,512 were retained by boaters, 1,102 by the Oregon bank boyz and 885 for the north-side crew.
“Sockeye catch rates declined everywhere with the exception of the Washington bank near Longview,” Hymer added.
A total of 903 have been kept for the year and 233 released.