Jeff Barnard with a chrome wild spring chinook caught April 5 on the upper Rogue. One of a handful of first…if not THE first…upper Rogue springers of the season
Jeff Barnard with his 35-inch spring chinook salmon caught and successfully released April 5 in the upper Rogue River.
Jeff Barnard with a 35-inch early upper Rogue spring chinook salmon that got to swim away.
Welcome back to Haiku Monday, where Fish Hack helped break the ice on the upper Rogue’s spring chinook salmon season by stumbling into what might be the first upper Rogue springer of the season.
Twenty-five pounder./Hit plug meant for a steelhead./Still an epic catch.
For you few Haiku Monday virgins still out there, this is when and where Fish Hack waxes on and off non-Brazilian style about the outdoors and whatever the hell else comes to mind. The bad versions of old Japanese poetry is the schtick that keeps on schticking.
So got best bud Jeff Barnard in the front seat of the driftboat Saturday on a steelhead float downstream of TouVelle State Park. The fishing was far more prevalent than the catching for everyone, and I opined aloud that hooking the first sprigner of the season would erase the ills of the day.
Been rumors of a couple caught earlier but no photographic evidence. Besides, there were just two in Cole Rivers Hatchery, so it’s not like their are many of these somewhat rare critters out there.
Fish in a barrel./Talking springers, big barrel/And not many fish.
So we got one steelhead released when we pulled into the old First Chance hole. It was the spot where the Rogue flowed into the Gold Ray Dam impoundment for 106 years before that dam was jettisoned from the Rogue in 2010.
Barnard lets out one plug then gets obsessed with changing out a hook on a plug destroyed last week by Eric Winkler’s first steelhead that anchored Friday’s Oregon Outdoors story about how there’s so many winter steelhead in the upper Rogue that even one-armed rookies can limit out. Check it out HERE.
Fresh steelhead abound./Break an elbow, catch two fish./Wince the hero shot.
So I tell Barnard, why don’t you let that other plug out before you fart around with that plug?
So he lets out the hand-painted K-9 Kwikfish and starts to dissect said hook.
Uhh, you gonna get that?” I say.
The rod is pulsating but the fish on the other line isn’t running. Just swirling around in the deep hole.
“Dude, that’s a springer.” Hack says.
Yadayadayada, after four times trying to net the damn thing (it was 5 inches longer than the net ON EACH SIDE!), Fish Hack finally put the corral on this-here bad-girl.
35 inches. Maybe 25 pounds. Chromer than a new truck bumper.
One too many fins./Released 200 bucks worth of/Primo ‘nook fillets.
Woulda turned Fish Hack’s Fish Camp into an impromptu fish party if that adipose fin was gone.
No prob. Still made the trip.
And the opening salvo on what should be a primo springer season.
Stink out of the boat/Earliest springer Hack’s got/ Great sign for the times.