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Discussion Starter #1
It's almost that time of the year when Coho's come back to the rivers here in the lower mainland of BC. For freshwater estuary coho the prevalent method seems to be a single handed rod with a clear intermediate line, a minnow or streamer casted and retrieved in the slow deep water.

Has anyone figured out how to utilize a spey rod effectively and successfully for this type of fly fishing? I was thinking maybe a DT clear intermediate or sinktip swing'ed with a downstream belly in the slow water to mimic the retrieve.
 

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hmmm....

Here in the Great Lakes this technique is popular between a select few of anglers who flyfish the surf. There aren't many, and usually you have the beaches to yourself. I prefer using a two handed rod with a clear intermediate line or 200-400 grain sinking lines to get down around the pierheads. I practice overhand casting tube flies, 7-10" alewife/smelt streamers, epoxy surf candies, clouser minnows, etc. Another technique you may want to try is using the current and casting parallel with a intermediate line or slight sinktip and use stack mending and lifting to swing the fly. I have tried this before, but I don't know exactly what you are referring too?

Hope I can help!
 

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Andy, I have fished Coho hard, for the last twenty years. A few years ago when I took up spey fishing. I got rather insistent on using the spey rod in all river circumstances. Outside of the odd hit, swinging flies isn't very practical for coho. Last year I spent a couple of days on the Harrison with a friend who guides the river--he used his 7wt single and I swung flies on my 7/8/9 (really a 9/10) B&W Powerlite. He was slaying them in slack water on the retrieve, and I was only getting the odd hit. I started swinging into the flow and retrieving in the slack water, and I began catching fish. To me it seems pointless to do this with a double hander. If someone has a solution to the Coho thing I'd love to hear it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes BeBop it seems like it's the darting motion resulting from the retrieve that elicit a strike in these freshwater estuary conditions for cohos. I was indeed thinking of the Harrison/Chehalis when making the original post and the single hander with a clear intermediate seems to be the ticket for this kind of fishing condition.

Dansteelieman thx for your input. These are non-tidal freshwater situations so there's no tide to cast parallel to but there is the slow flow of current from the tributary. Schools of coho will congregate and mill around the mouth of a tributary and wait for high water for the ascent. BeBop was right in that the single hander cast & retrieve is by far the most effective and popular method for this kind of situation.

I was thinking maybe with an underhand system one can make the retrieve of the shooting line a productive part of the swing in setup for the next cast in these kind of situations. However my current skill level precludes me from shooting sufficient amount of running line into the cast to allow for a long and productive retrieve before the belly comes back into the tip.

Like you BeBop I was curious if some other die hard spey fisherman have figured this one out :)
 

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I may have spoken too soon in replying to this thread. I fished the Skagit in Washington State quite a bit last year. It has beautiful soft edge water that looks like it would be good for Coho. It reminded me a lot of the upper Squamish only on a much bigger scale. Perhaps a fly swung though the soft edges on both those streams might do rather better for Coho.
At least I intend to check them both out thoroughly this fall.
 
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