When people think of wild salmon and steelhead, I’m reasonably certain that most imaginations drift northward to Alaska. Storied runs, vast wilderness and glacier-fed rivers, the multitude of behemoth brown bears fattening themselves on these fish as they return from the sea. It’s a powerful image, perhaps one of the most iconic in the world of fish and fishing.
However, the truth long known by a certain faction of anglers is that wild salmon and steelhead can still be found in fishable numbers down in the Lower 48. Returning salmon, including chinook, coho, chum, precious few sockeye, along with steelhead, all return at just a fraction of their historic numbers. They still run the gauntlet presented by the Columbia River Basin, and still others to their home waters along the west coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California.
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