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Top 4 Salmon Locations

Location 2: Fall Salmon Locations

As leaves change from green and bright to red and subtle, thes­e sleek fish also morph from flashy silvers to deep reds, greens and steely grays. Salmon fishing in the fall brings cooler temperatures, different techniques and new kinds of fish to the table, with sockeye, coho and chum making their initial seasonal appearances all over Washington. Although the sockeye has been on the endangered species list since the 1990s, the glossy fish goes red and green (on the outside) in the fall, and is one of the most desired fillets available [source: Stahl]. Head to the Cowlitz River in Oregon to meet up with the red-fleshed (but silver-bodied) coho, which made their best showing in years in the fall of 2008 [source: Brown]. Known for their rich, red flesh, coho are one of the best eating of the Pacific Salmon and are slightly smaller than the Chinook.

After boating your limit, head to Puget Sound, where anglers have been hooking into chum since the 1980s, when record numbers were released by local fisheries. Distinguished from the Chinook or coho by its less rich and more pink flesh, the chum salmon offers a mild flavor and is perhaps an easier catch because of its smaller size.

And for those able to leave the lower 48, Alaska's a sure bet for salmon year round. Hop a plane and fly to Valdez, which boasts an annual salmon derby for men, women, and kids in the last days of summer or early fall.

If you're interested in Alaska, you're probably brave enough to read on to the next page to find out the best winter salmon locations.­