Saturday, October 14, 2017

October Tease



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

This is Andy, taking his morning nap.


This is Andy, fishing.


This is Andy, catching a sea-run cutthroat trout.

Andy caught a lot of nice fish here last week.

Be like Andy!

   It has been uncommonly mild and pleasant here over the last few weeks, more like the "Indian Summer"weather of September, than a typical mid-October.  The mornings on the bay have been cool, foggy at times, even damp and drizzling. But by later morning the sun has been coming out, the winds very light, the 60 degree warmth has been a blessing, the sea-run cutthroat trout have been biting, and no one is complaining. We have had some truly stellar days of fishing this month. We have even gotten a little sunburn, in October!!! And since the coastal rivers have been running too low for weeks, and some of them have even been closed to fishing under emergency rules, here, and also here, we are enjoying the sea-run coastal cutthroat trout fishing on the saltchuck all the more this fall. 

   According to the Northwest River Forecast Center 10 day forecast, The rivers will be getting some much needed rain relief soon, as heavy rains are expected to move in on the coast and Olympic Mountains next week. But if it gets really heavy, the flows may be high and dirty for a while. These saltwater beaches will clean up fast after a storm. And the cutthroat fishing will usually go well through November and December.

 This is some of the best sea-run cutthroat trout fishing on the Olympic Peninsula- the summer "tourons" are gone, and the fish are on the feed.




This is a classic wooden Swampscott Dory. Fully restored. We row the beaches, casting for sea-runs. This is the most traditional, salty and relaxing way to fly fish for sea-run coastal cutthroat trout. 
One angler only.  Call or write for details.

Your Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide and Instructor

    I am guiding fly fishers on the Olympic Peninsula beaches, rivers and streams. We walk and wade, or row along the shorelines in the dory, fly fishing for sea-run Coastal Cutthroat trout in the saltwater, and in the rivers for Cutthroat trout and summer steelhead. 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, beginner to expert. 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
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Saturday, September 23, 2017

Autumn Equinox


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

Summer is officially over.
  Yesterday was the Autumnal Equinox. The end of summer and the beginning of fall. Okay, I surrender. I accept it. And there's plenty of evidence to support this decision. Not just the astronomical data, or that bit about the day and the night being equal at one precise point in time that Equinox day. It's really cooling off. We got a little rain a few days ago. The nights are coming on earlier. The mornings are crispy cool. There's wood smoke in the air, and it's not that crummy smoke from the forest fires this time.  



Dusk on the saltchuck.
  

  But aside from all of that, there's a mildness about things right now, the air is stable, no big winds or heavier rains in the short term forecast, just some sweet light soakings periodically, and the water is just a bit cooler now. I am seeing the sea-run cutthroat trout feeding more heavily in the shallows, and on the surface. The afternoons have been very mild, even sunny and warm. Warm enough to row the dory in my shirtsleeves most of the day on the saltchuck. In nine hours of fishing the other day we saw fish, and caught fish just about everywhere that we went. They were even feeding on the surface, right in front of us, while we were sitting on the beach eating our lunch. That was a good day. I would like to be fishing out on the west-end Olympic Peninsula rivers now too, but we're still waiting for some real rain to bring them back up to decent flows. And why in the world would anyone want to ignore that things in the saltwater game are beginning to seriously heat up around here?! With the waxing moon ahead, we'll see some good tides get even better, through the end of the month, and into the first week of October. 

The only hard thing about fishing this time of year here is making up my mind which direction to head out into, the beaches are going to be great for the next few months, and so are the rivers. It helps to be flexible. But I would much rather be fishing the saltchuck for sea-runs now myself. I know what can happen.



The next two months of fishing here are what we look forward to all year!


This is a classic wooden Swampscott Dory. Fully restored. We row the beaches, casting for sea-runs. This is the most traditional, salty and relaxing way to fish for sea-run coastal cutthroat trout. One angler only.  Call or write for details.

Your Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide and Instructor

    I am guiding fly fishers on the Olympic Peninsula beaches, rivers and streams. We walk and wade, or row along the shorelines in the dory, fly fishing for sea-run Coastal Cutthroat trout in the saltwater, and in the rivers for Cutthroat trout and summer steelhead. 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, beginner to expert. 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

  



Thursday, September 14, 2017

September's Cool


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

Cooler mornings on the saltchuck.

 We have been getting a nice late summer cool down here. And thankfully, the air has cleared, giving us blue sky days and starry nights again. The mornings are refreshingly chilled, and by noon we are back to shirtsleeves in the sun. The sea-run cutthroat that we have been chasing all summer have gotten fatter and bigger. This last week of cooling is turning them on, and we're seeing them slashing bait in the shallows again. The trout that were 12 to 14 inches in the spring, when they came back out into the saltwater, are several inches longer by now. So it's no wonder that I am itching to get out onto the saltchuck now. 



A robust September sea-run coastal cutthroat trout.
I caught him on the surface, on this ginger deer-hair muddler.

    We had a bit of rain here last weekend. It was just enough to dampen the earth, and overnight the river gauges jumped up a few hundred c.f.s. in many places. And now, just as quickly, the flows are receding. You could almost hear every living thing breathing a deep sigh of gratitude. This was a good thing for the insect life, especially the aquatic insects, and caddis in particular. Every late summer we watch for the first signs of the beginnings of the October caddis hatch, which in some years can be extraordinary. This year looks to be promising, as we are seeing the caddis cases everywhere, in dense concentrations. So it's not too soon to be thinking about the west-end Olympic Peninsula rivers and streams again, and the summer steelhead and cutthroat trout that will be feeding heavily on the pupae and adult caddis for many weeks ahead. Les Johnson once told me that fly fishing the Olympic Peninsula rivers for cutthroat and summer runs in the fall was one of his favorite times. 

 Speaking of rain. We are expecting some more serious rainfall here by Sunday. And the whole weather scheme here will be changing to cooler days and nights, and a wetter cycle ahead. This should be really good for the fishing. It's not the kind of heavy weather we can expect a little later, like in October. But it is enough to throw the switch on better river flows, and good fishing on the beaches too. It looks like it will be a brief soaking, followed by milder weather again. I am loving this!  Almost to the day, a year ago, Cliff Mass forecast a similar pattern of weather. Here's his recent forecast for the near future:  

http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-northwests-summer-drought-will-end.html


    The only hard thing about fishing this time of year here is making up my mind which direction to head out into, the beaches are going to be great for the next few months, and so are the rivers. It helps to be flexible. But I would much rather be fishing the saltchuck for sea-runs now myself. I know what can happen.



The next two months of fishing here are what we look forward to all year!


This is a classic wooden Swampscott Dory. Fully restored. We row the beaches, casting for sea-runs. This is the most traditional, salty and relaxing way to fish for sea-run coastal cutthroat trout. One angler only.  Call or write for details.

Your Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide and Instructor

    I am guiding fly fishers on the Olympic Peninsula beaches, rivers and streams. We walk and wade, or row along the shorelines in the dory, fly fishing for sea-run Coastal Cutthroat trout in the saltwater, and in the rivers for Cutthroat trout and summer steelhead. 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, beginner to expert. 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


Sunday, August 27, 2017

It's Still Summer, Dammit!


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

Conservation Alert! 

Please take a look at this link, and  send a note to our governor, to demand that the open water salmon net-pen farms be banned from Washington Marine Waters:

https://www.oursound-oursalmon.org.

Then go to this Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife link:

http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/aug2217b/


Have fun! But seriously, get rid of these things.  

Okay . . .

It's Still Summer, Dammit!



Closer to the Equinox

      Despite some pretty extreme heat days this summer, these late summer nights are growing ever longer and cooler.  Stepping out into the evening darkness, under the starlight, I can smell the deep scent of the cooling air and falling leaves already. Much of this is due to the recent drought that has caused some of the leaves to fall early. But it's also true that autumn is taking hold now. Without looking at the calendar you could feel it. And the fruit and vegetable crops have been way ahead all year. Some of the insect hatches here, like the termites, have been a little ahead of the normal times as well. The Autumn Equinox is less than a month away now. So even though we may get some more hot days ahead, it won't last long. That full moon, coming on the 6th of September, will set the stage for some great tides and fishing this month too. However, it is till summer, and it will be for the next month before the solstice.

 So, I am getting tired of people claiming that it is "the end of summer", the "dying days of summer", early autumn", etc. Nonsense! It's 80 frigg'n degrees out there today, and that sun will scorch your hair off! We have months of good beach fishing ahead! And we will be heading back to the rivers once the rainforest rivers perk up, with a little cool rain. This usually starts around Labor Day, with some rain at night, in the higher elevations of the Olympic Mountains, and the October Caddis hatches begin around the September solstice. Big fluffy stimulaters and Elk hair Caddis, Skaters, Steelhead Caddis. Summer Steelhead and Cutthroat Trout on dry flies. That's some good stuff.  

    Ordinarily I would be haunting the beaches from dawn to dusk at this time of year, fly fishing for the ocean-run coho that have provided me with so much good fishing for years here. We didn't get much of a season this year. And it's been a down year for the pink salmon and coho salmon again so far. But there have been enough optimistic fishing reports in other areas around the region this year to give me the impression that these fish can rebound, given time. I still feel that the closures last year helped put many more spawning coho on the redds upriver. That's a good thing. Maybe we should do that more often.

Coho on a Miyawaki Beach Popper.
This is something worth protecting.


     We can be grateful for the cooing weather ahead, as it will improve the fishing on the lakes and streams, and even on the saltchuck. Most of our rivers are still running low and warm, but this autumn cooling will help all of that too. Even so, we need those first good autumn rains to get things moving on the rivers again. Check the fishing regulations and emergency rules updates before you head to the beaches, or the coastal rivers this year, as some of the waters will close early to protect returning coho salmon. Marine Area 9 will close to all salmon fishing on September 4th., (See page 3, item #5). Trout fishing on Puget Sound is still open year-round, catch and release only. And you will find coastal cutthroat trout and summer-run steehead out here on the Olympic Peninsula rivers in the fall. 

    One of the many things that I am grateful for is our wonderful, wild sea-run coastal cutthroat trout. And autumn is prime-time for these truly tough fish.


At over 24 inches this is the biggest autumn sea-run cutthroat I have ever caught here.
But I have seen two others caught, also in the fall, that were bigger.

  The next two months of fishing here are what we look forward to all year!


The most relaxing way to fish for sea-run cutthroat.
One angler, maybe two,  Call or write for details.

Your Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide and Instructor

    I am guiding fly fishers on the Olympic Peninsula beaches, rivers and streams. We walk and wade, or row along the shorelines in the dory, fly fishing for sea-run Coastal Cutthroat trout in freshwater and saltwater, and in the rivers for Cutthroat trout and summer steelhead. 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, beginner to expert. 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

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Tides To Dream On


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


Working the top of the tide.

   The new moon tonight has been setting up some really good tides now, and for the next few weeks, and through the full moon on August 7th. Some of the lowest tides of the year occur around this time. And some of the greatest opportunities for fishing the incoming tides are upon us. It all comes down to a greater exchange of tidal altitudes and tidal current duration. In some locations, like up here on north Puget Sound this is really good for the salmon fishing on the beaches. And these deeper, colder tides, will help to moderate the shallow water temperatures this time of year, which is especially good for the sea-run cutthroat trout fishing. The bait, and the big fish, will easily avoid warmer water areas. And with all of this water moving now, the wind and waves are moderating into a normal summertime pattern, with a 5 to 10 knot onshore wind from the northwest during the day. Cool and refreshing. It works out that many of the best fishing tides coming up over the next few weeks are happening near dawn and dusk. I am loving this weather, and this season!


Image may contain: one or more people
It's herring time!
These are my flatwing herring flies, for salmon fishing.
Tied on #4 open-eye sickle hooks
from RvrFshr Products

    We have been seeing lots of bait, bait balls, birds wheeling and diving on bait, fish and seals crashing the bait on the surface, etc around here all spring and early summer. Right now there is an abundance of 2 to 4 inch herring. The birds and fish are gorging on them. There's the usual sandlance, smelt, etc., too. But the herring seem especially prominent this year. Make sure you have a good selection of baitfish flies, from 2 to 4 inches long, and some even longer. I like #4 hooks for coho and pink salmon streamers. But if I am tying soft hackle flies, I will use #6 hooks for salmon too. I have caught many salmon on trout flies, from size #6 down to size #10, while we were fishing for sea-run cutthroat. (The top producer has still been the #6 muddler minnow, greased and fished right on top.) You'll notice that I tend to prefer less tinsel and flash in these flies. I rarely use florescent colors. But I do carry a few. It might not matter as much with the salmon that are migrating home. But for the sea-run cutthroat trout, the fish that are being caught and released on an ongoing basis, I think it pays to tie natural looking flies, some with no tinsel or flashy materials at all. 


Simple, sparse, Clouser style bait fish flies are still some 
of  the best flies for salmon and sea-run cutthroat fishing.


Dangerous Heat Warnings!

Please heed these warnings. The next week or so is going to be scorching hot around here. And if you are planning on fishing, you should be looking at the predawn and earliest hours of the day. Remember, the water is going to get warmer too. And in many paces this is going to crush the fish, and the fishing. See more here: 


Your Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide and Instructor

  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 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, private and group fly fishing and fly casting instruction, for beginners through expert casters.  I would be happy to help you plan your Olympic Peninsula fly fishing adventure. I also do public presentations for civic groups, private gatherings, and fly fishing clubs, Naturalist guide, rowboat picnics, tide pool and river trail day trips. Please call, write, or email for booking details. Now booking fall 2017! 


And sometimes we row . . . One angler only.
This is the way to go fly fishing for sea-run Cutthroat!

SSShhh!!! Listen to the quiet . . . 

                                    
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. Water Watchers, Beach Watchers and Shore Stewards Graduate
U.S.C.G First Aid/CPR/BLS/AED/BBP/HIV Certified

Phone: 360-385-9618

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Anticipation


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


an·tic·i·pa·tion
anˌtisəˈpāSH(ə)n/
noun
  1. the action of anticipating something; expectation or prediction.
  2. ie: 
  3. The salmon are coming!



Nice pink salmon on a pink fly!

   This anticipation thing can be vexing. I start getting excited about the spring sea-run cutthroat fishing in late February, just around the time that they are all up in the creeks and beginning to spawn. So I start organizing stuff, tying flies, (I am always behind!), and checking rods, lines, leaders, knots, reels, etc. By the time my "opening day" arrives, I have a few flies ready, and I am always trying to find something, like that extra spool, or my newer-older leaders. Salmon season was set well enough ahead of time that you would think that I would be on top of it. And it really doesn't take much to get it together. But here I am, just days away from the opening day, and I am running around trying to find the right hooks, bucktails, etc. It's ridiculous, really.  And I have been seeing salmon crashing bait, and jumping on the surface for the last few weeks here already!  

    
Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, outdoor and water
In loving memory:
Greg, with the first Pink Salmon of the year
(July  5th 2007) 

 This is the time of year that everyone in the Pacific Northwest leans toward the waters, with an expectation of the salmon runs to come. Our Admiralty Inlet /Area 9 fishing opens July 16th for salmon. The pink salmon have been seen in small numbers on the coast and here in the Strait already. We usually begin catching them here around the 4th of July, when we're sea-run cutthroat trout fishing. The coho seem to be more robust out there right now too. We usually have the best Coho fishing in later summer and  fall here. But we don't know if it will be kept open that late this year. The forecast for pink salmon and coho is low, and even though there is an opening to fish for salmon here this year, there is very limited harvest allowed for pinks or coho. Also be aware that there will be in-season monitoring of this fishery, and there may be unexpected closures at any time during the season, especially if the fish are not showing up as expected. 


Check the W.D.F.W. regulations and season updates carefully, every time that you go fishing!  : http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/salmon.html   

   Fishing from the beaches, we often catch salmon on our sea-run cutthroat trips. This is always a pleasant surprise, if not sometimes a bit overwhelming, as some visiting anglers have never hooked anything bigger than a small stream trout before. This time of year a six weight rod might be your best choice, especially if you decide to go for salmon from the beaches. We can fish half the day for cutthroat, usually in the mornings, and then fish for salmon too, from the beaches, after lunch for a few hours. In any case, we never harvest any of these fish. All fish- trout or salmon etc.,- are released without avoidable injury. No exceptions. Maybe it's time for you to get some anticipation of your own?


Your Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide and Instructor

  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 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, private and group fly fishing and fly casting instruction, for beginners through expert casters.  I would be happy to help you plan your Olympic Peninsula fly fishing adventure. I also do public presentations for civic groups, private gatherings, and fly fishing clubs, Naturalist guide, rowboat picnics, tide pool and river trail day trips. Please call, write, or email for booking details. Now booking fall 2017! 


And sometimes we row . . . One angler only.
This is the way to go fly fishing for sea-run Cutthroat!

SSShhh!!! Listen to the quiet . . . 

                                    
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. Water Watchers, Beach Watchers and Shore Stewards Graduate
U.S.C.G First Aid/CPR/BLS/AED/BBP/HIV Certified

Phone: 360-385-9618