Help me out!! I need some coho love

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Jason Rolfe, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. Jason Rolfe

    Jason Rolfe Wanderer

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    Alright,

    I'm getting frustrated. This is my first year fishing for coho in the sound. I've hit Lincoln park three times in the last week--twice in the AM (6-10 ish) and once in the evening (6-after sunset).

    I'm not getting a darned thing. I realize 3 times out may not be much, and maybe I'm just not getting into the fish. But I thought I'd check in with folks for any advice on gear/presentation, etc.

    Lincoln park seems to drop off pretty steep out at the point. I've tried a couple different things--Floating line, ~9 ft leader, and Chartreuse clouser; Sinktip (15 ft, I think), ~6ft leader, chartreuse clouser.

    I guess my main question is: how long of a leader should I be trying to fish, and should I be trying to get the fly deep (using the sinktip) or do you think I'm fine sticking with the floating tip, or maybe a clear intermediate?

    Mainly, I want some tips so that I can fish with a bit more confidence. If there is a certain set up that seems to work best for people, I'd love to hear about it.

    (On a side note, I saw some cutts jumping at LP last night, tied on a popper, and had a bunch of hits on it--so that was fun.)

    Thanks for the help guys.

    Jason
     
  2. mtskibum16

    mtskibum16 Active Member

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    I'm not familiar with that beach, but 99% of the time I am fishing for coho I have a clear intermediate line (integrated shooting head), ~6 ft Maxima leader (10-12lb level line), and a clouser of some sort. I tend to use fairly fast retrieves with 6-12" strips, but I also vary my retrieve speed, length, and pauses. The whole thing with beach fishing is that you are targeting actively feeding fish that have come in to a shallow area to chase bait around (usually in low light conditions) so you aren't trying to get you're fly down deep. I do often tend to give my fly a 5-10 count before starting my retrieve. Hope this helps. BTW, this is consistent with all the information I got after countless hours researching and talking with the real beach masters.

    PS: I was in your position last year (not a single salmon the whole season). Keep at it and you'll figure it out. Even this year I fished the same beach ~10 times before getting a hookup. The fish are always moving, so the more you're at the beach, the better chance you have of being there when they are around and feeding. Last weekend I landed 5 nice fish in 3 days of fishing - just to show that persiatence (and a little luck) pay off.
     
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  3. Nick Clayton

    Nick Clayton Active Member

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    ^ What he said.
     
  4. DimeBrite

    DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

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    Jason,

    Use a clear intermediate fly line. Fish the moving current, not dead water (check the tides). Fish early before sunrise and/or on cloudy-foggy days. Fish the beach often, but not necessarily for hours on end. Focus on your stripping technique so that you make your fly look alive in the water. Select 3 different saltwater patterns in a couple of colors to keep it simple (Clousers, Shock&Awe, a squid pattern). Check your fly and hook every other cast (it must be razor sharp always). Watch the birds, the seals, and the water for signs of salmon. Be patient. Be mentally prepared for how you will fight the salmon once you hook one.

    Good luck
     
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  5. mtskibum16

    mtskibum16 Active Member

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    Yeah and listen to what DimeBrite and Stonefish say...they're good examples of who I refered to in my first post ;)
     
  6. Salty Fly

    Salty Fly Member

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    I second everything DimeBrite has said. I find the biggest problem most people have when starting to fish for Coho is how far they can cast. Can you catch Coho with a 30 or 40' cast? Absolutely. I will say I have never seen DimeBrite fish but you can bet the biggest advantage he has over others around him, is not the fly or length of leader, but his ability to consistently get beyond 80'. Add that skill to what he mentioned above and you will be surprised at how "lucky" you become.
     
  7. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

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    If you're doing everything else right how important is that 80' cast?
     
  8. Jason Rolfe

    Jason Rolfe Wanderer

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    Thanks guys.

    This is all super helpful, and brings up a good point--what the hell should I expect should I be so lucky as to hook one?

    Lots of head shaking? Blistering runs? Hunkering down?

    I have to admit I've never caught any big game on the fly rod (though I have hooked one steelhead that was huge and spit the hook after 10 seconds). I've seen the gear guys hook them and then proceed to muscle them up on the beach, usually with the fish thrashing around 4 or 5 feet from shore. How might it be different on a fly rod?

    Again, I really appreciate the tips. I think I've more or less been doing things right, but it's good to get confirmation of that to help boost my confidence.

    Cheers.

    J
     
  9. Nick Clayton

    Nick Clayton Active Member

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    All things being completely equal, I'd tend to agree. If everything else is exactly the same, then it stands to reason that casting 20' further than anyone else will equate to your fly being in the water longer than anyone else, which is bound to lead to a few more hooks ups.

    However, of everything that a new saltwater fly fisher has to focus on learning, huge distance is pretty far down that list IMO.

    Give me a properly fished 60' cast over a train wreck of a 90' cast any day of the week.



     
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  10. Salty Fly

    Salty Fly Member

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    Patrick,
    For me, very important, you are covering that much more water, they are notorious for sometimes following the fly a long way before grabbing. You might get bit 40' out or at the rod tip, but many times they come from the very end of your cast. What if you can cast 60' but the fish are moving through at 75'. I am pretty confident if you were to compare individual catch rates you would see the people who can cast 80'+ in the salt will, through a season, hook up more than those 60' and under. But you know what they say about opinions.
     
  11. toadthedry

    toadthedry Member

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    While it depends on what beach you are fishing on some beaches the fish closely follow the shore and often are within 20 feet of the beach. On these beaches actually making short casts will keep you in the zone longer. I used to think when i beach fish and get bites close to shore that the fish were following the fly into the shallows. But when i fish from a boat close to shore the majority of my bites are eithin 30 feet of the shore. Of cpurse as i said this depends on which beach you are fishing as some require a long cast. As others have said use a intermediate sinking head. Go with a fly you have faith in. Unfortunately the most important factor is to be there when the fish are there. That you can only control by trying to pick optimal times to fish the beach you are fishing. Good luck. Keep at it and the fish will follow.
     
  12. wadin' boot

    wadin' boot Donny, you're out of your element...

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    Mebbe bail on Lincoln Park and try a new east/North facing beach on the Kitsap... Look at the creel reports from the boat guys all over Puget sound. Those reports betray a giant ball of fish moving through the Sound. Target where the maximum ball would be next, honing in later this month into tidal systems and then upstream...see coho jump, cast, strip. Hook Coho. Land Coho.

    Then jump and strip and jump some more and run into the water shouting "hallejulah" to give thanks.

    All first time fly guys who catch a salmon off the beach are supposed to do this. To you know, give thanks to the salmon gods. I'll give you ten bucks (but not bail) if you do this at Lincoln Park with pictures and/or supeona to prove it.

    This guy's alternate story is he caught some stocked trout at green lake on the fly and was giving praise to Hatchery gods- check out the action shot at Duck Island:

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattle911/2012/09/04/police-mentally-ill-man-tackles-kids-at-green-lake/
     
  13. Jason Rolfe

    Jason Rolfe Wanderer

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    I'm going to hold you to that ten bucks, Wadin' Boot, just you wait and see.

    As for the fish--I've been seeing em at Lincoln Park. The two mornings I've been there, I've had a couple jump in front of me, and seen 5 or 6 taken by other anglers. So they're there. Maybe not as many as other beaches, though. I'm trying to limit my fishing/gas expenditures at the moment, so Lincoln Park is working out well for me.

    J
     
  14. DimeBrite

    DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

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    When it comes to salmon casting from the beach in saltwater the following are important from my experience:

    (1) What spot I cast my fly into (micro rip currents, salmon travel lanes, near fleeing baitfish, casting the same direction the current flows, leading a jumping salmon.
    (2) Making frequent casts. I recast quickly after I finish a retrieve and use a minimum of casting strokes to conserve energy. Maximize shots on goal and keep the fly in the strike zone and not in the air with excess false casts. Keeping your fly in productive water is a key to getting more strikes. Beginners on the beach are slow to cast and have a much lower % time in the strike zone than those with experience.
    (3) Be able to comfortably cast at least 70 feet without thinking about it very much. Practice at home and visit a certified casting expert to improve your technique (I need to do this often to break my bad habits). Open your stance and watch what your cast is doing behind you to get more distance.
     
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  15. Jason Rolfe

    Jason Rolfe Wanderer

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    Now I want to measure and make some marks on my line to figure out how far I'm casting (consistently).

    If I had to guess, I'd say I make 50 foot casts easily, 60 foot casts occasionally, and 70 footers every once in a while. Mainly depends on casting room and the fly/line I'm using. Something i'll pay a little more attention to, though.