Wow, after the recent high water the Satsop dropped down into fishing condition, a little high at 3,200 cfs. Water clarity was dirty but clearing in the main branch, and clear in the east fork. I went fishing for the day with my friend and Duwamish video star Robbie. We arrived at the boat launch at 6:45am with a couple boats ahead of us. With the temp at 25 degrees the launch was frozen up so I was glad to have guys in front of me getting it use-able.
The launch wasn't the only thing frozen. After launching I found my motor steering rod was frozen hard after the drive from Redmond. Now what do we do? I have no propane heater (note to self, sounds like a good Christmas present). I took four hand warmers and activated them, and placed them over the steering rod. Waited five minutes, tried again – success! Necessity really is the Mother of Invention.
We motored to our first frog water location and started casting spinners and twitching jigs. Another boat next to us hooked and landed a nice coho, but we couldn’t buy a bite. A few fish were jumping around the area. We gave it 90 minutes and moved on to our next frog water location.
After the high water there is some added debris and snags, and it made for an interesting run up to our spot. One area in particular was only about twice as wide as my boat, and immediately through required a hard right followed by a hard left – fun stuff! None of the bigger jet boats ventured this far up the east fork. I did see one bigger boat come up a little ways, but it was basically just us. We worked our upper frog water hole the rest of the morning until 1pm. At 11:11 (seriously) while twitching a “tequila sunrise” jig I hooked into a beautiful hooknose coho that gave me some nice runs and jumps. Robbie did a good job netting the fish, which I would estimate to be in the 12-14 pound range, a nice hatchery fish. I love Satsop B runs!!! We didn’t have any bites and saw no jumping fish so after lunch ran back down to our starting location. It was an interesting return run with the sun shining bright making it very hard to see and read the water coming back. I had to do some fish-tailing and scout my path ahead for snags. Fortunately I remembered all the dangerous ones from earlier. (reminder, as of Dec 1st limit is now 2 adult coho, only one may be wild)
We anchored up and returned to twitching and casting spinners. Saw two fish hooked up, one on jig and one on a spinner. As I was twitching my jig back Robbie called out “Fish On” and I looked over to see his rod doubled over with another healthy B run hog. Robbie did a great job and into the net he went, about the same length, but with more girth than my fish. Another hatchery fish. We fished for a little longer and called it a day at 2:45.
This will likely be my last coho trip of the season. I’m one shy of filling my punch card for this year. That’s OK, after a slow start the coho were good to me and my freezer is stocked for the winter/spring. Oh yes, thanks to the Fish Gods and a contribution of a couple coho from Gringo Pescador we will have plenty of FISH TACOS at this year’s Lake Chelan Get Together!