Since the steelhead closure is two more days away on most sound rivers I wanted to give it another go with the centerpin rod and reel. Trying to go fishing with two kids in diapers is no easy feat as I had to prep the boys and drop them off at daycare while I assembled my gear and made my way towards the hills. Even a bad day of fishing can be ok as its about the journey and the joy of getting out for some fresh air and scenery.
The temps were warm in the low 50’s as I made my way towards highway 2 and the drive was non eventful. I rigged up the pin rod with float and proceeded towards the river which was slightly up and had a little color which is a good thing. I was hopeful that the rains had pushed some fish into the runs and holes. After pounding a couple of well known spots I concluded that there were no fresh winter runs and after talking to a couple of locals even Reiter had been slow. I did feel more comfortable with casting and managing the reel buy also found myself tangled up a few times and trying to manage the line.
I didnt get skunked as two smaller male
Coho gobbled up the cured steelhead fire cure roe. It’s always exciting to connect when the bobber goes down and there is a tug and pulse at the end of the rod. Too bad it wasn’t what I was looking for but not a bad way to end the season.
I’ll be focusing on Stillwater for eastern WA basin trout next month so will be re-gearing up in preparation for chironomids and strike indicators.
With the rain in the forecast and ideal tides I wanted to test my theory out on these B run unclipped fish that we’ve been seeing on our marine estuary X. According to the WdFW they released 40,000 coho that we’re not marked for the purpose to study if clipping the adipose fin makes a difference in return rates. About 3 weeks prior I had noticed a marked increase in the adipose finned fish which caused concern. Even with a system and hatchery that’s been in operation for over a 100 years was there a run of ‘wild’ fish? I didn’t think so but good to check with the wdfw to make sure as we didn’t wan to disturb the wild fish even though the regs allow for retention of either clipped or unclipped fish.
It was slower but I was able to find a few players. I landed 7 fish from 16″ jacks to the largest 28″ chrome buck. I had enough fish in my freezer and gave my friends a combo of 5 fish and kept two for the smoker and the barbeque. This was truly our last run, I want to leave it on a good note. I’ll be counting down the time until next year but have other fish to fry, or rather Chum, winter crab and steelhead, resident Blackmouth and Matsutake mushrooms to complete the tour. I am glad that I’m not a hunter as I’d really be in a dizzy chasing ducks, deer and elk as well.
Tuesday the weather cleared enough to go on a road trip to explore historic downtown Poulsbo and drop off a wounded 8 wt. rod at Sage another casualty of the season, and take the ferry ride back home. Don’t miss Sluys bakery on front street especially the date and coconut macaroons which are gluten free but loaded with taste and especially wonderful. Man cannot live on fish alone, gotta have the veggies, fruit and local confectionaries as well.
This weekends full harvest moon brought some luck for my friends and I would pull the trigger on getting out to try our luck once again. I was skeptical but optimistic that I would pick up a big male Coho to use for Gravlax. I did get one nice fish of 29″ that weighed in at 11.7 lbs earlier in the run but wanted another shot as later in the run the fish tend to get larger as they spend more time in the salt feeding and fattening up.
In years past the run would be done by the end of September. Due to the lack of rain and good ocean conditions I believe that we still might have some decent fish returning in the next week or two if the rains stay away the fish should play. The short of the report was it was lights out fishing. I picked up a fish with a first cast, and was able to get a limit within 30 minutes. Fish steadily kept pushing through the tide change and we left fish with our limits in hand. The largest was 28″ which I’ve got curing along with a gallon of separated roe for Shoyu style Ikura which I recently discovered my son loves. I’ll be keeping all my roe from now on: partly to use as bait and partly for Ikura preparation.
I needed some fresh air so decided to take my youngest son out to the park and hit the high tide for a chance at some Silvers. I could see fish boiling just yards away, sometimes it’s nice keeping things simple. No waders, one box of flies, a spool of Maxima 10 lb tippett, a rod and reel with Rio Outbound and you’re set!
Just as I suspected, the incoming tide would bring the bait and fish would be on the move. The water clarity was excellent with little salad in the water and a rip forming at the point. Sometimes you don’t need a boat or too much gear to get it done, just a tide chart and a box of flies. I’ll be back tomorrow for another shot!
I made a final run out for OP Coho and think the run is on its last legs. It’s been a fantastic few weeks of sleepless nights, many miles on the road and a couple of broken rods later. When I stopped and admired at the beauty of the Coho it serves as reminder that each one of the fish we punched was a thing of beauty.
I may look towards beach combing and exploring some new locales for some willing takers and small Clouser minnows. Or I may take a couple weeks off and spend some time at the vice to tie up some chum patterns in preparation for the next run. Thanks Coho, it’s been a wonderful season!
Categories: Fishing Reports
Just because I’ve been offline for a few days doesn’t mean I’ve not been fishing. It’s been a great week for a few of us as we fished the OP for returning Coho on the fly. Sad to say this but I’m so tired of Coho it’s hard to keep any more fish. It’s great eating, but a lot of work, processing and preparing for the dinner table. I’ve made a lot of friends however and they’ve enjoyed all the fish that I’ve been giving away. One thing that I cannot stop is all the fun I’ve been having finding and fishing for these fall Silvers.
After an all evening outing and back for a few hour nap my son was up at his normal hour so off to school he went and then I had a wild hair to rig up the boat and head out. I called my neighbor Koji with whom I’d invited out fishing and he was thrilled with the possibility of heading out since he recently got some Scotty electric downriggers and needed some help and tips with the operation and general handling of Salmon. When he suggested we take his boat I grabbed my flasher bag and lure board and made a B-line to his house. I’d invite dad to join as he always enjoys the salt air and the scenery of the sound.
We found many boats working the outgoing tide change at Westpoint and after a couple of laps I abandoned the conventional thought and wanted to troll towards Edmonds since the fish would be following the bait. ‘Find the bait and you’ll find fish’… Around Richmond beach we picked up a nice reel screamer at 500′ of water with 90’ of cable on the green dragon flasher and white lightening Coho killer. I hadn’t even tied down with shorter leader or use dodgers. I feel that keeping the right angle and tide makes a bigger difference with these fish. This was the first fish for Koji’s new boat and even though he didn’t land it, he got some valuable lessons and tips which should help him with future outings. Koji missed a couple of other take downs as he was putting too much slack in the hook set, one rarely needs to set a properly trolled flasher lures. Most times the fish will set itself, so never jerk or lift too hard, this will cause some fish to de-hook.
The marine fog layer never really burned off and we definitely appreciated having GPS on our way back from Edmonds. I’d say we did we compared to the lack of flying nets we saw and especially having made it out so late, fished from 10 am until 2 pm. We did make it up to the oil docks and then trolled back with the incoming tide but needed to get back and process more fish and pick up my son from school.
Had a wild hair and needed to get back out for some Coho action. We loaded up with my dad, Ching W. and Tom E. into his mini van to head out to the Oly-Penn for some nighttime fishing. We were hoping to find fish on the tide drop but the incoming tide was really when they were pouring in with consistent action an hour after the tide change.
It was a great way to ring in my birthday and to have some fresh silvers to hand out to my friends and family members. I reported my crab catch card but didn’t realize that I am just 5 fish away from being full. Coho season has indeed been excellent so far and hoping to hit it one more time before I convert to roaming the beaches or trolling for them with the boat.
Our beloved Chum are around the corner and some locations will start showing good numbers by the end of the month. Definitely going thin these days with the lack of sleep but I can grin and look back with great satisfaction that I was able to spend these days on the water, thankful!
Having a limited day dad and left after a hearty brunch at the Fort Worden Commons and set out at 10 am with the tide flats in mind. Hoping that it was going to be a repeat of yesterday we we just wanting to get in and out with our Coho, but we found out that it took a bit of work to locate and sift though the 1-2 fish and the 40-50 other anglers which showed up in force with the same intentions.
Since our time is precious, when it was evident that the fish wouldn’t make the run, we high tailed it out towards the bay to intercept them versus stand and wait for the possibility that they’d come. Tom E. made it out around 10 am and was already hiking out and I saw him and made the same plan to hike it downstream. The wind was blowing pretty hard and caused the water to get stirred up with silt. This put off a murkiness in the water, that coupled with the white caps made it more difficult to view the fish but I was able to pick off a few fish with one nice hen of 9 lbs.
Even with the tide change and incoming tide it was evident that it wasn’t going to happen so we packed up around 12:30 to make the hike and drive back up to Port Townsend to pick up my wife, boys and mom. We ended with 4 keeper Coho with 1 that was fouled an released. What a fantastic three days in the Olympic Pennisula with great food, wonderful sights of some decent fishing.
The drive back home was easy with a little bottle neck traffic in Tacoma but otherwise it was 60 mph all the way. A dinner pit stop in Federal Way’s Palace restaurant hit the spot with assorted grilled meats and side dishes, Korean style!
Rod: Sage RPLXi 9′ 8 wt
Line: Airflo multitip
Fly: Pink Hootchie Hooker
Based on our poor showing yesterday we got some redemption as dad and I were able to wrangle out limits of bright Coho. Dad is getting a little more comfortable with the fly rod and the presence of more fish definitely helped us out versus the weaker showing yesterday. I counted 32 anglers on the tide flats but it wasn’t until the hour before the low tide that all the action happened with schools of 4-6 fish consistently pushed up river. I used my pink hoochie hooker and it worked like a charm. We got 6 females and 3 males, snagged 5 fish but the remainder were fair hooked and averaged 4-6 lbs.
Rods: Sage RPL 9′ 8 wt. 4-piece and Redington Pursuit 9′ 8 wt.
Lines: Airflo multi tip and Scientific Anglers floating line
Flies: Pink hoochie hooker
I had been itching to visit Port Townsend as I’ve heard great things about its Victorian homes, big vista views, rich history of nearby Fort Worden, and of course great fishing with Point Wilson and mid channel bank and Marrowstone island.
This is the time of year that we like to head out to the Olympic peninsula I get our fill of Coho salmon for the smoker and barbeque. Since its tough for me to get a stretch of consecutive days off to be able to fish I booked one of the non commissioned officers homes at Fort Worden as its an easy drive to the beach and to the river. There are many charming shops and restaurants, galleries and romantic Victorian style homes surrounding Water street of the down town. The eclectic mix of artists, poets, modern hippies and families all seem to blend nicely. Even the public restroom was architecturally significant and was about the cleanest and most efficient place I’ve seen. Later my wife told me that the town has the highest registration of Prius per capita in the nation and the number of solar powered homes is also notable. It’s a Eco- friendly, hip, swanky, and charming town that has the bonus of great fishing all within a stones throw! I was telling my wife that I could see ourselves retiring here or at least visiting more often.
Today was a slower day fishing wise than I was hoping for as the Coho didn’t seem to rush up in big schools. Mostly it was one or two fish at a time. There were many people fishing but mostly standing around waiting for the fish. I had to really work for the fish and ended up with 5 for the smoker between dad and I. Most of them were cookies cutter in size, 4-6 lbs but there was what appeared to be a larger buck but upon filleting found eggs and would estimate the hen at 8-9 lbs, as it had some girth to her.
My mom took the heads and make salmon soup, an amazingly rich and flavorful broth of the heads meat reduced to a creamy concoction, warmed the heart and soul for sure! I brought my mobile fish processing stuff and have 4 fish brining for the smoker and 1 we kept to make spicy Korean fish soup for our dinner tonite.
After our dinner we took a walk around the hill and saw the old bunkers and Batteries that were built into the hillside to protect against intrusions into Washington. Dad and I will he’s back out today in hopes that the run numbers will improve with the full moon. We met with Ching W. and Tom E. yesterday and Tom already had a fish on while Ching was hoping to scratch out his first Coho on the fly. As the tide change came and the into the flood and push of fish came and I sighted a fish in front of Ching. Giving him some instruction he was able
to entice that Coho and next thing it was laying in the beach with Ching grinning from ear to ear! He was pumped up and could see the look of relief and joy on his face. That made the experience all the more rewarding and enjoyable for dad and I. Hoping that we have a few to hand today and tomorrow.