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.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Snow day Coho

For the past couple weeks, western Washington has gotten slammed by a winter storm. This has resulted in me getting plenty of fly tying done, but no fishing.  Blake and I decided that we both needed to get out to change this. The evening tide looked good so I met Blake and his friend Sam at the the top of my icy road and we made our way to a local beach.

A cold start - ice on the sound

When we arrived at the beach there was ice on the calmer water, but we were dressed plenty warm enough so we got to fishing. I didn't take us long to find a school of jumping resident Coho and we all started getting into fish. Fishing for jumping Coho is always a blast as the fish give away their location and it is simply a matter of putting a fly in front of their nose. When these fish decide that they want a fly it seems to be their goal to destroy it. I was using a new pink and red color variation of the Snot Dart that I came up with during my recent fly tying and it drove the fish crazy.
There were plenty of fish around

Sam got some too

Unfortunately, the amazing fishing could not last and as several seals moved in the school of Coho broke up, slowing the fishing way down. Although there would be an occasional jumper it became more of game of blindly casting and hoping that a fish would cross the path of one of our flies. Each of us picked up a couple more Coho, but Blake got the best fish of the day, a fat 16" male Cutthroat that was beginning to show its spawning colors. Unfortunately, this fish did not want to have its picture taken and slipped out of Blake's grasp as I was getting my camera ready.

Blake working the beach

By the time that the sun went down the fishing had completely died off and we all had numb fingers, so it was time to call it quits and make the icy drive home.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Olympic Peninsula again

After recent trip in search steelhead on the Olympic Peninsula, Blake and I decided to make another go at it today. We picked a river that we had fished a couple of weeks ago and seen some fish in, and planned on leaving bright and early. Blake was at my house by 4:45AM and we were at the river about the time the sun was up. We stopped at the lower part of the river, where a local gear fisherman tried to tell us that there were no steelhead in the river and the Chum never showed up this year. As we had just fished this river and knew from the last outing that there were indeed steelhead in the river and that there were a good number of Chum we didn't buy this story and knew it was just an attempt to drive the "new guys" away. However, it looked like the lower parts of the river were going to be busy so we decided that we would hike upstream above where we had fished on our last outing and check out some new water. The upper river was similar to the water that we had sampled downstream in November, but with a little more gradient. Once again we each brought a swinging and nymphing rig and while Blake started out tossing his nymph rig, I went for the swing.

Blake working his nymph rig through a good looking run

The first couple holes and runs were unproductive, but a run little downstream was full of Chum Salmon. It was here that Blake caught a nice fairly bright female Chum that grabbed his pink and purple stonefly nymph. We were hoping that there would be some Steelhead or Cutthroat behind these fish looking for eggs, but had no such luck.

Blake with a female Chum caught on a Hotwire Stonefly Nymph

Chum vs. Otter... I Guess the otter won..

Below the Chum hole, we found a large pool in front of a logjam that had a handful of Coho holding in it. We worked through this hole hard and I had a small Cutthroat come up to the surface and attack my indicator, while Blake a had a take from one of the Coho but we didn't hookup. Unfortunately, things did not improve after this and instead got worse. While we had hiked a good distance upstream, apparently the gear fisherman from earlier had abandoned the lower river and hiked in just below us effectively cutting us off. The rest of the time on the river ended up being a fruitless search for water that we could have to ourselves and by mid-day we found ourselves out of good water and decided to call it a day at this spot. 

After leaving the river we decided to scout out the tidewater of a nearby creek, which was said to have a run of Steelhead and some decent sea-run Cutthroat fishing. We hadn't had a chance to check the tides before leaving home, and when we got to this spot the water was down a couple of feet below what would have been ideal for fishing.

Blake working the tidewater on the creek

The Olympic Coast at low tide

We tried a few casts, but the water was shallow and there was no sign of any fish. This creek definitely looked promising, especially for Cutthroat in the fall, so we added it to our "Spots to fish" list for another outing under more ideal conditions. After leaving the creek, we made the long trek back to Gig Harbor.