Editor’s note: The following blog was sent in by our contributor Jason Brooks.
by Jason Brooks
Following up on the Green River chums map feature in this month’s Northwest Sportsman Magazine I took my youngest son Ryan to Metzler Park on Saturday. Pulling into the parking lot I was a bit worried that we wouldn’t find parking. As we’d driven along the winding Green River Valley Road every pullout had had cars, and the takeout at Highway 18 was full. I knew this meant the fish were in, and luckily for us, some fishermen were just leaving as we entered the parking lot, so we had a front row spot.
After rigging up the rods for floating jigs and making sure we had some fresh raw prawns in the tackle box, Ryan and I hiked down the trail. Coming to a small slough with a wooden bridge over it the effects of last week’s windstorm had a tree blown across and breaking the handrail.
Ice covered the wooden bridge so we proceeded with caution and made it to the river’s edge where anglers were fighting fish.
Though this spot was very popular, everyone was polite and happy to be wetting a line.
Ryan and I found our spot just upriver from where the trail meets the bank. The first thing I noticed was that this was a deep cut bank, and with my son anxious to fish, I warned him several times to stay away from the edge. The second thing I noticed was that everyone was casting upriver a few feet from shore and letting it drift to just past where they were standing, reeling in and casting again in succession.
Soon Ryan and I had the casting down and kept our gear close to shore. At times we were fishing at the end of our rod tip and other casts would have us try 20 feet out but never more than that.
I rigged us both with bright cerise Mack’s Rock Dancer jigs tipped with raw prawns, but the guy to our right hooked several fish in short order and let us know that he had soaked his prawns in Pautzke’s Fire Cure, which of course I had brought along but forgotten in the truck.
It’s about a 10-minute walk from the parking lot to the river, always taking the left fork in the trail when you come to them which there are two, but soon my float went down and I set the hook. We might not hook as many as the guy with the cured prawns, but going and getting the cure and returning would eat up all of our fishing time as this was a quick trip.
That first fish fought hard, and with the tree roots and undercut at our feet I cranked down on the drag and handed the rod to Ryan. The big chum battled back and splashed around. The strain was too much and the jig pulled free just before the fish came to shore. I felt bad after seeing others fight the fish and let them run while others respected their fight and got out of the way. Lesson learned to let the fish run.
About every fifteen minutes you would see someone downriver fighting a fish, then someone upriver would be fighting one, and a run of fish was coming through. My float went down again and I set the hook. This fish didn’t pull and thrash like the big feisty chums do but instead pulled down and then gave up after I handed the rod to Ryan.
Turns out there are still a few coho in the river and a jack had taken my jig. Ryan considered it a bonus fish though it was pretty old and tired. But when you’re four days shy of 9 years old even a tired jack coho is a trophy.
Guys on the bank congratulated him and the sun was out. It was a beautiful day. We hooked a few more fish before it was time to leave. In the short 45 minutes we were there six drift boats went by and the bank anglers around us were continually catching fish. As I turned to head back to the truck I looked up the bank to where Ryan and I had been fishing to witness three guys had moved in on our spot and all three were fighting fish!
Now is the time to head to the Green River for the Dogs of Fall. If you need any info at all just pick up a copy of this month’s issue of Northwest Sportsman as the entire river is covered including spots, gear, lures and baits. The best part about this fishery is that twenty minutes after we left the river we were home. It’s nice to have such a great place to catch fish in our backyard.