Trippin on the American Shad
Here they come! As of yesterday, the total count is 2.3 million! The daily count for June 19th was 121,285 shad. Will the run reach 4 million, or 6 million or a new high of 7 million? Your guess is as good as mine but one thing is for certain, you can't beat the action with a fly rod! I took my 11 year old grandson out last Thurs and this is his favorite time of year. You know how kids are, if it's not happening, they get bored pretty fast, but with shad, that is definitely not the case!
I'm in my usual place on the lower end of the shad rack below Bonneville Dam anchored in 6.5-8.5 feet. This is great time to use the fiberglass fly rods, 8 wts. The Airflo Depth finders in 300 and 400 grains work perfect. The 400 only goes out about 5 pulls on the color change and the 300 gets 10 pulls. The usual fly is my own, Sunshine Shad fly, tied with hot yellow glass beads!
From the boat, it's just a matter of setting the lines behind the stern and wait for the grab or you can jig the line to entice strikes too. Swinging the fly towards the shore will catch fish, especially in the evening. Catching shad is a lot of fun and especially for people who are new to fly fishing, or new coming anglers and kids love it!
The shad run is good at least till the end of June or when the run starts to taper off at about 75K per day. Otherwise, you can chase them up the Columbia and on to the Snake River below each dam!
Best wishes in your fly fish pursuit!