Once Coho Salmon leave the ocean and move up into the rivers and streams, they stop feeding.

This is because most Coho Salmon that are in the rivers are there for one purpose only, to spawn.

Some spawning Coho Salmon continue to feed at the mouth of their birth river while they wait for the water level to become high enough for them to begin their journey. However, others that are not spawning can be attracted to the mouths of rivers if schools of bait fish are in the area.

And lastly, juvenile Coho Salmon spend the first year or so of their life in freshwater rivers before heading to the ocean as smolt.

Most Coho Salmon that are caught up river during spawning are simply snagged. In most jurisdictions, it is illegal to keep fish caught by being snagged.

River Fishing Techniques

Spawning Coho Salmon are aggressive, territorial and easy to anger. As such, they can be made to attack or strike at a bait through a few techniques.

The first is to cast a fly so it lands a few feet in front of them, let it sink a few feet and then wait before reeling it in.

The other is to cast your fly or bait about 20 feet past them and then reel in the line slowly so that it comes within two feet of the Coho Salmon. Either of these techniques will cause them to strike out of anger.

Recommended Lures

Coho Salmon can be caught with almost any lure during this time but the ones that are the most effective are those that are bright and make a lot of noise and vibrations, which irritate the Coho and get them to strike.

By making noise and thus vibrations, you are alerting the Coho to the bait fish invading their territory.

Spinners and spoons that come in bright colours like red or yellow are most effective.