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Coho Salmon and Coho Fishing on Vancouver Island

The coho salmon is the liveliest fighting fish on the pacific coast. Also known as silver salmon, jack salmon or bluebacks their lives begin in the cold gravel streams of the north pacific. Coho salmon eggs hatch in the spring and the fry stay in fresh water for over a year. As they migrate toward the ocean they encounter many dangers such as feeding birds, larger fish, low water levels and warm temperatures. During this stage of their lives, mortality rates are high and a low percentage of cohos make it to the sea. Once in the open ocean the coho salmon quickly grows while aggressively feeding on herring, sardines, pilchards, squid, and needle fish. When it is three years old instinct tells the mature coho that it must return to the river it was born in, and spawn. This is the time when coho congregate near the river mouths and bays waiting for river levels to rise enough to permit access to the spawning grounds. It is also a time when fishermen are able to catch these silver fish in abundance.
On the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, anglers target coho salmon from August to November. At this time of year the fish are ready to spawn and generally weigh 10 to 20 LB.. although fish up to 30 LB.. are caught occasionally. Fishing techniques vary but most coho are caught by trolling bait or lures. An enjoyable way to fish for coho is by fly fishing with bucktail flies. Fly fishing for coho salmon is an experience one will never forget as these acrobatic chrome fish are sure to test the relatively light fly fishing gear and the anglers skill. Bucktail flies can be trolled on the surface or attached to a downrigger if the fish are deeper. Because Coho salmon are such aggressive feeders, fishing for them is normally action packed and fast paced fun.
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