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Doly Varden, Silver Salmon, and Bears on Goodnews River

Capt. John Kumiski
August 22, 2011
Goodnews River - Saltwater Fishing Report

Dollies and Silvers and Bears, Oh My- on Goodnews River

The Report from Spotted Tail 8/21/11

This week and next mark the peak of the Goodnews River silver salmon run. Some fly fishers are tallying 50 fish days and we're finding fish everywhere. Fish run up to 30 inches or so and strike streamers, poppers, gurglers, spoons, spinners, and jigs, with chartreuse, cerise, hot pink, orange, and various combinations of those colors being most effective. While most fish caught in the lower river have sea lice, a few are starting to pink up already.

A couple days ago Steve and Julie Butler, fly casters from California, joined me for a day of silver salmon fishing on the middle fork. They brought a Pyromid charcoal grill with them, a super neat little device. We got a small salmon, which I filleted. In spite of a steady rain they got the charcoal burning and we enjoyed a very civilized lunch of freshly caught, steaming hot grilled salmon while sitting in camp chairs in the rain. A thermos of hot tea was a nice addition. They caught so many fish…

On Saturday Phil and Linda Shmerda, from Texas, joined me for some Dolly fishing. We went up the north fork a way and started off by tossing little crappie jigs. They ought to be illegal. Phil even got several silver salmon on them, quite the battle on his 6 pound spin outfit.
Phil had interest in trying for Dollies with fly tackle. I had a couple six weights aboard and set him up with a gurgler. To use a Lefty-ism, it was like rolling a wine bottle into a jail cell. The Dollies were all over it, and he got a couple rainbow trout as well.
We came to a braid that I have a history with. A deerhair mouse imitation was tied onto the leader of the six weight, then well greased. We walked over to the braid and Phil made a few casts. Wham! Suicidal rainbow trout. Another cast or two and Wham! That one was big, and of course he got away.
Linda and I went looking for unusual stones on a gravel bar. The sun was out and it was just beautiful, wonderful people, awesome day.

We've been seeing bears every day. I was cleaning fish on a gravel bar a few evenings ago and here comes a bear up the river heading my way. Oh, crap. I put all the fish back in the boat and launched it asap. The bear came over to the side of the river I had been on and went swimming for one of the salmon carcasses I'd discarded. I waited patiently in my boat, watching. The bear finished its snack, then re-crossed the river and wandered back the way it had come, so I went back and started cleaning fish again.

Of course the bear came right back.

I said the heck with this, packed up the fish and my gear, and ran up the river a couple miles to finish the job in a more bear-free environment. Bears are wonderful critters, but I wouldn't want to get in an argument with one, especially over a few fish.

Embrace simplicity.

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short- go fishing!

John Kumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2011. All rights are reserved.

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Spotted Tail Charter Service
284 Clearview Rd.
Chuluota, FL 32766
Phone: 407.977.5207
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