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Author Topic: Somass River chinook salmon fishing with Murphy Sportfishing, lots of openings  (Read 1943 times)

Rodney

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Dave and Marilyn run their Riverside Lodge by the Somass River in Port Alberni for about six weeks from early September to mid October for the red chinook salmon fishery. Because of Covid-19, they have quite a few openings this year as majority of their guests come over from Europe for it. The package includes guided fishing in the boat, accommodations and meals at Riverside Lodge. The guided fishing typically involves two guests with one guide in the boat, and you're float fishing for them with bait etc. Most of the fish you're getting are chinook salmon, ranging anywhere from 5lb to 20+lb. Occasionally you're getting coho salmon too.

We've done quite a few episodes featuring this particular trip and here they are if you want to see what usually involves:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fB3FobCapro

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilV26WEXcSc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CSbDqDH6Zk

It's an ideal trip for couples (maybe one spouse doesn't fish as much as the other but enjoys getting away for the weekend), beginner river anglers (you get to learn how to float fish properly with a guide from a boat).  Here's more information if you'd like to book a trip. I must say mid September is probably the best time for it.

https://www.murphysportfishing.com/site/fall-stamp-river-available-trips.html

Blood_Orange

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Did a spring steelhead trip with Kevin a few years ago with my dad after seeing your video! It was a lot of fun. Definitely would recommend it if you can spare the time and money in these weird times :D
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Rodney

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That's great to hear! The fall Somass trips are more fun than the winter steelhead trips IMO, because it's warmer, you get way more float downs, and the four course dinner afterward at the lodge is pretty darn amazing... ;D

wildmanyeah

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Probably a once in a lifetime opportunity for the last minute people out there.

Sep1 tho I’ll be fishing out front the Fraser and the ocean seasons been basically reduced to September only now.

Otherwise I would of probably jumped on this
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VAGAbond

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I am heading back there for the sixth trip  three weeks from now.   Looking back they have been great experiences and so different from year to year.

For the first two years the sight fishing with a fly rod for coho was successful but I had to work at it.   Almost all the coho I have had from that river have been 10 lb. +/- 2.

The third trip was a coho bonanza.  I broke my switch rod early in the morning playing a rock and changed to spin casting in a big pool using a huge spinner on  a very light rod.   Most of the other guests at the lodge were a group of medical specialists from Belfast and they were excited about Chum and Summer Steelhead on the Nahmint so I had the guided portion of the Somass river mostly to myself.  I caught at least a couple of dozen coho over three days, again almost all right on 10 lb. except for one about 12 lb.

Two years ago there were few coho when we were there but lots of Springs, again sight fishing with a fly rod.  In the pool below here we were fishing, a closed zone, there were lots of Springs active.   On our last day  it rained heavily from about 9:00 to 10:30 and then stopped.   Up until then there had been a trickle of Springs moving up but about an hour after the rain stopped, there were suddenly frequent small groups of Springs moving, then larger and larger groups until the entire visible portion of the river bottom was black with moving fish.   It continued for over and hour and then started to slow down.  Fishing was pretty good.  A guide guessed we saw 2000 fish move by.

I was surprised at how small these Springs were, 8 to about 12 lb.  I used to fish the Alberni inlet every early September.  The fish were typically 24 lb. +/- 5.  We hardly ever saw a fish less than 16 lb.  Perhaps it was because we were using large anchovies or plugs but I have seen 10 lb. fish take those large lures.

Last year it rained heavily just before we went.  The bar where we normally fished in ankle deep water had about 4 feet of fast water running over it so the fishing was gear fishing from a boat with floats and fresh roe.  That worked out OK and the fish were slightly larger than the previous year, perhaps 12 lb. +/-2 but still small relative to my previous experience in that area.

The Springs are typically darker than the Coho although last year some were very bright.  They are mostly reds so the slightly dark fish are still excellent table fare.

Looking forward to this year and wondering what we will experience.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2020, 01:20:17 PM by VAGAbond »
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Rodney

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I'm sure it'll be a great time, looking forward to hear how it goes as I can't go this year.

Al P.

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Looks like it’d be an incredible experience, and “checks off all the right boxes” for me!
I’m trying to work my schedule to give this a go! How late does the fishery go?
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Rodney

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Looks like it’d be an incredible experience, and “checks off all the right boxes” for me!
I’m trying to work my schedule to give this a go! How late does the fishery go?

Best time for chinook salmon starts around now until the third week of September. :) You'll encounter less chrome fish as the season progresses, but the fishery also shifts from chinook salmon to coho salmon so the crew adjust their strategies based on the runs. Going into October they also do fall steelhead.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgHaGrQ9dJA

300zxfairlady

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Me and a group of friends actually booked the whole lodge from Sept 3-6th. Hoping to fish the early springs. Unfortunately due to no rain it was extremely slow.. was kind of disappointed. Really wished they trimmed back the hedges along the back side so guests could fish from the property banks!
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VAGAbond

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Rodney asks: 
Quote
I'm sure it'll be a great time, looking forward to hear how it goes as I can't go this year.

The river was low in spite of extra water from the controlled lake so that the jet boats were restricted to the pond at the foot of the property.   We stayed with the sight fly fishing for all three days.

Day one, Sept. 21, was sunny and warm.   Chinook and Coho were moving in good numbers.   A number were hooked but few landed for all the usual reasons:   hook simply came out, loop in the line on the reel, fresh fish just too strong broke the line, probably foul hooked on a fin, poorly tied leader knot, wood debris on the river bottom.   Six other anglers gear fishing from boats in the long pool caught a fair number of Chinook but few Coho as the roe just doesn't seem to catch coho there.

Day two was also warm and a little cloudier.   Relatively few fish moving.   I landed two coho.  Buddy blanked.  The same anglers upstream did not do well either.

Day three had rain showers.  Few schools of fish moving were evident but a good trickle of singles.   We caught Chinook and Coho, retaining three of each between the two of us.

It was a fun trip, fishing not fast but enough to retain interest all day and we took home all the fish we needed.   The Coho caught ranged from the smallest at 8.5 lb. to the largest at 11.5 lb., averaging just below 10.  The Chinook landed were all 14 to 15 lb. 

Our guide Kevin works very hard at making it right for the client.

« Last Edit: September 26, 2020, 08:54:45 AM by VAGAbond »
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