Agree with you that there are a lot of resident coho in Puget Sound.
Last Fri. I hooked a 4-5 lb salmon but it came unbuttoned after a 4-5 minute tussle. Probably a nice sized blackmouth that liked the S.T. Clouser Minnow(olive/white). The fishing was excellent for resident coho and I kept two fish(17" and 18") for the dinner table. Both were "footballs" and each weighted 1 lb 12 oz. These fish were also caught on the S.T. Clouser Minnow.
The size of the resident coho at this time of year bodes well for some really big resident coho come late winter/early spring if they stick around. At this time there appears to be plenty of bait to hold them here and put on some real weight in a hurry.
Yep... hooked a bunch of South Sound residents up to 18" and a couple of large cutts on Wednesday afternoon. Fished the ebb from about 1:30 - 4:30 after the wicked high tide receded enough from the trees to allow for a back-cast. Beautiful calm, sunny day w/ lotsa fish on a 5 wt... in December! A big neener, neener to all you winter steelhead junkies out there
The resident silvers in the southsound are definitely larger than in past years. I took a novice out this morning and she caught a nice 16-incher on her fourth cast on a popper. We had good action for an hour before the high tide took away our beach.
WDFW, due to the efforts of biologist Andy Appleby, Bruce Ferguson, Frank Haw and others, has been late releasing about 240,000 yearling coho each year for the past several years. We hope most of them "residualize" in the Sound so we can cast to them through the spring. When you catch one without an adipose fin (the little black flexible flap behind the dorsal fin), it is a hatchery fish. Those are fine to keep, of course. But it could have an acoustic tag in the abdominal cavity and/or a coded wire tag in the snout which can be located only with the use of a "wand" of the sort fish checkers at boat ramps use. WDFW is interested in the return of acoustic tags and wire tags, if discovered. They provide valuable data on fish behavior.
However, if the salmon you catch has a dorsal fin, assume that it is a wild fish. Avoid removing it from the water, handle it gently and release it carefully. We will all appreciate it.
Also Andy Appleby would like to know where you are finding resident fish and about how many you are seeing. We would like to keep this program going. If WDFW is aware that this fishery has a strong constituency, we will have a better chance of keeping it when they inevitably start thinking about cutting the budget.
Contact Andy at email@example.com.
Lots of resident Chinook on the Seattle Beaches as well. Haven't seen a resident Coho for a few months now. I agree with TomB on another post... keep them all in the water and don't let them flop around on the rocks - so bring a net. If they are a keeper (22 inch and above) you'll know it when you have it on, bring it in carefully - and then bonk it on the beach if it's legal.
If you are interested in this fishing, pick up Les Johnson's book on cutthroat; the information in there is substantially transferrable to beach fishing for coho. The locations are pretty similar (the popular beaches), and many of the patterns will cross over, too.
Les Johnson wrote a book with Bruce Ferguson and, I believe, Mark Mandell a book on fly fishing for Pacific salmon. Les is (purportedly) coming out with an update of that book this spring. However, the older version is still very informative, and a great book for you to buy. Locations, patterns, how-to, etc., most of the information related to the Puget Sound.
Steve Raymond's book "Estuary Fly Fishing" is also very good. :thumb:
Search the archives here and you'll find a number of beaches frequently mentioned in reports. Probably for good reasons . . .