We are slowing coming to the tail end of the run here on the Oregon Coast. We’ve had fish coming in the Trask River since September, but this run will last through mid December, at least. Conservatively, this fall’s run is 25 percent better than last year. We aren’t seeing larger fish, but we are seeing more fish. And, we are seeing big numbers of coho. In fact, I haven’t seen a coho run that compares to this in years.
While it can vary depending on many variables, last week I was getting 13-14 hookups a day. On the other hand, the last few days I’ve been getting five and six. It’s a reflection of water conditions and tides. When you have big tide swings more fish push in.
I’m currently catching more Chinook, but in my last 25 years of fishing here I haven’t seen a coho run like this. I’m guessing the dramatic increase is based on good ocean conditions, great outgoing migrating conditions and solid conditions in the bay, but it’s been apparent with the number of fish in the river that our coho made a strong comeback this fall.
Right now there’s kings and coho in the river. I’m catching more Chinook than coho, but two weeks ago it was the opposite. There’s just more Chinook in the system now and fresh Chinook are entering daily. We still have fish with sea lice coming in. And, some of them are big fish, but that’s the norm around here.
I’m fishing a rising river, but it’s suppose to start dropping today so it should be good for several days. Meanwhile, there’s going to be up and downs. The key is trying to arrive on dropping river. That ensures a good day. It’s the same thing with steelhead. You’ll always catch more fish on a drop than a rise.
When the water is low I’ll bobber fish. When the river is high and pushy, I’ll back bounce. How we fish here is dependent on water conditions. If I have low water I like to run bobbers and eggs. And, when the water is low I like a softer egg cure. What I mean by that is I want an egg that’s less firm because in the lower water they bite them better. When you have higher water the current messes up the egg so a tougher egg lasts longer.
The Pink and Red Fire Cure is doing best in higher water. In fact, I’m mixing them to achieve a neon egg. However, in the lower when we have clearer water I like a pinker egg, so I go with just Pink Fire Cure. Today I’m going to use larger globs, but in lower water I’ll use about the size of a 50 Cent piece. Sometimes in low, clear water I’ll also use 4.5 MagLips.
Editor’s Note: Pat Abel operates Pat Abel Guide Service. For more info on his Trask River salmon trips please visit www.patabelsguideservice.com.