Now that it is late August it is time to focus on coho. And the good news is coho fishing really picked up this past week. Specifically it started last Sunday the 16th during the morning tide. Whereas the fishing up to that point had been a fish here and a fish there, suddenly there were schools of fish around. And if you got into a school, you had a shot at hooking several fish.
Since then the morning tide has fished pretty well while the evening tide has been slower. Not sure what is up with that....And while the fish numbers are more solid now, they still haven't hit anywhere near the peak numbers we expect to see in the next 10 days.
Good flies have been Dolly Llamas (of course) in Black & White and Pink & White, UV Polar Starlite Leeches in Fuschia/Pearl and Pink/Red, and Clouser Minnows in Pink/White.
And Sheep Creek isn't the only spot starting to heat up. Channel coho have been caught this past week as well. These are the coho that come in around the north end of Douglas Island and can be targeted in front of Bayview Subdivision, 9 Mile Creek and later on 5 Mile Access. Their numbers are currently smaller than Sheep Creek but they do offer an option if you want to change up the scenery.
Finally, wild fish in Cowee Creek, Montana Creek and other road side spots haven't shown up in any significant numbers yet. They generally start nosing in around Labor Day and really peak around September 15th.
To wrap up this week, we want to make our annual suggestion/recommendation/plea about harvesting coho. If you are planning on stocking the freezer with coho (which by all means you should), focus on fish you catch in Gastineau Channel. From the Fish Creek/Bayview end of the channel all the way to Sheep Creek you can reasonably expect that fish you catch in the channel are of hatchery origin. And because these are considered saltwater locations you can keep 6 fish per day! On the other hand, coho caught in Cowee Creek, Montana Creek or other road system streams are most likely wild fish, and although they are not endangered, their numbers have been on the lower end of the escapement goals the last 10 years. So while you can legally keep 2 coho per day in freshwater, every wild fish that makes it back to spawn is like money in the bank for that run. Anyway, that is our two cents on the matter.
The weather this weekend looks decent so head out and give it a go. We'll see you on the water!