With autumn upon us, it is time for anglers to look forward to some fantastic fall fishing runs. Here are five places to go to load up on trout and salmon.
Here are five fall fishing runs worth a trip to fill a cooler with silver this autumn.
Kenai River, Alaska for coho salmon and rainbow trout. The Kenai River is one of the country's iconic rivers, and for good reason. It's loaded with fish all year long. Its scenic beauty makes it a favorite of thousands of anglers throughout the year.
But come autumn, the tourist crowds begin to die down a bit and there's less pressure. Coho make their run through September, with some exceeding 20 pounds. Big rainbow trout also move in to feed on the eggs of spawning salmon, with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service estimating rainbow numbers of up to 2,000 per mile.
Wisconsin Lake Michigan Tributary Rivers for chinook and other salmonids. The shoreline of Lake Michigan from south of Milwaukee to north of Sturgeon Bay is a cornucopia for anglers seeking silver during the fall fishing runs. Fishing around the mouth of just about any tributary river along the coast can offer good opportunities.
But notable fisheries are the Root River out of Racine, the East Twin River out of Two Rivers, the Kewaunee River out of Kewaunee, and the Menominee, Oconto and Peshtigo rivers on the west side of the bay of Green Bay. Big chinook attract anglers from all over the country to these river systems.
Brule River of Lake Superior for coho, chinook, steelhead and brown trout. You might still hook into a line stripping chinook or lake run brown trout by late September, but the coho salmon and steelhead (rainbow trout) runs should be heating up nicely on into October.
Yarn flies, spawn sacs, and all manner of spoons and spinners will bring fish to the net. The Brule has the double advantage of being one of the more scenic rivers in the Midwest.
Columbia River, Oregon for chinook salmon and coho. This year's Columbia River forecast predicts close to a million king (chinook) salmon approaching and entering the river this year, so it looks like a boom season is in store. This river and its estuary can be a little treacherous, so practice safe boating and wear a lifejacket.
Make sure you bone up on the regulations and closed areas in the system as well, so you don't accidentally run afoul of the rules. This year promises to be a banner year for the fall salmon run in Oregon's Columbia River.
Ludington, Michigan for chinook and coho salmon. The port of Ludington is a magnet for a great many big salmon. Fly fishing, as well as casting the usual assortment of silver spoons and spawn in the Pere Marquette River and Lake, produces salmon and brown trout of enviable size. Trolling at the mouth of the port will yield fat kings and coho.
With over half of the current Lake Michigan run of salmon now reproducing naturally, the fishery looks to be in pretty decent shape in spite of the issues with invasives.
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