When will the coho show?

Posted: October 1, 2015 by Hellcat in Fish Reports, Salmon, Trout & Steelhead
Tags: , , ,

I think we can all agree that last year at this time most of the same water we’re fishing right now to little avail was teeming with coho salmon one year ago.

So what’s changed in a year’s time? To answer simply: Lots of things.

*Water temps in both the ocean and the rivers

*Ocean food availability during rising water temps limiting fish growth

*Water levels in both dammed and free flowing rivers restricting fish entry from Southern Oregon to Kodiak, Alaska

….And then there’s the typical turn around time for salmon to re enter the rivers they were spawned from which will vary based on a litany of factors I’m not nearly smart enough to understand OR figure out.

My earliest coho limit ever came this year for me while fishing Buoy 10 with a good friend, his pop and my pop. This was an August limit of silvers. Although most of the fish we saw caught were definitely chinook. A lot in fact turned out to be Tule stock. Stinky. Yucky. Poop salmon. Good for a video or a picture (maybe) but smell worse than a Tillamook county cow pasture in 100 degree weather with no wind.

While there have been a few anglers lucky enough to stumble into both some coastal and local coho river fishing so far this year….the majority of us targeting the hos just keep catching chinook. Which is fine really. Especially when we can catch them so close to home. The older I get the less I feel like spending half the day driving to and from.

There are lots of different fisheries happening this time of year regardless of how strong the early lower Columbia coho salmon return is. Mainly chinook. And lots of them. Being caught on all kinds of methods. Most recently my success on my local home river has come via trolling warts and wigglers on electric motors. It’s a pretty simple tactic and it really produces well during low tidal exchanges when fish seem to avoid localizing.

I’d love to hear what your early season successes are if you’d like to share!! Feel free to comment below as long as you don’t give the river name up you’re good.


  1. Hellcat says:

    Well we ended up finding coho and chinook today! I should write more often!

  2. Sal Monid says:

    I went out on a local river that gets pretty cloudy in the fall due to the source of the water on Mt Hood. It was cloudy enough in early September that no one even tried fishing. I tossed a big spinner just below a cross- river bar that was about ankle deep. I got a chinook and a coho in about 2 hours. They were hanging below the bar waiting form more water and decided to smack a spinner due to its vibration as they sure as hell could not see it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *