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.

Gary

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer time sea-runs

If I had the rank my top ten favorite places to fish, I am really not sure what all I would put on the list, however I am sure that one of my sea-run cutthroat haunts in particular would make it. This fishery is not going to be listed among any "famous" waters, but that is the beauty of it, as it offers solitude, beautiful surroundings and native fish. Like other saltwater cutthroat fisheries, things are driven by the tides and a such it requires time to figure the fishery out. Luckily over the years I have paid some dues at this spot and have learned a few of its secrets. As the general rule with this and other estuaries goes, the fish are most active once the tide starts moving and the bulk of the fish tend to follow the incoming tide in, then ride the outgoing tide back out again.
Low water

With tides ideal at this spot for the day, my buddy Jonathan and I arrived at the estuary about an hour and a half after low tide and started looking for fish. With the low water, this didn't take too long and I spotted a few smaller cutthroat and one really nice one that was having fun harassing some spawning shiner perch. With the fish spotted I moved into position and on my second cast over a bit of deep water I felt a bit of a tug, set and fish on. The cutthroat put his all into the battle, jumping five or six times and even brought spectator along that seemed set on following his buddy right up to the net.
Not bad for two casts into the day

Next it was Jonathan's turn and a few casts later he got a good tug, but no hook up before things slowed a bit. Before long I went to some high ground and tried sighting the fish for him. It didn't take long to find a school of 8" to 14" cutthroat to have him cast to, but they didn't seem to like his offering all that much and spooked before long, he switched flies and we headed to another spot.
Calm water at high tide

We spotted some fish here and but they were a bit spooky and it wasn't till the tide really started flowing in that they let their guard down. Jonathan was the next one to to hook into a fish and got a scrappy little cutthroat that was probably only about 12" it still but up a fair fight and a bend in the rod. Fishing never really got super productive, as the cutthroat seemed to be a bit finicky, showing selectivity and spooking rather easy.
A beautiful native sea-run

We did get a few more cutthroat as we worked our way up the estuary with the tide. However as the tide slacked off we fishing slowed to a halt and as we both had places to be in the evening we decided to call an end to a beautiful day on the water.
A great day on the water

Friday, July 8, 2011

Back to the beach

So I have to say that for about the last year I have been at odds with the Puget Sound fishery a bit. Yes I have had some good outings, but I haven't had any of those days where you feel like the stars had lined up or anything. In fact the last time that I fished the saltwater I did pick up a few sea-run cutthroat, but thanks to the persistent wind and a bad cast I also picked up a nice inch long slit in my nearly brand new waders... All complements of a wayward clouser minnow. I can definitely say that I have needed a good day on the water for far to long.

So between some unusually nice weather and catching a whiff of salty sea air on my way home from a long day at work I just had to get out. I got a hold of my buddy Colton and we decided to hit the beach for the last bit of an incoming tide before dark. When we got to the beach the first signs of a beautiful sunset were already underway over the glassy calm water. My mind was set on intercepting one of the 2-5lb adult resident coho, which frequent the beaches of the South Sound this time of the year. So as such I started things off with a larger herring pattern, whereas Colton went with a smaller attractor pattern to tends to be deadly for just about anything with fins. For the first 20 minutes or so the only signs of life were a lone seal and some small baitfish breaking the surface, however before long Colton found a nice 12" resident coho.
Colton with a resident coho

A few casts later he got a second one and since I had yet to see an adult jump yet, my resolve crumbled and I switched over to a prawn pattern. This choice was immediately rewarded with one of the little resident salmon as well. This spunky little fish chased to fly literally up the rod tip, before getting hooked and then going for a few good runs.
A resident coho for me

I seemed like a school had moved in and fishing stayed good like this for a while, with enough activity between casts to keep things interesting. However as the evening wore on, the rising tide forced us to leave our a spot and look for somewhere with a more favorable back cast. We relocated to a point that is generally rather productive, but the fish definitely seemed to be much more scattered then our previous spot so we had to work a bit hard for them. However persistence pays off...
Yet another coho

With the tide slowing down and the last rays of light casting a pink glow to the horizon, it was time to go and while the big fish didn't show this evening had been just what I had been looking for!
Twilight over the Puget Sound