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, November 25, 2009

Gila Trout restored in Frye Creek, AZ

With the Gila Trout restoration in New Mexico being largely successful, the state of Arizona is starting to follow suit and has recently reintroduced Gila Trout in Frye Creek. Frye Creek is a small stream flowing from the Penaleno Mountains of southeastern Arizona and like some many other Gila Trout waters these desert natives have been absent since the introduction of non-native Rainbow, Brown and Brook Trout.

Gila Trout

With the recent down-listing of the Gila Trout to threatened and opening to fishing in New Mexico, Arizona is hoping to meet the same success and plans to open up some limited catch and release options in the future. For full details: http://sports.espn.go.com/outdoors/fishing/news/story?id=4663995

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

End of one thing, begining of another

Each year the end of October marks the end of small stream fishing for trout in Washington State. With the long wait until the June opener, I always try to make at least one last trip at the end of the month before the closure. For the last couple of years I have kept my end of the season trip close to home and this year was no exception. As with the past two years I headed down to a small sea-run Cutthroat stream a few miles from my house to give my 2wt one last work out before the winter. The small stream in question is exceptionally brushy so it is not the world's most friendly fly water, but it does hold some decent fish. During this time of the year the lower portion of the creek near tidal influence is always best as the Coastal Cutthroat follow salmon upstream on each tide looking to feed on salmon eggs.

In the first run I came to, there were about eight 6-10lb Coho Salmon holding and as usual there were several decent Cutthroat just behind them. The only problem was that the Coho seemed just as interested in my Glo Bug as the Cutthroat. I kept having to pull my fly away from the Coho, as hooking a large salmon, skinny snagging water on a 2wt does not typically work out too well. I ended up getting a couple of hook ups with the Cutthroat and a couple of very close calls with the Coho, before I decided that I better not push my luck and headed downstream. It didn't take to long to find some Cutthroat downstream and in a small pocket just behind a snag I caught my first fish of the day.

A small but beautiful native Coastal Cutthroat Trout

I kept working my way downstream catching a couple of Cutthroat here and there, but nothing too sizable. When I came to one of my favorite holes I did hook up with a decent about 12" Cutthroat, which gave me one good jump before tossing the hook.  After this hookup I covered the rest of the pool, but couldn't dredge up anything else, so it was time to get on the move again.

Some great Cutthroat holding water

Fishing was unusually slow through the remainder of the stretch I was working until I came to the last hole. In this spot the creek gets slightly narrower, but the depth goes from the usual 1 foot deep to around waste deep. On my first cast, my indicator shot under, but when I set the hook there was nothing. I figured this had to be a fish and not bottom, so I continued to make cast after cast until finally the indicator went down again and this time my hookset was answered with a nice head shake from a decent Cutthroat. The Cutthroat put up a good fight and almost pulled me into a snag a few times, but before long my little 2wt over powered it and I was able to bring the nice 12" fish to hand. I felt that this a good note to end the stream trout season on and called it quits for the day.

My end of the season Coastal Cutthroat

With small streams closed, it is time to start thinking about the saltwater and steelhead. However, heavy rains have had the coastal rivers blown out more often than not and work hasn't offered the flexibility to take advantage of the few gaps in the weather. As such steelheading hasn't been an option for me yet, so Chum Salmon in the saltwater are the next best thing. This past week I called up my buddy Bob to go looking for some Chum, as they are usually holding off some of the local estuaries in good numbers at this time of the year. Bob was in, so we headed out to the Hood Canal to check things out. 

The first spot that we went to was a bust, with only a couple of pods of fish moving through and definitely not enough Chum around to justify fishing for very long. We headed down to another spot that has treated me well in the past, only to find some brand new no trespassing signs had been posted. However, the third time was the charm and upon pulling up at this spot, Chum could be seen jumping and boiling all around.

Luckily, we had all of our gear rigged up still from our first two failed attempts and we were casting within a couple of minutes. Within a few more minutes that casting turned to catching and we were in business! I had my first hookup about ten casts in, but fish made one quick run and then tossed the hook. However, after that fish spit my fly I only had to strip it back in a couple of times before another Chum grabbed. This fish also managed to elude me, but on the next cast I got another grab and this time got a good hookset. As soon as I hooked into this fish it was heading for my backing and put up a pretty good display of acrobatics while it was at it. When I had the fish about half way in I looked over and saw Bob hook into a nice fish as well. I managed to land my fish while Bob was fighting his fish and quickly released the ~8lb chrome female fish before going to help Bob get his fish in.

A beautiful bright native Chum Salmon

Bob's fish ended up being a being a nice buck and ran him into his backing a couple of more times before he could get it back in close enough for me to tail it for him.

Bob's Chum

For the next hour and a half, the fishing was amazing, with us doubling up three more times and each of us get 6 or 7 Chum up to 15lbs. After that the bite died off and while we were still able to hook into a few more fish the fading daylight finally forced us from the water.

A perfect end to a great day of fishing
- note that those ripples on the left side of the picture are from Chum...