salmon fishing from a canoe

Recently we spent 5 days on the Sacramento River, CA during the fall run of chinook salmon. Our group managed to hook several fish in the 10-15 pound range. With a 4-5 knot current it was very difficult to land the fish, trying to control the canoes and keep from having the rod yanked overboard. Even the snags were exciting with 14 pound test line that doesn’t break unless you cut it.

I envisioned fishing from shore from camp, but casting to rising splashing fish while underway is what presented itself. It is the most fun I have ever had without getting a single fish in the boat. Next time we’ll bring large nets and “set the hook 3 times” as the old saying goes. King salmon have very hard mouths and are expert at using the current and spitting out hooks. Great fish and great times camping on sand bars.

Sounds like fun
I’ve twice hooked a king salmon. The first time I hooked it on a 6 weight while fishing for coho. It headed for Anchorage and that’s all there was to it. I couldn’t turn it and before it spooled me and I lost my whole line, I broke it off.

The second time was on the King Salmon river while fishing for Dolly Varden and Rainbow trout during the king salmon spawn. It is illegal to play them then, and so I broke off immediately to comply with the law.

  • Big D

powerful fish
Big D,

You spend time up there with the big fish. There is something about going after salmon, steelhead and even big rainbows in a canoe that adds a certain level of excitement to the proceedings. I like the feeling of being towed by a fish and fighting the current.