Species above are divided into the general Trout/Salmon/Char groups based on their habbits. Clearly, the taimen is not a member of the char family, lenoks are hardly trout while sea trout and steelhead have no genetic differences with brown and rainbow trout respectively.
They have an ocean coloration of silvery blue green. When adults are near spawning, they have purple blotchy streaks near the caudal fin. Spawning males typically grow an elongated snout or kype and have enlarged teeth. Some researchers speculate these characteristics are used to compete for mates. Adult chum usually weigh from 4.4 to 10 kg, with an average length of 60 cm. The record for chum is 16 kg and 102 cm and was caught at Edie Pass in British Columbia.
Most Chum salmon spawn in small streams and intertidal zones. Some Chum travel more than 3,200 km (2,000 miles) up the Yukon River. Chum fry migrate out to sea from March through July, almost immediately after becoming free swimmers. They spend one to three years traveling very long distances in the ocean. These are the last salmon to spawn (November to January). They die about two weeks after they return to the freshwater to spawn. They utilize the lower tributaries of the watershed, tend to build nests called redds, really little more than protected depressions in the gravel, in shallow edges of the watercourse and at the tail end of deep pools. The female lays eggs in the redd, the male sprays sperm on the eggs, and the female covers the eggs with gravel. The female can lay up to 4000 eggs. Chum can live from 6 to 7 years, and chum in Alaska mature at the age of 5 years.
The chum salmon is found in the north Pacific, in the waters of Korea, Japan, and the Okhotsk and Bering seas (Kamchatka, Chukotka, Kuril Islands, Sakhalin, Khabarovsk Krai, Primorsky Krai), British Columbia in Canada, and from Alaska to Oregon in the United States.
Chums have been the last salmon species to be targeted by the angler as they are not considered remarkable in their sporting or table qualities. In the past they have provided food for the native people and they are still fairly abundant in many rivers. Cum salmon rarely travel more than 100km upstream in their spawning migration.
With the decline in steelhead and Coho populations, Chum become more and more sought after by fishermen. They are caught fly fishing bigger streamer patterns in black, pink, purple or green with marabou being one of the preferred materials to tie on the hook. Chum can also be tempted by spoons and spinners although they are not as likely to follow a lure as Coho salmon.
|Spinning Reel||2500-4000||Daiwa, Shimano|
|Lures||1/2-3/4oz||Mepps, Blue Fox, Gibbs|
|Fly Line||8-9||SA, RIO, Cortland|
|Flies||4-2/0||Gamakatsu, Mustad, Tiemco|