King Salmon Caterina River Report March and this week we had 3 customers join us for a half-week program all looking for their biggest fish on the fly. As the beginning of March is the end of our season the King Salmon start to switch between both the river and lake, keep swimming up and dropping down as they all start to look for fast water to guard in readiness to spawn in the coming weeks.
Day 1 which is a half day of fishing on the day of arrival, so both guides Juan and Tomas led the 3 customers to the mouth of the river where the week before they had seen a lot of movement. This is a lovely stretch of water with deep fast moving currents making perfect holding water for lots of huge Kings. The fish were there as normal, but with a difficult wind whipping up waves it was hard to get a good fly presentation. Everyone kept enthusiastic and stuck at it expecting a take at any minute as the section of river was just stuffed with fish that kept jumping clear of the water. Watching fish well over 50LB constantly jumping is enough to keep anyone keen. But alas the afternoon session ended with no fish.
Day 2 we concentrated on the holding pools more in the mid section of the river, the Whale stone, the Wall and the Cut. Even though these three sections are quite short it is easy to spread 3 or 4 customers out who can keep working the water, then resting it for a short while before returning to do it all again. Again in these sections we could count and see many fish and it was not long before the first two fish were landed and two more beasts lost. Heavy black leeches and blue / black egg sucking leech were the best patterns. Skagit lines with T14 and some scandi shooting heads were the most effective combinations. As we all know these Kings like to keep close to the bottom so its important to make sure you get your flies down as quick as possible. The river is not that wide so the swing is quite short, therefore the quicker you can get the fly down the more you are fishing the swing.
At the end of the day everyone returned back to the lodge for dinner and some well earned glasses of wine.
Day 3 and the customer wish to take a look at what has already become famous and known as Mammoth bay. As the name suggests this is a huge bay in the top lake, (Just one of many) however for some unknown reason this bay seems to attract and hold fish. Its not for the faint hearted for currently it’s a hour and 15 minutes walk from the mid section of the river. (The closest we can get to by truck)
Although it is long walk the landscape keeps you interested, the scenery is just stunning, how this valley and lake have been eroded millions of years ago with huge stones just dropped all around. It is very quickly evident that there has been very little human presences hear, the only people really ever to walk there are anglers. So it’s a real privilege. On arrival at the bay we could immediately see over 30 huge fish tight on the bottom in the crystal clear water. Fishing Mammoth bay is different than the river as there is no current, there is always a strong wind but normally in the bay the wind is from your back. It’s a matter of covering the water with long casts, again with heavy sink tips, but this time once your fly has got down fast stripping it right back to your feet. This is an exciting method to fish for normally you can see the fishes reaction, the follow as it chases down your fly before bang, you are on.
It did not take very long before the first fish was hooked and with a short fight Thomas the guide slipped the net under a nice fish. Just as some quick pictures were taken and the fish safely returned another fish was on. This time it was a nice healthy female that gave the customer a great run for his money. After some real strong runs again and again eventually the fish slipped in to the net, followed by lots of screams of delight.
As per usual once we have taken a couple of fish from the bay the fish move out, so we decided to walk back to the river mouth again, but even though the fish were there we could not get any takes. Everyone decided that we should walk back down to the mid section again to finish the day, it was a good decision for the youngest member of the group hooked and landed a cracking male King that was close to 20 kilos.
Day 4 is again a half-day session before the customers take the ferry back, with the previous days success it was decided to concentrate on the mid section of river again as its also closer. Again it was the youngest customer who quickly connected to a huge fish that unfortunately we never got to see. This fish once hooked just kept tight on the bottom and swam upstream, no jumps, no head shaking just like log swimming against the current. We have had so many huge fish lost this season like this, which just makes us wonder what size do some of these fish go to and that is part of the real excitement.
In the end the 3 customers with 2 full days fishing and 2 half days fishing managed to land 5 fish and lost a further 5. The biggest fish of the week went just over 42LB
If you fancy trying your luck and skills at these huge Kings next year we have only 3 rods left for the whole season. Call our office on 01603 407596 and ask to speak to Peter.
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