As we move solidly into mid September, the coho fishing news is quite the mixed bag. Last week we had very large tide swings along with super pleasant weather. The break in the rain allowed rivers to drop and beaches to clear up. The big tides pushed in some fresh fish, but with over 20 feet of water moving every 6 hours it wasn't easy to stay on top of them. As the tide swings have mellowed, steady but sporadic catches of coho were reported.
Once again, North Douglas from approximately 9 Mile Creek all the way to the mouth of Fish Creek has had the best fishing opportunities. Bracketing the low tide from 3 hours before low until 3 hours after has been the ticket. When fish were present they often could be seen waking, rolling or jumping. Dolly Llamas and Clouser Minnow in Pink/White, Chartreuse/White and Black/White were the leading producers.
5 Mile North Douglas and Sheep Creek continued to be nearly fishless with only a couple of random fish catches happening. Hopefully 5 Mile will pick up as the month goes on.
If you read last week's report, you saw that DIPAC is feeling the pressure to get enough adult coho back so they can propagate the next generation. They need 350 pair of salmon to do this. The area around DIPAC has been closed for several weeks to give fish in the area the best chance to get to the raceway and up (assuming they can avoid the couple dozen seals patrolling the vicinity.) Since the return has not been substantial so far, ADF&G has closed the area from the Douglas Bridge up to Salmon Creek. This isn't a huge issue for fly anglers as there aren't many good fishing spots in this area, but take note not to fish at Salmon Creek or across on Douglas in any closed areas.
Wild coho in Montana and Cowee Creek also moved in this last week. Water levels dropped and you had to look in the deep pools, under logs and other hidey holes in order to find them. Anglers working the rivers definitely had some success. Moving up the creek a ways and out of the typical confluence/intertidal area was key to success. Quite a few anglers were releasing the wild coho they caught in recognition of the fact that the run is looking pretty slim this year. So while you are legally entitled to keep 2 coho in freshwater, if you don't really need them, their successful spawning would be a big benefit to the river system as well as future generations.
Trout and Dolly fishing was quite good this past week. Montana, Cowee and Peterson Creek all have good quantities of cutthroat and Dollies present. UV Mini Leeches in Pink, Orange, and Black as well as Tungsten Mini Dolly Llamas in Black/White and Pink/White were good trout patterns.
The weather forecast looks good for this next weekend. Enjoy the fall weather, keep on fishing and we'll see you on the water!
Brad, Mike, Cory, Gage and Finley