By Jason Brooks
Klickitat, WA-With a million Chinook heaving over Bonneville Dam it’s time to head to the Klickitat for Kings! I spent three days this past week fishing the Klick. The first day it was a bit windy so Loren Dunbar of Hevi-Beads and I hit the Canyon with our good friend Jeff Geary. It didn’t take long before we hooked our first fish of the day in the first hole right at the launch. Geary likes to use bait divers and we ran a Brad’s Diver, using 25 pound Izorline Platinum in clear to an old school birdie a few beads as a buffer and a UV Hevi-Bead to tandem hooks gobbed with cured salmon eggs. On our second pass we got our second fish. After working the hole for a while we decided to move downriver.
In each hole we first backed down the bait and diver combo, then we would re-work the hole with Yakima Bait’s Mag-Lip 4.5’s and a Hevi-Bead pinned about 4 inches above the plug. The Klickitat has off color glacial silt water so the plugs and Hevi-Bead combo’s made the difference.
A few missed take-downs and a good time ribbing each other, Loren and I teamed up again the next day at the Mouth of the Klickitat. This time we fished with Brian Robertson of Rod Rage Guide Service (509-307-3040). We started off the day hover fishing with a Hevi-Bead and a small gob of cured eggs. Not only did we get a few Chinook but also a few small sturgeon which kept things fun throughout the day.
When the hover fishing bite turned off Brian then trolled a flasher and a Brad’s Super Bait stuffed with canned tuna. It seemed when one bite turned off the other one turned on so keeping rods for both fisheries in the boat only makes sense.
Just remember that the mouth of the Klickitat can turn dangerous when the wind kicks up so a boat at least 16 feet is a good idea. On calm days smaller boats can be found working around the green can marker. On really windy day’s head up the Canyon. There are plenty of bank spots and there are several good floats for those with drift boats or pontoons. Besides back trolling divers and plugs this is a very popular fly fishing river and most use beads. Again, Hevi-Beads in UV can make a big difference in the silty waters. Float fishing eggs and sand shrimp is the most popular method for bank bound anglers followed up by throwing Blue Fox Spoons for Daredevil Red and White spoons in the 5500 series.