Chum Salmon Fry

Scientific Name: Oncorhynchus keta

There's no getting around it: chum salmon are a weird fish. They're the second largest of the Pacific salmon, but the fry don't rear in freshwater as other salmon do. Instead, they migrate to the esturaries when they are about two inches long.

For sea-run cutthroat and other species that hang around in the intertidal zones, the timing couldn't be better. Chum fry head to the saltchuck in March and April, which is just when hungry sea-runs are leaving freshwater after spawning. And what do the the sea-runs find? Hoards of small, tasty, clueless chum fry. Is this a great country or what?

So imitating chum fry in early spring is an excellent fly fishing strategy in the estuaries, especially those of Puget Sound. Find a river that has strong chum runs and a good sea-run population, and go there in the spring with a box of chum fry patterns. And have fun.

Chum fry patterns are also very important when trout fishing in Alaska in June.


COLOR: Silvery with dark back and dark bands on sides

Click on the fly name to see the pattern. Click on the presentation to learn how to do it.