This last week the Puget Sound had a series of extreme low tides and coupled with a string of nice weather that we have been expreincing this made for some interesting fishing conditions. On Wednesday I got out on the water to try both sides of the tide. In the morning I headed up to one of my favorite cutthroat beaches with my friend Luke to try our luck at the outgoing tide. The tide was going from a 12 foot high to a - 3.5 foot low tide so we knew that the water was really going to be moving. We got on the water by 7:30AM and the tide was just starting to move out so there still wasn't much back cast room. However there were some cutthroat off of a point work some baitfish so Luke and I both put on baitfish imitations and got to work. The action was fast but unfortunately it was mostly smolts that wanted to bite, so we kept working our way down the beach in search of larger fish. Luke and I both managed to get a few nice takes, but didn't get any solid hookups so we decided to head back to the point and try another pass through. I changed to an experimental pattern and all of a sudden started getting hits almost every cast but no clean hook sets. Then I finally got a nice yank, which was followed with the feeling of a head shank and I knew that I had a solid hook set. The cutthroat fought had but within a minute or so I had a nice 15" cutthroat in the net. The fish was chrome bright with a hint of yellow on its flanks. However this fish this fish had its made up that it didn't want its photo taken and made a successful bid for freedom.
Next Luke and I decided that would try another stretch of this beach that is generally fairly productive for cutthroat and coho. This was the typical Puget Sound cast & take two steps type of beach, where fish may be spread any along the shoreline and you have to cover the water if you want to catch anything. We had covered a little over half of this stretch with me only picking up a couple more smolts when Luke finally got a decent resident coho at about 14". Right at the end of the stretch that we were covering, the beach goes out to a point and that was where I finally hooked up again. This fish had followed the fly almost all of the way up to the rod tip and as such it didn't have much line to play with so, after a very quick battle I brought him to the net.
My second decent cutthroat of the day
It was close to 11:00AM at this point and as I had to be to work at the fly shop by noon and the tide was getting a bit low it was time to call it quits.
I hadn't been planning on fishing the incoming tide but I got a text from Zach saying that he needed to get out and fish and seeing as I had all of my gear on me things changed. I told him to meet me when I got off work and we went out to one of the many Gig Harbor area beaches that I know of. However when we got to the beach we found the water completely covered with seaweed. I have to say that I wasn't overly surprised as with the extremely low tides and nice weather seaweed gets exposed at low tide, dried out by the sun, than floats off on the incoming tide. Never the less in made for much less than idea conditions. Things weren't as fast actioned as the morning tide and after an hour the only fish that I had caught as a cutthroat smolt. However when the tide was nearly up we spotted decent sized some fish and worked them for a while, with me only getting on hard take before we were forced to move on to a beach that can be fished at high tide.
Zach working a cove where we could see a lot of baitfish activity
Fishing at this next beach wasn't much of an improvement with the exception that there was no seaweed to be seen anywhere. However we did spot one very large cutthroat, lots of bait and Zach had a good take so this spot does show promise. Beyond that it was a great way to a end the day with the sunsetting and the tide at the same height that I had found it in the morning. Next it is off to Oregon to try my luck for some eastside redbands.
A great end to a great day