After a couple of excursions on the Coquille River estuary at Bandon, Oregon I wearied of big water, big boats and sketchy fish and wandered south to Cape Blanco and the Sixes River. Following a day of long anticipated rain, and expecting more I climbed along the bluff at the Cape to view the mouth of the Sixes where it opens to the ocean. Sure enough the rains had swelled the river channel and breached the sand bar, allowing the salmon to begin their upstream run.
The lagoon to the right of the beach is the Sixes River, the channel across the sand to the ocean is just visible in the above photos. After an overnight at the state park, it was a short drive the following morning down to the river launch, rains gave way to playing rainbow tag as I paddled down stream.
By now having had a few trips out, and catching one 8 pound salmon on the open waters of the Coquille River; I’m starting to feel competent about going after some seriously big fish, 15 and 20 pounders seen leaping and being caught by other fisher-persons.
The kayak has significant advantages for fishing, the ability to maneuver in shallow water and slip into tight river bends where the fish are. Once hooking into a strong and feisty salmon I’ve got the ability to follow them and/or try to keep them out of the numerous sunken trees along the river banks. The most significant drawback is that there’s no place in such a small boat to put a landed fish other than in the lap. 15 pounds of flopping wet slime still entangled in hook, line and net makes for challenging photography. As far as getting any action shots it’s nearly impossible, there’s way too much going on what with river current, obstacles, fishing rod, paddle and a big fish going up, down and around the boat.
Going ashore to get everything squared away and stretch the legs and hey, it’s only 9:30; what the heck, see if I can get another one…
That’s it for me, two salmon per day is the limit… time to go home and put them in the freezer!
Grateful for being able to catch such fine fare; a total of four salmon this season is enough for home use and share a few fillets with others. I’m hanging up the fishing rod and dismantling the kayak for a few months, it needs a good wash and rinse. Salt water has begun to cause minor corrosion on some of the aluminum parts of the kayak frame and there’s a slight rime along the seams of the hull fabric. Oh, and; there’s another customizing project already in the shop…