The low numbers of returning salmon/steelhead in recent years have been a source of frustration for both novice and veteran anglers. If you want to have good days on the water when numbers are low, there are two key tactics you need to focus on.
Low numbers of fish isn't just a challenge occuring with natural cycles, but occurs every year at the beginning and end of each run. Finding concentrating points will tilt the odds in your favor when the river is not boiling with rollers. My favorite choke point is on a section of river that narrows to a channel about 10 yards wide from 100 yards. So virtually all the salmon coming up the river get concentrated into a narrow path by about 10 fold...which is a huge gain when the numbers are low. Find these areas on a river and your success rates will increase. However, finding a good choke point alone is not enough. Having bait that triggers a bite is also essential. I can remember when I first started fishing eggs and the anglers around me outfished me 5 to one (at least). With my NextGen baits I don't have that problem anymore. If you're fishing a good choke point, but not regularly hooking up, you have a problem with bait quality since the choke points only have the action of improving your odds. The consistency of hook-ups we've experienced with our NextGen egg cures, particularly when numbers are low, is their most exciting feature. If you're current egg cure is not producing this consistency, it's time to try something new. In the end it's not magic...you have to be smart about the tactics and tools you choose.