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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.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Crazy Washington weather

I managed to get out fishing on the Puget Sound several times over the last few days, with some mixed results. A friend of mine Zach joined me on the first outing, which turned into more of an exploration/ scouting trip than anything. We started out at a local beach that we hadn't tried before. It was a fast incoming tide and the current was moving faster than some rivers that I have been on. As such we would cast out at a 45 degree angle and allow the fly to swing across to the current stripping it a few times here or there for some added action. There was plenty of bait around at this spot but after a half an hour there was still now sign of fish so we decided to move on.

Next we headed to a couple of spots just to take a look and check out beach access before finally picking another new spot to toss some flies at. This beach was defined by a lot of cobble inter-spaced with some large boulders - perfect habitat for sea-run cutthroat. Within the first twenty minutes we saw a decent about 16" fish jump and after Zach placed a cast in the vicinity I got a good tug, but no hookup. I saw one more fish jump, but after that for the next hour or so there was no sign of fish so we moved on.

Zach casting as the sun falls below the horizon

We ended the night at one of my favorite beaches but appeared to have arrived a little to late in the tide as we only spotted a couple of jumpers and I only a had one tug.

On Sunday night I didn't have much time but conditions looked good so I headed down to a local estuary. Unfortunately when I got there I noticed that I had somehow managed to walk out of the house without my rod. I was glad that I had picked this beach as it took me less then 10 minutes to correct this situation and get on the water.

Once on the water it was hard not to take note of the amount of chum fry in the shallows and before long I spotted some jumpers down the beach and moved into range to cast to them. However by the time I got to where they were, they had already moved so I started covering the water with an olive sea run bugger, which does a good job of imitating juvenile staghorn sculpin; a cutthroat favorite. After a while some fish finally showed themselves slashing at a school of chum fry, so I put on a Chum Baby and made some casts to them. The only problem was that there was so many chum fry around that the fish seemed to be almost overwhelmed and my little imititation's odds of being seen amount the countless naturals seemed to be far to low for my liking so I switched marabou clouser minnow. This was the ticket and before long I hooked into a nice coho, which I brought in after a quick battle.

A underwater shot of a wild coho's face

Shortly after landing the coho I seal decided to move in a harass the coho, effectively shutting things off. The evening ended with a great sunset and tens of thousands of chum fry rising on the surface in what looked like a rainstorms' worth of dimples.

On Monday a rainstorm engluffed Western Washington but I had an itch to get out again so I called Clint up, grabbed some rain gear and headed out to the beach. There was a lot of bait around where the trail came down to the beach, but nothing really feeding on it so Clint and I headed down the beach to a point that has been fishing well lately. On the first cast, I hooked into a decent cutthroat and landed it a few minutes later.

A rainy day baitfish eating cutthroat

As I was releasing the cutthroat Clint spotted a good sized jumper and on the next cast hooked up with nice coho.
Clint hooked up during the middle of a downpour

Clint's coho

These two fish would end up being the only two for us for the rest of the day, as after another hour of fishing in the pouring rain we decided that we had taken enough punishment and pulled the plug on things.

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