Posts Tagged ‘Coho


Stream survey for salmon…

A stroll up Crystal Springs, in Portland, looking for signs of Coho Salmon spawning…usually spawned out/dead fish or possibly still on the redd. Crystal Springs comes out of a hillside up by my house, runs into a man made lake (Reed Lake) and the continues out for a few miles to Johnson Creek, which dumps into the larger Willamette River, a major tributary of the mighty Columbia River. Efforts have been ongoing for several years to improve habitat along the stream for returning Coho. In our region, Coho are also called Silvers.


Stairway (Salmon Passage)

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A small tributary on an Oregon coastal river. Last October, I watched hundreds of Coho (Silver) and Chinook (King) staged off the mouth of this small stream. Throughout the day, the fish pushed up through the rapids, their backs protruding out of the water. These fish had traveled, as young fish, up to 900 miles out in the ocean toward Alaska or closer to British Columbia. They return to their native headwaters (or the unnatural fish hatchery) spawn and then soon die right there. The cycle continues each year as fish return after 2-6 years in the ocean. A magical cycle to witness. Next year, I have vowed to spend less time catching or even watching and position myself next to the mouth of that stream and attempt to photograph the salmon as they push upward through the rapids. The water is splashed far and wide so I will eventually need to clean that lens. 


Oregon’s Siletz Bay: At the Mouth

mouth-siletz bay-pacific ocean-photography-SwittersB

Yesterday, I stood at the mouth of Siletz Bay (Oregon) where Chinook and Coho Salmon were surging into the bay from the Pacific Ocean. The weather was balmy. Not a hint of rain. Further into the tidewaters of local rivers the salmon are kegged up, waiting to move upriver to spawn. Rain is needed to flush the fish upward out of the tidewaters.

But, the fishing was good yesterday right at the mouth of Siletz Bay. The surf pounding just off the mouth of the bay was beautiful. The quieter water, just inside the mouth, was teaming with surging salmon.

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Mouth of Siletz Bay and my position.

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My friend, Jimmy Keitges, doubled back today and caught a Coho and a Chinook!!!
salmon--Jimmy Keitges-Oregon-Siletz-fishing-photography-SwittersB


Hatchery Programs (“ideologically driven technology is not allowed to fail”)


Bonneville Fish Hatchery~Columbia R. (Oregon)


Cal’s Russian River (Rebuilding The Silver’s Requires Educating the Anglers)

I recall a certain family member, who went trout fishing on the Sandy River. He came home quite satisfied with his stringer of puny looking trout…steelhead smolts actually. Even by trout standards his pan sized stringer was pathetic. Such is the inculcated put and take mentality…meat at any cost, so one can fulfill the primitive harvesting urges. A lesson, of sorts, was dispensed that day and such a mistake never happened again. Such is the intent of the California Department of Fish and Game & Trout Unlimited.

Coho salmon have returned to California’s Russian River to spawn. Unfortunately, the endangered fish are often mistaken for hatchery steelhead trout by anglers — both hatchery-released species are similar in size and have a clipped adipose fin — and are kept when pulled from the water.”  (LATimesBlog)


Silver’s: Last Week It was Amazing….This Week, Ugh


Yes, yes last week the river was choked with silvers  and a few steelhead. The water was perfect and the fished rolled on the surface. It was an enticing enough story, from my son, that I thought why not. I will try again to catch a silver on a fly. Don’t ask me why, but I have had little success over the years  enticing coho to a fly in the frog waters of Fall. But, it was a sunny and hot afternoon, so I thought just go and wait for the shadows on the water and find a head of a drift with some flowing water and perhaps you can swing one through enough times to entice a hit.
My son, Tony and I headed out. Him still moving slow from a serious infection in his foot and me almost over a late Summer bug. It was, as I said, hot and as we boulder hopped upstream my ankles felt stiff and my balance tentative. I felt a bit dazed. I looked upstream to the intended water..right above Stella’s Drift, and it looked promising as the sun had already moved over the ridge casting the water into the shade. The river’s color was good and there was some flow to it allowing for a drift.
We arrived to the likely spot and we dropped the gear and grabbed a level boulder. First mistake, neither one of us felt up to wearing the Simms so we were bank bound and distance bound. Not so much Tony as he can cast and he had a floating line on. Me..why did I only bring a 200 grain line? AND, why or how did I mismatch a 10 wt. to the line. Wear was my 8 wt.?  For the time I fished, I felt like I was waving a short broom stick with a string. The rod did not load for me and roll casts were frustratingly ineffective, even with only 20′ of line out past the tip. I moved the line through the drift ok, when I was fortunate enough to get the line out to the target…but the drift was slow enough that the inevitable hangups ensued and break offs. Ugh! And, I was not really over that bug. I sat down…I never sit down. I watched the water and noticed not one fish rolling. AND the obvious indicator not another fisher within a half mile. We were below the fish…not early…but rather bringing up the rear. Forgot our headlamps, so hiked out early. Actually, pretty early as I tired of waving the broomstick and string and it just wasn’t happening. Not a very auspicious way to end Summer, and I still have not perfected a Silver to a fly. By the time we made it back to the rig, Tony’s ankel was swollen and I was gassed. Should have stayed in the recliner fantasizing. Well, a Deschutes trip looms with Matt McCrary, so that will provide me something to help forget this trip.       
Stella's Drift~Sandy R.

Stella's Drift~Sandy River

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