Benefits of Using Clear Fly Lines for Coho

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Benefits of Using Clear Fly Lines for Coho

When fly fishing for Coho in the Fall, whether it is off of a beach, in an estuary or in a river, using a clear, slow-sinking fly line is a huge advantage. Coho, when feeding out in the open ocean are ravenous feeders. Sometimes you can throw anything at them that looks like food and they’ll eat it.

Once they start to stage off the mouth of the river or into an estuary, they can get little attitudes. Sometimes they can go lock-jawed and then they’ll start to bite again and then they don’t and then they do.  The same type of behaviour can be exhibited further upriver. Sometimes they’re extremely cooperative and sometimes they’re not.

The Big Advantage

There is absolutely no doubt that your chances of success, especially on fish that are not in a cooperative mood, increase substantially by using a clear, slow-sinking fly line.  The big advantage is that clear fly lines don’t spook the fish as easily, especially given the clear water conditions when beach and estuary fishing.

When in the river, the best water to try and target Coho in is the slow-moving “frog” water. In this type of water, flies are cast and retrieved to elicit a strike from the fish. Even if the river you’re fishing has a tinge of colour, a normal sinking line will stick out like a sore thumb and fish will shy away from your fly. See our Fly Fishing for Coho in Freshwater blog post.

Another Advantage

The slow sinking properties of these fly lines are another advantage. They allow for a slower retrieve of the fly if desired, without getting snagged on the bottom. Most of our Coho fishing in all three locations occurs in shallow enough water that this slower-sinking line is what we want.

Stripping Basket

One additional piece of equipment that we recommend when using these lines is a stripping basket. Given that the whole fly line sinks, if we retrieve it while standing in water, recasting becomes difficult as the line will be underwater. A stripping basket holds the line when retrieved, allowing the line to come out of it unhindered.

RIO Premier AquaLux

Some of the clear lines to consider in the higher-end category are the RIO Premier AquaLux. This line has a 30’ clear head with a subtle translucent green running line. The short taper design loads rods quickly and the new Slick Cast coating assists in longer casts that can be advantageous when targeting Coho.

Scientific Anglers Sonar Stillwater Camo Clear

Scientific Anglers Sonar Stillwater Camo Clear is another great line. It’s not completely clear like AquaLux but has a translucent clear camo look to it. When viewed out of the box with the line on the spool it looks a little more noticeable than the clear line of the AquaLux. When it is laid out in a single strand it is a very stealthy line.

Budget Friendly Clear Fly Lines

If a high-end line isn’t in the budget you have two great options available. The RIO Mainstream Clear Intermediate or the Scientific Anglers WetCel Clear Intermediate. Both of these lines perform very well for the money and will help get more Coho biting your fly.

We hope you’ve found this article helpful. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us by email, by phone at 604-931-5044 or stop by 

Sea-Run Fly & Tackle at #110 1140 Austin Avenue in Coquitlam BC.

Good luck on the water.

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1 comment

  • by Bruce

    Great review and info. Thanks Guys, Bruce

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