When I opened the door to the house this morning to hustle the garbage out to the street corner I was greeted by rain. Lots of rain!
Dragging the can out to the street in my usual morning coffee outfit of shorts, slippers, and a worn out Prince of Wales Sportfishing t-shirt I was getting soaked. Indicative of my fishing addiction I hardly noticed the wet dog look as I hustled back into the house not to get out of the rain, but to pull up a handful of river graphs on the computer to see what they were doing. There were more important things at hand than getting wet.
Sho’nuf! Some were going straight up and others were just starting to bump up a little. Silvers staging in Puget Sound, Sekiu, and off the coast of Washington would be headed upstream soon, very soon!
Here’s a handful of tried-and-true techniques that I always had in the boat during my days as a full time river guide here in Washington. You can bet I’ll be pulling this gear out of tackle storage soon, today in fact, to start hitting these rivers festooned with silvers.
Hucking spinners for fall silver salmon in the river is one of my all time favorite things to do because it’s hands-on, somewhat technical, and they simply crush it when they hit these puppies. Silvers are prone taking refuge in downed timber in the river and slowly spinning a standard Vibrax or Vibrax Bullet spinner by those holding fish can be ultra productive. Spinners are also a great way to cover water and pull wary fish out of cover, as they give off a lot of vibration and silver attracting flash. That combination makes them super lethal in stained or off color water too. My favorite colors are chartruese, flame orange, blue, and purple with either a silver or gold spinner blade. The latest craze for coastal silvers is to add a hoochie skirt to the spinner to give it an impressive action. Silvers go nuts for this riggin’s!
Twitching jigs is a technique that’s really caught on the last five years to the point of being downright mainstream. Prior to that it was a pretty closely guarded method used by some of Washington’s top guides for catching silvers and even kings in the fall. Not so much anymore. It involves casting a 1/4, 3/8, or 1/2 ounce marabou or hoochie jig into an area that holds coho, letting it sink into the fish holding zone, and then slowly twitching the jig back to the boat or bank. Silvers jump all over a twitched jig, with hits occurring anywhere from the first twitch to within inches of the rod tip. Colors span the spectrum, but jigs in pink, cerise, purple, blue, and orange seem to get bit the most. To learn how to twitch jigs check out this great Jig Twitching Video featuring Forks area guide Bob Kratzer from Anglers Guide Service.
Dick Nite Spoons
It’s hard to believe how hard a big hook-nosed silver will crush these seemingly microscopic spoons. Dick Nite’s work in all sorts of water conditions, but they really produce in low water conditions when silvers are lock-jawed. The most popolar method of fishing these spoons is along the bottom with a dropper weight. Drift them thru the run and then reel them slowly back to the boat or bank at the end of the drift. Like both jigs and spinners, don’t be surprised if they hammer the spoon as you’re just about to pull it out of the water. The best colors are the 50/50, Froggy/UV, silver/chartreuse, and silver/orange.
This technique consists of casting a Wiggle Wart into deep water that’s holding coho and then cranking it bass-style back to the boat or bank. When silvers are in the mood for a plug fished in this fashion they will pound it agressively. I’ve had them explode on plugs within inches of the surface just as I’m ready to lift the plug out of the water and make another cast. Simply awesome! Since most plugs come adorned with two treble hooks you won’t typically miss many fish. Just make sure you check the regulations before tying one of these babies on. The most productive colors are fire tiger, flame orange, pink, cerise, purple, and gold/orange. They also work well trolled or back trolled from a boat.
The silver salmon forecast is great for the Southwest Washington and North Puget Sound rivers this fall and this rain is going to seriously jump start the coho bite. Get acquainted with a couple of these silver salmon catching techniques and head out to the river to scrap with these great fighting and eating fish.
The Outdoor Line
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