Fly Fishing Links
& Resources


The Hook & Hackle Company encourages support of those "Wounded Warriors" who have suffered physical and/or emotional injury as a result of their service to our great country.

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Rose River Farm, Virginia's finest private water trout fishing experience, has just gotten even better. Now in addition to over a mile of private water managed for Trophy Trout (all strictly on the fly and catch and release) they have added luxury rental cabins. As an introductory special ....

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The Hook & Hackle Company highly endorses this fine bonefish, tarpon & permit fishing destination. Our recent visit there exceeded our expectations many times over.

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David Ruimveld, is one of my favorite "Sporting Art" artists.

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From time to time, we will feature different folks who are making a difference to fly fishing, conservation, outdoor art, helping others & so on. We welcome your suggestions for this column.

Peter C. Thompson, artist, writer, fly fisher & conservationist is our current feature.

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Wilderness North – Ontario Canada's Premier Fly-in Adventure Provider!

Deep in the heart of the Northern Ontario wilderness lies an oasis for outdoor enthusiasts and anglers seeking a definitive Canadian adventure. Accessible only by floatplane, Wilderness North offers a haven for those who want to reconnect with nature.

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Coho Salmon, January 2012, Fish of the Month!

Coho Salmon

Oncorhynchus kisutch

Local Names:

Coho, Silver salmon, Blueback, Cohoe, Hooknose, White salmon

Average Size:

24 to 36 inches

6 to 10 pounds

Distinguishing Field Marks:

Color and color pattern are reliable distinguishing field marks for this species. (See the illustration.)

North American Range:

Map to the right shows approximate range in North America.


Coho fry feed on small planktonic organisms that drift to them on the stream's current. As parr, they become more active and feed mainly on immature aquatic insects and a broad range of other invertebrates, as available. They frequently shelter near sunken logs and weed-beds where they hide in waiting to ambush passing prey.

In salt water, adult Coho salmon feed mainly on small fish, shrimp, and squid. In the Great Lakes, the Coho's main food source, as is the case for Chniooks as well, is Alewife.

Fly Fishing for Coho Salmon:

Well folks, we’re finally there. We’ve now entered the world of prime game fish species. The Coho salmon is a pretty good place to start that part of our fish education.

Like ALL our Pacific salmons, the Coho has seen a significant decline in its Pacific Rim numbers over the course of the past 25 years. In the Great Lakes, by contrast, they seem to be maintaining their population. An interesting note in this regard is that the current world record Coho salmon was caught in Lake Ontario. Throughout the Great Lakes, though, the ever-important predator/prey relationship is in constant transition. This is exacerbated, especially in Lake Ontario, by an on-going parade of invasive species brought mainly from the Caspian Sea watershed in the ballast tanks of international cargo ships. We who fish for Great Lakes trout and salmon can only hope that what appears to be the inevitable inflow of Asian Silver and Big-Head carp does not rise to the biologically cataclysmic levels that have been predicted…. Only time will tell in that story…..

On the U.S and Canadian west coast, Coho salmon are among those species which, for a variety of reasons, are in serious decline. For the angler, this decline means possible adjustments in outing plans and the need to pay close attention to local, state, and provincial regulations.

Typical when approaching any anadromous species, timing is everything. West coast salt water fly trolling and fly casting are traditional methods for taking these salmon before they enter their natal rivers on their fall spawning runs. At this time, they are at their prime level of fitness and will be strong, acrobatic fighters when hooked. Cohos that have entered their spawning streams only slightly loose their salt-water vigor and remain willing to aggressively take flies, lures, or baits drifted to them at the speed of the current.

Check local conditions to determine when each river hosts its run of Coho salmon. As a rule of thumb, Cohos tend to run just slightly later than Chinooks. October and November can be assumed to be prime Coho river fishing times.

Equipment? 9 to 10 1/2 foot fly rods that will comfortably handle 7 to 8 weight lines are recommended. Reels should have a backing capacity of 150 to 200 yards under the line. Coho salmon flies cover a broad range of patterns. Checking with local tackle shops where you plan to fish will make your selecting the appropriate flies easier.

Not the biggest of our Pacific salmons, Cohos can well be described as the most game. They are capable of doing all of what we fly-rodders would hope a fish would do. They often strike aggressively, make long powerful runs, and frequently make spectacular arial displays, especially when caught at the beginning of their spawning runs.