Lock-Jawed Coho

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by CLO, Sep 19, 2013.


How do you get river Coho to bite when they are jumping all around you?

  1. Change Fly Color

  2. Change Retrieve

  3. Change Fly Size

  4. Grab some roe

  5. Go gome

  1. How do you solve the lock-jawed PNW coho problem?
  2. All of the above? Minus go gome, of course.
  3. Seems like coho are either biting or they aren't. If the ones in front of me aren't, I check out different water in hopes of finding some aggressive ones.
  4. Keeping doing what has worked for you in the past. The jumpers aren't the players anyway.
    Blake Harmon likes this.
  5. I change flys a few times, brake my rod over my knee and chuck it as far out into the school as I can. Then I go and drink beer.
    Terry Bare, ten80, Skysoldier and 4 others like this.
  6. tie on a Dick Nite half/half.
    Mark Kraniger likes this.

  7. Doesn't work as well unless you're running a slinky and 10 feet of flossing leader.
    Patrick Allen likes this.
  8. Dynamite!

    Actually, the best thing I know to do is use a color that is generally considered to make them aggressive. For Coho I guess that would be chartreuse and/or orange. Then, if you can find a fish holding in one area, cast to that area repeatedly. There's a chance the fish will become annoyed and bite your fly just to make it die or go away.
  9. I fish them when the water is colored. If that's not an option, I fish a glacial river where the water is colder.
    And I usually fish them with gear.
  10. GEAR, you much braver than I to admit to useing gear. I once admitted to being fond of Plunking & drinking Budweisers as a great pastime and was nearly banned......
  11. Go steelhead fishing! They say 1 out of 20 coho in a pool is a biter but 1 out of 2 steelhead in a holding location will bite a properly presented lure. That being said there are 100 times as many coho in a river than steelhead so keep swinging
    Flyborg likes this.
  12. Here's an idea I just thought of, so I've never tried it, but...

    Slip a pea sized red bead onto your leader before tying on any minnow imitation streamer. Then peg the bead in place with a toothpick right at the knot. The salmon may take it for some egg stealing critter and attack it out of species preservation instinct. Sort of an egg sucking leech on steroids. I'm definitely trying that one if I make it to a river this year. Lock jaw fish are maddening.
  13. Fly and retrieve. Change as needed.
    Don Freeman likes this.
  14. No, then we go catch some sweet SRC action! ;)
  15. I haven't had any luck using flies for coho in the rivers, but i do have luck using roe and marshmellows (use it like a corkie). What i notice is i only get bite during tide changes. When they do stop biting, they stop!

    I do catch chum on the fly in the rivers no problem, oh and pinks too.
  16. I hear so many different opinions on coho I don't even know where to start really. Methods seem to vary by region and run. Personally, I've had some epic (30+ fish) days and some epically disappointing days where I see countless fish but don't touch a one. I've had days where the guy next to me hooked none and I landed six in a few hours--both using the same fly, lines, sink tips. I even switched him spots a few times.

    Personally, I think chronically harassed fish in low water are going to be much harder to catch. When we get rain on the local rivers in the fall, I'm there hoping to run into a pod of fresh fish. I've caught them on purple egg-sucking leeches, sharp-steelies, Last Calls, egg patterns, MOAL leeches. My best days have been on smaller, sparser, bright flies like Idylwilde's Last Call.

    Unfortunately, I've rarely met two people who have the same opinions of coho. It's hard to get a consensus of what makes them bite.
    ten80 likes this.
  17. I did up a "fly" in silver and gold flashabou to mimic the natural motion of the wild Dick Nite :D
  18. Chartreuse works great for me in the early morning, then I switch to darker colors and smaller flies. Jim Kerr has a theory (if I remember correctly) that low-water, lockjawed coho can be coaxed into biting by throwing small flies that look like euphasids and perhaps other small arthropods that would trigger their eating instinct like when they were smolts in the rivers and estuaries. This technique worked great when I fished with him two years ago on a gin-clear Sol Duc.

    We were also swinging through deeper runs with small, boring flies consisting of a small clump of bucktail (orange, brown, red) with a couple strands of flash tied on a 1" copper tube. Cast straight across, throw in a big mend to let the fly sink, and twitch on the swing.

    Ian and sopflyfisher: sounds like you guys are tying a variant of the Christmas Tree pattern. Works well for deep holes on the Sky.
  19. Sounds like you have the blue fox hatch dialed.
  20. Good stuff, hopefully this will help out my river skunkage as of late.

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