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SOUTH THOMPSON RIVER

fishing reports

Every August the Salmon begin running in the South Thompson River making for an exciting fishery! 

september 21, 2021

The South Thompson salmon season is coming to an end. I was happy to get out for one last time of the year to soak some roe along the river bottom.

Today proved to be very rewarding in more ways than one.

First Chinook.jpg
South Thompson Chinook.jpg

I tied a 3-way swivel to my main line and three feet of leader to a # 4/0 Gamakatsu red octopus hook with a generous ball of fresh cured roe. On the middle swivel I tied two feet of leader to a two ounce bouncing betty.

 

I let my line in off Chase bridge and slowly let it out in the current near the bottom. In two hours of fishing I caught two jacks and two adult chinook weighing 10.5 and 11.5 pounds. I had a friend come out and he was able to catch a nice 7 pound doe.

The highlight of my day came when I was loading up my fish and a woman pulled up with her mom to ask where the fishing store was. She needed a salmon, she said, and had to get some different gear. We started to talk fishing (as I love to do!) and I ended up pulling my setup off my rod and tying it to hers.

We wandered up the bridge to the spot I had been fishing and I talked her through my approach. It only took 3 minutes of her roe being near the bottom until a 12 pound chinook hammered it. Watching this mother-daughter team land their first chinook really made my day!

THE CATCH

Lots on action on roe today. A total of 4 adult chinook caught. I caught two, a friend caught one, and a rookie mother-daughter team caught the last :)

adult chinook: 4
jack chinook: 2

PHOTO GALLERY

click to enlarge

september 10, 2021

I hit the South Thompson River at 9 am this morning.

 

This time last year I had loads of success fishing roe. This year was no different, except last year I fished off Chase bridge, and this year I cast off-shore into deep pools.

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I used a simple setup with a 2.5 ounce bouncing betty clipped to a 3-way swivel tied to my main line and three feet of leader to a # 4/0 Gamakatsu red octopus hook. I used homemade roe bags with last year's cured chinook roe using orange netting and wrapped with magic thread.

 

On my fourth cast of the morning I hooked into my first big chinook of the year. Unfortunately the fight lasted about 15 seconds before the hook popped out. I put on a new roe bag and on cast number five I hooked and landed a 20.5 pound male chinook after a solid 15 minute battle! I reset again, and I could hardly believe it, but on cast number six I hooked another male chinook that was approximately 12 pounds. I released this one because I was hoping to catch a doe for next year's roe. I was able to release it without taking it out of the water. 

I fished for about another hour but only managed one pikeminnow.

THE CATCH

the Strategy

Casting in to deep pools on the South Thompson River

 

The setup: A 3-way swivel  with 3 feet of leader to a hook and roe

 

On the middle swivel: 2 1/2 ounce weight (bouncing Betty).

Three adult chinook on the hook in three casts!!! Two caught and one lost.

adult chinook: 2
jack chinook: 0

PHOTO GALLERY

click to enlarge

South Thompson Chinook fishing 2020

REPORTS FROM READERS

September 20, 2020

After reading reports about catching chinook on the South Thompson River, Tony decided to go give Chase bridge a try this morning. He used a snap swivel with two feet of leader to a bouncing Betty,  with 20-inches of line from the snap swivel to a hook tied with a bait loop and fresh cured roe he bought at Surplus Herby's. He bounced the roe roughly one to two feet off the bottom. In the first 10 minutes he hooked a 12lb chinook and landed it. About two hours later he caught a 5lb chinook. The fish were caught around 8 am and 10 am.

Enjoy those fish, Tony!

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South Thompson chinook.jpg

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september 18, 2020

The season is almost over so I decided to get in one last morning of chinook fishing off the Chase bridge. My friend and I arrived at the river at about 9:15 a.m. and the river had lots of action- the chinook were splashing all around!

South Thompson chinook.jpg

There was a gentlemen fishing off the bridge already. I asked him how the fishing was and he said "lousy." He had been fishing for almost three hours with no bites, using a small spin n glow with a hoochie.

 

Knowing that the hoochies weren't working, I set up the same as the last time I went: a 3-way swivel with 2.5 feet of leader to a 3 ounce weight. Off the middle swivel, I had 2 feet of leader to a hook tied with an egg loop and fresh cured salmon roe. I dropped my line over the edge and to the bottom of the river, and when the current picked it up a few feet I let more line out to get my weight to the bottom. In less than two minutes I hooked into a large chinook. Unfortunately, it got off after only 30 seconds. As I was reeling up to put on a new piece of roe, my friend was letting his line down and again in under 2 minutes he was into a 9 lb chinook that he successfully landed. A little while later I caught a 12lb chinook and my friend lost a nice one. Three different times when I lifted my rod to check if I still had roe I saw large chinook chasing the roe through the water. We left around 11:30 a.m., having landed two adult chinook, one jack chinook, and one nice rainbow trout- all destined for the smoker!

What a great way to spend the morning! The season ends soon so be sure to get out there!

THE CATCH

the Strategy

Fishing right off the top of Chase bridge.

 

Both of our setups: 2.5 feet of leader to a hook and roe

 

On the middle swivel:

A 3-way swivel  with 2.5 feet of leader to a 3 ounce weight (bouncing Betty).

So much fun seeing the chinook chasing roe.

adult chinook: 2

jack chinook: 1

PHOTO GALLERY

click to enlarge

september 11, 2020

It has been a long time since I last fished for chinook salmon on the South Thompson River. I find the best time for chinook on the South Thompson river is generally early morning. Currently, you are allowed to start fishing the river one hour before sunrise (as always: check your regs before heading out fishing).

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I decided that I didn't feel like dragging the boat out that early so I headed to Chase bridge and arrived at 5:45 a.m. This is something I did as a teenager every August and September. I used to use big spoons (especially the F.S.T #5), but like the kokanee fishery, this fishery has evolved and people are finding new tricks. Big salmon dodgers with hooks attached are apparently out-performing the F.S.T. This is likely because these chinook salmon don't eat once they enter the river system, and are biting out of aggression. 

 

I decided to try a Gibbs dog tail dodger with a hook attached, and 3 ounces of weight. It worked! I lowered my line from the bridge until I was a couple feet off bottom. I then leaned my rod up against the bridge deck and secured it with a strap so I could rig a hook with an egg loop knot to get it ready for my next cast. Before I could finish tying the second hook, my rod buckled over. I grabbed it, but the fish was already gone.

 

I have had lots of strikes on big spoons in the past and I find that often the fish grabs the spoon, and not the hook. This is exactly why I was tying the egg loop knot: I wanted to try fishing with roe, bouncing it near the bottom.

 

I kept the dodger in the river for about 20 more minutes and then I changed it up. I tied a three-way swivel to my main line and then tied on 2.5 feet of leader to the other end with a 3 ounce weight (bouncing Betty). On the middle swivel, I tied two feet of leader to a hook tied with a bait loop knot. I fed some freshly cured red roe over my hook and slipped part of it through my egg loop. I lowered the setup to the bottom and when the current took the line I simply let more out until it hit the bottom.

 

In less than 5 minutes I hooked an adult chinook, weighing in at 8 pounds. I caught a small jack chinook a short time later and then another adult chinook weighing 9 pounds. I caught all the fish between 6:15 am and 7:00 am. I didn't expect to get my limit so quickly!

 

A gentleman in a vest came over to measure, weigh, and take scale samples from the fish for research.

THE CATCH

the Strategy

Fishing right off the top of Chase bridge.

 

Setup one: A Gibbs Dog Tail Dodger with a hook attached right to the dodger. I added 3 ounces of weight, four feet up the line.

Setup two: A 3-way swivel  with 2.5 feet of leader to a 3 ounce weight (bouncing Betty).

On the middle swivel: two feet of leader to a hook and roe.

Three chinook in 45 minutes!

adult chinook: 2

jack chinook: 1

PHOTO GALLERY

click to enlarge