Things I've learned during the 2012 Coho Season

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Jason Rolfe, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. Jason Rolfe Wanderer

    Posts: 1,178
    the beach
    Ratings: +372 / 0
    I've been thinking about these a lot lately while I've been fishing. I thought I'd share, and see if others have anything to add.

    1. Low tide is my friend...sometimes. But then again so is outgoing tide, incoming tide, upside down tide, and schizophrenic tide (my new name for whatever was going on with the water at PNP the one day I went there--that was crazy).
    2. If I slow down and focus on my technique, I can make 70-80 foot casts all day.
    3. Sometimes it's hard to slow down and focus on my technique.
    4. Going for cohos is probably the first time I've had to tape up while fishing. A band aid here, some athletic tape there, and my hands are thanking me later in the day/week. Ten pound mono can cut through damp skin like it's jello. I'm reminded of the movie "Slapshot," and putting on the foil.
    5. Combat fishing is funny.
    6. People don't seem to understand that the line I'm casting could easily take their eye out when they try to stand right behind me on the beach and either cast over me or ask me what I'm fishing for.
    7. The saltwater forum on WFF is easily my favorite way to spend/waste time at work. And is full of some fanatical and friendly folks.
    8. Under the right conditions, coho don't give a f#&k if the sun is shining directly down on them.
    9. Clousers are easy and fun to tie, and a blank canvas of sorts where you can let your whims take flight.
    10. And most importantly...I've still got a lot to learn.

    Jason
    Pat Lat, Tacoma Red and Nick Clayton like this.
  2. gibbycu turns all year

    Posts: 33
    Seattle, Wa
    Ratings: +7 / 0
    1. Any color works as long as it's chartreuse.
    2. Green gamakatsu hooks.
    3. Wear eye protection when casting with wind coming from the side you cast on. I thought I was gonna find my eyeball on the end of my clouser.
    4. Alternative to #3, learn to cast lefty or face the beach and backcast into the water.
    5. Hold rod tip to the side to keep coho in the water.
    6. Stop tying flies until midnight when getting up at o'dark:30

    Matt
    Pat Lat likes this.
  3. Bagman Active Member

    Posts: 336
    Poulsbo WA
    Ratings: +67 / 0
    Since I just started fly fishing and just started Salmon fishing. Everyday I learn something new. I've tricked 3 Coho's so far, one Cut, a number of Bull heads. Oh ya one Sea Gull picked up a perch fly I'm trying to tye. I'm retired from 39 years of being an R&D Enganeer. My fly tying is just R&D. Closure's are not easy to tye if you don't know what your doing. I'm enjoying all of it. Most of you guys have been at this for a long time, but I'm sure you can still remember what it felt like when that first Coho hit the fly. It is still fresh in my mind. I need that fix again.
  4. Steve Saville Active Member

    Posts: 2,472
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +310 / 1
    It's just palin madness and I really love it! I think I could do it every day but it does end and a new season arrives. Chum are heading in and the searuns are feeding. The steelhead and coho are in the rivers. It's a menu that has so many choice that it's hard to choose sometimes. I think I have it down now. Cutts today, coho tomorrow, steelhead and river fish later in the week, and chums next weekend. I like it.
  5. mtskibum16 Active Member

    Posts: 924
    Puget Sound Beaches
    Ratings: +198 / 0
    As for the PNP current, that's pretty normal. The main current passing the point (incoming or outgoing) causes big eddies on each side of the point. They can go from big currents to nothing and disappear depending on how the main current changes. Either way it always changes a lot throughout the day.
  6. Pattick Member

    Posts: 32
    Bremerton, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    1. The presence of 400 staging Coho doesn't mean you'll get any hits.
    2. Tie everything with a stinger hook.

    I love the looks people give you when you're casting at the rocks to fish the water :p
  7. DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

    Posts: 849
    Marine Area 9
    Ratings: +289 / 0
    In 2012 I've learned that there is an impressive new generation of saltwater fly fishermen emerging along our Puget Sound beaches. Congratulations to all you guys who stuck with it and earned their silvers. I hope you all keep at it in future years, and I hope to meet more of you on the beach.
    This year I've heard the gear and herring guys comment on many occasions "the fly guys have been doing very well" and "can I see your fly, what's it called?" In past seasons the typical comment has been "you won't catch anything fly fishing" or "the fishing was so good even the fly guy caught one".
  8. Bagman Active Member

    Posts: 336
    Poulsbo WA
    Ratings: +67 / 0
    I had a cut bait guy tell me " guess I need to learn to fly fish you guy are doing so good"
    daveypetey likes this.
  9. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,834
    Ratings: +1,101 / 4
    I learned a ton over this glorious season.

    I think the biggest thing I can take away is that you cant catch fish if your fly is not in the water. I learned this lesson in two ways this seasons:

    First, just fish. Its great to plan ahead, look at the tides, select the bear beach etc...but this season I focused on fishing as much as I could when I had the time. I fished before work. After work. Weekends. Weekdays. High noon. If o had a free hour I fished, and it paid off.

    The other factor was going to an Outbound short and forcing myself to not use more than a single back cast. It took me a while to get the feel for it but the end result was my fly was in the water longer and in the air less.

    I learned not to worry about fly selection much. I pretty much used the same fly all season.

    Learned to be patient with everyone else on the beach.

    Learned some great new coho recipes and my son learned that he loves him some salmon.

    There is a lot more I learned, these are just what's jumping out at me.

    What a great season!

    Oh, thanks to Stonefish and Dimebrite I learned how cool micro rips are. Many, many thanks to those two guys for sharing so much great info with those of us who are new to this game!
    porterHause and Tacoma Red like this.
  10. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,834
    Ratings: +1,101 / 4
  11. Troutrageous Active Member

    Posts: 416
    Yakima
    Ratings: +25 / 0
    I Second that.

    I learned a lot this season, and had a lot of fun, the only really unfortunate lesson was how much good reports can crowd up a beach in a hurry.
  12. Bagman Active Member

    Posts: 336
    Poulsbo WA
    Ratings: +67 / 0
    I'm an old surfer from CA. Been surfing since 1959. You never tell any one how good the surf was today. You can tell them that it was good two days ago, but never untel the swell has ended. I'm just not use to being at the bottom of the curve, without much time to learn. I will get better because I'm willing to work at it. I have a few Sand Lance patterns tyed up for next year. I still want a few more Silvers this year, but a smoked Chum or two will be fine. I'm learning. I will learn more this year and much more next year. I hope to meet some of the guys from here. Do you guys have a yearly get together?
  13. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,792
    Marysville, Washington
    Ratings: +643 / 0
    Maybe the biggest "lesson" from this season is that having lots of fish is a huge asset in catching fish. Pretty clear now that coho returns this season are twice the expected levels. How great would it be if what we saw in 2012 is the new coho norm? With the current chnges in the ocean conditions we may be in for quite a ride!

    curt
  14. Steve Saville Active Member

    Posts: 2,472
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +310 / 1
    I started beach fishing with serious intent in 2003 when the Pink runs were starting. Back then, I was the only guy on the beach where I live. Now, during a typical Pink run, there are 50 or more on weekend days. They used to leave me alone when I fished. Now they follow like a pack of wolves. I know many don't like the Pink runs but those fish are getting bigger and bigger and are a test on a fly rod. If you don't eat them, you can always release them but you have to admit that it's great to have a fishery that produces 5-6 pound fish one year and then a nice coho run the next. IT seems like we ARE in for a real fun ride if it holds.
    Nick Clayton likes this.
  15. mtskibum16 Active Member

    Posts: 924
    Puget Sound Beaches
    Ratings: +198 / 0
    That would be nice, wouldn't it!?
  16. SciGuy Active Member

    Posts: 206
    B.I. and surrounding points
    Ratings: +51 / 0
    1) If you are losing too many fish then use a longer stinger and/or a larger hook.

    2) Good fatliners can consistently outfish good gear fishermen.

    3) Coho can be caught on a regular basis in the middle of the day under clear skies if the current/tide is right.

    4) Tube flies and jig-hook Clousers are hard to beat.

    5) It is more productive to fish for 1 hour at first light for 5 days in a row than it is to fish for 5 hours on a single day.
    mtskibum16 and Jason Rolfe like this.
  17. mtskibum16 Active Member

    Posts: 924
    Puget Sound Beaches
    Ratings: +198 / 0
    1) Straight Maxima leaders (10-15 lb) are awesome (cheap, durable, easy)
    2) Fly selection isn't that critical when a coho is hungry
    3) Fish can be caught at any time of the day, but first light is where it really happens
    4) You don't need to wade deep or cast far at first light
    5) Current and surface chop are your friend
    6) WFF Saltwater forum has a lot of good people willing to help us novices enjoy this awesome fishery (special shout out to Stonefish, DimeBrite who are both amazing beach fisherman and always willing to help answer questions!!!)

    I've learned the most this year by just spending time on the water. It really helps when the likes of Stonefish, DimeBrite, SciGuy, etc are also on the water so you can watch and learn! Fish the type of water they fish, with a similar fly, and the retrieve they're using and you are bound to start catching fish!

    Now I just need to find someone who is a waiting period coho and chum master because these F&$%ING fish are tough!!! I'm starting to think that catching them is a myth.
  18. Tony James Member

    Posts: 104
    Oakbrook, WA
    Ratings: +17 / 0
    I learned not to go tuna fishing with Anil in the heat of the coho season. A 20+ pound saltwater rocket on a 12 weight flyrod can almost ruin you for salmon fishing. Hard for a journeyman like me to top that in this part of the country. I loved reading the reports of all the success you guys had this year in the salt - congrats to the hardcores who stuck to it. Gotta second Steve's comments about the pinks and add another recommendation for the chum. I mainly C&R, so it's hard to beat the fun of catching 20 to 30 chum up at Hood Canal - it's a great way to keep the flyrod in your hand for another month of great practice.
  19. ten80 Active Member

    Posts: 516
    Anchorage, AK
    Ratings: +84 / 0
    20lb, 7 ft maxima leader on clear intermediate line
    Non-slip loop to fly for better action
    Outgoing tides on eastside beaches
    Very fast, short, short, long stripping rhythm
    Roll cast, then pickup and shoot line out rather than false cast

    What a great fall coho season!
  20. Stonefish Triploid and Humpy Hater

    Posts: 3,856
    Pipers Creek
    Ratings: +1,260 / 1
    That not getting up past 4:00 am every weekend since July 1st makes sleeping in sound like a great idea.
    Nick Clayton likes this.