2013 North of Falcon

Thanks for the info.
I think silver fishing should be pretty good this summer.
While last year offered great coho numbers, I didn't see a lot of big fish hit the beach.
Based on what I've observed over the past dozen years or so the coho are larger in size on the odd years. I'd love to see a repeat of 2001.
For those of us who maybe weren't fly fishing in 2001, I'd love to hear a quick recap of why you are hoping for a repeat of that year, SF.



Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
2001 was a big fish year. The state salt and freshwater coho records were both set that year plus there were tons of fish. Both fish were over 25 lbs.
Multiple hook-up with some days going into double digits which is stellar beach coho fishing in my book.

I can remember one day standing on the beach watching coho swimming by up current in the chop not far offshore. They'd go on the attack and chase sandlance right up to the beach. It got to the point the sandlance were spraying out of the water with some landing on the beach trying to avoid multiple coho chasing them. This went on most of the day. I've seen this before, but never with the number of good size fish right on the beach with their backs out of the water when feeding. I've seen a lot of stuff on the sound, but the intensity and length of time of the feeding frenzy was pretty amazing.

As far as the forecast numbers, they are paper fish until they show up. Last years number seemed like it was way off to me based on the excellent fishing. We'll just need to get out there this summer and see what shows up.



Active Member
2001 was a special year with lots of very large coho, 12 and 14# fish were common and a surprising numbers of fish in the high teens and low 20s. Several clipped hatchery fish were checked at Everett that exceeded. In addition to the large coho there were into the sound early. The combination of an early run of fish that were both large and abundant resulted in some amazing fishing.

While the wild coho returned at above expected levels last year the excellent fishing here in the sound as aided in no small part due to the fact for whatever reason the fish were feeding well into the fall. Most years it is rare to find bait fish in the stomachs of PS fish after early September it was the norm in 2012 through most of the month. Actively feeding fish are always more aggressive.

2012 in Puget Sound was a good salmon year and with another huge pink run, and increased coho and Chinook numbers expected in 2013 do we dare hope that survival conditions are improving and we are looking at a new "norm" and are we all going automatically become better fishers? Let's hope so.

Thanks for the info and history lesson guys.

Hopefully I've started my salmon fishing days at the right time!

What is it, about 4 or 5 months until the days of waking up at 4:30 am begin? Can't wait.

2001 was indeed incredible. I only wish I was fly fishing the salt at that point. We made several trips to Sekiu that year. After our first day it became obvious that it was not a typical year. Where we would usually catch our limit of 5-8lb fish, 10+ pound fish were the norm. I landed one that went 17 1/2 lbs on a light baitcasting rig out in the salt. That was a hoot.

Thanks for posting those numbers, Dime. I'm getting so excited to be back at it this summer.


MA-9 Beach Stalker
I wish I was beach fishing for salmon in 2001, but I was doing a ton of hiking and backpacking in the North Cascades and Olympics that year. I remember reading the great fishing reports at that time, but didn't realize how special it was until later. It must have been amazing to have been beach fishing in a year where you could honestly expect to hook into 10+ pound silvers from the beach on any given day.

Smalma makes a good point about 2012 being especially good for actively feeding silvers into late September. The best explanation is the unusually dry summer weather (nearly 100 days without rain) that lasted until mid-October. The weather can really make or break a beach fisherman's year, even when the total size of the salmon run is above average. Too much rain in late August or early September will send the silvers running deep and fast into the rivers, making beach fishing tough. On the other hand, low warm rivers in a dry spell will keep the salmon out in Puget Sound feeding for weeks at a time, often in the shallows. The plentiful herring in Puget Sound in 2012 (especially in the PNP area) made the fishing very consistent. Nice populations of juvenile sandlance also kept the silvers near the beach last year. In addition to run size we should pray for plentiful Puget Sound bait and an indian summer.

Tacoma Red

Active Member
This brings up a curious question for any fisheries biologist out there.

Has there been any studies done on how to improve the herring, sand lance, baitfish populations? It seems to me that having a "herring hatchery" would be fruitless in that 1) the effect would amount to a "minuscule of a drop in the vast bucket" of the entire herring population. 2) herring perhaps are not amenable to laboratory confinement and 3) possible effect upon herring genetics. Lets not go down the same road as what's been done with salmon hatcheries.

More importantly with the massive harvest of herring and herring roe as well as other salmonid prey has there ever been the recognition for curtailment at the government regulatory level? I've seen photos of kelp bed harvests with incredible amounts of herring roe and treated like manna from heaven (and shipped to Asia faster than a blue fin tuna).

Any pertinent info on this subject matter would be appreciated and sorry for hijacking this thread.



Active Member
DimeBrite -
Just back from the first NOF meeting. The "official" Puget Sound forecast for coho is a total of
882,000 fish (465 K wild and 417K hatchery). That number is up from the 2012 forecast of 730,000. Most of that increase is from the north Sound rivers (mostly Skagit and Snohomish wilds).

If things fall into place we may see another year of good coho fishing.

All the forecasts should be on WDFW's web site soon (look under the regulation and season section of the fishing link).


Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
2001 was also stellar salmon angling out this way. I recall some of my best days in the tidal flux of the Willapa River then. Multiple hookups of large Coho and lots of Kings. The morning of 9/01/01 was off the richter scale. Some of the best salmon angling I've ever experienced. I was up early and heading to the river anyway, and turned off my TV as soon as I saw the towers going down, and skedaddled to the river quick like a fox, as I was expecting the govmint to declare martial law at any time. No time to lose! I drove straight to the closest spot where I thought I might find some fish. Within 30 minutes after I switched off the idiot box, I was fishing right by the side of the highway, below Raymond, hooking up to chromers. Cars were stopping to watch, and some folks were honking their approval and waving as they saw me playing a fish.

Chris Bellows

Your Preferred WFF Poster
i've been waiting for these numbers like a kid waiting for christmas morning. i am pretty damn pleased.

should be a great summer at neah bay with the larger columbia river coho forecast as well as another 500k for the washington coast. of course, over 10 million pinks coming through the strait should make the close to home fishing good as well (6+ million for washington and almost 9 million fraser river pinks) along with the extra puget sound coho.

i'll be doing my best to intercept all your fish :)

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