About this blog

This blog is all about fly fishing for native trout. On it I cover trip reports, fishing tactics, conservation, the latest news about native trout species and much more. This site provides a companion to my web page Nativetroutflyfishing.com.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Native Rainbows of the Olympic Mountains

This last Friday Clint and I made a plan to head up to the Olympic Mountains for some native coastal rainbow trout. Lately the saltwater has been heating up for salmon and cutthroat and as we closed in on the Hood Canal the draw was to much to resist. However after a fruitless hour of fishing we decided it was time to get back on track and headed for the mountains.

Clint stripping a surface popper on the Hood Canal for salmon

We pulled up to the river at about noon and decided to park the car and hike upstream and work our way back down to where we parked. We rigged our rods with sinking tip lines in preparation of a day of swinging streamers and nymphs.

The River

The first stretch of river was lacking in much decent holding water and it was a long distance with lots of bush whacking between pools. However the first long pool made all of the work worth while. This pool had the looks of a classic steelhead run, only the fishing was on a much smaller scale using four and five weights for smaller rainbows. At the head of the pool, Clint got the first fish of the day which was a pump 8 inch fish that he took on small streamer. This was followed by a fish of the same size for me on a swung jumbo john. The next fish to come out of this hole ended up being the largest landed for the day and was a solid 14" rainbow. This fish was taken high stick nymphing and fought like there was no tomorrow, jumping and running a putting a serious bend in my 4wt.

A fat native Olympic Mountain rainbow trout taken on a stone fly nymph.

This stretch of river was one of the most productive of the trip was there were 3 or 4 great pools within a short distance on each other where we each managed to pull a few decent fish out of. However once we finished covering the water in this stretch it was back to bush whacking through the forest to the next hole.

The forest along the river

Clint swinging a streamer through a great hole

The next hole proved to be a great piece of water and rewarded us with three more nice rainbows up to 12". Beyond this hole it was more battling our way through the forest back to the car after a great day of fishing for native trout.

Another rainbow trout taken swinging a nymph

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

How to glo bug for sea run cutthroat.

15.5 inch sea run cutthroat taken on a size 6 baby pink glo bug.

In the last 3 years I have landed more sea run cutthroat in December, January, and February than any other time of year. All of these fish were taken in a small creek near my house that the cutthroat travel up to spawn. Most of these fish are 14-18 inches long and a little colored up. The technique I choose to use is nymphing glo bugs. I like to use a 6 foot 3 wt. because the creek I fish is very small and brushy.
My favorite hole on the creek I fish
The first step of tying up, is I make my leader. I like to use straight 6 or 8 pound maxima ultra green. I make it anywhere from 6 to 9.5 feet long. The next step to set up is you have to choose an indicator. I like to use pegged corkies because they are easy to adjust and they float very well.
A selection of indicators I like to use.
Once I have my leader tied up and my indicator tied on I choose my glo bug. I like to carry a wide variety with me. My favorite colors are baby pink with a red dot tied on a size 6 egg hook. Although time of year and water clarity play a role generally in the beginning of the season, I like to use more solid colors and as the season goes on I switch to a faded washed out color like peach. Once I have made a selection I tie it on.
My glo bug selection (the top row is my favorite).
After My glo bug is tied on I am ready to fish. Depending on depth and speed of the water I will sometimes add some split shot. All you must do now is get a drag free drift and watch your indicator You never know when a pig will hit. I like to fish deep holes and walking pace runs. Below are some pictures of fish that have been fooled by me using this technique.

12 inch cutthroat caught in January

14 inch cutthroat caught in January.

16 inch cutthroat caught in January.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Washington's Native Westslope Cutthroat

The eastern side of the Cascade Mountains in Washington hosts a handful of watersheds in which native westslope cutthroat have managed persist through the onslaught of habitat destruction and non-native trout introductions that the last century has brought about.

Every year a make a trip up to one of these streams to fish for these beautiful fish and this year I was joined by Clint. This year due to a high snow pack and cool spring we found the creek running about a foot higher than usually but crystal clear.

The Creek

Generally this stream is a pocket water fisherman's dream, but due to the high water the fish were not in their usual lies preferring the slower pools and runs. Once we found where they were holding, the fish were quite eager to rise for a dry fly. We worked our way upstream catching several cutthroat up to 12 or 13 inches in each likely looking spot.

A native Westslope Cutthroat

In the stretch above Clint caught the first fish but after unhooking it his fly got tangled in the net and in the few moments that followed I managed to catch 3 fish on three casts and lost a 4th one. After we got Clint's fly free he pull two more Westslopes out of the hole before we continued upstream.

We continued working our way upstream having to climb around several sets of falls to get to the best water between the last set of falls and the point where the creek forks.

The last waterfall before the best water on the creek.

Above these falls the average size of the fish drastically increases being closer to 10" instead of 6-8" below. It was above there that Clint got his big fish of the day.

Clint's big Westslope Cutthroat

A dry fly caught cutthroat

We finished out the day by fishing the rest of the way up the forks, I got a couple decent fishing on my favorite riffle on the stream before we worked our way back to the car about 1.5 miles downstream.