Hunt for a Springer Chinook

by | Mar 16, 2022 | Spring Chinook Salmon

Columbia-riverI’m not much of a troller but last year I spent two days on the water with Mike LaSota dragging some crazy outfits along the bottom of the Multnomah Channel in OR for spring chinooks.  “Springers” as the locals call them, are regarded as the best tasting salmon in the world.  These chinooks arrive in the freshwater with extra fat and energy to last them for an entire summer in the rivers which in turn makes them especially delicious.


Its not new news that chinook populations are struggling in the northwest, but most the springers caught on the Columbia drainage are hatchery fish.  Hatchery fish are distinguished from wild fish by not having an adipose fin which is clipped just before they are stocked.  Its very important to release wild chinooks back immediately.


Mike and I lucked out and nailed a nice springer during last years trip and I had the pleasure of eating one.  I was not disappointed.  And it was that very scrumptious salmon meal, that despite my lackluster feelings for trolling, brought me and Granny right back in Mikes boat on the Multnomah Channel these last three days


Jeff-CurrierHonestly, I didn’t participate.  Instead, I used mikes boat as an office while Mike manipulated the rigs.  I had blogs to catch up on from last weeks walleye fishing, Cliff Boxes to draw on and work for another upcoming host job to the Seychelles.  Absolutely the kind of work I like, but I still need to stay on it.


Well, it turns out my office work was the way to go.  In three days, Mike had one bite.  The springer made a heck of a run but before I could even think about the net, the chinook was off.  Bummer!


We’re headed back to Salmon River, WA tomorrow to fish with Mike on Friday and Saturday on the Columbia one last time. Hopefully we can stick a few more walleye and smallies and perhaps hold a few more sturgeon.  Then it’s the long drive back east.  Our schedule will be next week in ID, the week to ten days after in WI and then returning to NH early April.  That’s because I leave back to the Seychelles to host my Providence trip that was postponed back in 2019 due to the cyclone.  I’m loving getting back to this fast pace to life!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


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I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!