Anglers find pink fishing on the Stillaguamish hit or miss

Arlington resident Jim Caldwell stands at the banks of the Stillaguamish River as he fishes for pink salmon Sept. 1.   - Adam Rudnick
Arlington resident Jim Caldwell stands at the banks of the Stillaguamish River as he fishes for pink salmon Sept. 1.
— image credit: Adam Rudnick

ARLINGTON — Despite rainy weather threatening north Snohomish County, a number of local anglers took to the fresh water during opening day of pink salmon fishing on the Stillaguamish River.

About 15 fishermen cast their lines into the river near Haller Park during the afternoon of Sept. 1.

Some waded out into hip-deep water, while most simply stood near the river banks.

Arlington resident Jason Lund reeled in a four-pound pink salmon, also known as humpy or humpback salmon, after about an hour of fishing with fellow Arlington resident Kevin Gustafson.

“They’re jumping all over the place,” said Gustafson after taking some photos on his cell phone of Lund’s fish.

With the exception of Lund, not many other anglers seemed to be faring too well.

Jim Caldwell, another Arlington resident, said he had been at the river most of the day and hand only seen one or two fish landed.

“Usually you see them further up the river,” he said. “Last year I caught four here in the Stilly.”

Justin Gear of Arlington came prepared for a long afternoon of fishing. He brought a lawn chair and a custom-made rod holder, which he stuck into the rocks near the river.

“I’m not sure what people are using here, but I’m going to try something different,” he said.

According to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, a big run of pink salmon are pushing through the north Puget Sound.

“It’s certainly not lights out fishing, like in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but it’s been pretty good in a few areas,” said Steve Thiesfeld, a department fish biologist. “It seems on some days its red hot for pink salmon, and other days it’s only lukewarm.”

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