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.


Friday, August 26, 2022

Evening Kayaking for Coastal Cutthroat

On a recent trip up to my parent's house up in Gig Harbor, I was able to sneak away for a couple of hours to do a little kayak fly fishing for sea-run Coastal Cutthroat on the Puget Sound. Back when I lived in Gig Harbor, most of my free time was spent fishing for sea-run Cutthroat and I was quite excited to revisit on of the more productive beaches in the area. I was able to launch the kayak around 4:30PM to catch the last couple of hours of the incoming tide. My original plan was to troll a fly until I either got a fish or located some good structure However, this approach was complicated by thick mats of seaweed that were rolling in on the tide. This meant that I had to stop every few minutes and clean my fly off before continuing on. 

Looking out over the Puget Sound towards the Olympic Mountains

After covering about a mile I finally cleared the seaweed mats just as I started passing over some good looking structure of a nice point. I figured this would be a good spot to start to drift with the tide and I started retrieving my fly. When my fly was about half way in a fish absolutely crushed it and my 6WT doubled over. The fish started off coming right at me and left me scrambling to retrieve my line fast enough. Just as I caught up, the fish followed this up with several short runs. After a couple of minutes I was able to get my line on the reel, just in time to see the big Cutthroat which looked every bit of 20" come shooting out of the water.  A few minutes later I was finally able to get the Cutthroat along side the kayak and was very thankful for my long handled net as I finally scooped up the beautiful 20" native Coastal Cutthroat.

A beautiful 20" anadromous Coastal Cutthroat Trout

After catching my big sea-run, I started to drift and cast. As Coastal Cutthroat tend to travel in pods, I wasn't surprised when I immediately hooked another fish, which unfortunately popped off. This scenario repeated itself three more times before the bite seemed to die off and the seaweed floated in encouraging me to move on. I covered another mile of beach, but didn't get a single additional grab before the wind picked up and forced me to turn back towards my take out. It was at this point that I realized that my net, which I had been so thankful for an hour earlier had some how managed to fall out of the kayak. Making this my third net for fall in the line of duty over the years...

Choppy water as the wind picks up on the Sound

A greedy little Staghorn Sculpin

On the way back I stopped where I had caught the big Cutthroat, but all I managed to find were a couple of Staghorn Sculpin. With the no indication of Cutthroat, light fading and the wind still howling it was finally time to make may way back to the take out after a wonderful evening on the water.

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