MATT SCHUBERT’S OUTDOORS: Spawning salmon aren’t always pretty

SPAWNING SEASON IS no beauty pageant.

Unlike their human counterparts, salmon are often at their ugliest when on the prowl for that special someone.

If one were forced to submit a personal ad, it would likely read like this:

“Hook-nosed and haggard, with a general air of ugly.”

Still, this hardly keeps them from being undesirable, be it with their fellow frightening-looking fish or with the similarly scraggily looking humans who target them.

Few would call either side of the angling equation a prize to be won.

Yet the bustling banks of the Sol Duc, Dungeness and Quilcene rivers are a testament to just how little that matters.

Try squeezing into a spot at the Meat Hole this Sunday morning — and by “morning” I mean 12:01 a.m. — for the Dungeness River opener, and you’ll see what I mean.

We’re talking about elbow-to-elbow action complete with head lamps, glow-in-the-dark lures and a few boxes of Busch Light.

It’s truly a date made in heaven, however homely it happens to be.

Hoodsport chum

Speaking of ugly, the Hood Canal chum run should start turning heads during the next few weeks.

Hoodsport Hatchery technician Drew Burkhard said the fish haven’t shown up in front of his facility yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

“It could be any minute, it really could,” Burkhard said.

“They are due based on past years, and we’ve had good weather, a lot of rain lately. That usually brings them in.”

The Hoodsport Hatchery almost always sees a healthy run of chum reach its traps each fall.

The run typically goes from mid-October through Thanksgiving, although in recent years it has come earlier and earlier.

“Everybody is happy,” Burkhard said.

“The tribe get their numbers, and the sport fishermen usually get theirs, too.”

Whenever the fish do show up, make sure not to fish for them on Tuesdays and Thursdays when the tribe does its beach seine fishery in front of the hatchery.

Believe it or not, the fish tend to get a little spooked after such an experience.

Much like any other terminal salmon fishery, corkies and yarn are popular.

Colors vary, but many are partial to chartreuse for chum.

Shroom show

Word has it that mushroom season is upon us.

If I hadn’t received photographic evidence proving that the past couple of days, I might be a little skeptical.

I joined members of the Olympic Peninsula Mycological Society for a foray through a second-growth forest a few miles west of Joyce last Friday.

Unfortunately, we didn’t come across too many fruitful patches of fungus.

My own haul after two hours of foraging — about a dozen chanterelles.

No doubt, the recent rainfall will translate into more fungus among us.

If you don’t happen to score any wild shrooms in the next few weeks, there is another alternative.

The Mycological Society will host its annual Wild Mushroom Show on Sunday, Oct. 23, at the Elks Lodge, 143 Port Williams Road, in Sequim.

There will be hundreds of wild mushrooms on display at the afternoon event, set from noon to 4 p.m.

Identifiers will also be available to classify any wild fungi you might have found, and mushroom cultivator Lowell Dietz will be selling mushroom kits to those who would like to grow their own.

For more information, visit olymushrooms.org.

________

Matt Schubert is the outdoors and sports columnist for the Peninsula Daily News. His column regularly appears on Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at matt.schubert@peninsuladailynews.com.

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