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Coho Salmon picture

How to fish for Coho Salmon

The Coho Salmon inhabits the North Pacific ocean and the rivers that run into it, from northern Japan and eastern Russian, around the Bering Sea to mainland Alaska, down the British Columbia coast and south all the way to Monterey Bay, California. Coho Salmon have also been introduced into all the Great Lakes. When in the ocean Coho Salmon feed on small baitfish such as herring, sardines, pilchards, needle fish and also on squid and shrimp. The average angler caught Coho Salmon is 8 pounds. The Coho is a strong fighter when hooked and can be very acrobatic.
When Coho Salmon have completed the oceanic cycle of their life and have returned to their home estuaries, a great opportunity presents itself for fly fishing. Coho salmon can still be aggressive feeders at this time while they congregate in bays, estuaries, and river mouths before heading up the rivers to spawn. Fishing for Coho at this time is normally action packed and fast paced. Once they enter the freshwater of the rivers feeding will quickly slow until feeding stops completely. 
When these returning Coho Salmon start to congregate a very productive method for catching them is by fly fishing with bucktail flies. Coho Salmon hold in shallow waters at this time and fly fishing for them can be done from a small boat or from the beach with a set of waders. In many areas these holding Coho can be in as little as 3 to 8 feet of water. When looking for Coho watch for jumping fish and bait schools. Coho prefer slow moving, slack water and hold in shallow water staying clear of the more aggressive species like Chum and Chinook.
When fly fishing for Coho use a 7 or 8 wt fly rod with a good 7 to 8 wt disc drag fly reel spooled with plenty of backing and a sinking tip fly line. Coho Salmon can be line shy so a longer leader that is 10 to 16 feet long and 12 pound test should be used. Set your drag on the light side as Coho can hit your bucktail hard and break off your leader if your drag is to tight. For Coho Salmon use 3 to 4 inch bucktails that are blue-white, green-white, polar, black-white, blue-red-tinsel-white, orange-white, pink-polar and blue-tinsel-polar.


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