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Thread: Chum salmon!

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    Default Chum salmon!

    Chum generally seem to get a bad rap but I'm going to be in Alaska this coming August and the only salmon species of the 5 I haven't caught yet is a chum. I was wondering if there is anywhere on the road system within a couple hours of Anchorage that may have chums that time of year? Hopefully my timing isn't off but thought I would give it a stab in the dark!

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    August is a great month for fishing chums along the Parks highway corridor north of Wasilla. Most all of those streams will hold chums then - Willow Creek, Sheep Creek, Montana Creek, etc. Throw bright pink flies or something else gaudy and attention grabbing, and hold on! I love catching chums. Not the tastiest salmon in freshwater, but they sure are fun to fight!

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    Charterboat Operator Abel's Avatar
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    Ya, they are great fun, especially fresh from Salt and still chrome. Hot pink maribou streamers and hot pink leech patters are my go to's.
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  4. #4

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    I usually just catch and release so it would be a lot of fun fighting and taking pics/video of chums! I do my own fish taxidermy and some of the chums I've seen photos of have incredible markings. From what I'm told they are usually more aggressive hitting flies than....sockeyes? Thanks for the tip on flies! I will definitely have to tie a bunch of pink patterns. I don't want to steal someone's special spot but it sounds like there may be walk in access along the Park's Highway in the creeks mentioned?

    I imagine the timing of the run may vary a little from year to year but would it likely be best timing for chums earlier or later in August? Right now I'm pretty flexible with dates. I can't wait to give it a go...and thanks for the tips!

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    have caught some near the mouth an also down stream from the bridge on the little willow , little SUE there are some but not near the landing or close to the bridge , Big willow , Sheep. & Montana will be a good spot to try on the road system I think SID

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    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    Chum don't draw the crowds like other specie of salmon. You might even get some funny looks as you are realing them in with a smile on your face. They are a blast to catch and have more stamina than most other salmon. Yes, they can be aggressive and will bite readily. The mouth of Montana is good from late July through early August for "fresh" chum. I have caught chums at the mouth that were actually pretty fresh as far as chums go. The mouth of Willow is another spot that produces at this same time period. Come the second week in August most of the good chum fishing is farther upstream on both rivers. As mentioned, Sheep Cr. is another good spot as well as Kashwitna, Birch, Little Willow, Goose, and Little Sue. Bird Creek is another option.
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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    I love C &Ring fresh chums on the fly. Bird creek will have some as well as the mouth of California creek and some spots on 20 mile. One trick I've found is that if you add hologram flash to your flies it's 5 to 1 comparison without the flash. I gave my son the last fly with the hologram flash and I used the same fly with crystal flash, he proceeded to outfish me 5 to 1 until the fly was destroyed. Don't forget to twitch that fly, it will draw way more strikes and sometimes you can watch them smash it right in front of you.

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    Growing up, I was always taught that Chums weren't any good for anything. But as I got older I started keeping a few bright ones and after you run them through the smoker they are pretty darn tasty! I have tried grilling some with little success, though.

    As others have said, the mouth of Montana creek is a great spot. There is a little slack water pool there and I have nailed them one after the other, some still bright and shiny.

  9. #9

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    Sounds like a lot of fun! I'll have to remember to tie fiies with hologram!....thanks for the advice. I will be busy from Aug 8 through 16. Generally speaking would the chum run be stronger the first of August or the 3rd week in August? Thanks again?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimss View Post
    Sounds like a lot of fun! I'll have to remember to tie fiies with hologram!....thanks for the advice. I will be busy from Aug 8 through 16. Generally speaking would the chum run be stronger the first of August or the 3rd week in August? Thanks again?
    Definitely the 1st week of Aug would be better for targeting fresher chum on Parks hwy. streams. Usually by late Aug. most of them will be upstream spawning already. Last week of July would be even better.
    I am no longer surprised at what I am no longer surprised at ---Bill Whittle

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    Chums can be a lot of fun. I've hooked up using: sockeye flies, dollie lammas, beads, esl's, bunny leeches. If targeting them, I usually go to a bunny leech. Once they get the idea that something is trying to pull them off course - hang on. I believe they have more power than a silver of similar size, but are not as apt to go airborne.

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    Agreed, used to chase em on the Nushagak during lunch or just when I wasn't feeling like backtrolling etc. Lots of fun on a flyrod, Flashabou flies in pink, purple or chartreus were always winners. Especially pink. THey also take pollywogs on the top in the right scenario. Was good sport in Bristol Bay in several areas.

  13. #13

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    Chums sound like a lot of fun! From the sound of it they hit the similar flies to silvers? I imagine the first few weeks in August will be a little early for silvers?

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    Chums will hit almost anything. If i was to set out to fish them exclusively I'd have an arsenal of esl's in various color combos and flash. You may find a few coho coming into the parks highway streams or hanging out near the mouths, but it is a little early for the bulk of the run.
    "The North wind is cold no matter what direction it's blowing"

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    Dont forget to bring some top water flies. They smash them where they hold together pretty regularily. That is always fun watching them take a fly on the surface.

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    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKnook View Post
    Dont forget to bring some top water flies. They smash them where they hold together pretty regularily. That is always fun watching them take a fly on the surface.
    The coolest way I've caught a chum was with a mouse pattern on the surface on the Willow. I just about shat my pants when a 15# chum sucked down my mouse pattern!
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    Montana Creek gets a good chum run. I fish it every year. Clear water sight fishing with an 8 weight fly rod with a black and pink hairy leech. Makes for a great day of fishing

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    What exactly is a ESL? I've seen it posted a couple times.

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    Member ptarmigan's Avatar
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    Egg sucking leech.

  20. #20

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    That was too easy! Now I know!

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