Written and photographed by Dave Ryan, Field Forester
On Thursday, October 20th four hopeful adventurers wended their way down to Ellsworth “Beach”, that small, rocky shore at the terminus of our old growth trail. The hope was that the recent rains and some applied positive mental attitude could summon the Chum salmon to make their annual run up Ellsworth Creek that day. Alas, our intrepid adventurers found no salmon that day; although a walk in the forests of Ellsworth is never wasted.
On Friday, October 21st a sole wanderer ventured back to the beach and welcome to Ellsworth Creek Chum Run 2016! At some point in the intervening 24 hours, the salmon made their push several miles up Ellsworth Creek. It is always a powerful experience seeing a salmon run; whether in Alaska, The Bonneville Dam fish ladders, at Klickitat Falls, or anywhere else in the world. However, there is a solitude, a solace, and an intimacy to the Ellsworth Creek Chum run that is especially powerful to me. Perhaps it is due to, rather than in spite of, the small scale. It is a favorite time of year in what is one of my favorite places in the world.
View the photo slideshow above to see the impressive chum run!