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Coho Salmon

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The Coho fishing in Alaska is a wonderful experience for multiple reasons.


The fish are aggressive, willing biters and able to be caught on a wide range of techniques. The run timing is towards the end of summer, through the end of fall which I find to be the most beautiful time of year to be in Alaska. The Coho range is quite extensive with very strong runs in southeast Alaska to northwest parts of Alaska. Coho are a favorite of many different types of anglers with many different types of angling techniques. There is no other fish that I target with as many different types of techniques as coho fishing. From fly rods for streamers, fly rods for poppers, spinner throwing rods, beads rods, twitching rods and bobber rods.

If I had to choose just one technique to be the most productive it would be twitching.


Twitching Jigs are pretty much a cheat code for coho salmon. Watching the reaction of coho to the jigs in clear water is a sight to behold. Top colors of jigs for coho include variations of purple/black, blue/black and blue/chartreuses with pink, chartreuse, or metallic blue heads. For most Alaska streams the 3/8th and ½” sizes are sufficient to fish holes up to 10’ deep. Coho love woody debris and getting your jig close enough to the wood without adding the jig to the woody debris can be difficult. 
coho-salmon-alaska-bnr
 

When it comes to beads for coho, the guidance has been to think like you were chinook fishing with beads but to downsize.


Scott Haugen has written a number of great articles on targeting beads for Coho.  Instead of 25 and 32mm beads, go for 16, 20, and some 25mm beads. The beads are most effectively fished for coho either under a float or drift fished depending on water flow and the river composition. Top colors for coho include Sweet Pink Cherry, Cerise, Hot Snot, Mottle Red, Clown, Lucky, Natural, and Mottled Pink. Hook sizes for coho are 2/0 typically with a 15 to 20lb leader. 

































Table 2: Coho Options
Bead Size 25 and 32mm
Bead Colors Sweet Pink Cherry, Hot Snot, Mottled Red, Cerise, Clown, Natural and Mottled Pink
Hook Size 2/0
Leader Size 15lb to 20 lb
Twitching Jigs
Size 3/8th, ½ and ¾ oz
Colors Pink, Blue, Pink, Black, Chartreuse and Purple