For many, waging experienced skill against eons of battle-honed instinct—angler against fish—compose a magnificent battle that is waged day after day during fishing season. Using all salmon fishing techniques ever conceived, practiced, honed and perfected, salmon fishermen inevitably rely on their favorite equipment, favorite locations, and favorite methods to catch The Big One.
Whether an angler prefers lures, spoons, spinners, bait or flies, river fishing encompasses several different salmon fishing techniques in tandem or sequentially. A prolific and a popular pair comprise:
Chinooks and Sockeyes are extremely susceptible to bottom bouncing in fresh water. They spawn at about the same time of year with the Chinooks leading the time frame only slightly, so if you dip a line when both are in the area, you've launch bonanza time, if you snag the fish legally—not in the fin or the tail.
Also called flossing, cast the line above or upstream from the fish. The line floats downstream as the fish swims upstream. The line runs across the fish's mouth and snags the lip. Many anglers aren't fond of this technique, because it calls for little skill and less finesse, but when reaching a catch limit is the goal, bottom bouncing is one of the most effective and prolific salmon fishing techniques.
Jigging is another form of drift fishing and the most common of the salmon fishing techniques.
A jig is simply a small, light weight, fish-shaped piece of lead used to weigh the line and is usually no heavier than 6 ounces for faster waters. Jigs of 2 or 4 ounces are best in calmer waters for smoother and slower jigging action.
To jig for salmon, simply gently cast your line above or upstream of the fish and allow it to float downward as it drifts along. Just before it touches bottom, lift up slightly on the line, making the jig rise and simulating a small fish flitting here and there looking for food.
Slow, easy, and gently are three main buzz words for the jigging method of salmon fishing techniques.
Patience and small actions define these two salmon fishing techniques for the low-energy angler. When relaxation pairs with enthusiasm, use either of these drift methods to snatch a prize catch—or tell a great story about the one you almost caught!