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Salmon Newbie in Montana

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Moved to MT a couple years ago as a metallurgist, and now find myself in posession of a 14' all-welded Klamath and 15hp outboard.

Now this might not seem relevant to anyone, but there is a reservoir here with chinook salmon that routinely get over 20lbs, as well as lakers in the deeper haunts. The best part is- there are places to fish with that size boat on good weather days. And there are some places with kokanee a bit closer to home, just to get out and knock around, plus walleye and northern in places.

And for anyone concerned for my safety/mental health- a friend has a 23' ski boat that he's interested in trying to troll out of. So I'd rather go out half-armed and half-witted than unarmed and dull-witted. Which brings us to here- I figured I'd join up on a forum that knows more about trolling for freshwater salmon than anywhere else- a Great Lakes forum. You guys have to deal with clear water, no salt, deep fish, and decent amounts of pressure- about what I'm gonna be looking at out here. Heck, there's probably more salmon gurus on here than there are salmon fishermen in my entire state.

I'll probably lurk for quite a while before having anything decent to post, so just bear with me. And then, it'll probably be about rigging tips while avoiding major expenses.


Tight lines- StarvinPilgrim

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I'm trying to figure out how to get the depth without the cost- even $150 per manual downrigger seemed steep to me, especially since release clips and balls are more on top of that. I was initially thinking about running a torpedo cuda in front of 3 colors of leadcore, but the depth charts seem to indicate I would max out at the top range of the chinook depths (80-100'). I was very interested in stacking rigs, too- especially with a shuttlehawk, and I don't see that being possible with a torpedo. Cheaters, maybe with flex-seal-dipped swivels, but not a stack.

I think I have a decent idea, though- saw a 4ft "snagging rod" today for $25, and I should be able to couple that with a hefty baitcast (like an old used Penn) and 90# braid or heavier and an 8-10# cannonball. Mark the braid every 5 feet, put it in a rodholder and send it down.

Long story short- I could definitely see myself going overboard on this... Might try the Kokanee game this week on my days off, just as soon as I can get the motor to run...

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