The Chum Salmon, He’s Mad As Hell And He’s Not Going To Take It Anymore

6 comments / Posted on / by

Alex gets his goblin Photo by Louis Cahill

Alex gets his goblin Photo by Louis Cahill

If you’re looking for a fight, this is the guy to give it to you. Still, this is one of the STRANGEST things i’ve ever seen a fish do.

Chum salmon get very little in the way of respect. It’s either called a chum or a dog salmon. I don’t even know it’s proper name but it’s pretty clear from the two I know what folks think of it. It’s stupid, aggressive and the most disgusting creature on earth when it reaches its final days. If you don’t know where the term ‘moldy chum’ comes from, you’re probably happier for it. On the other hand, if you’re looking for some pure fun and you like the idea of attaching your fly line to one of those monster trucks you see on TV, this guy might be looking better to you. I’m not a big salmon fisherman and to be totally honest I’d never pursued chum salmon until just recently. I was fishing with my buddy Alex and he wanted to give it a try so I eagerly joined in and I confess, it was a blast. I had been carrying a fly for some time that I tied as a joke. It was a pink rubber worm pierced on a hook and superglued in place with a collar of pink ice wing. Just a bit of jackassery at the vise but I knew it would catch fish and I’d been waiting for the right time to deploy it. The traditional salmon flies were producing a few fish but when I broke off my fly and the guide offered me another I declined and tied on my dirty little secret. Eight fish in twelve casts later, the guide came down to see what I was using. We both had a good laugh. Then the damnedest thing happened. I hooked a big buck and fought him hard for several minutes. When I say hard, I mean hard. I was putting the wood to this guy and he was pissed. At some point the fish made a hard turn and my barbless hook popped out. This is where it gets weird. The big chum made a U-turn and ate the fly again! I know that salmon eat a fly as an aggressive reaction but that’s ridiculous. This fish was so hopped up on hormones that he just wasn’t going to let me get off that easy. I landed him the second time. We took a couple of photos and sent him on his way. Any fish who’s that mean deserves to be in the gene pool. I may have underestimated the chum salmon. I think this places the species at the top of aggressive species list, or at least the crazy list. It also reaffirms my belief that if you fly fish long enough, you will witness the impossible.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!

Follow Gink & Gasoline on Facebook:

6 thoughts on “The Chum Salmon, He’s Mad As Hell And He’s Not Going To Take It Anymore

  1. They are called dog salmon because by the time they were far enough up the river to by caught by most inland villages they were only fit for dog food.

  2. That’s awesome man! I’ve never had that happen but I’ve had other fish grab a fly after it came unbuttoned from the initial hooked fish. I’ve also had other fish, trout specifically, try to take a fly from another trout’s mouth. And it’s funny because in both instances it was a gaudy fly that I tie that most other anglers gawk at, but in the right circumstances it catches the hell outta some trout. That’s an awesome Chum!

  3. When it comes to fighting ability, chums are definitely overlooked. I don’t do a lot of salmon fishing, but when I do, targeting chums is a lot of fun. Big, nasty looking fish, a male chum is super aggressive and a ball to catch on fly tackle. IMO,a much better fighter than the silver (coho) and though not as given to aerobatic displays as the red (sockeye), chums are street fighters, tough, strong and a lot easier to tempt a hit from on a fly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Captcha loading...