Coho fishing has continued at a steady pace for the past week and those willing to brave the chilly damp weather have landed fish. The run still has not hit maximum abundance, but for August it is solid. Sheep Creek has had the most fish the past week but 9 Mile/Bayview has started to improve and Cowee Creek has a good number of coho in it. There are still pinks in Cowee so sorting through them to reach the coho is always a challenge. Fish deeper to drop your fly through the pinks and down to where the coho are.
In terms of effective flies, when we survey those catching coho, it is Dolly Llama Black & White #2, Dolly Llama Pink & White #2, Alaskan S.T.S. Leech Black & Chartreuse and Polar Starlite Leeches in Polar Flesh and Pearl/Fuschia.
The tides this next week are pretty moderate in terms of tide swings. This makes fishing the channel easier as the coho don't fly by like they do when there is a lot of water moving. It also gives you more time to fish before you get flooded out and have to retreat.
On a "not catching fish note" we have had some folks in the shop asking why there aren't more coho around and when they do find them why they aren't grabbing flies all the time. So here is our two cents on August coho fishing:
- It's August. Coho season peaks in early to mid September. Once again, it's August. If you look at past years' fishing reports, the coho numbers generally really take off around Labor Day. And catch rates at Sheep Creek have still been quite good for what is considered the early part of the season.
- We are not sure exactly why, but the morning bite has been much better than the evening bite. "After work anglers" have definitely had more slow tides than those who get up early and go.
- Coho get fussy. It is just what they do. They can be rolling all over in front of you and have zero interest in the fly you are presenting. If you go 15 casts with fish in front of you and no grabs SWITCH COLORS! Keep changing it up and show them something different. This is your best chance of getting them to flip the switch and take your fly.
- The first week of September has some big tides. Like 18 plus foot tide swings. Expect this to push a bunch more fish in.
If you want a break from coho fishing, Dolly Varden fishing in the creeks is still quite good. Beads are the name of the game and when you find Dollies you'll often find a whole school of them. It can feel really good to set the 8 weight down and break out the small rod to do some finesse fishing.
And please keep those fishing photos coming! We love to see them.
Email pics to firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us @alaskaflyfishinggoods.
See you on the water!