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· Registered
40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, after doing some thinking before the weekend, and with the low water conditions, I decided to make a trip that would need a bit more work than usual and travel into an area which I have not been to in some time.

So, I got the truck ready, packed up my gear and a few extra supplies. Packed up my "alternative" mode of transport. Drove to my selected location and then opened up the tailgate:

After a little while, I made it into my location. By the looks of things, nobody had been in for quite some time. I did find a giant pink rubber worm lying on the ground, covered in frost/light snow. It was quite faded and worn. A recent offering, or a cast-away from the season last Spring???

Surveyed the water and felt a bit nervous. As I set up my gear and watched the surface, I saw no fish, nor any movement. Was I too late? Were the fish somewhere else? I guess I would have to cast and find out. First cast, I placed my blade to the far side of the pool, into the back eddy. I slowly began to retrieve the blade through the pool. A quick sharp tug and the float was under. I set the hook and could see some flashing in the water, moving into the fast water and making it's way towards the back of the pool. My first fish of the day was on!!!

I looked down to make sure I could safely make my way off the rock I was perched on. A motion in the water to my left caught my eye. As I looked down in the water, I could see about 15 coho in about 5 feet of water, resting alongside a large rock as the current moved beside them. Now I was psyched. I moved off my vantage rock and moved down river to land my fish. A while later, I had the fish lying on it's side, calmly resting in the shallows. I fumbled with my camera, placed it on a rock close to the edge of the water, then set the timer. Waited for the flashing red to hold, lifted the fish out of the water and voila:

First fish of the day.

So, I release the fish and it moves slowly back into the pool.

I return back to my rock, look down and see the fish are still there. Short cast in front of me and a shiny little Jack darts out of the pack and attacks my blade. It is on briefly, but the quick strike of my blade (which was all visible) startled me and I was not ready, thus a poor hook-set and slack line. A few quick head shakes and the fish was gone.

So, a few more drifts through the group, but no more takes or followers.

So, I cast the blade to the far side of the pool once again. In the same spot as the last one, a tug and the float goes under. I see flashes of silver and work the fish for a bit. I bring it closer to the beach and away from the pool. I can see this fish is cleaner and a bit smaller. I am applying tension to the rod close to shore when he makes a quick spin, and suddenly the hook comes free and my gear goes flying up out of the water. The fish sits on the top of the water stunned for a few seconds, but then realizes he is free and with a quick flick of his tail, is gone.

So, this process repeated itself for the next hour and a half. This was not the best pool and I wanted to hit another nearby pool, so I said to myself "when I go five casts without a hit or a fish on, I will move over to the next pool". Well, I could not make myself leave. Numerous fish on, of which a good number were landed. Many looked like the first one or this one:

Well, I finally made 7 casts and no fish on or hits. It was time to move on and try the other pool. To get the best vantage point, I would have to cross over the river and fish from the other side. But, I have had good success in the past by casting up into pools and then drawing the blade back down. So, before crossing, I decided to wade out, hop on a rock, and cast up into the pool. On my first drift down, I could see the float stop, then it was pulled under and moved briefly upstream. I did not even really have to set the hook and fish on. I slowly pulled the fish downriver out of the pool. I played it for quite some time in the tail-out before it finally began to tire and just held in the current. I set up the camera on a rock, brought the fish in, tailed it and held it there, then pressed the timer button. A few seconds later and I had this great shot:

Released the fish to swim away, at which time it slowly made it's way back up river and disappeared into the pool. Fished this way for a while longer. Another 4 fish were eager to respond to this offering technique and allowed me to handle them before they swam away.

So, no more takers. I made my way across the tail-out and them moved up to check out the pool. With the clear water conditions, I could see there were about 50 coho in the pool. I now perched myself in the right spot and worked my blade through the pool. Nothing. Tried a few different blades and presentations for about 15 minutes with no results. Finally put on a single egg and ran it through the pool. Right away, a bunch of short, stiff tugs. Set the hook and could see a super-shiny jack on my line. Put up a pretty tough fight. Finally brought it in and could see it was about a 14 inch rainbow. Let it go, but no more fish or hits after that.

So, I abandoned one of my favorite pools, waded back across the river and went back to my original spot. Few casts later and fish on again. This fish was quite active and took a lot of line and a lot of runs up and down the river. The big fish of the day???
Well, finally got it in and it looks like it was. Just to show that all the fish were not that greyish-chromy look, this guy was showing his beautiful fall colours:

This was the most colored fish of the day. I caught one other that was a bit larger than this one and about the same color, but when I went to click his mugshot, he twisted in my hands, dove back in, and made a quick escape.

So, the morning was super-productive and the day was worth-while. I decided to check out one more place where I know the fish hang out, but it tends to be better in high water.

Made my way to this great piece of water which can be productive. It is a nice hole, but sometimes hard to fish, especially in super-clear conditions. Sure enough, I show up, look in, and can see about 40 fish slowly mulling their way along the bottom. Rigged up my gear and brought it through a few different places on the outskirts of the pool. Nothing. Then made a cast and brought my gear through the middle of the pool. Watched my blade spinning the whole time as it moved towards a fish. As it came towards him, he allowed the current to carry him backwards a bit. It looked like he was assessing the situation and was wary. The blade was now very close to him. He now slowly flicked his tail and moved to the right of the blade. The blade slowly passed by him. He seemed to stop swimming for a second, then quickly, twisted around, grabbed the blade, and started swimming downriver. I set the blade hard and had him on. As I applied tension, I could see him do that famous "coho roll". He kept spinning and spinning, slowly working his way off bottom and slowly rising up towards the tailout. This lasted for a good 20 seconds or so, non-stop. I should have tried to count the spins. It was the clearest and most interesting rolling I had ever seen and never slowed down or sped up. It looked just like a big cut plug herring spinning in the water. I thought the battle would last a while, but suddenly, everything ended and the fish came in easily, almost as if he had been gaffed. I brought him to my feet and lifted the rod tip high. No motion from the fish at all. Suddenly, he began to spin/tumble like someone was unrolling a roll of toilet paper quickly. He had rolled so much that he had wrapped the leader up to the weight around him, cutting off his airway (gills) As he unwound I grabbed his tail. I unwrapped the line and was glad to see the line had not entered under his gill plate and cut his gills. After a brief revival, off he swam.

I landed another two fish, but it was for sure slower here. Not sure if it was the time of day, the location, lethargic fish, or super clear, calm water.

So, I decided to pack it up and call it a day.

A few times a year, I have great outings. This was definately one of these such outings and I shall cherish it dearly.
Thought about going out the following day, but decided not to.

Looking at the rain coming down, I can only hope the water will rise, new fresh fish will move in, and the activity level of the fish will increase, making for some possible awesome conditions for my next outing!!!


Had to edit, one picture did not make it

· Registered
1,989 Posts
Dan that was a great report! Good job! I have a question? I've had this happen recently and after reading it in his report i'm curiouse to see how often this happends? heres what Dan said!

Suddenly, he began to spin/tumble like someone was unrolling a roll of toilet paper quickly. He had rolled so much that he had wrapped the leader up to the weight around him, cutting off his airway (gills) As he unwound I grabbed his tail. I unwrapped the line and was glad to see the line had not entered under his gill plate and cut his gills. After a brief revival, off he swam.

Now i've had this happen a few weeks ago the leader line cut right into the gills ofthe coho after unrolling itself form my leader! Result was a bonk on the head when i was planning on letting it go! :wallbash:


· Banned
2,854 Posts
i have had lots of Coho do this especially on the fly. most of the time the line doesnt go under the gill plate but sometimes it does and usually cuts and causes them to bleed alot. if its hatchery then bonk it because it will die if wild then you must release which is a shame because this fish will die. I think of all the fish I have had to unwind only one had it wrapped under and i was keeping anyway ;D

its a shame that they do this to themselves but at least if they dont harm themself then its just good fun for us ;D

· Retired staff
6,673 Posts
Nice report DanT...I think I know who left that worm there...LoL. Is there a giant rock there almost at the head of the pool...?

Again, sounds like it was a great day, thanks for sharing... :thumbup:


· Registered
40 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I would say about 50% of the Coho I catch do some sort of roll.
I have found the bigger the fish, the more rolling they do. I think it is a tactic used by turning the body into the current and letting the river do the work. Larger body=more rolling and more chance of escape???
Smaller fish tend to be more active, jump around, and run a lot more.

Not a science, but just some of my observations.

Getting a few PM's, so for those wondering....

All the fish in the pictures are wild and all the fish caught on this day were wild as well.

I tend to fish alone the majority of time and very rarely see others out there, so I do tend to be a bit "quiet" about where I go. Sorry about that. ::)


· Registered
3,378 Posts
Nobody should have a problem with keeping your spots private. I,too, have fished solo most of my life and still enjoy it. However, since I joined this site I have met a lot of guys that have taught an ol'guy some new tricks, taught me how to fly fish, taught me how to catch sturgeon, and have left me with fewer "blank" days on my card overall........Post your stories and your pics........they are enjoyed!!.......Ortho 8)
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