There are days on the Oregon Coast that surprise and surpass all expectations. Where the seas actually behave and you have a chance to experience new and exciting fisheries as if you were not in one of the most dangerous fishing environments on the planet.
Stripping baitfish flies for Coho in the open ocean, my friend Cody and I hooked multiple fish and were busy experimenting with flies and retrieval rates. Conditions were perfect, and before long we were 10 miles offshore with an itch to explore further. After a call to the Coast Guard for a forecast, we decided to run out a few more miles.
We found BAIT! TONS AND TONS OF IT!
The water was still a cool 57 degrees, but the graph was full of fish and we knew we had to put out our gear and see what these marks might be. Soon after setting the gear, I noticed a big dorsal fin off the bow. Having a 12-weight BIIX ready to rock, we tossed out a monster bug in the path of the unsuspecting blue shark. He mauled the fly, but missed the hook completely!
Standing on the bow and searching the deep blue water we saw more fins. A lot more. And these were not blues, but salmon sharks. A mess of them! If you’ve never seen one, just imagine a small great white, around 200 pounds. These fish were tailing the surface while corralling schools of baitfish and we would intercept them and tossing red flies which were made to target pike in Canada. The sharks would pounce on the flies and proceed to abuse the line, leaders, and rods to an extent unmatched in my fishing experience.
I think I need a bigger rod…
Check out the Ocean Sunfish, Mola mola.