This is the time of year when Chetco and Smith River salmon action begins winding down and anglers start thinking about gearing up for steelhead. There may be a few salmon still entering the systems but for all intents and purposes Chinook fishing is basically over and done with.
This state of river limbo always occurs around the middle of December, when it is peak spawning time for king salmon in these two sisters of streams.
The first batches of kings have already dug their redds, deposited their roe and milt and are ready to meet their maker, for as most anglers know, salmon always die after they finish spawning.
And although most of Oregon’s coastal streams have had severe restrictions imposed on them this year, this year’s action was more fortuitous than expected by local anglers and guides, with spawning counts in the Chetco’s tributary, Emily Creek, leaving one ODFW official grinning ear-to-ear...
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