How to Catch a Coho Salmon

Fishing in the Northwest may be intimidating with nothing but big rivers, and monstrous lakes all around you, but in the right season, head towards small creeks for both Salmon and Steel head.


  1. Image titled Catch a Coho Salmon Step 1
    Have correct gear. A medium to heavy action rod with a spinning reel or bait cast reel is ideal. 10-20 pound line should do the trick. (Fly-Fishing outfit is very productive also, but requires lots of practice!)
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    Be in the right area: Look online to find the time the fish run, and look up a popular area. Go there, and learn from the people there. Some people may not want to share info., but most would be happy to share their knowledge on areas, times, gear, and techniques.
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    Be there at the right time. Both time in the year, and the time you go in the day.You can find a lot of info. On line about the time of the run. Traditionally, the rule is that fishing is better in the morning, but it is good all day. Usually for Salmon, the only reason to get up early is to get a spot. But if you show up late, and are forced to fish in a hole that is not the best, don't give up on it. Fish every angle of it, and wait at least an hour. A group of fish can move through at any time.
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    Know your regulations. You need to know your regulations like the back of your hand. The consequences are very severe for poaching, even if you don't know you did anything wrong. Ignorance is not an excuse. You must be aware of bag limits, legal measurements, type of lure/bait allowed in an are, if it is even legal to fish in that area, and of course what the dates the season opens and closes too. Sometimes signs are posted on trees in popular fishing areas showing local regulations. Remember, not all regulations are the same for every stream! Most have much different laws!
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    Have Fun! People sometimes forget that fishing isn't always about catching fish. It's about being outdoors, and if you catch something, that just adds to the experience.


  • Try lures such as corks, spinners, spoons, yarn, salmon eggs, and sand-shrimp.
  • Try to spot fish in the hole. If you can see fish, or if fish are jumping, then you know that there are fish in this spot. Also, try to cast your lure just above the silhouette and let it drift to the fish.


  • Don't snag. This is an illegal method in all states for Salmon and Steel head. Snagging is hooking the fish in an area other than the mouth intentionally. If you accidentally snag a fish, let it go immediately. This is the one offense law enforcement officers look for most, because it is so common.
  • Know your local regulations. Fishing is supposed to be fun, and there is nothing fun about a huge fine.

Things You'll Need

  • Stiff fishing pole, strong reel, tough line, a lot of lead(spilt-shot or hollow lead weights work the best), and enough lures to last the day, because odds are you'll lose some.

Article Info

Categories: Fishing