Kokanee turn bright red and green when spawning and make for stunning pictures.

Species: Kokanee Salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka)
Location: Odell Lake, OR
Date: August 6, 2005

As a kid, I think I fished from a boat maybe half a dozen times. For that reason, I remember every time I had this opportunity afforded only to the wealthy very clearly.


When the family headed to Odell Lake for the first time, I worked my early teenage charms on my parents to convince them to rent a boat.

“The limit is 25 Kokanee,” I argued.

“The boat will pay for itself.”

After spending nearly $100 on jigs, spoons, spinners, and flashers, another $50 for the boat rental was gravy.

As we loaded our trout poles — complete with undersized reels spooled with six-pound mono — onto the boat, we spotted several anglers cleaning stringer after stringer of chrome-bright Kokanee, and we were very optimistic.


Many of my fishing stories from this stage in my life begin with naivete and end with disappointment.

This is one such story.

Despite trolling all over the bloody lake, somehow snagging half of the gear in water more than 100 feet deep, and losing two very nice fish (likely either big Browns, Bulls, or Lakers) on our way to matching sunburns, we’d picked up just a handful of fish.

The day was redeemed when we picked up a few fish jigging Gibbs and Nordic Kokanee Jigs, though that was just my family. I still only had one fish.

I was quite proud to have landed the largest fish, a 14-inch buck, which is really quite sad if you think about it.

The handful of fish we boated came home with us, as most fish we caught in my youth did. They tasted delicious, but it was a small consolation for an otherwise disappointing trip.


It would be more than a decade before I landed Kokanee again, but the two fish pictured in this post did come on back-to-back casts in the fall of 2014. These ones were much larger, but I misidentified them as pre-spawn rainbows and released them.

Kokanee are some of the most beautiful fish I’ve ever captured. The variability of the species is part of its appeal.

I’ve since caught a lot more Kokanee, but I haven’t kept another. This I regret and plan to change. Hopefully very soon.

#SpeciesQuest // #CaughtOvgard

Read the next entry in #SpeciesQuest here: Species #16 — White Crappie.

38 Replies

  1. It’s perfect time to make a few plans for the longer term and it is time to be happy. I have learn this post and if I may just I desire to suggest you some attention-grabbing things or tips. Perhaps you could write subsequent articles relating to this article. I wish to read even more things about it!

  2. Excellent items from you, man. I have bear in mind your stuff prior to and you’re simply too great. I really like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you are stating and the best way during which you are saying it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to stay it wise. I can not wait to learn much more from you. This is really a great site.

  3. This web site can be a walk-by for all of the data you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse right here, and also you’ll definitely uncover it.

  4. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is valuable and everything. However think about if you added some great pictures or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and clips, this blog could definitely be one of the most beneficial in its niche. Great blog!

  5. Great work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the internet. Shame on Google for not positioning this post higher! Come on over and visit my web site . Thanks =)

  6. This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

  7. You really make it seem so easy along with your presentation but I to find this topic to be actually one thing that I feel I would by no means understand. It kind of feels too complex and very large for me. I am looking ahead for your next submit, I will attempt to get the hang of it!

  8. I’ve read a few good stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how so much effort you set to create this sort of magnificent informative web site.

  9. Unquestionably believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the net the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people think about worries that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  10. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *