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South Thompson Chinook.jpg


fishing reports

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

August 24, 2023

I always enjoy the chinook season on the South Thompson! It is a patient fishery but it's worth the effort! Today we got on the water early and we were anchored up over one of the deep pools at about 5:15 a.m.

South Thompson Chinook.jpg
south thompson chinook.jpg

I love drifting roe in the South Thompson but I find it is not always very effective in the early parts of the season. Today we set up with 6.5 inch South Thompson chinook dodgers with #6 hooks and let them drift and dodge in the current.

There were two boats anchored up beside us and we enjoyed watching one of the boats hook up at about 5:20 a.m. and land a nice 10 pound chinook!

About 20 minutes later it was my turn! My rod buckled over and it was game time! I was finally into my first chinook of the season. It gave me a good battle and I was able to land a 10.5 pound doe! I am glad I didn't make any mistakes bringing in that fish because it was hooked super loosely and the hook fell out in the net. I was lucky to land it! My friend hooked into a good one about an hour later. The chinook took several runs and put on a jumping show. We managed to land her, a nice 12.5 pound doe! The other two boats landed one apiece and lost a few others. Getting our dodgers down from 3 to 10 feet off the bottom seemed to be working well.

I get lots of questions about the meat quality of these fish because they are beginning to get dark before they approach the spawning grounds. When you get these early season chinook the meat is still full of colour and firm. Later in the season the meat softens slightly and begins to fade to a paler orange. They are still completely edible but it comes down to palate preference. The fish I caught today were very good and I enjoyed my fresh fillet for dinner!

South Thompson fillets.jpg


Lots on action around us but not many fish caught.

adult chinook: 2
jack chinook: 0


click to enlarge

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!


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


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.

Spring Salmon fillets.jpg

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 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


click to enlarge


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!

South Thompson river chinook.jpg
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 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).