River fishing for salmon in strong flowing currents like the Columbia, Fraser, Thompson and the King Salmon River, just to name a few, can yeild some of the biggest baddest bodies of water with pools, back eddies and tail-outs that contain fights against monsters you may never forget! Because of their importance and size and the abundance of tributaries that feed them, these oceanic "arteries" are extremely important and rich with wildlife including salmon and have a variety of ways to put these beauties on your dinner table or just provide a fantastic and memorable sporting adventure!
Bottom bouncing for salmon has really come a long way in the world of salmon anglers and is a very productive way to fish on a sand bar or gravel bed while the salmon make a run to their breeding grounds to complete their life cycles. For those who haven’t been exposed to the lingo of the avid angler things like “bouncing betties, pencil lead” and “blades” might sound a little funky, but we’ll cover all that stuff in the bottom bouncing section so check it out!
Bar fishing is so popular in fact, that it has done some “spawning” of it’s own in the way of having an etiquette evolve out of it. Because of popularity and abundance of weekend warrior gatherings, there has been a surge in un friendly conduct out on the rivers, so anglers who are out there to have fun have embraced this etiquette in order to make it a pleasant experience for all, so I urge everyone to go over this section. Although there are always bad apples that spoil the crowd, I’ve met amazing people out on the rivers and everyone has some great stories to tell, young and old.
Bottom bouncing or bar fishing definitely has its limitations and some anglers will hop into a boat to combat this problem as some bodies of water are much too deep and swift to cross by foot. Crossing a river can lead to some great bars as well as a little more peace and quiet as not everyone has access to boats. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to get into more fish though.
For those of you who don’t mind the challenge of finding fish in a boat and just love getting out into nature and trying something challenging with some amazing scenery, I recommend drift fishing!
Drift fishing on rivers has been one of the most successful techniques for steelhead fishing since the good old times when the old boys would chuck a line out from a log they were floating down the river for logging purposes and get into a silver bar! Obviously things have changed allot since then – fish are less plentiful, anglers use oars with backup motors mounted on specialty drifting boats that have an elevated and specially designed bow and stern to cut through the rapids
Fishing quietly on the river can be just as rewarding as it was back in the day, sometimes even more so. Fishing guides who know every method, piece of bait and holding pool can be a great way to try drift fishing for you first time, but if you think you already have what it takes or you want to learn more about drift fishing for salmon read more here!
A common way of fishing salmon on the Northwest Coast in US rivers is called backtrolling and is synonymous with backbouncing which uses similar tactics with a different setup of gear. Both approaches are very productive and often overlooked when you cross the border and show anglers in BC how you do it.
To learn more about these two methods of river fishing, be sure to check out our backtrolling and backbouncing pages for more information on exact techniques and how to rig up your gear.