Out with the humpies, in with the coho

There are still humpies coming into the rivers, but a lot of the fish already there are getting a little dark.

That’s OK, because it looks like fresh replacements – in the form of coho salmon – are solidly in the saltwater and the rivers.

I’ve been kind of busy at work during the day and on nights and weekends with moving lately, so I haven’t been able to fish as much as I’d like.

The fact that the state opened the Methow for steelhead fishing today is killing me because I won’t be able to get there for 10 days or so. But I that’s another blog post.

What I wanted to say was that the reports from several corners suggest that a fair amount of silver salmon or are in the rivers right now.

Herald Outdoor writer Wayne Kruse said today that a larger than usual number of the winners in the Everett Coho derby were caught in rivers. He said that in pink salmon years, there’s a popular theory (not supported by any science) that the silvers are better biters and smaller in size.

That seems to be the case this year.

I also heard a few reports about silvers in the salt and the rivers at my fly fishing club meeting last night.

Silvers can be sporadic at grabbing a fly, but I’ve always done well with coho that haven’t been in the river long. I think they’re more aggressive takers when their fresh, so I would encourage people who aren’t working too hard and/or moving to get out there.

I lot of flies work, but I often use marabou or rabbit strip leech patterns with black, purple, hot pink, and white with a little green. I weight most of my flies with dumbbell eyes or strips of a lead substitute.

Beginners should try an 8-weight rod with a choice of sink tips. In the rivers, look for logs, boulders, and ledges where fish can slip out of the current and rest for a while.

I use weighted flies in about 4 to 10 feet of water and try to let them sink close to the bottom before stripping them back. Sometimes it just takes a few short strips for a strike, but be prepared to experiment with longer and faster ones until you discover what works.

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