After an absolutely glorious week of sunny fall weather, the coho fishing continues at its peak. There are fish all over the channel and the vast majority of them are still bright. While the sun was a great morale boost for us all, the coho seemed a little less excited about it. There were a lot of not terribly bitey fish around this past week and the combination of bright sun, very small tide changes and quite a lot of anglers throwing all manner of gear at them was a recipe for tougher than usual fishing.
It looks like the weather will resume its normal cloudy and rainy fall pattern this next week so at least the fish will be happier. The tides are also going to be very large over the weekend. Saturday has a 22 foot tide swing which is a lot of water moving in 6 hours! Keep an eye on your "escape routes" on incoming tides and keep moving to find fish on the dropping tide.
Fly colors were tricky this past week. Fussy fish weren't tearing after every Black & White Dolly Llama they saw, so digging deep into the fly box was the order of the day. While Black & White, Pink & White and Pink & Purple were still good, a couple of dark horse colors proved to be deadly. Namely the S.T.S. Leech in Flesh and the Starlite Leech in UV Polar Flesh. Those two were often the difference between getting a grab and just casting to a bunch of lock jawed fish.
We have been getting asked a lot about how long the coho run will keep going. It varies from year to year, but typically we have strong numbers of fish in the channel until around the 25th of September. Then it thins a bit and while there are still coho around it becomes a challenge to catch more than a couple on an outing. This situation often goes on into early October. Then at some point, usually following some heavy rain, the coho move up the channel en masse to the hatchery.
This next week is the time to "get to getting" as they say and enjoy this amazing fishery we have in Juneau. It is great to see so many anglers getting outside, enjoying their angling time, relaxing and focusing on something other than our crazy world.
Have a great weekend Juneau and we'll see you on the water!