Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Between The Squalls



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


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Between the squalls.

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Small Craft Advisory


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Gale Warning


    Getting out on the water this spring has been a real cat and mouse game of  dodging the winds, waves and rain. Otherwise, it's been pretty cool. I don't mind a little wind and rain, and there's been plenty of days when the fishing was great, even when conditions were sloppy. But once the waves build, and begin to churn against the beaches, and the water is changing to that marl color, it's over. This will usually depend upon your location. Sometimes You can just go to another beach, and find better conditions there, even in the same wind etc. Paying attention to your N.O.A.A. Marine Weather forecasts and reports can be very helpful in trip planning, especially in the days and hours before you head out. Generally a Small Craft Advisory is letting you know that at the least, it is going to get windy, maybe too windy, and wave conditions may become unfavorable for fishing in many locations, much less running a small boat.  A Gale Warning is letting you know that you won't be fishing that day, at least not from a boat. (But this also sometimes depends upon your specific location.)

Taken from a NOAA Marine Weather Warning:



PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A GALE WARNING MEANS WINDS OF 34 TO 47 KNOTS ARE IMMINENT OR
OCCURRING. OPERATING A VESSEL IN GALE CONDITIONS REQUIRES
EXPERIENCE AND PROPERLY EQUIPPED VESSELS. IT IS HIGHLY
RECOMMENDED THAT MARINERS WITHOUT THE PROPER EXPERIENCE SEEK SAFE
HARBOR PRIOR TO THE ONSET OF GALE CONDITIONS.

A SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY MEANS THAT WIND SPEEDS OF 21 TO 33 KNOTS
ARE EXPECTED TO PRODUCE HAZARDOUS WAVE CONDITIONS TO SMALL CRAFT.
INEXPERIENCED MARINERS...ESPECIALLY THOSE OPERATING SMALLER
VESSELS SHOULD AVOID NAVIGATING IN THESE CONDITIONS.

   It's amazing how often I have seen local conditions improve, even with serious regional warnings in place. Some of this is because the NOAA forecasters are concerned with life and property, and they are telling you to keep your boat at the dock. Because so many mariners depend upon the forecast models, NOAA has a tendency to warn us on the cautionary side of things. Many mariners have gotten themselves into dire circumstances by ignoring these warnings. And locally, here on the Olympic Peninsula, it has a lot to do with the wind direction to begin with, and how this interacts with the Olympic Mountains, and the Olympic Rainshadow. So sometimes you just need to do a little driving and hoofing, and you just might find some sweet little pockets of quieter air and water. And when you do, don't be surprised if you don't run into some bait, and the sea-run cutthroat trout feeding on them. If you do see these warning flags, or hear these warnings on your marine weather radio, don't launch your boat!  


    Here's some good news!

   Fisheries biologist and master fly angler, Richard Stoll, has finally published his long awaited book on the sea-run coastal cutthroat trout. This is a very deep look into the life history and range of the wild sea-run cutthroat, from California to Alaska. And with special emphasis on modern conservation concerns, and heavy coverage of fishing, flies, presentations, reading saltwater currents, structures, etc. This book covers material never before published, including responsible catch and release strategies and impacts, and cutthroat fly angler ethics. You can get it at:

                          www.westsoundangler.com 


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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 and private 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. 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, May, and more! 



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









Sunday, March 19, 2017

Spring Fever


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


"One last look"
Cutthroat Trout
More fine sporting art by Bob White available here:
www.bobwhitestudio.com



Spring fe·ver

spriNG ˈfēvər/
noun
  1. a feeling of restlessness and excitement felt at the beginning of spring sea-run coastal cutthroat trout fly fishing season.

    
      By all accounts we have had one of the wettest winters on record here in the Pacific Northwest. And with this spring solstice I am really appreciating the few sunny dry days we have had. Once Daylight Savings time comes around, I begin to get that itch about spring cutthroat fishing on the saltchuck again.  And there's been all of the good little things going on here outside my cabin window too; the eagles are pairing up in their new nest, just yards from the porch. The nights are getting milder, the days sunnier, the clover is blooming, buds are opening up everywhere, everything green is so much greener, the frogs are peeping, and I can smell the exposed tide flats again. I would mow the lawn, but the yard is a swamp right now. I even saw a mosquito. I have been tying cutthroat trout flies, especially the spring patterns. We don't really have an opening day here. We can fish year-round for the sea-run cutthroat, but I like to lay off of them for most of the winter. I know they  are getting that much fatter and stronger. Wild fish need that. I think that good cutthroat fly fishermen need that too.





"6 X 6 Cutthroat"
By Bob White

  
   The Chum Salmon fry are pouring out of the rivers and into the estuaries now, and will be for weeks to come. The recent warm spring rains and mountain snowpack melt water will push them along too. The sea-run cutthroat trout will be feeding heavily after their spawning, usually by mid April here. 

    And the chum fry are one of their most available prey species now. You'll do well to fly fish for sea-run cutthroat with smaller flies now, like salmon fry imitations, sizes #8 and #10. I usually tie my Chum Baby fly with a 1/8" to 5/32" gold bead. But in the early weeks of spring I will tie some without the bead, and on smaller hooks- size #8 and #10-, with the fly being not longer than one inch. It pays to have some very small flies in the spring. Rolled Muddlers too are a very good pattern for this fishing. As the weeks go by, and the salmon fry are growing every day, you can begin to use larger flies, up to size #6, with longer wings, and with toppings up to 3 inches. Flatwing sandlance flies can be longer still, though you'll still use a shorter shank hook, like the Gamakatsu SC-15. Don't hesitate to use your classic trout streamer flies; the Mickey Finn, Muddler, Hornberg, Adams, Humpy, Stimulator, etc. Just about any trout fly pattern will work on sea-run coastal cutthroat trout on Puget Sound waters at one time or another. Be creative. 



Squeezing the sunlight

from each ripening spring day

Vernal Equinox 

          No doubt we will still be getting some wind, cold and rain, and maybe even a little snow. But the worst of this winter is over now. And we've got an entire fishing season ahead of us. And now it is spring.  




"First Fish"



     We will be back on the water this spring! Just in time for the beginning of another beautiful season of wild sea run Coastal Cutthroat trout fly fishing on the saltwaters and rivers of the Olympic Peninsula, Hood Canal and Puget Sound. Drop me a note or give me a call for details. All trips, casting instruction sessions, presentations, and rowboat picnics must be booked in advance.

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 and private fly fishing and fly  casting instruction for beginners.  I would be happy to help you plan your Olympic Peninsula fly fishing adventure, for beginners through expert anglers. 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, May, and more! 


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



Monday, February 27, 2017

A False Spring



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



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Late February can break your heart.
Photo by Brian Lencho
I-90 somewhere west of Seattle.


It's almost Chum Baby Time!
You can find them at the Orvis Bellevue fly shop!

      

Chum Baby Note:   The Chum Salmon fry, a key springtime sea-run coastal cutthroat trout prey species in our region, will usually be getting down into the estuaries of their natal streams and rivers beginning by around mid-February in the south Puget Sound region, and a little later by mid-March up north. Weather, river flows and temperatures can impact the timing of their emergence from the gravel redds, so a week's timing either way is not unusual. In the later summer and fall, the Chum Salmon arrive as adults across several months of time. And they don't all spawn at the same time. It takes a few months. So, you'll often see juvenile Chum Salmon of varying sizes through the first few months of spring season. Coming into saltwaters the fry will be about 3/4" to 1-1/4", and growing rapidly. So your early flies can be small and sparse, but always have a few fuller, bigger ones too. Size #8 and #6 cover most of it. South Puget Sound cutthroat anglers usually see the action a few weeks ahead of us up north. 

Here's a link to my March 2013 entry on this fly: 
It's Chum Baby Time!



Juvenile Chum Salmon. 
Photo: U.S.G.S.
            It's not unusual for February to fool you sometimes. You get through the long slog of early winter; darkness, interminable rain, howling Pacific storms, black ice on the roads, and weeks of deep freezing cold, any way you can. And one trick of the mind is to hold out for February, and the return of slightly longer days, more sunshine, moderating temperatures, milder storms. And we can get some pretty nice beach fly fishing days by then too. And sometimes in February we can get a very mild spell of balmy, dry weather. Bring on the blue sky days, the sunny warm glow, the smells of the gardens and beaches, birds feeding, plants and trees budding, frogs trilling, and the cutthroat are out on the beaches, in the shallows, feeding and taking your fly. You might even get some rosy pink color to your face after a day of this fishing. No wonder that it is all to easy to assume that we're having an early spring.

Image result for False spring buds
Early Crocus in a False Spring

     This February did not disappoint, as we shifted from bitter cold winter conditions, to that warming trend of tropical air and balmy weather. And suddenly we were walking around in shirtsleeves, leaving the rain gear home, and the sea-run coastal cutthroat trout were out, with some of the best fishing reports coming in from almost everywhere around Puget Sound country. It's so seductive. Then by the end of February, the colder lightly freezing nights have returned, daytime temperatures are wintry again, along with the frequent chances of snow, rain, and grey skies. And in many areas the trout will be absent. They're up in the creeks and smaller waters, way up in the big rivers, spawning. Cutthroat fishing on the north Puget Sound saltchuck can be kind of quiet through later February and early March. But by April it will be another story entirely here, as millions of juvenile salmon become forage for the hungry, lean, post-spawn Cutthroat trout. And then it really will be spring!


      We will be back on the water this spring! Just in time for the beginning of another beautiful season of wild sea run Coastal Cutthroat trout fly fishing on the saltwaters and rivers of the Olympic Peninsula, Hood Canal and Puget Sound. Drop me a note or give me a call for details. All trips, casting instruction sessions, presentations, and rowboat picnics must be booked in advance.

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 and private fly fishing and fly  casting instruction for beginners.  I would be happy to help you plan your Olympic Peninsula fly fishing adventure, for beginners through expert anglers. 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 and May! 

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


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Here comes the sun.




 
Sunrise over the Cascade range.

   February is over a month after the winter solstice. Up until now I have been taking it on faith that the days were getting longer. But by now it is undeniable. And I am feeling optimistic for the progressive return of those long sunny days on the water. Even if it's only adding a few seconds of daylight to each day. I have fished on the beaches a little bit this winter, and we've had some great days. But the weather has been rough too, so timing is everything. The last week of January was superb, with mild days, lots of sun, almost 50 degrees. And some big fat trout around too. This is enough new energy to stimulate me into fixing my leaky waders, checking all of my tackle, and sorting through my fly boxes. And it's time to tie those spring sea run cutthroat trout flies. There's plenty of time. I'm even going to paint the dory again. The cutthroat will be heading into their spawning period shortly, and the fishing on the saltchuck will be slow for a while. It won't hurt to give the fish a break for a time, to allow them to recover. It's amazing what a difference a few weeks can make in the condition and fight of these wild trout. I like to get back to fishing for the sea-run cutthroat trout in mid to late April up here in the northern reaches of Puget Sound country. South Sound anglers enjoy an earlier return of the cutthroat, and the chum fry. We're a few weeks behind them. 

  This will be my 37th season as a fly fisherman. So you would think that I am kind of over the excitement and anticipation of the coming spring. But I'm not. I spend the early winter months thinking about the fishing we did earlier in the year, remembering things about the way the water was, how the tides and winds were on some days, and remembering the fish that we caught. There's always a few days that I will never forget.   And I spend some time each winter, scouting new water too; looking over marine charts, tide and current tables, and road maps. Every year I like to try some new water. I have been fishing here on the Olympic Peninsula for the last 16 years, and there's still so much to see and do here. It's a lifes work.

   I try to add some new flies to my fishing too. This is something that we can do throughout our fly fishing lives. It's amazing to contemplate the variety of trout flies that can be used for sea-run cutthroat fly fishing. Just about any trout fly will work at one time or another, not just saltwater flies. Dry fly fishing on the saltchuck is a hoot. And even though we may have our favorites, we should always be trying some new things. If you are tying your own flies, then you know how rewarding this can be. If you aren't already tying, I encourage you to get into it soon. This really rounds out your fly fishing adventure. Catching fish on your own hand tied flies is very satisfying. I just got this message from fly tying dynamo and sea-run cutthroat guru Jeffrey Delia today. This looks like a good opportunity to learn some new fly tying ideas:
Howdy Folks,
Just thought I would let you all know there are still a couple of seats left for my Steelhead/Salmon Fly Tying Class this Saturday Jan. 28
 at Peninsula Outfitters in Poulsbo. If you’re interested please call the shop at 360-394-1599.
I hope you have all been doing some Winter Cutthroat fishing, we have had some great fishing recently and you can read about it and see some of the fish pics on my Facebook page. If we are not friends on Facebook and you would like to be just type in Jeffrey Delia Facebook page and send me a friend request.
Thanks,
Jeffrey 
Jeffrey Delia http://www.oysterchannel.com Food, Fish, Fun and Fideos from the Pacific Northwest

       Spring sea-run coastal cutthroat trout fishing season is just a few months away!

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


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The New Year


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


Winter sea-run Cutthroat fly fishing on Puget Sound.

     For the last few days around here the winds have been blowing a gale much of the time. The waters on the bay have been marl grey colored, and raging, on and off. Big waves came ashore like an invading legion, one phalanx after another came crushing onto the beaches, white foam and spume blowing up onto the rocky shores, and forty knot gusts. On days like that you wonder when you will be able to fish here again. It was like that last night, and we had trees down, power outages, etc. But by this morning is was as calm as could be, a bluebird day. The water was greenish blue, and clear as gin. The saltchuck waters clean up, sometimes within a few hours at most, after the big wind storms die down here. And we can get many mild, fishing friendly weather breaks between storms.

   This afternoon I drove down to the beach to check things out. I knew I wouldn't be fishing. I have been taking it easy after a bad cold knocked me out for a while. It was so nice out. There was a guy fishing out there, in the shallow water. He was dressed appropriately for the winter fishing game- like an Eskimo. The water is cold now. And when the winds get blowing, you'd better be dressed for it. I was feeling pangs of withdrawal, watching this fellow wading and casting, the water so flat, the sun shining. But in the distance I could see a squall, making its way down from the mountains, and I rolled up my window to shut out the cold air rushing along with it. Within minutes the rain was blowing down hard, the sky darkened. There was sleet in the mix, hammering at my windshield as I drove to town for coffee. In a few minutes it was clear and sunny again, and the waters calmed. Everything had that fresh sparkle to it. There was a nice rainbow arched over town as I drove in. That's the way it is here now. We play it by ear. But we can fish all winter. 


End of the day.

    
  Winter Sea-Run Cutthroat Fishing: 

  Here's an essay on winter sea-run cutthroat trout fishing that I originally wrote a few years ago, for a local Trout Unlimited group. I hope that you like it. 

“The Secret Season”
By Bob Triggs
 The cold gray skies of November bring many Olympic Peninsula fly fishers adventures to a gloomy ending. Most of the lakes and smaller waters have closed, Salmon season on the salt-chuck has wound down, and the fickle weather keeps our coastal rivers flows unstable enough to make any long range fishing plans tentative at best. Quite a few anglers will not fish for trout again until spring and opening day on the lowland waters. Rods and reels will be closeted, tackle stored. Some will tie flies, most will begin the annual rituals of winter-idled anglers anywhere; book and magazine reading by a warming fire, sporting show attendance, fishing club gatherings, haunting the fly shops, pontificating on the Internet fishing forums, and sundry all of the many survival strategies of the seasonally displaced fisherman. There is a kind of hum-drum predictability to it all.
 Yet perhaps there is more. No, I do not mean the mystical and obsessional Olympic Peninsula Rainforest winter Steelhead season; for which there is no cure or treatment except to stand hips deep in the numbingly icy waters, in howling wind and rain, swinging a wet fly in the turbid jade green flows with zombie-like expectancy. No; I am reminding you trout fishers that the fine art of Sea Run Coastal Cutthroat Trout fly fishing can be pursued on our area beaches, using floating lines and dry flies if you like, all winter long. Yes; November through March- all good fishing months when most anglers wouldn’t be caught dead out on an exposed Puget Sound salt-chuck beach with fly rod in hand. And you will have those beaches mostly to your self. There are enough mild, not too windy nor wet, winter days here to make beach fishing a delightfully frequent possibility. And this creates a welcome diversion from the gloominess of grey skies, short days and the waiting for river flows to return to fishable flows between storms. You might even forget that it is winter. Especially when we get a few warmer and sunnier days in February, and the termites start hatching out of the rotting logs on the beach- and a nice fluffy, ruddy brown colored Stimulator fly will fool a cruising trout in shallow water. 
 Many sea-run Coastal Cutthroat Trout spend a good deal of time in the winter months feeding adjacent to their natal streams and beyond. These fish tend to be a little heftier than the average summer fish from October onward. I have caught them on  just about every kind of trout fly that you can think of. My biggest winter Cutthroat have come on big dark flies- Streamers, Matukas, Wooly Boogers, Leeches, Bunnies, Skunkaboos etc- swung deep and slow, using an intermediate sink or dry line and a longer leader of over nine feet in length. However you approach it the point is a deep slow presentation. I never use strike indicators or floats or jigs in this fishing.  These big fish hit hard and will give your five weight and wrists a good workout. I like the simple meditation of walking along a beach in wintertime, watching the subtle shifts of light and water, the changing moods of the day, the migrating birds and waterfowl, the Seals and Porpoises and Otters. Wading a tide pool can yield lessons in discovering the winter forage for your trout, and new ideas for your fly box. Puget Sound winter beaches are surprisingly alive with wildlife activity, even on the colder days. It is not uncommon to catch a few resident Coho on some days in winter, and these scrappy fish will test your tackle too. How about this: winter Steelhead migrate along most of our beaches all winter long and you could hook the fish of a lifetime if one of them grabs your skating Muddler off of the surface. Good luck landing it on your five weight…  
 For romance and serendipity there may not be much more fun in sea-run Cutthroat Trout fly fishing than skating a big bushy dry fly or popper on the surface of a strong tidal flow. Fellow fly angler Leland Miyawaki says of fishing with his own design Beach Poppers: “It’s the most fun you can have on a beach with your clothes on”.  Skating, waking, stripping and shaking his fly can be addictive and mesmerizing; and then the water begins to bulge, as a wake forms behind and you realize that a big fish is chasing down your skittering popper; Slam!, and the game is on!. Poppers have been around in various forms and styles all over the world for many years. But Leland has reinvented the art and joy of tying and fishing these flies with his own Miyawaki’s Beach Popper. Try them and you may just might never want to fish beneath the surface again. 
 For several years I have made a foray to the beaches around Christmas day, weather permitting, armed with a few flies, and on most trips I catch one or two trout in as many hours of pleasant fishing. If you bring along  a rucksack, a newspaper or book, a lunch and a thermos, you can make a day of it. I like that kind of pace. With so many good beaches and local access, its hard to ignore. There are more miles of beach to explore here, to wade or not to wade, casting for sea-run Coastal Cutthroat Trout, than you could ever cover in a lifetime, much less an active winter of adventure. It is too easy to get stuck in a rut of fishing in the same old places in the same old ways. Get out and take  a walk someplace new, explore and experiment. You might surprise yourself with another productive fishing spot or a new way of doing things. And you might beat the winter doldrums and flab too. Sea-runs move often, they rarely stay in one spot for more than one tide cycle, neither should you. So keep moving. 
 Don’t get caught in the “high tide” mentality. We have enough structure and current here on Admiralty Inlet and around the Olympic Peninsula region beaches that you can catch sea-run Cutthroat at any time of tide on most days, if you just work at it. It won’t hurt you to learn the structures of  a beach by visiting it on a minus tide day and watching the flows as a tide comes in. One good thing is to find current flowing along a beach, on any tide, from there your fishing is just like freshwater river fishing anywhere. Having bait around helps, so be on the lookout for birds feeding, especially sea ducks and Cormorants and especially Osprey. Taking a little time to study forage fish habitats and behavior will pay off too. Look for gravel and cobblestone bottom beaches with moving water at some time of tide. Spurs of land, points and bars, ledges and humps, all indicate some current at some point of tide. Sea-run Cutthroat like an active fly so don’t be afraid to keep that fly moving and alive! Strip-Shake-Rattle-N-Roll!  Mix it up and make it look real. No bait fish with a set of trout teeth chasing it slows down or stops. Its not paranoia if they are really after you! Once you find a good spot and catch a few fish, don’t get “stuck”- keep moving. Even a few steps at a time once in a while can make a big difference. Make an adventure of it. But remember where you caught the last one!
 Don’t wade too deep; knee deep to shin deep is fine. Once you begin wading deep you can push fish away, and you will be losing your body core temperature the whole time you are fishing no matter how well you layer your clothing. Frequent breaks to warm up are a good strategy. Better yet; don’t allow yourself to get cold to begin with. Simply walking out of the water for a few minutes occasionally is usually enough to warm you, along with snacks and sipping hot thermos drinks or soup during the day. It’s supposed to be fun. Try to work your fly in the shallows before you ever actually do any wading. Standing on the dry beach at waters edge I once caught a 12 pound ocean returning Coho salmon in two feet of water right in front of me this way. Trout feed in ridiculously shallow water sometimes. Any time of year you could have a good day of catching Cutthroat right at the edges all day, and never once step in the water to do it. But only if you try.
 A nine foot five or six weight fly rod is fine. I like the medium to fast action rods, especially on a windy day or when I’m pushing big Poppers or fluffy flies. The Switch and Spey rods are gaining in popularity on the beaches these days too. A 12 foot six weight seems fine. I prefer a floating fly line all year round. But many people swear by the newer intermediate sink clear lines and sink tip lines. Using a dry line I can adjust my leader length according to the fly I am using and depth that I want to fish. In the broader, slower flows of most shallow water beach fishing situations here this is a refreshingly simple affair. A nine foot factory tapered, knotless 4X or 3X monofilament leader should cover most of it. Have extra spools of tippet and your leaders will last much longer. I use all kinds of trout and steelhead flies for this fishing but I especially like Leland’s Beach Popper and big brushy Steelhead muddlers like Bill McMillan’s Steelhead Caddis. Generally I try to avoid long shank hooks and limit my hooks to size # 4 and # 6. I also use bait fish flies like the Clouser Minnow. I opt for more natural or imitative colors and patterns overall. Larger and longer shank hooks can easily kill a Cutthroat Trout. Remember that by law we are to “release all fish without avoidable injury”, as these fish are protected from harvest on Washington’s marine waters.
 If you dress properly for winter weather, though often it is quite mild here, being aware of the colder water temperatures on Puget Sound waters, and if you come with an open mind and a positive attitude, you won’t ever be disappointed. Winter sea-run Cutthroat fly fishing on our beaches can become a new addition to your outdoors and angling life. Thankfully our regional beaches have easy access and ample parking, and much of the best fishing is right at our doorstep on the Olympic Peninsula. So what are you waiting for? Don’t let the brown muddy rivers stop you- get out and fish! 


Happy Holidays to you!

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
Catch & Release, Fly Fishing Only!

  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 and fall 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. Booking on short notice in the fall and winter is welcome.

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