Originally Posted by rfb700
I was on a Georgian Bay trib today targeting Chinook salmon. I found a deep pool with a group of seven in it. I threw everything I could think of at them. Not one hit, not one follow, nothing.
I know this is typical but it hurts to see such very very large fish just ignore my offerings. I only get up here twice a year so my time on the river is limited.
I now sit at a local bar drowning my sorrow. And tomorrow I'm off to tour waterfalls with my wife. Sigh!
There's always next year
Targetting Chinooks in a pool...is akin to flossing. As you are likely well aware...when Chinnys enter the tribs, they really have one thing on their mind. Spawning. Feeding...doesn't happen anymore so possibly getting strikes because of a feeding response....not happening.
So, striking then...is behaviour based. Primarily, there are 2 types of behaviour based striking....anger and protection.
Generally for both, there must be a threat. For example, a big(ger) male Chinny may attack a smaller male to drive him away from gravid females. A redd-cutting female may attack a gobie or small mouth bass that is lurking near the nest intent on eating freshly laid eggs. These 2 examples likely make up the absolute bulk of strikes during Chinny spawning.
So then, where do Chinny spawn and by extension, where would you see these types of aggressive behaviours?
Riffles primarily or rocky runs secondarily....NEVER pools. Pools...are safe havens. Refugia from predators as the deep water makes it hard for typical predators to access them. BUT, all fish use pools as refugia while most never use pools for spawning. The results in Social crowding....and what is not normally 'accepted' behaviour in riffles and runs....is 'accepted in pools'. This phenomenon is best explained by the Social Fence Hypothesis and you can Google that for fun and exciting reading. In a nutshell, this hypothesis states that in certain conditions, animals will accept conditions (i.e. crowding) not normally tolerated, all things equal.
So then, spotting Chinnys in a pool...on a bright day....and trying to target them...would be absolutely fruitless indeed. The only way...pretty much the only way there would be a 'strike'...and not a strike at all....and more flossing....is that you were able to drift a fly into one of their mouths....and that ain't fishing, that's flossing.
King Joe Outa Here!