Sunday, January 31, 2016

"ADD 20 FEET TO YOUR CAST!"





"ADD 20 FEET TO YOUR CAST!"  . . . 







 I stood dumbfounded in front of the glass case at the fly shop, staring at the shiny new boxes of fly lines. I glanced up at Curly- the shop owner- he smiled back at me. He had that leering glint in his eyes. Again. Anytime they come out with something new in fly fishing, Curly makes sure to have a dozen of them in the front case. And then he just waits there for you. He knows you will be coming in soon. He knows.

  "You want to try one out, Triggsy? I have a six weight all rigged up with one. This is a super distance line!" 

 I shrugged. Going out back with Curly, to try out a new line or rod, meant casting in front of him again. My ambivalence was rooted in experience. Curly was an exquisite fly caster, and an impatiently stern teacher. I had been there with him before. The next thing I know we are out in back of the shop, rod in hand. Curly had staked out some white painted marker pins in the narrow alley between the shop and the building next door. They were spaced at intervals of ten feet, out to seventy five feet. If you cast beyond that, your line would end up laying across the sidewalk and into the street. I didn't have much concern about casting that far. I tried a few false casts with the new line. He had it rigged on a very nice, expensive, modern carbon graphite rod- one that I could never afford. It was the kind of rod that would make you a better caster, if you spent the extra few hundred dollars to begin with. I took a few casts and shoots, out to around sixty-five feet, with a fairly soft, open loop. That's about all I could do back then anyway. Not even close to the sidewalk. I wasn't convinced.

 "Let me show you how to do that". 

  I knew what was coming next. Curly took the rod back and set up a cast, and in three strokes, and a single shoot, he had it punching through the air in a tight loop, right out to the sidewalk. 

 "Let's try that again". . .

 And Curly then casts and shoots the line out again, flying in a soft hiss, down the alley between the buildings, glistening brightly in the sky, out across the sidewalk and into the street. He turned and smiled thinly at me. He was satisfied. It was easily an effortless 100 foot cast. And then a car ran over the end of the fly line lying in the road. Curly frowned, staring down the alley, He spooled in the line. The lesson was finished. 

  "Can I get a discount on that line?" I was optimistic.

 Curly stared at the floor of the shop, nodding silently. I ask him how much. It was almost $80 brand new. He gave it to me for $50.00. It still took me a week to come up with the money. I was never able to cast that line any farther than 65 feet. No farther than any of the other lines I had bought in the preceding few years. I had probably spent over one thousand dollars on fly lines up to that point. Each one had come with the promise that it would make me a better fly caster. None of them could. You can't buy that in a box.

 It took me a long time, almost fifteen years of fly fishing, before I surrendered to the fact that I would never really improve as a fly caster, until I got coached by someone who knew what they were doing and knew how to teach it. I had reached my full potential in mediocrity as a fly caster. I had struggled for years, with so many flaws in my casting technique, that I had developed my own hybridization of fly casting errors into a deeply personalized form of fly fishing survival. Some days I could get it out there, and some days I could not get the fly beyond the bushes behind me. I made the same mistakes- over and over for years- with no clue as to why it wasn't working. I went through dozens of expensive fly lines, miles of leaders, tippets, and thousands of flies. And I had begun to experience pain in my wrist, arm and shoulder, whenever I went fly fishing. I had tendinitis for six months after getting into fly fishing for Striped Bass on the salt waters of Long Island Sound with a nine weight rod. It rarely occurred to me that it didn't have to be that way. 

 I was always disturbed by the sight of someone casting beautifully, long distance tight loops, or controlling a dry fly with pin-point accuracy. It haunted me that otherwise ordinary people would do this. Going to the shows was always humbling. Standing at the casting ponds, watching Lefty Kreh, Joan Wulff, Ed Jaworowski, Gary Borger, Mel Kreiger . . . 

"But those people are the pros, of course they can cast better than anyone else!" 

  So went the reasoning for too many years. I would read their books and articles, and view their video instructions, and then go out on the lawn to practice what I had learned. Apparently I hadn't learned much, because nothing about my fly casting ever really improved that way. I could understand what the books and videos were saying, I just couldn't get my hand and arm to "do it". My unconscious lexicon of bad casting skills was deeply buried in nerves, muscle and sinew. But I could catch fish, it wasn't like I was not a fisherman. I had some good seasons, and some slow ones too. And overall I enjoyed fly fishing as much as anyone. But my "muscle memory" for casting was all wrong. And believe me, you can get really good at doing it wrong, if you are practicing wrongly to begin with, for fifteen years. 

  And then along came Joan Wulff. I was involved at the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum, joining in the activities there, and volunteering to help out at events. What a great bunch of folks. After a few years of being involved there I had also begun to guide fishermen, in New York state, and in New England, walking and wading along the rivers and streams and beaches, fly fishing for trout, steelhead and salmon and striped bass, bluefish, pike, bass etc. After a few years I took a guiding job at a river camp in Alaska. In between seasons there were many opportunities to attend the Catskill Fly Fishing Center events, which usually included fly casting demonstrations by Joan Wulff, Floyd Franke and others. And they would give free coaching to anyone who wanted to line up for it. I always did. Dozens of times each season. I was beginning to learn.

  As a guide I should have been able to teach fly casting with clarity, and I wasn't. I didn't really understand the basic mechanics of the cast myself, and I was still struggling to undo years of deeply ingrained muscle memory in bad casting. At some point Joan Wulff took me seriously, (or she took pity on me- I don't really know which), and she invited me to her Wulff Casting Instructors School class. That spring I attended her class, for several days. It was a combination of fly caster's boot camp and medieval torture. Well, torture for my ego anyway. By then I had been working hard for over a year to improve my casting. And I had indeed gotten past many of my limitations. Joan is one of the greatest casters and teachers that have ever graced our game. And when you are standing there with her, rod in hand, she's all business. She does not waste any time, nor any words. And if you are willing to learn, there is no better position to be in. In just a few seasons I had progressed from my long suffering struggles in casting, into becoming a competent caster. And the funny thing is that after doing that work, it set me on a path of learning that has not stopped ever since. It turns out that fly casting is one sport that you can improve at throughout your entire fly fishing life.

  Trust me when I tell you: "if I can do it, anyone can do it!", it's true. 

 All it takes is some realistic humility and a willingness to learn. And practice, practice, practice! And a good teacher. Today there are no excuses to stay in that kind of rut. You can improve at any age in fly casting. And there are many good teachers out there to help you do it. Fly shops, Fly clubs, Guides, Lodges, all have excellent instructors available. There are many options for finding classes, and group lessons, some of them free, some of them very affordable, and some of them more expensive. I never had the money to pay a personal casting instructor, much less pay someone of the caliber of Joan Wulff. But that's how it worked out, in a way I could afford. So don't let money stop you. 

   Finding an FFF Certified Casting Instructor is a good way to go. (I was certified in 2000). You can look up instructors here:

 http://www.fedflyfishers.org/Resources/Locate/CastingInstructors.aspx

 More on the Wulff School of Flyfishing Here: http://royalwulff.com/wulff-school/

 Casting instructional books and dvd's  here: http://royalwulff.com/products/fly-casting-kit/




Happy casting!

Bob Triggs
www.searuns.com
littlestoneflyfisher@mail.com

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Winter Respite


Your Olympic Peninsula Fly fishing Guide.
Catch & Release, Fly fishing only.

Winter Respite

   It's been about a month since I last entered anything here. Between the late autumn storms with record rainfall in the first half of December, and the rivers jumping up and down for the last two months, I have not had much to report here. I can say that in between the wind blown tides, the river floods, and the Winter Solstice King Tides, we have had some beautiful interludes of mild days, with good fishing on the beaches for sea-run Cutthroat. And wasn't that Christmas full moon just wonderful! Of course the rivers have been fishing on and off all along. And except for that moon, and the 200% of normal rainfall in early December, none of this is particularly unusual for this time of year here.

 Sportfishing Rule Changes   


    Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife has adopted some new rules for fishing on our Olympic Peninsula waters, to protect wild winter run steelhead, and rainbow trout. You can read about them here: http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/dec1415a/


    I believe that anything we can do to reduce our damaging impacts on these wild winter-run steelhead and trout is a good thing. But I also feel that these last runs of wild steelhead should have been listed, under the Endangered Species Act, a long time ago, and they should have been protected the same way that the Puget Sound river runs were, just like the Skagit and Sauk runs, (which, without fishing pressures or harvest are recovering.),  http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/puget-sound-steelhead-declared-threatened/


    The trouble with having the fishermen manage the fish should be obvious by now. The runs here are so low in number now that they are at precarious risk. And when you cant get enough fish to spawn, with the spawning escapement goals ridiculously low to begin with, and with runs failing for years- I don't think that we should be continuing to fish for them, much less running guided trips of any kind for them. 

    I have not fished for wild winter-run steelhead here, nor have I guided for them, for the last few seasons. Catch and release fishing does have mortality impacts and physiological consequences for these fish. Not to mention repeatedly catching and releasing most of these fish on their spawning runs. And not enough is understood about the consequences of this. We cannot afford to further damage these runs. While these new regulations seem worthy, they are just another in a series of extensions of the irresponsible, selfish, short-sighted exploitation of the last wild steelhead here. Too little, and too late. It's time to stop fishing and get real about this. Turning down people for these trips pains me, and it costs me dearly as well. I am disgusted with the lack of leadership coming from WDF&W, and from the sport fishing industry too, with regard to all of this. 


   A great writer, Thomas McGuane, once said: "If the trout are gone, bash the state." 

   I would only add to that: We are "the state". It is our responsibility as citizen anglers to demand that our fisheries managers protect these last runs of wild steelhead. It has been said that "we get the government that we deserve." How much are we really doing to preserve and restore the wild steelhead and salmon of our region? How involved have we really been? Were we only thinking of the fishing opportunity?

     The weather and conditions here will be improving dramatically over the next week to ten days. And the big annual King tides are subsiding now. If you want to try your hand at winter sea-run Cutthroat fly fishing on the saltwater beaches, this respite from the rain, winds, and heavy waves, will be much appreciated. With sunny days predicted ahead, that should get some feeding action going again. In the winter I normally like to fish deep and slow for these trout. But if it's going to be as mild as they are predicting, I will be using a floating line and some top water flies. You can't beat a greased Muddler or beach popper at a time like this. 



    There's a New Year coming. Lets find ways to do our best for the benefit of wild fish and rivers. Not just for our own entertainment. Look up your local WDFW Regional Fisheries Enhancement Group and see how you can get involved to make a positive impact on our wild fish. 
It's not just about "salmon"  http://wdfw.wa.gov/about/volunteer/rfeg/ 


     Sincerely,


     Bob Triggs

     Little Stone Flyfisher
     360-385-9618
     littlestoneflyfisher@mail.com




Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November's Wild Moon.



Your Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide.
Catch & Release, Fly Fishing Only!

November's Wild Moon



A pretty, late season, Yakima River rainbow trout.


  As I write this tonight I am sitting beneath the bright moon of November. Sometimes called the "Mourning moon", the "Beaver moon", or the "Frost Moon". I haven't seen any beavers around here lately. But it has been getting stormy, wet and wild, and frosty over the last few weeks. And this really is the harbinger of winter. We have just one month before the winter Solstice. But it already feels like winter to me. Our Olympic Peninsula rivers and forests have been getting plenty of rain, and some snow too. We can only mourn a little for autumn, as this is just what we needed. Today we also had howling winds out of the northeast, coming down the Fraser River Valley, blasting across the Strait of Juan de Fuca, blowing 30 to 40 knots, with gusts above 50 knots just north of here. More trees down, power outages, storm damages.We just narrowly escaped getting slammed with heavy rain and snow too. Just another November in the Pacific Northwest. 

 Hoh River Closed. For now. 

 WDFW FISHING RULE CHANGE   
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
http://wdfw.wa.gov
November 23, 2015
Hoh River closes to fishing until Dec. 1
Action:   Close the Hoh River to fishing.
Effective date:   Nov. 24 through Nov. 30, 2015.
Species affected:  All species. 
Location:  The Hoh River outside Olympic National Park.
Reason for action:  Wild coho in the Hoh River require additional protection. The daily limit was reduced preseason for these rivers in anticipation of a weak return of wild coho, but indicators are pointing to the run returning at a still lower level than forecast preseason.  The Hoh Tribe has closed their fishery until the end of November, and in combination with this sport closure, these actions will result in additional wild coho spawning.
Other information:  The Hoh River will open back up for steelhead and other gamefish on Dec. 1, 2015.
Information contact: Mike Gross, District 16 fish biologist, (360) 249-1210.


  Just as the rivers were coming back into good shape, and with the Thanksgiving weekend holiday upon us, Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife and the Hoh Tribe agreed to a closure on the Hoh River, to protect the tail end of the wild coho salmon run there. No one will be fishing on the Hoh River until it reopens in December.I am disappointed. I wanted to fish this week ahead. And even with no serious hatchery steelhead program on the river, we still get some good numbers of hatchery strain winter steelhead in the Hoh River every winter. They will be there in December too . . . And I am glad to see the effort to protect the coho salmon too.

 I have watched the weather carefully, and the next five or six days ahead look very good, for river flows, and fishing out on the Rainforest rivers. I had my heart set on spey casting on the upper Hoh. But that's alright. We still have miles of good water to fish on the other rivers. I'm going anyway. From now until January 1st I will be fishing for winter (hatchery run) steelhead on the rivers out here.  Then I won't fish out there after that, until the spring trout season, as I had already decided a few years back not to bother the last, later winter, wild Olympic Peninsula steelhead. We shouldn't be fishing for them any more.

   
  Ice on the beaches. We get many mild breaks in the winter weather, here in the Rainshadow of the Olympic Mountain range. And we have been successful at catching wild sea-run Coastal Cutthroat trout here during these warmer breaks all winter. So I just might be sticking closer to home this weekend, avoiding the river crowds, and plying the saltchuck with some new Cutthroat flies I have been working on. With this warmer forecast for the few days or week or so ahead of us, I bet there's going to be some nice fish cruising the beaches. I will likely dust off the dory and get out for a row.

  But then again, gas is cheap right now . . . 

  Oh, and then, there's a few lakes open here all winter . . .

  Gratitude. I don't know where to begin, as I count my blessings. Most of all I am grateful for my many friends, and for the beauty of the wilderness life, wild fish and bright waters that we share in common. I am blessed beyond measure. I think we all are, most of the time. It pays to reflect on that. 

  Give me a yell if you want to come fishing this winter.  Happy Thanksgiving!

  
Your Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide and Instructor
                
Fly fishing for sea-run Coastal Cutthroat trout
 from a traditional Swampscott beach dory.
Guided trips, Rowboat picnics, Bird watching.
 

     
  I am guiding fly fishers on the Olympic Peninsula beaches, rivers and streams. We walk and wade, fly fishing for sea-run Coastal Cutthroat trout in freshwater and saltwater, and in the rivers for Cutthroat trout and summer steelhead. And we fish for Pacific salmon on the beaches. This is all strictly catch and release, traditional, barbless single hook, fly fishing only. Lunch, snacks, soft beverages, and use of some equipment is included. 

 I also offer personalized and private fly fishing and fly casting instruction for beginners through advanced casters. I would be happy to help you plan your Olympic Peninsula fly fishing adventure, for all levels of ability. Public presentations, Naturalist Guide, rowboat picnics, tide pool and  river trail day trips. Please call, write or email for booking details. Now booking for April through October, and beyond. 



Bob Triggs
Little Stone Flyfisher
P.O. Box 261
Port Townsend, WA
98368

Licensed Washington State Guide 
Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Trout Unlimited Aquatic Educator Award
2006 W.S.U.Beach Watcher / Water Watcher graduate
U.S.C.G First Aid/CPR/BLS/AED/BBP/HIV Certified

Phone: 360-385-9618



Saturday, October 10, 2015

Aahh . . . October!



Your Olympic Peninsula fly fishing guide.
Catch & Release, Fly Fishing only! 

Aahh . . . October!


Autumn colors.

   As I write this, I am happily ensconced within the steaming warmth and comfort of my favorite coffee shop. While outside, just a few yards away, the bay is asunder with blowing spume and big dirty waves, and it has been raining hard. I had to cancel a few trips already, as the wind and waves were just too much in this storm. It's that time of year. Aside from an occasional inconvenience of high water in the rivers, or stormy conditions, this is still my favorite time of year. As a boy, growing up in New England, I often wished that every month could be October. Who doesn't love the refreshing cool mornings, colorful fall foliage, crisp evenings, wood smoke, fresh pressed apple cider, and the fall runs of fish. If you were to drive across the country during October, you would find good fishing almost everywhere that you tried. That's one for the "bucket list".

   Here on the Olympic Peninsula saltwater beaches we have been enjoying some good fishing this fall. We have caught and released many bright coho salmon and sea run coastal cutthroat trout. So far October has been especially good, with some beautiful, big fish to hand. In the weeks after the rains that we got back in September, there was some good fishing to be had, and then the rivers began to run low again, even though the Olympic Mountains got over a foot of rain. With this new storm coming in now, our rivers are bouncing back to life. Once the river gauge flows begin to drop again, the fishing should be very good. It wont take long.



The Hoh River fish are getting another good punch of rain.


   According to the 10 day forecast wizards at the Northwest Rivers Forecasting Center, we should be getting a nearly week-long break after this storm passes on Sunday. Generally I only trust these predictions within a 72 hour time window. But they are often remarkably accurate, if you combine them with other local readings. With 3 to 5 inches of rainfall expected in our Olympic Mountains now, it will take a few days for the flows to moderate for good fishing. And it is warm at higher altitudes now, so it will run off into the rivers quickly. I bet there will be some more good insect hatching activity out here for a week or more ahead. Usually that goes right through the first hard frost. But we can expect the beaches to be in good fishing shape here, even by this Sunday or Monday, (October 11th or 12th), if the local wind and wave forecasts hold true. Check out this wind prediction site for a good fishing trip planning tool: Windfinder.com  There's about three more weeks of good lake fishing still open out here too. And we have some year-round lakes too. Autumn is prime-time for that fishing. With all of this warm air the lake bugs should be keeping the trout actively feeding.

   
This bright coho had escaped the jaws of death,
perhaps only within a day or two previously, to survive and grab our fly!
(We let him go too.)

Happy Birthday to my friend, "Old Man River", Leland Miyawaki!


Bright waters wild fish
napping on the sun warm stones
Time is a river.




Your Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide and Instructor
                
Fly fishing for sea-run Coastal Cutthroat trout
 from a traditional Swampscott beach dory.
Guided trips, Rowboat picnics, Bird watching.
 

     I am guiding fly fishers on the Olympic Peninsula beaches, rivers and streams. We walk and wade, fly fishing for sea-run Coastal Cutthroat trout in freshwater and saltwater, and in the rivers for Cutthroat trout and summer steelhead. And we fish for Pacific salmon on the beaches. This is all strictly catch and release, traditional, barbless single hook, fly fishing only. Lunch, snacks, soft beverages, and use of some equipment is included. I also offer personalized and private fly fishing and fly casting instruction for beginners through advanced casters. I would be happy to help you plan your Olympic Peninsula fly fishing adventure, for all levels of ability. Public presentations, Naturalist Guide, rowboat picnics, tide pool and  river trail day trips. Please call, write or email for booking details. Now booking for April through October and beyond. 


Bob Triggs
Little Stone Flyfisher
P.O. Box 261
Port Townsend, WA
98368

Licensed Washington State Guide 
Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Trout Unlimited Aquatic Educator Award
2006 W.S.U.Beach Watcher / Water Watcher graduate
U.S.C.G First Aid/CPR/BLS/AED/BBP/HIV Certified

Phone: 360-385-9618


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Solstice too soon.


Your Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide.
Catch & Release, fly fishing only.

A  Solstice too soon.


Under a waxing harvest moon.
photo credit: Ellen O'Shea. www.eaglemountfarms.com

     Under a waxing Harvest Moon my neighbor's pumpkin and squash patch has been getting a light frost on it every morning of late. It's been cooling down for the last month here, the rivers have gotten some good spates of rain, the fish have been moving upriver, and we're catching bigger cutthroat and coho from the beaches now. And right about now we can expect the October Caddis hatch to begin on our rivers. That will make for some fine dry line steelhead and cutthroat fishing for the next month or more. As much as I hate to admit it- fall is really here. It's just that I am not ready for it yet. I just don't want t give up on summer. It's been so good here.  



"If you squeeze it, it squeaks!"


     I shouldn't complain. It's been a great summer of sea-run coastal cutthroat trout and pink salmon and coho salmon fishing on the beaches here. And it's not like we wont have at least another month or two of some really good beach fishing ahead. I just get so wrapped up in the rhythms of living by the tides, and the warmth of summer, the blue skies and cool refreshing waters. Over the last few weeks I have been feeling the deep changes of the seasons. The days are significantly shorter. Wasn't it grand to be rising with the dawn, in the wee hours of the day, and watching the sunsets at night for a while. Fishing into darkness now gets us off of the water much earlier. Light frequent rains have returned, reviving just about everything from the drought. Mowing the grass will cut into my fishing time again. I'm not really ready for that again either. 



The Coho salmon are a bit bigger now.

     The only truly difficult thing about this time of year is that it can be hard to make up your mind about what fishing you want to do, and where. With the beaches so close at hand, and the coho running now, and the sea-run Cutthroat feeding so voraciously, it is hard to walk away from that. Even if there are cutthroat and summer steelhead hitting those October Caddis now on the rivers to the west of us. Sometimes we can split a day, between saltwater and freshwater fishing, and get a taste of both. It just depends upon the tides and river flows. And speaking of tides, with the Harvest Moon waxing, and the strong tidal pull of the moon this time of year, we can expect some strong tides. Aside from some rain forecast for the next day or so, the air is looking dry and mild for the next week or more here. The rivers are on the drop after the last punch of rain. With a little more rain coming tomorrow, it's likely we will have good fishing for the next week or more here on the rivers too. That's a nice problem to have. 



   Your Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide and Instructor
                

Fly fishing for sea-run Coastal Cutthroat trout
 from a traditional Swampscott beach dory.
Guided trips, Rowboat picnics, Bird watching.
 

     I am guiding fly fishers on the Olympic Peninsula beaches, rivers and streams. We walk and wade, fly fishing for sea-run Coastal Cutthroat trout in freshwater and saltwater, and in the rivers for Cutthroat trout and summer steelhead. And we fish for Pacific salmon on the beaches. This is all strictly catch and release, traditional, barbless single hook, fly fishing only. Lunch, snacks, soft beverages, and use of some equipment is included. I also offer personalized and private fly fishing and fly casting instruction for beginners through advanced casters. I would be happy to help you plan your Olympic Peninsula fly fishing adventure, for all levels of ability. Public presentations, Naturalist Guide, rowboat picnics, tide pool and  river trail day trips. Please call, write or email for booking details. Now booking for April through October and beyond. 

Bob Triggs
Little Stone Flyfisher
P.O. Box 261
Port Townsend, WA
98368

Licensed Washington State Guide 
Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Trout Unlimited Aquatic Educator Award
2006 W.S.U.Beach Watcher / Water Watcher graduate
U.S.C.G First Aid/CPR/BLS/AED/BBP/HIV Certified

Phone: 360-385-9618



  

     




Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Summer's Stalwarts



Your Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide.
Catch & Release, fly fishing only!

Summer's Stalwarts. 


The late summer run salmon are often larger.

   Despite all of the evidence to the contrary, I am holding onto summer here. I am just not ready for autumn yet. University of Washington weather guru Dr Cliff Mass gives us his terrible seasonal forecast here: "Summer is Over".  Our Olympic Peninsula rivers have received several good spates of rain over the past few weeks, with fully over one foot of rain falling in the mountains, and the water temperatures and flows have returned to seasonal norms. This is very good for the fish, and the fishing. There are native summer Chum salmon moving into many of our smaller coastal streams now. (We don't fish for them at all as they are an endangered species under restoration here. See www.nosc.org ). But having them return is a good sign each season.The fish are on the move.The next week to ten days should see more rain on and off. This is just what the fish needed. And the fishermen too. I should be grateful. And to a degree I am. But I am also hoping for another spell of that magically warm and dry Indian Summer weather, before it gets much colder and wetter. Last year we had great beach fishing here through October, and for most of the winter. 



A spread of Clouser Flies for beach fishing.
   
   We have been catching some really nice Coho salmon and sea-run Coastal Cutthroat trout from the beaches lately. And true to form for later summer and autumn, they are often much bigger now. These fish have been feeding heavily all summer. We are still seeing a few Pink salmon on our trips, they are also larger now, though that run has slowed some in our saltwaters.



A robust September sea-run Coastal Cutthroat trout. 
#4 ginger deer hair muddler

   The cooler overcast skies and rainy weather in our forecast will have us fishing between raindrops in the week or two ahead. But we won't be complaining. It's still summer here after all. Late summer. So don't be fooled. The beach fishing has been great so far, it will only get better. And the autumn solstice is still a week away. Then we can talk more about the October Caddis hatch, and the river fishing for Cutthroat and summer steelhead again. But it's not fall yet . . . 



Your Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide and Instructor
                

Fly fishing for sea-run Coastal Cutthroat trout
 from a traditional Swampscott beach dory.
Guided trips, Rowboat picnics, Bird watching. 

     I am guiding fly fishers on the Olympic Peninsula beaches, rivers and streams. We walk and wade, fly fishing for sea-run Coastal Cutthroat trout in freshwater and saltwater, and in the rivers for Cutthroat trout and summer steelhead. And we fish for Pacific salmon on the beaches. This is all strictly catch and release, traditional, barbless single hook, fly fishing only. Lunch, snacks, soft beverages, and use of some equipment is included. I also offer personalized and private fly fishing and fly casting instruction for beginners through advanced casters. I would be happy to help you plan your Olympic Peninsula fly fishing adventure, for all levels of ability. Public presentations, Naturalist Guide, rowboat picnics, tide pool and  river trail day trips. Please call, write or email for booking details. Now booking for April through October and beyond. 

Bob Triggs
Little Stone Flyfisher
P.O. Box 261
Port Townsend, WA
98368

Licensed Washington State Guide 
Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Trout Unlimited Aquatic Educator Award
2006 W.S.U.Beach Watcher / Water Watcher graduate
U.S.C.G First Aid/CPR/BLS/AED/BBP/HIV Certified

Phone: 360-385-9618


   




 

Monday, August 24, 2015

"Sleep when you die"



Your Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide
Catch & Release, Fly Fishing only! 


"Sleep When You die"


Smoke on the waters.

   I am not a "morning person". Which is kind of ironic, since on many mornings I have to get up well before dawn for our fishing trips. We are in the middle of beach fishing season here on the Olympic Peninsula now, and it has been a great season so far. We have been getting up early to fish at dawn on some days lately. And on other days the later evening high tides have kept us out there well into dusk. With so many Pink Salmon running right now it has been almost impossible not to catch them on our beach trips. As the season is progressing we are catching bigger pinks now. They have had more time to feed during their migration here. And of course the coho are coming now too. Some of them are pretty big. The sense of expectation is enough to get me out of bed early. And there is something about fishing into dusk, with the first stars coming out, and that sunset chill in the air. 

   
A nice wild Coho caught on a fly.


  Cohos on top!  Despite so much tradition around swinging deeper running and weighted flies, sinking fly lines and and sink tips, sinking leaders etc., for beach fishing, I still manage to use a floating fly line and catch these fish. Not always, but often enough for it to be a proven technique. I can still use heavier and weighted flies to get down beneath the surface, sometimes quite deep, when I want to. On thing I love to do is to fish on the surface, with flies like the Gartside Gurgler, the Deer Hair Muddler, and especially with the Miyawaki Beach Popper. I catch a lot of cutthroat and salmon on that popper. This last weekend we had a softer mid-day high tide on Saturday. And even with the smoke and haze low in the sky, it was sunny and bright by early morning. We fished until about noon, and I caught a nice coho on a popper, not more than 30 feet from the waters edge, in about six feet of water. I am so glad that I didn't have a heavy sinking line and deep running fly out there at that moment.  



A pretty little pink salmon on the fly.
Caught incidentally while sea-run Cutthroat trout fishing. It happens!


   Here's one good  tip for you- No matter what fly or line you are using, and with or without a current to swing your fly- Once the fly hits the water don't put any tension on it or strip it in at all. Just let it sit there for a few seconds. If you are using a weighted fly or line etc., it will sink a little. If you are using a surface fly, like a popper, it will just be sitting there. There's lots of theories about why this can work so well, none of them proven. One thought that I have about this is that when a fly and line, leader etc., hits the water, no matter how quietly you landed it, the fish can be either startled by it, distracted by it, or attracted to it. In any case, allowing it to stay motionless for a moment seems to help. So if  you drop a fly on the water with a cast, and hesitate a little before you start stripping it back in, that can trick a fish into taking it. This works on many species of fish here.




Wild Coho on a Miyawaki Beach Popper!

    A Full Sturgeon Moon is coming up on August 29th. And this moon is in perigee- it will be closest to the earth in it's orbit then. And the tides will really be moving. For the next two weeks we will have the good fortune to have some great tides in the later afternoons and early evenings. You can fish an entire incoming tide all day. And that is my favorite way to fish the saltchuck here- from bottom to top. I like to fish for sea-run cutthroat in the morning, take a nice break for lunch mid-day, and then go cast off of the beach for salmon through the flood of the tides. It's a nice change of scene and pace. The weather has cooled down to more seasonable norms here now, and we are enjoying sunny days and cool ocean breezes, and bright waters. I'm going fishing. 


"There will be sleeping enough in your grave". Benjamin Franklin

Your Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide and Instructor
                

Fly fishing for sea-run Coastal Cutthroat trout
 from a traditional Swampscott beach dory.
Guided trips, Rowboat picnics, Bird watching. By appointment only.

     I am guiding fly fishers on the Olympic Peninsula beaches, rivers and streams. We walk and wade, fly fishing for sea-run Coastal Cutthroat trout in freshwater and saltwater, and in the rivers for Cutthroat trout and summer steelhead. This is strictly catch and release, traditional fly fishing only. Lunch, snacks, soft beverages, and use of some equipment is included. I also offer personalized and private fly fishing and fly casting instruction for beginners through advanced casters.  I would be happy to help you plan your Olympic Peninsula fly fishing adventure, for all levels of ability. Public presentations, Naturalist Guide, rowboat picnics, tide pool and  river trail day trips. Please call, write or email for booking details. Now booking for April through October and beyond. 

Bob Triggs
Little Stone Flyfisher
P.O. Box 261
Port Townsend, WA
98368

Licensed Washington State Guide 
Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Trout Unlimited Aquatic Educator Award
W.S.U.Beach Watcher
U.S.C.G First Aid/CPR/BLS/AED/BBP/HIV Certified

Phone: 360-385-9618