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!


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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!  

    
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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



   

   

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Summer Solstice Sizzler!


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

Summer has arrived!

    Ordinarily I would think of the Summer Solstice as only a harbinger of the summer to come, and usually that happens sometime after the 4th of July. And in the interim, between the Solstice and the 5th of July, we can expect almost anything to happen, including hail. But not this year. After a prolonged, rude, incessant spring of cold dark days, and record breaking rainfall, we have gotten almost three days in a row of summer weather, with two or three more sunny warm days predicted in the forecast.  After that, I can't promise you anything. I keep my rain gear in the truck all year.  

   In my last post here I mentioned "the fish of the last cast." And I have many stories of this happening. After that entry, it was only a few days until it happened again. We had fifteen minutes to get back to the parking lot to meet the wives. So when Rob said "This is my last cast", you can imagine my inner world lit up a little with the hope that the Fish Gods were listening. And once again, they did not disappoint. I love it when this happens. It is so interesting to watch the mood lift, the smiles, the laughter. Is there anything more lighthearted than catching a beautiful wild trout so serendipitously? 



Another last cast sea-run cutthroat trout!
We caught this one on a size 12 Wooly Booger !

    After this weekend the weather is supposed to cool off for the end of June and into early July. (I see this as a 50:50 probability.) One nice thing is that when it's 80 to 90 degrees in Seattle, it's usually significantly cooler out on the Olympic Peninsula shores. The cool ocean breeze helps too. If you're fishing the shorelines, or rivers, or lakes you need to pay attention to the water temperatures. When it gets this hot and sunny for more than a day, the waters warm up. Trout don't do well at water temperatures above 60+ degrees. In the case of river or lake run trout, they may have limited ability to seek cooler waters, or "thermal refuge." (Here's an interesting recent paper on this.

    Saltchuck sea-run cutthroat have more options, and they can move freely for miles in search of cooler waters. (You might have to do that too.) Early morning, at first light, dawn, etc., can still afford us some good fishing in waters that may be too warm to fish by mid-day. Some people will fish later in the day. However, the air may be getting cooler by sunset, but it could still take the water a much longer time to cool down. So focus on the early morning before it's getting hot and sunny in the middle of the day. With this new moon, we will see some of the lowest tides of the year this week. The sun will be baking the bare beaches for hours, and those beach stones, gravel and exposed mud flats will serve as a heat bank, storing the solar energy for hours. When the tide comes in, the water will gain heat from the shallow edges. You really need to be fishing in cooler, deeper water then. Go find it. A rowboat or small skiff, a thermometer on a long piece of string, and you're all set. The only concern with this may be that the cooler waters will be found outside of more protected shoreline areas, like up in the northern region of Puget Sound, off of the exposed points of land, like Point-No-Point, Marrowstone Point, Point Wlson, etc. So be mindful that the closer you get to open waters, the more influence there is from wind and shipping traffic on waves near the shore. In some conditions the breaking waves present  a danger to shore anglers as well. Have fun, but be safe. 

   The whole point of this is that if you don't get the fly in front of the fish, you aren't going to catch much. So, think "deep, cold and slow."  And there's no use in fishing over hot water. It is not unusual for the trout to get spread out by now. The fry are all out of the streams. And there's plenty of bait around. Go find them.


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, June 7, 2017

"This Is My Last Cast"


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


This robust sea-run cutthroat took a Chum Baby fly on the last cast.

    Sometimes it happens this way. We had been fishing all morning on a softly ebbing tide. There was plenty of bait around, and the trout and sea ducks were feeding on them close to shore. We had caught a few nice smaller trout earlier in the day.  But by mid-day the trout stopped showing. And we felt like they had moved on in the currents along with the bait. It was a minor tidal exchange day, with only a few feet of difference between tide heights all day. So we took a nice lunch break, and waited for the tide to turn. Something that I really like is a fresh incoming tide, fishing it from the very beginning of the flood. That cold, plankton-rich water is so refreshing in the summer heat.  And it brings the food and the fish in close sometimes.  This makes a difference when the sun has been heating up the shallows and exposed flats between tides. The trout will avoid the warmer water areas. Once that cold water floods in again, it brings along with it the bait and the feeding trout and salmon. As we worked into the river-like  tidal flow, we saw a few feeders showing again. Birds, fish and seals all convening in the hope of a meal. We changed flies fairly frequently too. If you know that the fish are there, and they have seen your fly a few times, and they aren't taking the fly, Change flies. Often.   


"Waiting for the tide."
No one does this better than my friend,
Veteran Puget Sound Fly Fishing Guide, Leland Miyawaki.

     Even in the best of conditions, sometimes we don't always get what we want.  Most of us learn this fairly early in life. Some of us need a reminder. We fishermen seem to get frequent reminders. This entire afternoon session was torturous, with beautiful conditions, bait and feeding trout in front of us, and I was guiding a good caster who could put the fly in the game. We worked hard, changing flies, moving along the beach, using every presentation we could. There were a few light grabs, probably from smaller trout, or smolt. But no love. 

    Finally Thomas stopped and stared at the water for a moment. And then he announced: "This is my last cast."  And that's when the love came. 


Fish On!
As the Rolling Stones song says:


"You can't always get what you want 

You can't always get what you want 
You can't always get what you want 
But if you try sometimes well you might find 
You get what you need"
We'll take it!


Local conditions and forecast:

We have enjoyed plenty of warm sunshine and dry days recently. But all of that is going to change tonight, and for the week or so to come. It's going to cloud up here again, and we're going to get some real, good rain. The daytime temperatures will be in the 60's. It's going to feel like spring again.  I am looking forward to how this feeds into the estuaries and saltchuck. The cooling effect will help our fish, and our fishing. This is the upside of what we call the annual "June Gloom."  

Here's the latest from Cliff Mass weather blog: 
http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2017/06/welcome-rain-is-on-way.html


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 for spring through 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

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Here Comes The Sun!


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


    Finally! We're getting a much needed break from the spring clouds and cold rain! I got my first red-cheeked sunburn this weekend. Here's an overview of this phenomenon from our weather Guru, Cliff Mass. And this is also a reminder that with the annual major shift, from winter to spring regional weather patterns, we'll see more clouds soon enough. We still have June-u-ary to get through!

   
A nice May sea-run cutthroat.
photo credit Jon Tobey


   I got out on the beaches with some good friends this week, on the first best day we have had in a while. The water and wind were perfect, with the temperature improving all day. We fished the ebb all day, and caught a little of the flood too. By late afternoon the water was greasy slick and just sliding in from the sea. Perfect trout water. We caught quite a few smaller sea run cutthroat trout, some were obviously out in the salt for the first time, at 6 to 8 inches. we caught  a few over 12 inches too. We had fish feeding in front of us for most of the day, which is always the happy circumstance. The high morning tide was not too deep or strong, with a soft ebb, so that allowed the forage to stay around longer, and the hungry trout too. On major tide ebbs the current can sweep the smaller stuff away for miles. Right now there are so many different forage species and juvenile salmon around, that the birds and fish are having no trouble feeding here all day.  And it helps too when the water conditions are rapidly improving, after a string of rough, windy, gale-force days last week. If we had fished the afternoon before, it would have been like dragging your fly through a mile long salad all day. It took just under 12 hours of almost no wind for the weeds to clear away in many locations. You want to be here when this happens. A gale force wind will churn up the silt, and weeds, turning the waters a chalky grey, and this will put the fish and bait down. Way down. This can reduce the feeding opportunities for the trout. But give it one night of light winds and waves, and the shallow water feeding game is back on. 

    With this nice forecast for the week or more ahead, it's definitely time to get out there and cast a fly for these wild sea-run coastal cutthroat trout.


A pretty gem of a  spring sea-run cutthroat trout.
Caught on a six-inch-long flat-wing sandlance  fly.

Photo credit: Richard Stoll

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 for spring through 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



Thursday, April 27, 2017

Getting The Big Picture



Your Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide.

Catch & Release, Fly Fishing Only!

    Many Thanks to Phil Monahan, Editor at the Orvis Fly Fishing News page, for carrying my essay this week. Phil manages to post some very good fly fishing news there every day. 


Story: “Getting The Big Picture” on an Alaskan Stream


Written by: Bob Triggs, searuns.com

The author (left) shows off a Lower Talarik Creek, Iliamna rainbow, landed by angler Bob Kuhn.
Photo courtesy: Bob Kuhn 2000
The DeHavilland Beaver lifted off of the quiet lake surface at dawn, leaving a trail of water sluicing off of the trailing edges of the floats. I was being sent out, with the float plane and pilot, and only one fishing guest from the lodge. This was unusual. Ordinarily, we would guide three, four, or more guests in a day, with one or two guides and a pilot–sometimes even two planes. But this guest was traveling solo, and he wanted his whole week-long Alaska visit that way, always fishing alone with one guide.
We flew south across Lake Iliamna, toward Katmai. The sun was just coming up from behind Mount Augustine, the volcano on Cook Inlet. I couldn’t believe my luck. One plane and pilot, and one guest, for an entire week. And we were scheduled to go to a different location every day; flying in, hiking and wading rivers, rowing a raft at times, running a jet boat at other times. My guest was Tom, a middle-aged man, retiring from a successful career in advertising. He could afford it. After an hour, we circled over our landing spot on the shore of a big lake, dipping one wing and scanning the shallows for logs, rocks, debris, bears other planes, and the like. We were clear to land.
Once we got our packs and rods from the plane, we pushed the Beaver off the shore, into deeper water, and the pilot cranked the engine. As we hiked up along the creek-side trail, the Beaver roared overhead, dripping water from the floats down on us. Beaver pilots are like that. Tom smiled at the surprise shower, which I took as a good sign. It was early June, and we were hitting this spot for the first time that season. It was dry-fly fishing time, and after their spring spawning period, the fish would likely be hungry and quick to take flies. It is a mile hike to the beginning of the better fishing, and Tom remarked how nice and wide and smooth the trail was. I told him that the bears have been using this trail for thousands of years, so it’s pretty well established. He smiled again. Good attitude.
We got to the upper run, took a break for coffee and cookies, and rigged up the rods. I tied a size 10 Hornberg on Tom’s tippet: “This is a good searching pattern.” Tom shrugged, and he began to step down off the high, grassy riverbank and into the water.
Whoa!, I said. “Let’s not disturb this little stream right away. We can fish it from the banks for starters–crouching, kneeling, even lying down if we have to. It’s only a few feet deep, and twenty feet wide here.”
Tom seemed surprised and confused. He was wearing $400 waders, and I wouldn’t let him get into the water. So he just made some easy casts to the head of the run, got a few short clean drifts, and was into a nice rainbow right away. The trout was in good shape: not as fat as it would be in August, but big enough to work Tom’s rod and wrist. We gradually worked our way down the stream, catching a fish here and there, still without wading at all.
“I have never fished with such a short line before,” Tom said.

Sometimes it pays to stay out of the water and make casts from your knees.
Photo by Sandy Hays
Then we saw a nice trout, over 20 inches, rising repeatedly to sip something small from the surface. Tom dropped the fly right on top the rise, and the trout stopped feeding. After a minute, it would resume rising, Tom would try the drift again, and the fish would shut off. This went on for a few minutes. We changed flies to a smaller Blue-Winged Olive and added a longer, lighter tippet. Eventually, Tom crept into the water, wading toward the rising trout, and he started pretty much slapping the trout on the head with the fly and leader. No dice. The trout was done. Tom was frustrated, and he wasn’t smiling anymore. That trout was right in front of him, and it wouldn’t take the fly.
I invited Tom to come out of the water and take a break, back from the edge of the stream about twenty feet, where we could sit in the shade in the deep grass. We lit up cigars and just watched and waited. I told him to try to scan the entire stream in front of him, not just studying that one trout, but taking in the whole scene in front of him. “Give them a few minutes to forget us.” He still wasn’t smiling. His face seemed tight. He wasn’t happy. He wanted results. Eventually, he began to notice that there were other trout in the run, and some of them were rising, feeding in a regular pattern. And the one big trout he liked so much was back on the feed too, but now it was a few yards farther up in the run.
Gradually, a look of wonder spread across Tom’s face. He was enthralled by all the life he was now seeing. It had been there the whole morning, but he had missed it all when he got so focused on that one fish. I set Tom up for a reach cast, still from twenty feet back from the edge of the water, and another ten feet to the fish. Luckily we had backcast room. Tom made this cast, lying on his left side in the grass, with a cigar in his teeth; one false cast, and he dropped the fly a few feet upstream of the trout. The pattern drifted just a few inches before the trout shot up to the surface and snatched the fly. I know I was smiling. Tom was astonished, and he was smiling too.
We fished the rest of that morning by crawling, kneeling, lying and sitting in the deep grass in the shade, and picking off one hungry trout after another with only a few different flies. At lunch, Tom marveled at the shift in his state of mind, once he had stepped back from his tunnel-vision perspective and taken in a broader, wider view of the stream, the trout, and their behavior. All he had to do was step back and quietly observe the bigger picture. And then go back with a lighter presentation and catch the one that was driving him crazy–and then catch a lot more.
This approach will work with just about any feeding fish, if you don’t screw it up too badly to begin with. And wild fish that have never been caught before, or haven’t been caught in a long while, will have forgotten how to avoid your dragging fly and sloppy presentations. But it won’t take them long to lose interest if you insist on bashing away at them. This is equally true of the sea-run coastal cutthroat trout that we fish for in the Puget Sound saltchuck.
If you are trying too hard, and the fish are right in front of you, actively feeding and avoiding your fly, just quietly slip away, even if only for a few yards. Give them a break. Lighten up. Give them a chance to resume their feeding patterns, without you interrupting that. Once they are back in a rhythm of their own, you can try a smaller fly, a dead drift, and shorter presentation. ( Meaning: don’t whack them on the head with the damned thing! ) It’s a good idea to take the time to just watch, frequently, during your fishing day. If all you are doing is staring at the fly and casting, casting, casting, you’ll miss a lot. You just might find that there’s more going on, right in front of you, than you realized.
Bob Triggs guides fly fishers on the beaches, rivers, and streams of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. He fishes for sea-run coastal cutthroat trout in freshwater and saltwater, and in the rivers for trout and summer steelhead. Check out his blog.

     And now, a few words on the local fly fishing conditions:

     As most of you know, it's been a blustery, cool and wet spring here in Puget Sound country so far. And we have been dodging rain, wind and waves on most of the last month's sea-run cutthroat trips on the beaches. The rivers have been jumping up and down like a Yo-Yo for months too. April has been full of surprises this year. Here's a humorous look at the regional observations for this week ahead, from Dr Cliff Mass:


    Here on the eastern Olympic Peninsula beaches, we are not getting the kind of darkness and rain that they are seeing down in Olympia, Tacoma, or from Seattle to Everett, (in the Puget Sound Convergence Zone. We are enjoying drier, fairer weather here, and more sunshine. That's just the way the Olympic Mountains Rainshadow works. And it has been getting a little better each week. 


That's what I'm talking about!

    Once the planet starts tilting toward the sun again, and the northern hemisphere waters begin to warm up, life blossoms here on every level. And we are seeing those signs of life returning to our waters every few days. The sea-run Cutthroat are on the feed in the saltchuck. Numerous forage species are spreading into the shallows along the edges of the beaches, in the tide pools, etc. These cool, bright, salty days of fly fishing are invigorating. My fisheries restoration and research friends tell me that they are observing a "delay," of from one week to several weeks, in the appearance of the salmon fry and smolt that they trap and count in the lower reaches of the smaller restoration streams every spring. So here we are, at the end of April, and things are just beginning to get really good. And all of this extended wet weather bodes well for the salmon, steelhead and trout that are spawning in the rivers. Lets go fishing!


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 for spring through fall 2017! 


And sometimes we row . . .
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 and Beach Watchers Graduate
U.S.C.G First Aid/CPR/BLS/AED/BBP/HIV Certified

Phone: 360-385-9618