Resident coho answer amphipods dinner bell

Since the sea-run cutthroat fishing is starting to slow down, I decided to go fishing yesterday for resident coho during a nice ebb tide. For the first 2 1/2 hours the fishing was a bust as I saw only two jumpers. However, I was encouraged to see bonaparte and common sea gulls sitting on the water surface feeding on amphipods. I stopped my boat and could see some reddish/brown amphipods(1/16 to 1/8 inch) slowly spinning just below the water surface.

With a food supply of amphipods available there had to be some resident coho somewhere. So I went to a location where amphipods normally get pushed to on ebb tides. Upon arriving at the location a few jumping resident coho were seen with more showing themselves the last 1 hour of the ebb tide. The fish were moving back and forth along the shoreline in 18 to 20 ft. of water along a noticeable bottom break from shallow to deeper water. It was a cat and mouse game to get within casting distance of them which is always fun and challenging. The best strategy was anchor the boat and wait for the resident coho as they moved up and down the shoreline. If the fish would stay put out of casting range for 5 minutes or so, I would move to that area and reanchor. I didn't have any success drifting and casting in towards the shoreline. I prefer to anchor the boat since it is possible to keep a tighter line and better hook set.

About 1/2 hour before the low slack tide the schools of resident coho had moved about 1/2 miles down the beach as the amphipods got pushed by the tidal current. The resident coho were again active in water 18 to 20 feet deep and up to 200 feet from the shoreline. The fishing was excellent through the first 3/4 hour after the start of the flood tide.

The fish at the first location were 11 to 12 inches and 14 to 15 inches at the second location with many more fish landed there than the first location. Photos below show two fish(14 to 15 inches) which were kept for the dinner table and amphipods which were stuffed into their stomachs by the thousands.

The pattern of choice was an olive/white tube clouser minnow. I should have tried Jeff's conehead squid pattern as it probably would have worked.



Mike T

Active Member
Roger, Dehlia's Grey Ghost that Steve tied at PS Fly last spring has also been a great producer the past few weeks. It's taken blackmouth, coho and cutthroat. Earlier today I thanked Steve for partaking in that demo and I thank you as well. Great stuff!
Great report, I enjoyed the detailed info. It's always a bonus to know exactly what they're munching on, one of the advantages of a boat. We had good success a week ago from the beach with about the same size as you ran into, I think our biggest was around 14", if I didn't still have some in the freezer I might of kept a couple myself. Yum!!!
Why not try an amphipod pattern with a bead head, or something like a crazy charlie if theyre feeding on amphipods?

I forgot to bring my amphipod pattern fly box so could not fish what the resident coho were feeding on. It didn't matter since the fish were so aggressive. Many years ago I tied an effective of amphipod pattern which is very similar to Preston' s pattern. Both patterns are in Les Johnson's book " Fly-Fishing for Pacific Salmon ll" on page 135 which has photos, materials lists, and how to fish the patterns.


I look forward to your threads. Always fun to read, and always infused with a good amount of educating for the rest of us. Nice work, and thanks for sharing your trip.


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