Your First Pole:
The most important piece of equipment is a fishing pole of course! The best place to purchase a pole is at a real pro shop or bait and tackle shop. Pro shops usually have a generous return policy. If you get a pole that is not comfortable for you, too stiff or too flexible, too long or too short, they will generally exchange it for a pole that will work better for you.
Bottom line, they want your return business for other things like bait and tackle.
The best place to fish for salmon is in the river when they come up to spawn. The local pro shop should be happy to provide you with the best times for fishing salmon.
Salmon spawn at different times and come up the rivers at different intervals throughout the season. So, planning is important if you want to actually fish when the salmon are spawning.
Best case scenario is to have a flat bottom river boat, but those are expensive. It may not be a good idea to take a regular "V" hull lake boat into the river because the depths can be too shallow and unpredictable.
Another wonderful way to experience your first salmon trip is by hiring a guide. You'll learn more from the guide then on your own. It can be pricey, but it's worth it.
No boat? No worries. Fishing from shore is a wonderful way to experience this fantastic hobby as well.
Ask the Pro's at the pro shop what works best in your area or the area you are going to fish. They will most likely suggest salmon eggs. They are cured in many different ways and everyone has their favorite.
You may wonder why you would want to use salmon eggs. It's very simply really. After salmon spawn, the parent fish stay around the nest to protect the eggs from predators like trout.
The currents will also carry the eggs away. When this happens the parent fish gently pick the eggs in their mouth and bring them back to the nest. So, when you dangle salmon eggs in the water after the salmon have spawned, they will see the eggs and assume that some have floated out of the nest. When they go to retrieve them, they get hooked!
Take along an ice chest filled with ice to keep your catch fresh. You may want to have a couple of five gallon buckets as well. One bucket for cleaning your catch. Another bucket to keep the ready-to-eat gutted and cleaned salmon in.
If you clean it before you take it home, you avoid the smelly bloody mess in your kitchen.
A third bucket could be used to save salmon eggs gutted from a female. You can save the egg sack and cure it later. You can learn more about how to cure the eggs, or roe, online or talk to someone in your local pro shop for suggestions.
You can cut your fish in two ways, steaks or fillets. Salmon steaks are the easiest way to cut them up. Filleting takes a little more practice. You will probably mangle the first few you try to fillet. Don't let that bother you. All those little mangled pieces can be smoked and turned into a salmon dip. Mmm good!
There are many ways to cook salmon. Pan fry, BBQ, roasted or even smoked. If you do decide to smoke your salmon pieces, be sure not to over dry them.
Here's a simple recipe for salmon dip.
One cup smoked salmon
Two 8 oz packages of cream cheese
Half cup chopped onion
Salt, pepper, garlic, to taste
Now it's time to stop reading about it and go out there and catch some salmon!