This time of year, Skokomish makes fishing look really easy

One night of rain in the middle of the summer is all it took to fill the Skokomish River with big bright Kings — plenty in the 15- to 25-pound range.

I just got back from the river after sneaking out for a few hours before I opened the store. I met my buddy Matt at 5:15 a.m. in Port Orchard and 45 minutes later we pulled up to the Skokomish River.

We strung up our rods and rigged them with corkies and a small tuft of yarn. We only had to walk about 200 to 300 yards to get to our favorite spot.

About five casts later, I felt a slight tap-tap on my rod, then I set the hook hard and fish on.

That same scenario happened about five times in the two hours I fished, just catching and releasing.

When it was time to go home, I knew the next one hooked was going home with me, and luckily was a beautiful 17-pound hen.

The Skok is a fun river to fish

This time of year it’s really low and easily fished from the bank. Since the water is so low, anyone can read the water and locate the fish.

All the deep holes below State Route 101 will have Kings in it. I like to fish just up river from the SR-106 Bridge above hunter farms.

Fishing below hunter farms can be good at times for fresh fish entering the river, but below the bridge can only be fished at low tides.

Getting geared up for the big hatchery Chinook at the Skok is also very easy.

First, you need a sturdy but sensitive rod eight feet or longer, 15-pound test line and corkies and yarn.

No bait is required for these fish, just try to keep the presentation small, size 12 corkies, and trim the yarn so it’s no longer than a 2/0 hook.

I like to use red corkies early in the morning then switch later in the day to darker colors like purple or black.

The Skokomish River is by no means a secret, so be prepared to have plenty of company. If you get into a hole with other fishermen, there is no reason to get into a tangle with each other.

The downriver person casts first, then the next guy up from him, and so on. This will keep everyone in order and not crossed up.

Enjoy the Skok for what it is. This is one of the few times of year when people are catching instead of fishing.

One more river on the watch list is the Quilcene River. The Quilcene is now open and should start producing any day now.

This is a fun little stream and it gets one of the biggest runs of Coho around. Fish it the same way as the Skok, with corkies and yarn.

The majority of people who drive to Quilcene will come home with their four-fish limit. This is another catching river — not so much a fishing river.

As a final note, make sure to double check the regulations and release all snagged fish because it is a popular spot for some game wardens.

Derek Mills owns and operates Bay Street Outfitters in downtown Port Orchard and leads fishing expeditions throughout Western Washington.

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