Great Lakes Salmon
The Chinook salmon, which is the largest and most popular of the Great Lakes species were introduced into
the system in the 1870’s. Coho, Sockeye, and Pink salmon as well as two different strains of Atlantic salmon
were also introduced into the system in the years following.
Chinook which is also called the King salmon is the largest and does very well living its entire life in fresh
water. They do not mature as fast as those found in the Pacific due to availability of food. Despite this, they are
a hard fighting fish but rarely jump. They can be fished very well by using 9-10 weight gear. They generally run
in the tributaries of the Great Lakes in August and September, but by the middle to late October the run has
Sockeye salmon are also called Red salmon unless they are landlocked and then they are called Kohanee.
They are usually about 16 inches long and weigh 2-3 pounds. They are normally a silver color with blue-green
backs.they tend to run in schools and can be fished with 7-8 weight gear.
Coho salmon are generally caught by anglers trolling the Great Lakes system. They live for 2-4 years and
can get up to 12 pounds but are usually around 6 pounds. They enter the rivers and streams in October to
spawn and live there for over a year before heading into the Great Lakes. They prefer small streams and are
jumpers which makes them many anglers favorite salmon. They can be fished with 8-9 weight gear.
The Pink salmon which is also called the Humpback was first introduced into Lake Superior where they
reproduced and spread to all the Great Lakes. The one in Lakes Ontario and Erie declined after a couple of
years while the ones in Lakes Huron and Superior just leveled off. They can be fished with a 6-7 weight rig.
Perfect Fly co offer the rods, reels, fly line, backing, and a wide selection of flies to make your salmon fishing
trip a success. We also offer hand tied leaders for salmon. Please visit our online store at www.perfectflyco.com
or call us at 1-800-594-4726 for advice or assistance in putting your gear together.
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