Fishing for coho salmon in a bay in the Olympic Peninsula is one of my most anticipated activities of the year. Coho salmon usually start returning to this Olympic Peninsula river in mid-August. I really enjoy the sight fishing aspect of this fishery.
When I arrived at the bay one day last week, a couple dozen fishermen were already positioned along the banks of the river anxiously waiting for the coho to swim upstream. When the fish swim by it becomes a free-for-all with lines going in every direction. It’s amazing not more people get hooked. And when the fish pass by, everyone calms down again until the next wave of fish.
The first schools of fish are usually the smaller hens followed in a couple of weeks by increasing larger fish especially the bucks. Some of the males can reach double digit pounds. A minimum of 8 or 9 weight fly rods and large arbor reels with strong drags are needed to control and land these fish.
At the end of the day, I was rewarded with my first coho of the 2012 season. That evening, my family enjoyed the first fresh grilled coho of the year. We’re hoping for many more fresh salmon dinners this fall.