Now on the water the jet boat carved thought the swirling currents of the mighty Skeena River. We were in search of likely holding places of wayward schools of sockeye salmon. Speeding over the blue green water towards the tip of a mid river island we saw breeching salmon, a good indication of holding fish. The engine was cut and we drifted to shore. Rigged with a 8 weight 10 foot rod, Islander reel with running line and 25 foot lead core sink tip we began covering the water. Swinging our wool bundles through the swift currents then take a few steps downstream and repeat. On my tenth cast I felt a solid weight and set the hook and all hell broke loose! My reel screamed and rod tip bucked. I was into hot fish and I was sure I had foul hooked a Chinook by the way the line screamed off my reel. Now, fifty yards downstream the large male sockeye tail-walked across the surface with the line whistling through the water. I gained some line and now the salmon charged for mid river and began cart wheeling and rolling. Determined to win this battle I leaned into the rod and began to gain some ground. As the silver slab neared the shoreline his belly hit the rocks and he went berserk. My hand got in the way of my reel and I busted my knuckle and thumb. Now instantly into my backing the fish headed for the salt. I ran a few steps and began winding madly to gain slack as the salmon reversed directions. I was beginning to tire and the fish had some more left in him, 10 minutes later I had him beached for a picture. Now I have never had a fish on river battle like that. I have landed some huge Chinook, Steelhead and Atlantics they have being challenging. But the raw natural power of a tail-walking sockeye can not be surpassed. I would have to say that sockeye are the hardest fighting wild beast I have ever plied with a fly rod and I challenge anyone to find a hotter fish in a river.