Kokanee Salmon, and Salmon Fishing on Blue Mesa Reservoir in Colorado

Blue Mesa Reservoir is the largest kokanee salmon fishery in Colorado. Everybody loves catching Kokanee salmon fishing and we all love preparing salmon to eat. Kokanee salmon are Colorado land locked salmon. Some say that kokanee salmon ended up in high altitude lakes as the oceans that covered the continental US dried up. It was the sockeye salmon that remained in the lakes and over time they became kokanee salmon. Kokanee are the fresh water brother to sockeye salmon caught mainly in Alaska. Sockeye salmon tend to run around 9 lbs with fish going to 14lbs. Kokanee salmon run from 3-6lbs in Colorado and larger fish are found in Flaming Gorge and some lakes in Oregon. Kokanee salmon are a cold water species that swim deep and eat plankton. Because they eat a diet of strictly plankton, their meat is a deep red color with a fantastic flavor. They are smaller fish, but are hard fighting and very enjoyable to catch on light pound test line.
The best thing about kokanee salmon is that they pattern up more often than most fish and can be caught all day long. Kokanee salmon don’t hit baits in a feeding frenzy but hit baits out of aggression. Kokanee salmon are very territorial and will challenge other fish and organisms trying to feed in their area. Kokanee salmon drive anglers crazy by biting one day and snubbing the same exact baits the next. Some fisherman can have an incredible day, while other anglers will have a terrible day using the same bait. Salmon will get so specific to a color or action and sometimes it will take you 20 lures to find the right one. The good news is that there is always a salmon bite somewhere and at every hour of the day. The fish will just ‘turn on’ and the persistent anglers will do the killing. The Blue Mesa Fishing Guide Network have studied this fish and love fishing for Kokanee. We don't claim to understand these fish better than anyone else or are using the secret weapons to fill limits daily. The Blue Mesa Fishing Guide Network works hard and always keeps an open mind. We never let a dead bait swim too long in the water and keep pushing the limits to learn more about these fish and their patterns.
We mentioned before that Kokanee salmon are the cousin of the sockeye salmon of the West Coast. They offer a very exciting fight, great taste and an intriguing bite pattern. In the spring the fish are loosely scattered. Salmon are in many areas of the water column feeding, and will make anglers work for a limit. As the water temps warm, the fish start to congregate in the stratified layers and can relieve some of the question marks in your spread. These are the days of plenty when kokanee can really fly over the rails on the right pattern. 20 fish mornings reminds you why we all love salmon fishing. As the Colorado summers moves on, kokanee salmon move deeper and deeper and begin to move towards the river. Here one day and gone the next! We chase Kokanee all the way to September until they disappear from the lake and flood the river will brilliant streaks of red. Instinct will guide them back to the spawning grounds and at the exact same time, new classes of kokes begin to strengthen their hold on the lake. 1,2 and 3 year old salmon begin to Feed vigorously in the open basins. These areas are the same spots of the early season and give anglers another shot a steady Colorado kokanee salmon fishing. Get out and start catching. Follow us to our new site at _____________________ to learn about hot spots and lure combinations!


Blue Mesa Kokanee on table.

Blue Mesa Kokanee on table.

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