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 decided to head out to the Olympic Mountains to target 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 head for the mountains.

Clint stripping a surface popper on the Hood Canal for sea-run Cutthroat

We pulled up to the river at about noon and decided to park the car and hike upstream, then work our way back down to where we parked. Given how well the trout had responded to swung nymphs on out last trip to the Olympics, 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 much decent holding water and it was a long distance with lots of bush whacking between pools. However, the first good 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 resident Rainbows. At the head of the pool, Clint got the first fish of the day which was a plump 8" trout 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 of 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, with four great pools within a short distance on each other. Invariably each of these pools produced a few decent fish. 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 native Coastal Rainbow trout taken on a swung soft hackle nymph

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Washington's Native Westslope Cutthroat

The east side of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State hosts a handful of watersheds in which native Westslope Cutthroat have managed persist despite the onslaught of habitat destruction and non-native trout introductions that over occurred over the last century. Since discovering it a few years ago, I try to make annual trip to my favorite one of these streams to fish its beautiful native Cutthroat. While this is often a solo trip for me, this year I was joined by Clint. With the high snow pack and cool spring, we found the creek running about a foot higher than usual, but luckily it the water was 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 through, the fish were quite eager to rise for a dry fly. We worked our way upstream catching several Cutthroat up to 13 inches in each likely looking spot.
A beautiful native Westslope Cutthroat

The little canyon on the stream

A beautiful and productive canyon stretch (photo above), Clint caught a fish, but after unhooking it his fly got tangled in the net. In the few moments that it took him to free the fly, I managed to catch 3 fish on three casts and lost a 4th one. 

A net full of Cutthroat

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 increased being closer to 10", instead of the 6-8" below. It was above there that Clint got his big fish of the day.

Clint's big Westslope

A dry fly caught native Cutthroat

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