Well we said the rivers might bump up this weekend with the rain we just had and they sure did… Not a lot, but just enough to bring in some chrome coho for lucky Pacific Angler customer Dave who was out with PA staff and guide Andre today. Check out his first salmon on the fly! Not a bad way to start, sea lice chromer…
This is coho time people, and the run this year appears to be strong on almost every local system. Chrome coho enter the rivers each rain through Oct, Nov, and even into Dec in some systems. They can be almost suicidal at times, and other days they won’t bite anything, or so it seems. So today I am going to talk about fly and lure choice to help you catch more fish.
You need a large variety of flies, from large and bright patterns for fresh aggressive coho in dirty water, all the way down to tiny flies in drab colors (pretty much trout flies) for spooky and/or stale fish in clear water.
It really pays to have a good selection so you can not only use the correct size and color of fly for the clarity of the water, but also for the aggressiveness of the fish. The dirtier the water, the bigger and brighter fly you need. Coho love flash, so many anglers incorporate lots of flash into their flies as well. If the water is not to dirty, say a green color, and the fish are fresh, they will still hit the larger and flashier flies as they are generally very aggressive when they enter the system. When the water is low and clear and the fish have been in the river awhile, they get stale and less aggressive and small patterns will work like rolled muddlers and small wooly buggers.
In this picture we have a large red pattern with lots of flash, then a medium sized green wooly bugger with rubber legs and a cone head, then just below two smaller patterns that work well for coho and cutthroat. On the right are a few different colors of Flashabou that are popular for coho patterns; copper, fire tiger, gold, and red, to name a few.
When it comes to spoons and spinners, most people just tie on whatever they have in the tackle box and hope for the best. You will catch more fish if you adjust to the conditions. On dark days and when the water is dirty you often need maximum flash and that means a silver spoon or spinner. If the water is clearing up and there is lots of sunlight, try a brass or gold spoon or spinner as the flash is less intense. When the water is very clear copper is often the way to go.
In this picture we have a larger and heavier silver spinner, followed by a lighter brass spinner, and finally a copper spinner with ruby red beads. All spinner and spoons are not created equal. These spinners are custom made for Pacific Angler for the local coho fishery and feature high quality blades that are varnished so they won’t corrode. The Gibbs Koho and Kitimat spoons feature a true silver plate finish that gives them maximum light reflection. The Vibrax Blue Fox spinner is also extremely effective and has long been a favourite of many coho fisherman.
I hope these tips help you out and you get out and enjoy some of the great coho action. We still have a good month of solid fishing ahead of us and some of the best fishing of the season. If you are interested, we also do guided trips for fly and gear anglers from beginner to expert. Give Dave a call at the shop for more details, 604-872-2204.