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Discussion Starter #1
Well I am currently in the process of gearing up for Kokes this spring. Saving up for my downriggers and the Rod and Reel I want as well as some other tackle. My Grandad has Koke fishing down to a Science in Utah and has taught me alot about how to catch them. I know the techniques that work well and consistently produce fish at Flaming Gorge resivoir and will employ them here and modify them as necessary. But my question is, what bodies of water hold good populations of Kokes? Below I will list the bodies of water I am aware of. If any of you would let me know which of these are the best or add to the list. I live here in the South Auburn Area so the closer the better.

1. Meridian- I have heard alot about Meridian but it seems like they are smaller sized, Meridian is close to home though
2. American lake- I haven't heard as much the past few years but do any of you still pull Kokes out of American lake and is there a better launch than Tillicum. Tillicum is very suspect.
3. Alder lake, I hear they too are on the small side but there does seem to be a good population of them. Is alder lake worth Targeting.
4. Riffe lake- Although from what I understand they are actually land locked silvers and not true Kokes, I still will try this fishery but hear the level of the lake is low for a good part of the year making lauching a challenge.

Those are the main four I hear about but I know there are many many more. So on the west side what lakes are my best bet? And how bout the East side? I would appreciate any and all feedback from the ones who Target and catch Kokes.

JDl
 

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I'm sure someone will chime in on the westside.

For eastside lakes, Roosevelt and Chelan both have good populations of kokanee. Roosevelt has some of the largest in the state and produced the 6.25 lb state record in 2003. Chelan's fish seem to be more typical of kokes or even smaller--lots in the 10-11 inch range but easy to catch and plentiful.
 

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Don't know for sure what your looking for, Monster Kokes I think you have to go East to Roosevelt. You can't beat Meridian for close to home and some nice ones pushing 15". Also Silver Lake up in Snohomish, GF had some KokeFest's that usually ended up with rotten weather, a couple of fish, but a good time seeing other GF'ers. Also do a search in the forum archives there should be alot of posts on the subject.
 

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SeaWalker said:
Chelan's fish seem to be more typical of kokes or even smaller--lots in the 10-11 inch range but easy to catch and plentiful.
I was there last summer and spoke two a guy with three kokes in the two pound range. He had been targeting maks in 120 feet of water, downrigger down 115 feet. But that is an isolated event. I mostly hear Chelan reports similar to SeaWalkers.
 

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Clear Lake in Pierce County but it doesn't open until April.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
ImaginThat said:
Don't know for sure what your looking for, Monster Kokes I think you have to go East to Roosevelt. You can't beat Meridian for close to home and some nice ones pushing 15". Also Silver Lake up in Snohomish, GF had some KokeFest's that usually ended up with rotten weather, a couple of fish, but a good time seeing other GF'ers. Also do a search in the forum archives there should be alot of posts on the subject.
I did a search but it does not appear that all of the old forums have been transferred over to the new ones yet. I will try again later but this morning when I tried there was nothing there.
JDL
 

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Riffe- When you hit the peak run it can be awesome fishing up at the mouth, or even in the small creek mouths that empty all along the lake. The mature spawning fish are gonna average 16 to 18 inches with fish over 20 not uncommon. You can find fish year round out in the lake and down toward the dam, but you'll be picking through all age classes of fish and its a hit or miss deal alot of the time. Having a good fish finder will make a huge difference in this lake- when trolling those fish can range from a few feet below the surface to way down deep. Once you've found the right depth those fish can be in for a real whuppin though- Plunking is an extremely productive method for this lake, especially in areas where fish are more concentrated like by mossyrock dam or upstream from the Taidnapam park area. Around june-july there will be good amounts of fish heading up the cowlitz and once you find these fish, you can kill just by anchoring out with salad shrimp or worms fished just off the bottom. Many people don't realize it, but during july and august alot of these fish will be stacked up right below cowlitz falls dam (lake scanewa), and if you get it when its not a chocolate milkshake you can clean house on fatty silvers with bait on the bottom. In such a huge lake though, there are just as many ways to catch these fish as there are fish in the lake- these are just some of my most productive.
If you ask me though the next few years probably won't be as productive for silver fishing, at least the larger fish, as it has traditionally been over the last ten years. A couple years back, they drew down scanewa lake several times for dam repair, flushing millions of tons of sediment down the cowlitz and completely obliderating the channel all the way down to the main lake. Most of these fish are in fact spawning up here, and during those critical weeks there in july and august, the entire river bottom was completely sedimentized for miles downstream.

Alder- Alders kokanee population can be incredible, and you can get into so many of these fish you'll get tired of catching them... From may to june, the fish will be actively feeding at shallow depths throughout the lake, and can be caught trolling wedding rings and maggots right under the surface. Now, at the same time, a massive amount of these fish will be headed up the nisqually to spawn, where they will eventually spawn all the way up into mt. ranier natl park and just about every ditch and creek that dumps it during august and later. During late may and june, right at the mouth of the nisqually you can get into huge schools of kokanee, along with the regular cutthroat and rainbows, right in the river that will kill just about any spinner or bait drug through the water. Right now these fish are in a transition stage- in the past the state has planted kokanee fry that are designed to be summer spawners, compeleting their spawn by late august. For the last year or two, they have been stocking a new strain of kokanee that are fall spawners, supposedly spawning in october and november. I have yet to see the huge amounts of spawning fish upstream during the fall as I used to see of the summer fish in august or so, but supposedly they've just been experimenting with these runs to see which are going to be the most productive. Even now i've seen dwindling numbers of summer spawning fish, showing the lack of this strain planted into the lake. Either way, don't forget that these fish are trying to spawn, and if you can find them congregated in these areas fishing can be killer- even from the bank...

I'm sure many of you have seen the pictures i've posted of the schools of hundreds of spawning kokes up in the nisqually tribs in august... but if anyone wants to see them i have no problem putting them up again!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Yellowfever, for the information here. I do plan to hit Alder lake this spring/summer. As far as rife goes, sounds like you are saying you can get a boat in year round? I have heard there are times it is hard to launch. I just have a 16 foot smokercraft so its not a big boat or anything. Do you fish rife and alder much then?
JDL
 

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I lived about 50 feet from the banks of alder for 16 years... caught my first fish there, and kept a boat in the water at all times so I could fish it at any day. My father grew up about 10 miles away, and he fished it his entire life too. Alder is a tricky lake but people would be suprised what kind of fishery it is. As far as riffe, my grandfather grew up in glenoma (both the part that was inundated by the lake, and the new town)... that guy taught me every single channel, drop off, and fishing hole from mossyrock to kosmos. It seems though the fishing there has been in a slump the past few years (just for the silvers though ;) ) , but regarless if you get it right you'll be in for a heck of a time. I'll be in western washington this summer, and no doubt i'll be spending alot of time on both of those lakes from spring on out- hit me up when you decide to go and we can figure something out!

As for the boat- some of the best days of fishing were a few years ago when the river ran clear down in front of the kosmos flats, fishing the river for those big fat silvers right off the bank... usually by spring and summer you'll be able to get a boat in- when you can really make it count.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
YellowFever said:
I lived about 50 feet from the banks of alder for 16 years... caught my first fish there, and kept a boat in the water at all times so I could fish it at any day. My father grew up about 10 miles away, and he fished it his entire life too. Alder is a tricky lake but people would be suprised what kind of fishery it is. As far as riffe, my grandfather grew up in glenoma (both the part that was inundated by the lake, and the new town)... that guy taught me every single channel, drop off, and fishing hole from mossyrock to kosmos. It seems though the fishing there has been in a slump the past few years (just for the silvers though ;) ) , but regarless if you get it right you'll be in for a heck of a time. I'll be in western washington this summer, and no doubt i'll be spending alot of time on both of those lakes from spring on out- hit me up when you decide to go and we can figure something out!
Sounds good will do. I hope to have one dowrigger purchased and mounted by april or may and will try and get up there. I will definately have to look you up. Always good to learn from the locals so to speak.
JDL
 

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Hello there, I am gearing up also to hit the Kokanee this year. I live in Lacey so maybe we can hookup for a trip or two. I'm making a few wedding ring type lures in the next month and getting some other lures. Let me know if you might be interested in going.
 

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American Lake is way off compare to years before, both in Kokes and trout. The sea plane launch is now closed and under construction. So for now there's no nice launch unless you're military. there was a big algae bloom late last fall. Some algae still hanging around in Little American.

Clear Lake (Pierce County) does have kokes, but they're usually small. I've caught dark red spawners with kyped jaws that only measured 11 inches out of Clear Lake just before closing the season.

Sorry for the not so good news.
 

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My buddy fished Riffe this week and did good trolling around Mossyrock Dam on the highway side. The launch at Mossyrock State Park is doable, but you have to back down a ways.
 

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This is a hole on mineral creek a few years back... Every single slow pocket of water was swarming with these guys... it was unreal how many thousands of fish there were up and down this creek. This was the same for ALL the creeks all the way up past ashford, and even those little ditch creeks that dump into the main lake like around sunny beach. I've got a bunch more pictures, but they're on the computer at my folks house so i'll have to put some more up this weekend when i'm back there...
 

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Both Lake Kachees and Kecheles on Snoqualmie Pass have tons of 'em.........and both lakes are open year round with 15 fish limit, the last I heard............be extremely careful with your outdrives on these lakes............tons of fresh water ling and some 'bows and cutts in there too......we catch 'cutts right from the bank.............no, there are NO lake trout in either of these lakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
X5fishinmachine said:
Both Lake Kachees and Kecheles on Snoqualmie Pass have tons of 'em.........and both lakes are open year round with 15 fish limit, the last I heard............be extremely careful with your outdrives on these lakes............tons of fresh water ling and some 'bows and cutts in there too......we catch 'cutts right from the bank.............no, there are NO lake trout in either of these lakes.
I have considered fishing these lakes but have not made it up there yet. You say you can get em from the bank eh. In which lake? I see the one right by the pass every time I drive over but have never stopped to check it out. Where abouts do you access the bank fishing? It does look pretty stumpy though.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
carp2 said:
Hello there, I am gearing up also to hit the Kokanee this year. I live in Lacey so maybe we can hookup for a trip or two. I'm making a few wedding ring type lures in the next month and getting some other lures. Let me know if you might be interested in going.
Yeah will have to possibly link up this spring or summer.
 
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