Head hook or trailing cook for coho streamer in the salt, really a difference?

DerekWhipple

Active Member
The top minds at TAC are yet again alleging a decent run of coho in the Columbia this year. Since there is a nice long sandy beach where people intercept them on their way up, I figured I'd give it a possibly quixotic try on the long rod. I was going to tie up some pink/chartreuse/white clousers or some sort of herring type flatwing.

The question is, do trailer hook flies really give you an edge? Or if an angry coho wants the fly, it'll chomp the whole thing?
 

herkileez

WFF Supporter
The favourite fly for beach coho on Vancouver Island is the California Neil, sz 8-10, primarily in its original chartreuse green color, but also in other color variations. Will be interesting to see what others are using in their areas.
 

long_rod_silvers

WFF Supporter
Big fish eat small fish head first. Almost always. The times they don't is the last time they don't. Think eating a pineapple with the skin on. Ouch.
 

DerekWhipple

Active Member
Up in the sound we start the season with single head hooks, later on we switch over to stinger hooks. Good luck with the flatwing I enjoy tying them but have not had much luck fishing them.
I may not end up using them. This is mainly a plunking fishery, but people also throw 1 oz spinners. It seems like the deal here is throw something they will notice and give them as long as possible to follow it. I will use my switch rod overhand, or use this as an excuse to get a two hand surf rod.
 

gt

Active Member
i tie all my saltwater flies with 'eyes'. so no trailer hook needed as the eye will be the target of any fish with a mind to eat something.
 

Bagman

Active Member
I was on a striped bass trip out of San Francisco many years ago we were inside the bay bouncing 8oz of lead off the bottom on a drift. I watch some bass swim through a school of anchovy they just swam through and busted them up then came back and ate the pieces as they fell.

I use a trailing/stinger hook most of the time. I’ve caught some coho hooked on the outside of the mouth, as well as in the roof of the mouth, I have very seldom hook one deep down the throat.

What does all this tell me? Stringer hooks for coho does work.
 

jasmillo

WFF Supporter
Like @Bagman, I fish both for coho in the sound, moving towards patterns with stingers later in the season based on guidance from this board. Fly’s with stingers absolutely work for plucky fish so I would carry some of both. If you are getting a lot of tap..tap...tap action with no hookups, switch to a pattern with a stinger. I tie clousers up to and sometimes over 3 inches on a waddington shank with stingers and rarely if ever deep hook late season coho. Rezzies early in the season can be a different story though, so I am careful where and when I use them.
 

Nick Clayton

WFF Supporter
Any time I target coho I carry both standard and stinger flies. Their aggression in how they eat seems to vary seasonally as well as where you encounter them.

In the sound I prefer stingers. Not necessarily needed early season, but as the season progresses they make a huge difference.

When I used to target them in the ocean at Neah Bay, stingers never seemed necessary.

If I targeted them at Westport I would fish nothing but stingers.

No experience fishing them down south, but if it was me I'd carry both.

I've watched an awful lot of coho eat flies, lures, and bait, and I do not at all believe that they key in on eyes as a rule
 
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SilverFly

Active Member
The top minds at TAC are yet again alleging a decent run of coho in the Columbia this year. Since there is a nice long sandy beach where people intercept them on their way up, I figured I'd give it a possibly quixotic try on the long rod. I was going to tie up some pink/chartreuse/white clousers or some sort of herring type flatwing.

The question is, do trailer hook flies really give you an edge? Or if an angry coho wants the fly, it'll chomp the whole thing?

Are you talking about a mainstem Columbia River beach?
 

ChaseBallard

bushwhacker
Standard hook for feeding fish, stingers for staging fish. Though I'll make an exception if it seems like the fish are short-strinking and not sticking, be it chinook, coho or rockfish.
 

DerekWhipple

Active Member
Standard hook for feeding fish, stingers for staging fish. Though I'll make an exception if it seems like the fish are short-strinking and not sticking, be it chinook, coho or rockfish.
I don't know if these fish are really "staging" or "feeding", it's about as low as you can get in the system.
 

ChaseBallard

bushwhacker
I don't know if these fish are really "staging" or "feeding", it's about as low as you can get in the system.
Fair enough. Though I've also caught slightly colored-up hooknose fish in the salt, from the Columbia and Westport bars to Puget Sound.

In your case I'd lean towards staging, aka a stinger hook, but give both a try.
 

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