by Leon Archer
I spent some time on three different days watching fishermen on the Salmon River,and I know I was only seeing a microcosm of the fall salmon fishing world, but I was impressed by the good behavior of the fishermen I observed.
There were quite a few people fishing and there were about the same people watching as were fishing. Perhaps, one of the watchers might have been a conservation officer, but if so, he had nothing to find fault with.
I didn’t see anyone who was obviously trying to foul hook a fish even though a few foul hooked fish were brought in by the fishermen.
Every one that I saw taken that way was put back into the stream right after being landed.
And yes, I am aware that such is not always the case, and CO’s can’t be everywhere, but those guys and gals were going by the book.
I saw a lot of fish that were properly hooked in the mouth, and many of the guys catching them weren’t jerking hard to set the hook, yet they played and landed the fish with a pretty good success rate.
A fair portion of those fish were released, but most were put on a stringer or carried up the bank to a cooler.
I ended up staying longer each of those days that I was there watching the fishermen than I usually do. I appreciated their various techniques, and surprisingly, the fly rod guys seemed to be outfishing the spin fishermen.
The main run of Chinooks is already in the river, mostly upstream, but a late run of coho came in behind them and has been keeping the action interesting. It seems the salmon fishing remains a great attraction for fishermen from all over the Northeast; many of those folks come year after year, some even come multiple times. It is a real financial boost during the fishing season.