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Beach based Coho fishing
03-28-2014, 12:26 PM
Post: #1
Beach based Coho fishing
CRSpeyer's equipment suggestion request go me thinking...

When, where and how do you fish for Coho off a beach? As someone with less than a year experience with Swinging flies and Casting DH and all my previous fishing done with a 3wt SH Trout stick the idea of fishing salt interests me.

In general, other than game fishing in tropical waters my understanding of fly fishing salt is zero to none.
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03-28-2014, 05:48 PM
Post: #2
RE: Beach based Coho fishing
I guess the first point is do you have rivers that have a reasonable run of Coho. Are the beaches close to those rivers suitable to wade. If the answer is yes to both you are in for a treat. On Vancouver Island were I am lucky to be the Coho start congregating along the beaches in schools ( normally Sept. )about 6 weeks prior to running up the rivers waiting for the water levels to rise. They will move up and down with the tides often within 100' of the shore. They are then within a fly persons reach. I use a 10' single hander loaded with an intermediate clear shooting head, 5' of 10lb fluorocarbon tippet and size 4 to 10 flies. The flies are generally sparsely tied and cast then retrieved with small strips to the moving schools that are often obvious and easy to spot. The earlier fish are often the most aggressive and in general the Coho will go totally off the bite just prior to entering the rivers. One more note a stripping basket is a must have.
Hope this is of some help.
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03-28-2014, 07:42 PM
Post: #3
RE: Beach based Coho fishing
MrJoe

Crspeyer says it right ...

I try to get up to the North end of Vancouver Island every Fall to target Northern Coho from the beaches.

We'll generally use 11'0" to 12'6" 6/7 weight rods with floating Scandis somewhere in the 450 to 475 grain range. Generally doing anchor point deliveries, with occasional two handed over head deliveries as well <> Whatever feels right !!!

My favorite rod for this is a 11'7" for 7 power.

We're using very small flies similar to what one would use for Bonefish, like Charlies and baby Clousers in a variety of colors. The water can be gin clear and the pods of moving fish extremely spooky ... A Gull shadow can blow a whole pod of moving fish in an instant !!!

Because of the very clear water we'll use 20' leaders, and the ability to consistently reach beyond 90 feet is really a a bonus ... Why I like the two handers for this type of fishing.

Most of what we do is wade fishing in 18 to 36 inches of water, watching the tide flows very carefully, presenting to fast moving pods of fish ...

... I think it's actually very similar to flats Bone fishing, only these guys get into the 20 pound range and have some real attitude !!!

Some of the most fun fishing I have ever done.

E-Mail me if you like: Rmeiser@charter.net

Meiz
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04-01-2014, 04:19 PM
Post: #4
RE: Beach based Coho fishing
Sounds like a blast!!!

Unfortunately with a little one due in September I don't think I will be making it to Vancouver Island this fall. Bob since I know you are from somewhere a lot closer to Portland than Vancouver Island, are there any Oregon spots that fit the bill? Coho in Gin from the Beach sounds just about as awesome as a boy can dream.
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04-02-2014, 06:04 AM
Post: #5
RE: Beach based Coho fishing
MrJoe,

Over the past decade Oregon's Coho runs have very much rebounded, and the possibility to target them in the saltchuck with a fly rod is very good.

Here in Southwest Oregon, the estuary of the Umpqua at Reedsport is a great place again to target ocean bright Coho, as can be the mouth of the Rogue.

We do not have the large tidal flats typically found on the North Island of Vancouver ...

... But then again <> I've never yet actually tried fishing the beaches and estuary right at the mouth of the Rogue for example, so maybe that should be on the bucket list to do !!!

Meiz
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06-30-2014, 01:13 PM
Post: #6
RE: Beach based Coho fishing
I also live on Vancouver Island and have fished for coho and cutthroat off the beach for about fourty years. I started with single-handed rods but have been using switch rods for at least 10 years. I prefer slightly lighter rods than the other guys. My current favourites are a Sage 5116-4 ONE, and a Sage TCX 6119-4. Both are fast action as virtually all of my casting is two-hand overhead. I prefer this because the fish, especially early in the morning, or if they haven't been disturbed are often found on water that is less than 3 feet deep. Never step into water to wade without looking carefully for a few minutes, then covering the beach (eg. 6" to 1' of water!). It is amazing how often I have hooked fish in super-shallow water, and also how often, my line has landed on top of a school, scaring them and me! Strikes in this shallow water are very exciting as coho often follow before striking. Just don't vary your retrieve when your fly is being followed.

Use some type of Scandi line. My current favourites are a Snowbee Switch (350 g. For the 6-wt.) or a Rio Short Scandi Versa-tip for the 5 wt. Being able to cast a long line effortlessly, all day, is very important as river-mouth fish bites are not predictable! Two-hand casting allows you to do this, while being able to fish at distance with far less effort than with single-hand rods. I have caught coho on floods and ebbs, am and pm., mid-afternoon on bright sunny days, etc. (you get my drift). I have sat at a beach you'd swear was devoid of fish then suddenly had a school just show up and had crazy good fishing for 15 minutes or 3- hours (you really never know!). And sometimes fish jump in front of me all day with few bites, then .....

Like the other guys said, use a long leader (15-20 feet, less if a good wind is blowing then shorten up as they get quite brave) and use small sparse flies. Sparse is very important! Many folks use big flies which work when fish are fresh, but fail to use smaller flies as the season wears on. And it is surprising how small you can go and still catch fish. When fishing small, use very high quality hooks so they don't straighten out while you are playing a fish. I use 15-20 lb. fluorofibre tippets so I can play fish as fast as possible...... They are usually not overly leader-shy.

I'm thinking that coastal Oregon is much like the west coast of Vancouver Island. You can catch fish there, just need to look around for bays with shelter and estuaries. Always remember that bits of fresh water will draw coho in for a sniff, even though it may not necessarily be their spawning stream. But if habitat is right (usually rocky beaches) coho may hang in that area for a long time. Sometimes their spawning river is more than 10 miles away. So if you have a few decent-sized bays with rivers flowing in, have a look - and not necessarily right at the estuary either!

Hope this gives you something to go on. Half the fun is the search. Keep notes too. Some of my favourite spots don't hold coho every year; and I have no idea why?

Tight lines!
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09-30-2016, 06:39 AM
Post: #7
RE: Beach based Coho fishing
Hi mate, I don't know if this answers your question but here goes. I fish the beaches here in B.C. for Coho I have gone to a a 11'-3" switch rod, a Rio Outbound line with a stripping basket.

Servicing Stop
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