The Columbia River once hosted a simply unbelievable run of Chinook Salmon. These are the famed summer run fish that once corked the entire river for hundreds of miles, migrating to the farthest reaches of tributary streams. Hydroelectric dams put a stop to that within a few short years. These Wenatchee River Chinook have settled in for the long wait for the fall rains, a trigger to make the final trip upstream to their spawning grounds. We filmed these fish during a forest fire, the smoke creating a murky haze. Hunkered down in a giant hole, these big fish were not frightened by our tiny Gopro cameras camouflaged amongst the rocks. Freediving in heavy current, we swam amongst the giants, the school parted and reformed behind us. This is as good as it gets.
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Music: "GREEN LEAVES" by Jason Shaw (audionautix.com/index.html)