River cohos biting again after wet weekend

  • Wayne Kruse / Outdoor Writer
  • Wednesday, October 4, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

Heavy rain over the weekend washed coho anglers off area rivers for several days but, by mid-week, silvers were again hitting landing nets. And some big ones, according to Jack Strege at Triangle Beverage in Snohomish.

“We weighed a 12-plus-pound fish Tuesday,” Strege said, “and last Friday, I weighed the biggest coho I’ve ever had on the scales from the river – 17 pounds, 8 ounces.”

Strege said Snohomish River coho are on and off the bite, but the more consistent fishing is probably above town. Boat anglers also are doing well, however, below the bridge and on down around the first bend, he said.

Small, thin-bladed spoons and Vibrax spinners have been the most popular lures, Strege said, but sand shrimp also have been productive.

High water on the Skykomish brought a bunch of fish into the river, according to Arlington resident and river guide Sam Ingram, and by this weekend, he says, there should be excellent fishing available anywhere between Lewis Street and Sultan. He hit quick limits Wednesday morning with wife Susan, pulling a green Wiggle Wart in snaggy water, between 5 pounds and 11 pounds.

“We smoked ‘em,” Susan Ingram said, “and we’ve only been out here an hour and a half.”

The Skagit has been slow. Checks by state personnel on Thursday, before the heaviest of the rains, showed 25 shore and eight boat anglers with only four coho.

Good hatchery coho fishing remains the case on the Lewis and Cowlitz, in southwest Washington. On the latter, best action has been by boat anglers below the mouth of the Toutle.

Larger than anticipated returns of hatchery silvers has prompted the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to liberalize fishing in the southwest, and daily limits of coho on the Cowlitz, Toutle and Lewis have been raised to six adult fish. Closed waters near the hatcheries have also been reduced to allow more terminal-area harvest.

While the peak of the fall coho fishery has probably passed on local saltwater, catch rates have remained high. State checks at the Port of Everett ramp Sunday (the day areas 9 and 10 reopened) showed 116 anglers with 119 coho, averaging 6 pounds. At the Edmonds sling it was 75 with 85.

“Fishing is holding up surprisingly well for this time of year,” says Gary Krein, All Star Charters owner/skipper (425-252-4188). “The shipwreck area, south of Mukilteo, is probably the best choice and it’s been putting out a bunch of fish.”

Possession Bar is also holding coho, Krein says, but too many blackmouth (not legal until Nov. 1) make finding silvers difficult.

  • Lake Washington coho: The north end of Lake Washington (north of the Highway 520 bridge) opened Sunday for recreational coho fishing, due to fish counts at the Chittenden Locks far exceeding preseason predictions. Most of these hatchery silvers are returning to the Issaquah hatchery, via the Sammamish River and Lake Sammamish but, because of a few wild-stock chinook still holding in the vicinity, fishing is closed within 1,500 feet of the mouth of the river until Oct. 15. It probably will take anglers a while to find out how and where to catch these fish, but schools of coho have been spotted near Juanita and Kirkland, so trolling down the lake’s east shoreline in that direction might be productive.

  • Eastside salmon: The salmon season on the Yakima produced fair fishing last week. Creel checks showed 121 bank anglers with four adult chinook, one jack chinook, and five adult coho. Anglers working the Hanford Reach section of the Columbia for chinook have not been doing as well as last year, according to state biologist Joe Hymer in Vancouver. Results last week, a fish for each five or six rods (1,122 anglers with 175 adult kings and 36 jacks), were less than half those for the comparable period last fall.

  • Waterfowl: Saturday’s statewide waterfowl hunting opener should be a good one in the Columbia Basin, according to Wally Hoch of Ducks Inn Guide Service, Ephrata (509-754-9670). Hoch has been seeing good numbers of ducks on Winchester and Frenchman Hills wasteway ponds, and says the special youth hunt last weekend was very successful on Potholes Reservoir, the McNary National Wildlife Refuge and in the Paterson area.
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