Fish, Fur and Fowl: Even year humpies make comeback

For as long as I can remember humpies only ran on odd years, or at least that was what I and countless other anglers thought.

This year, however, there have been quite a few of them reeled in around the island. Of course when the reports first came I was a little skeptical without seeing first-hand, or at least a picture, but this past weekend my wife Nicki hooked into what I consider a very nice humpy.

Now as for the urban legend that they only run on odd years I am going to have to research how that started and if there is and validity to it. I have heard from the guys down at Ace that there was a land slide on the Fraser river some 40 years ago, wiping out an entire run of humpies and other salmon that year. I’m going to have to research and find out why. If anyone knows than please e-mail me.

Now humpies are not on top for most anglers in terms of taste, but if you handle them correctly they can be quite tasty. The first thing I like to do is to bleed them or just clean them. Then it is important to keep them cool. Having a cooler full of ice is great, but if you can put them on a stringer and leave them in the water. Too many times I see anglers club them first and then just throw them on the beach. This is not the way to handle humpies or any other fish for that matter. A little care and the fish will turn out much better on the grill.

Other salmon are also being caught throughout the sound. And whether you are fishing from a boat or the beach you shouldn’t have a problem catching a fish.

The Tulalip bubble has heated up. Darts seem to be what is working for most. I have not been out there this year because when it comes to combat fishing I’d rather be standing on my feet than out in the boat.

San Juan anglers have done fairly well so far this season, but look for the action to pick up once the silvers start to show up in force.

The Samish River slowed down a bit, but will pick up again soon. If you can, get down there on a weekday during a good low tide. Suspend a cluster of eggs with a corky and some yarn and be ready for the slightest bump. Red and green seem to be the two most popular colors for both the yarn and corky. Like I said, the slightest bump is what you are looking for. It can turn into a snag festival down there, but if you can get them at first bump you will have a good chance of getting them in the mouth.

Hunting report

Bear season is open and with limited success so far. Look for that to change as we roll into September. The berries are starting to ripen on the slopes of the cascades and will draw good numbers of bears to them. Once September arrives and grouse season opens most of us will take our shotguns along too. More on that will come soon.

Be sure to look here every Wednesday this month for my article. Last but not least have fun and get out and enjoy the weather while we have it. Local clubs can e-mail me with events they would like to announce. Be sure to send pictures, recipes stories or even a comment to I look forward to hearing from you.

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