A spectacular ending

Published on October 13th, 2010 by Rodney

Yesterday morning I decided to sneak out of the house for a couple of hours while the visiting parents spent the day on Vancouver Island. Originally I wanted to be fishing earlier but being a slow morning starter, I arrived at the spot just after 10:00am. The tide was coming in strong and almost peaking. I normally would like to cast lures whenever I can but after seeing some good results lately by roe fishing, I decided to fish with roe for the day.

There wasn’t much waiting before things started happening. A couple of minutes after the bait settled in the water, the rod started bouncing. I missed a fish and cast the same bait out again to the exact same spot. It took less than a minute before the tugs came back. This time the hook set was spot on and a small coho jack was quickly brought in. Once the fish was in the net, I made sure that the adipose fin was missing before bringing it up to the cooler. It was a fantastic start!



The bites continued to be fast and furious. Several minutes after I landed the coho jack, I brought in a bull trout that was almost as skinny as the one I caught a week ago. This was followed by another smaller bull trout.



After three fish in a row, the bites did not stop, but the hooking did. Some of the tugs were so big that the top section of the rod was moved, but I was still having trouble connecting. The odd fish were hooked briefly but always spat the hook. One fish made a big splash on the surface just after I hooked it but also quickly came off, I was quite certain that it was an adult coho.

A few fish were rolling nearby while the bites were happening, there were definitely lots of fish moving through. At 11:30am, as if someone had turned off the switch, the bite suddenly stopped. I stayed for another hour, hoping that another wave of fish would arrive but that never happened.

When I picked up my parents at 10:30pm after their VI trip and I informed my dad how the fishing has been, so he was pretty eager to get out this morning for one last trip before his stay ends tomorrow. The weather could not have been any better for an October day. The absence of wind only made spotting fish and detecting bites more easily. We arrived at the chosen spot at 9:30am, three hours before the tide peaked because that’s when the fishing has been hot. The tide line was already quite high so there was enough water for fish to cruise through in the shallow spots where we wanted to lay our bait.

The first 20 or so minutes was pretty uneventful, there were only a few sculpin bites. Dad had the first chance once again as the rod danced in the rod holder. He indecisively lifted the rod up without setting the hook, the fish was long gone of course. On the following cast, he did the exact same thing so I wanted to make sure he knew what to do when the bites were hard.

I rebaited his hook, cast the line out, showed him how tight the main line should be and held the rod in my hand so he could see how the hook should be set. Once he understood, I placed the rod in the holder, turned around to say a few more words, turned back to the holder and watched the rod being pulled down really hard. Without making a sound, my dad reached out in lightning speed and yanked the rod, which he didn’t have to this time really because that fish was already on. The rod bend suggested a very solid fish, the leap on the surface showed a very big coho salmon. This fish, fighting even harder than the one he connected with on Sunday, darted from one side to the other. It then went under my main line so I once again had to reel in my bait as fast as possible.

Once the water in front of us was clear of obstacles, I proceeded down to the rocks with the net. Meanwhile, my friend Gunther had arrived and must have been excited to see what was happening. This fish continued testing my dad’s skill, and tackle. The main line was only 8lb test, the weight had already snapped off when at the beginning of the fight. I nervously waited while watching the main line approaching shore. I guess at one point the fish started feeling the bottom when it reached the shallow water. It began jumping and running even more. Just when it was within my reach, it went for another run and the main line clothlined my face. I quickly ducked to get the line off my face, but my left leg slipped into the water at the same time. Eventually, I regained my footing and this fine specimen was a bit calmer, I partially scooped its body and tailed it with my other hand. It was so big that it couldn’t fit in the net completely.

Once everything was under control, I saw the adipose fin and broke the bad news to my dad. He was a bit disappointed but still high on adrenaline at the same time. Gunther kindly took a photo of the fish for me while my dad waited on the high bank because he didn’t want to slip like me.  After a few seconds of photo session, the fish was set free to which ever valley tributary it was heading to.



This fish set a rather high standard for the rest of the outing. All of us were expecting good results because they often arrive in schools. The bites were once again fast and furious, but there were a lot of misses and losses. Gman was the first to connect with a jack but he unfortunately lost it to a snag. I then landed a bull trout. My dad was able to hook a few more fish, but only one bull trout was brought to shore.



We ended the trip just after Noon when the tide peaked. The bite only lasted until 11:30am or so and it turned off suddenly like yesterday.This has been one of the better years for coho salmon fishing in the Tidal Fraser River so get out and enjoy it while the good fishing lasts. This fishery is typically good until the third week of October before it starts slowing down. The amount of fish coming through is also a very good indication on how the valley tributaries will do for the rest of this season.

This is a spectacular ending of our two-week pursuit of coho salmon. It wouldn’t surprise me if my dad wants to wet the line one more time before driving to YVR tomorrow evening.

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