"Lights Out" Fishing for Staging Coho???

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by JayB, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. Patience. A temporary river bump now is not the same as sustained higher median flows in October. It might help fishing over the next 24 hours though. The hot reports for coho in the Snohomish system will come next month.
  2. from my limited experience, >1,500 cfs in the Sky is when I've seen coho fishing improve and 2,500 cfs is just about right. Any more and flies can be a little challenging to fish. Plenty of chrome should be moving through as the river drops back to ~1000 cfs

    Lastly, this has not been brought up yet, but I call BS on the idea that fish can sense barometric pressure. I cannot understand how a fish could sense a very slight change in atmospheric pressure; a big pressure swing would be something like 750 to 765 mm Hg, equivalent to ~200mm (20cm) of water pressure increase. Given that fish move up and down in the water column on a regular basis (sometimes up to several hundred feet in salt water), it seems improbable that they could keep track of major changes in pressure due to their movement versus the comparatively insignificant barometric changes. I think that the changes mentioned above (temperature, turbidity, light, and depth) are quantifiable and more likely to be the cause of a good or bad bite.
  3. Don't underestimate, after-all they track their movement and return to their natal streams using the earth's magnetic field. If a fish can sense and imprint the magnetic force of our earth, from water, then it seems not improbable nor unreasonable that they would be incapable of detecting even the slightest change in atmospheric and barometric conditions.
  4. i do agree with the water temp idea. however there have been years when the temps were no different than this year but the fish were much better biters so to speak.
    i am not sure you can pin it down to just one thing.
  5. Just looked at the river forecasts and looks like we should be having more than a temporary river bump.

    Both the Skykomish and North Fork of Stillaguamish are forecasted to reach 20,000 cfs by the end of the weekend and remain above 3,000 through next weekend. The Skagit is expected to go above 65,0000.

    Still lots of coho in the salt; the last few days the checks at Everett have been in that 2 1/2 to 3 coho/boat. About as good as it gets this time of year. With better than average return and good flows should October be good times?

  6. I agree that water temp is a major factor, and possibly one of the reasons the late run silvers in SWW bite so much better than the early run fish. I still think there is a big difference in lock-jaw between different stocks, but that's based on experience and intuition on my part. It would be extremely difficult to prove either way.

    Not sure how much exposure to, or time in fresh water has to do with biting in staging coho. I caught my first silver of the year last week in a Columbia trib mouth above Bonneville dam. That's 150-ish miles from the ocean. The water temp there is running in the mid 50's. This was a chrome fish that ate a #10 euphasiid pattern fished in extremely clear/still water. I have no idea if it took the fly for a euphasiid, but the point is it wasn't a reactive bite to something big and flashy. The fishing pressure at this location is epic, so not sure the argument that pressure kills the bite is an absolute factor either. Most of the pressure there is focused on steelhead and chinook though, and I found this school of silvers in a relatively undisturbed spot.

    I dunno, so many factors to consider. I just know that there are coho runs on some rivers I won't waste the gas on.
  7. Please don't rain the rivers are perfect right now.

    Yesterday WAS lights out for 6 coho in my boat.
    DimeBrite likes this.
  8. Interested in this thread and thinking about it with my fairly limited experience with Coho. On a weeklong trip to Alaska last year, we were limiting almost daily, but these were Summer Coho and part of a harvest hatchery system they're using in SE Alaska (from what I was told) Basically these Coho behave like sockeye in that they first run to lakes, sit for a while, then do their final spawning migration in the feeder streams in the fall. Where I fished, these Coho were intercepted on the first stage of their migration through a fish ladder, gassed, gaffed, then bled and packed for consumption (They show up at local groceries stores as Snow Pass Coho). We fished them staging and in the rivers and they bit all day long. I'm wondering whether these summer fish were more active because of the different nature of their migration. Also, I was wondering if there are other summer runs like this in WA?

    When I returned, I fished for staging Coho in Dabob bay--casting to similar numbers of fish but nothing biting. Moved up to the mouth of the Quilcene and fished out on the estuary at low tide--nothing. Only people I saw catching were those either snagging or flossing on the river.
  9. Cook -
    Summer type coho were historically found in several north Puget Sound streams (I have caught in-river fresh coho in those river as early as the last week of June). However those populations (which typically ran towards the headwaters) are not very common today with just the rare fish found in a few tributaries in a couple of the major basins

    There also is a hatchery summer coho program on the Sol Duc.

    From what I hear and my own experience on the north Sound rivers fishing for those summer coho also suffer from periods of "lock jaw" fish.

    I suppose that the early Columbia coho (head above Bonneville Dam) with their August early September river enter could be called summer or at least early fish. In the estuary they are decent biters don't know how they fish up river.

  10. I'm not sure what the above Bonneville fish are classified as, but probably more of an "S-type" stock. I'll have to look that up. I think a lot of those fish return to federal hatcheries on the main Columbia, so they really don't get the typical river fishing pressure that we associate with putting coho off the bite. They see their share of plug cut herring at Buoy 10 and the gauntlet of chinook lures in the main river though.

    My experience with them is "mixed" and limited to the still water trib mouth fisheries in Bonnie pool. They seem to be catchable by trolling/casting plugs and spinners and of course on eggs. I have had multi-fish days on flies when I have found them in relatively undisturbed areas and when they weren't rolling like crazy. It doesn't matter what you throw at them when they are doing that.

Share This Page