Posted: December 4, 2011 by Hellcat in Fish Reports, Gear Fishing, Salmon, Trout & Steelhead
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Christopher ‘H3llcat’ Heller w/ one big ass Ho

Yesterday I was explaining to a couple buddies who normally have fly rods in their grips what it feels like when a chrome bright, sea lice-riddled coho salmon slams a spoon on a cast and retrieve method. I was pontificating really. Because until it happens to you it’s hard to convey.

The most common description I hear other All Around Anglers say is ‘freight train’ or ‘Mack truck’. Which are both appropriate. I prefer ‘violence’. Not only in the movies I watch but also in the way I describe this particular method, strike, hook-up and fight. The whole thing is violent.

The initial strike is jolting. Sometimes your rod is tested from your grip. The jolting strike is usually followed by an extremely effective barrel roll and thrash to the surface by the hooked prey which is fighting, and I mean ‘fighting’ for survival. It’ the ultimate in man versus fish on a river. The barrel role is usually followed by a series of runs and figure 8’s so common known for coho salmon. Silvers.

Often the spoon, which may be accompanied by a big off-set siwash hook or a nasty 2X treble, has worked it’s way into the flesh of the fish’s mouth or worse…the back jaw and gills. This action can produce the fish to begin to bleed out during the struggle.

Approaching the bank in a panicked gill-gasp for water expelling a pink cloud into the cold water with each head shake. Yes, a big coho on a spoon strike is sometime like no other. It’s certainly not representative of what most anglers think of when they think ‘silvers’. You can’t compare this to anything, really. Unless you’ve fished for them directly out of saltwater and used this method. Oh yeah…and hooked one 15+.

Yesterday…partially due to Colin The Crusher’s usual awesome netting skills….I was able to complete the transaction and end up on the winning side. Hey. I warned you this post would be violent.



  1. Steve G aka The Hustler says:

    Nice description, H3llcat. They are crazy strikers and fight way bigger than their size when hooked up.

  2. Nookslayer says:

    Nice piggy Cat. The method you describe is very similar to “swinging’ for us fly guys. It is a very violent take and extremely exhilarating! Can’t wait to get back out with you again soon.

  3. Hellcat says:

    Thank you, Richey. I had a blast with you man. Truly a religious experience every time I get out with you. Having Meskel along was fantastic. Great to run into you guys.

  4. daheller says:

    Nice toadho. I have always thought that the take is like snagging something hard only to be followed by an explosion on the end of the line. Sal

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