Absolutely. Some woods are more distinctive than others. Mesquite is one and cherry is another. Cherry has the property that whatever gives cherry fruit its flavor is in the wood as well. It survives the heat of the fire and can be tasted in the food! That plays particularly well with Salmon IMO.
I wanted to answer this question for myself in a more detailed manner. I wanted to know what flavor various woods would impart to different foods. To perform the experiment I built my mini-WSM so I would not have to fire up my 18 WSM for testing. I cooked two pieces each of:
- pork steaks
- beef patties
- salmon fillets
- tilapia fillets
- chicken legs
- potato slices
using different smoking woods. Immediately following each cook I tasted one of each of the samples
and made notes on my first impressions. The second sample got sealed up and frozen for a later date when I pulled them out and tasted them side by side.
This was fun and instructive and is well worth the time and effort I put into it.