My dad first took me salmon fishing in the Manistique River when I was just a small boy and I’ve been hooked ever since. Salmon was a great way for me to learn how to fish rivers. To get consistent at seeing, hooking and eventually landing fish. They were much more abundant in the rivers than the steelhead, and usually much bigger targets.
This is where good polarized glasses, accurate casting and patience come into play. When I was a kid I’d keep everything I caught. Riding my bike back from the river I’d have my 6 foot Eagle Claw fishing rod, Mitchell spinning reel, small tackle box and two huge dark King Salmon, gills through each side of my handlebars, tails dragging on the road. Proud as could be.
Today I don’t keep any of them because the reality is that they usually aren’t very fresh. But it’s an excellent sport and a perfect way to help introduce kids to fishing. The rivers are often full of these monsters and just the sight of them keeps things exciting.