I was looking through some of my photos and found this picture of one big smelly mess . After the huge numbers of red salmon have spawned they simply die and their carcasses start to flow downstream. Sometimes the dead salmon settle out by the thousands on the sandbars which makes for some pretty noxious fishing if you happen to be downwind. Luckily all of this dead material will decompose and provide nutrients for the next generation of salmon after the eggs hatch. Until then it provides a big draw for lots of large rainbow trout who come to feed on the flesh after already having feasted on the eggs when the salmon were spawning. A well tied flesh fly made of rabbit fur will often entice the biggest of the trout who are finishing off their yearly feeding cycle by eating chunks of dead salmon flesh that break off and float with the current. The smell of such large amounts of dead fish is revolting to most people but Alaskan trout fishermen learn to associate it with the possibility of hooking into rainbow trout in the fall that often exceed 10 or more pounds.

Picture taken by Ernest Helton
Last updated on: Apr 18,

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