Local Options

Local summer Steelhead fishing is winding down as we wait for fresh winter fish to arrive. In the meantime, Coho salmon fill the void nicely in the Clackamas and Sandy rivers, giving us something to focus on, and sometimes frustrate us.

The tributary Coho are starting to get a little more willing to bite, but it still takes some patience and a good effort by the angler to make the magic happen. We had a good amount of rain, which helped our rivers and got some more fish moving and fresh fish in the systems, making for some fun and hard-fighting fish. I’ll share a few things that have been working for me.

Skagit lines and sink tips - Getting the fly deep and adding some pulsing movements or small strips when the fly reaches the strike zone has been the most effective way for me to pick up some silvers on the swing. Tube flies, intruders, and even some smaller flies like Comets have been working. Keep changing flies and fish the water hard if you know there are fish there.

Single Handers - We’ve been using floating lines with 9’-12’ leaders based on conditions. Heavily weighted dumbbell flies tied on jig hooks like the Coho Twizzler are great options to achieve the “twitching” presentation. Another effective technique has been intermediate lines with unweighted and weighted flies. Cast and strip the fly back to you and fish it to your feet! The double-hand retrieve can work quite well at times, so don’t hesitate to bring that fly back quickly every now and then.

Silvers are a very fun fish to catch on the fly rod, and if you’ve been having a tough time getting a steelhead, coho can be a great opportunity to catch a fun and acrobatic fish on the swing. Don’t let the constant rolling and flashing in the water drive you insane. Stay persistent and keep changing your presentation. Don’t be the one who gives up first!

Spencer Pelham
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