Tributary Chinook salmon anglers are quickly realizing that most of the Chinooks are dark and tired. In some of the larger tributaries there are still some fresher salmon that have either not spawned yet, or are just starting to spawn, but the bulk of the salmon are either finishing their spawning or already dropping back down-stream.
Matt Cory of TopSet Sportfishing has been doing well fishing the northern tributaries in average to low water conditions. Silver pre-spawn fish like the one above will be tougher to find as we approach November.
This spawning Chinook is half-way done as can be seen by the tighter belly. Even though it’s been in the tributary for a while, it’s still pretty light in color. While most anglers are drift-fishing roe bags, single eggs or streamers, small artificials like erratic swimming crankbaits, Vibrax #3 spinner and especially Luhr Jensen Kwikfish in #7, and the Rapala J11 can still get darker fish to strike!