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



   





      

Friday, August 14, 2015

Chasing down the tides.



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

   Chasing down the tides.
     
Blue Moon over Marrowstone.

   Mid-August always finds me feeling a little urgency for the remaining fishing season. We have had good sea-run Cutthroat trout fishing ever since early spring here on the Olympic Peninsula beaches. We caught more resident Coho this spring than I can recall catching this time of year. And the Pink salmon have once again showed up on time. if not a bit early. We have been catching them since opening day on July 1st. They are tough fighters indeed. And you will do well to fish with a stout six weight rod. And now the ocean run migratory Coho salmon are nosing into our region. Typically we see the smaller fish earlier in the runs, and as the season progresses there are larger fish returning. This may be due to the later fish having more time to feed in the ocean. And there is some evidence that the later runs are bigger to begin with. But this is what we have been waiting for- Bigger, stronger fish. Certainly the Cutthroat have had more time to feed. And this has been an excellent year for the forage fish, as we have plenty of bait around all summer so far. So we are sometimes surprised by the heft of these wild trout. 

The night before . . .

   I don't know if I will ever be the guy who has enough flies tied before season, much less during season. It seems like I am always catching up, or trying to, and often that means tying our flies the night before the trip. This can be tough to do when you are fishing the evening tides into darkness here. By the time that I get home it is often late enough to have me headed for bed first. And I am not fond of tying flies in a hurry, at 4 a.m. But sometimes you just do what you have to do. 


Coho for dinner.

   It's all coming together now, the fish are here, and there's more on the way. We have a few more good months of saltwater fly fishing ahead of us. With the evening tides coming up now, and the new moon moving so much water, you don't want to miss these opportunities. P.S. Another blessed cool down is upon us. It has been cooling down and raining here steadily for the past two and a half hours today. This is what we needed. Every season has it's propitious moment. Savor it. 


An ocean bright Pink Salmon.


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


   

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Poached trout


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

Poached Trout


Please pay attention!

   More record breaking heat over the last few weeks has caused many rivers to run low in flows and high in temperatures. The Washington Dept. of Fish & Wildlife has enacted some restrictions and closures on some waters around the state. Most of the concerns are for the rivers to the east of Puget Sound, which appear to be more immediately affected by drought and heat. You can see these restrictions here: http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/jul1615b/


The upshot of all of this heat has been that I have not had much to say here over the last weeks. It was too frigging hot! Out on the beaches we enjoyed cooler ocean breezes, and wading in cold tidewater is refreshing. But once you get away from the water . . .

   Our Olympic Peninsula rivers are running low now too. Much too low for my kind of fly fishing. Ordinarily I would be swinging and skating flies for summer steelhead on our rivers. Yet there is still some pretty good stream trout fishing to be had here on dry flies, if you are willing to work for it- hike in, get up early, fish at dawn, and be done with it by noon. And the drought is not hitting us as hard here as elsewhere around the state, especially as far as much warmer water temperatures or fish kills. Yet for the most part the drought has limited our realistic opportunities to the saltwater fishing. No one is complaining: Since opening day of salmon season the reports have been consistently good for Coho, Pink and Chinook salmon. Last weekend a 20 pound salmon took fifth place in the Chimacum Salmon Derby. That's pretty cool beans around here, where more recent derbies have been won by fish that were considerably smaller. It's been some of the best fishing, for the early weeks of salmon season, that I have seen in years. I'm sticking with the cold waters of the saltchuck. That's where the action is. That's where the fish are. 

   Playing with the locals. For the last few months we have been seeing some good numbers of Resident Coho here, which we are catching while sea-run Cutthroat Trout fishing, using the same flies etc. This is not entirely unexpected, but it is notable that they are so consistently feeding locally now. Normally we might see them in the spring and fall as they wander through our area. My hunch is that the warmer weather, and record breaking heat at times, has caused the bait, and the bigger fish, to move northward in Puget Sound in search of cooler waters. My friend Jack Devlin has been keeping his smoker running nearly full-time. he shared a few nice pictures below. 




   I was out with a friend fishing for sea-runs this morning, and it was so refreshing to be out there in the cool, misty, wet air for a change. Everything was dripping wet and the light breeze gave us a good chill. You could smell the pungent cedars again. Even the dirt smelled good. It was autumn-like. We had fish feeding in front of us all morning. They were hammering the herring. Lots of sea birds feeding too. And we caught a really nice resident Coho along the way. With over 6 million Pink salmon expected this year, and a strong forecast for coho, and with all of these spunky resident coho around too, on top of our usual sea-run Cutthroat trout fishing, we are having a great summer season on the saltwater. And for the week ahead we seem to be getting a good break from the heat. So let's get out there!


   Your Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide and Instructor.


Fly fishing for sea-run Coastal Cutthroat trout
 from a traditional Swampcscott 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



Thursday, July 2, 2015

Mad dogs and wild trout.


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

Mad dogs and wild trout.


"Mad dogs and Englishmen go out on the midday sun".


   June 2015 has turned out to be another record-breaking month for historic high temperatures here in Washington. And the forecast for July does not look much different. Coupled with unusually low flows in the rivers, continued drought, and warming freshwater temperatures, many of our inland waters will become too warm to fish for trout. For most of us fly fishermen, this means that we will be heading off to the Puget Sound regional beaches in pursuit of sea-run Coastal Cutthroat trout and salmon. With this being another pink salmon run year, and the forecast for over 6 million of those fish to return to our waters, along with a strong expectation for the coho run, chances are good that the beaches will be worth fly fishing right through October here on the Olympic Peninsula. Wear a hat, long sleeve shirt, and sunglasses. Sun protection will be mandatory now. 
   
Leland Miyawaki, dressed for the heat,
brought his Orvis Tenkara rod outfit along.




Salmon season has opened here!



If you want to fly fish for Pacific salmon around Puget Sound country- angler, author and biologist, Richard Stoll has written the book for you. 
Contact information here:
http://www.westsoundangler.com/
    
  
   A few days ago we enjoyed a cool, fog-misty morning here. It was refreshing to be out on the water in the bright morning sun with a cooling breeze. Even on the hottest days here we can get cool pleasant mornings on the water. We began fishing just after the low slack of tide, and just as the flood current began. The cold incoming tide was so refreshing that we forgot all about it being one of the hottest days of the year. You could see the heat shimmering off of the exposed gravel beaches. As the tide increased in height you could feel that the shallow water, closest to the edges of the beaches, was uncommonly warmer. So that's the clue that the fish will be feeding a little further out in the colder flows, and sometimes a little deeper too. We had numerous schools of "bait" around us for the day, and there were trout feeding on them too. Perch, stickleback, sculpin and herring were in abundance. It made for an entertaining morning. But one thing that is all to easy to forget is that while you are out there, standing in the cool incoming tide currents, with that fresh cooling ocean breeze- under that bright hot sun- you are dehydrating. By noon it was time for us to get out of the sun, and find some shade, and take a break. And drink some cold water.

   Here's how we do it . . .



Leland saves the day with a beautiful cold Bento!

   
Jack Devlin toasts the day with a little cold Sake'.
 
 
Leland Miyawaki and Richard Stoll,
enjoying a light lunch break in the shade, as the beaches bake in the sun.

    


Leland holds sway. There's time enough for an afternoon cigar,
and a few good fishing stories, while we let the tide roll in.
Jack Devlin's beautiful flatwing flies. 


Leland's afternoon Tenkara session!
Late afternoon power nap . . .


And a little more fishing.

The whole point is that this summer fishing should be fun!  Take good care of yourself. Bring plenty of cold water, and drink it! Wear sun protection. Take some breaks in the shade. With the tides we are getting here right now, we can fish in the morning, take a nice long mid-day break, and get back out there while it is beginning to cool down. Sometimes we can enjoy the fishing well into the evenings if we like. So why punish yourself under that hot midday sun? 


P.S. Old Guys Rule!
photo by Jack Devlin


Here's an extra nice one, courtesy of Jack Devlin

              
 Your Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide and Instructor



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


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A few thoughts on dry fly fishing



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

A few thoughts on dry fly fishing.


Guiding on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia.
We had 100 fish days on dry flies.
 Dry fly fishing has to be my favorite of all of the ways to catch trout. Beginning my fly fishing life on the east coast, I fished for mostly stocked trout in those waters. You really had to go hunting in the boonies for any true, wild trout. They were actually char, the eastern brook trout. And the wild ones were small, but very quick to take any dry fly most of the time. It didn't take long to realize that most of what people were writing and talking about, when it came to "selective" trout and dry fly fishing, was due to the fact that the fish were getting heavily pressured by the fishermen. And of course it does not take many encounters with being hooked and released etc., for a trout to learn to avoid a fly, leader, line, drag etc. And what fly you are using in that situation is really going to matter most of the time. So at the early end of my dry fly fishing career, it was often vexing to riddle out what would work. 

 One reference that helped me was "Hatches II", by Al Caucci (  http://www.mayfly.com/albio.htm  ) and Bob Nastasi. That book is so good that most aquatic entomologists get into it as undergraduates. They did their mayfly research so well, traveling and collecting samples across North America for several years, and running aquariums in Al's enclosed front porch all winter, with flies hatching all over the place, that they ended up discovering a few species of mayfly that no one else had seen before. After a few years of that book being in circulation you couldn't fish with a guide on the upper Delaware River without speaking Latin. Al Caucci also came up with some very good fly patterns, mainly the Comparadun fly. He set that fly up to have more body in the water, riding level and deeper, and it worked. But after a while those fish figured that one out too.

 Just a few miles downriver from Al Caucci's Delaware River Club there was another lodge, run by a guy named Pat. He was old school cool, and he had been guiding there for years. And he had a nice old lodge with plenty of regular fishermen coming every season. Out on the water he was a keen observer of the hatches. And when he was sure of what was happening. with trout rising splashily all around them, he would recommend that you "use one of those little brown ones". And he caught lot of fish too. Pat did not speak Latin. Ever. Back then it was nice to find myself with a fly box that seemed equally divided between carefully selected patterns, that closely resembled the indigenous family, genus and species, by size, color and profile, and a nice little batch of "those little brown ones".

 Once I had the chance to go to southwest Alaska, and fly fish for those wild trout, that was a whole new game. None of those Rainbow trout had ever read a book on hatches or flies. If you get there early in the season, through June anyway, you will get slammed by voracious, predatory assassins. Almost with no care to what fly you are using. But by early July two major things have happened: 1) The rainbows have figured out that something is wrong with some of their meals, and they are paying much closer attention to every bite they take. 2) The sockeye salmon are showing up by the millions and the trout are a bit more scattered. And once again one has to begin riddling out the right fly in the right situation. And sometimes it has to be an egg fly or you simply won't be catching anything. Once the salmon start falling apart, you need to match the salmon meat hatch with flesh flies too. And so it goes.

 For the sheer numbers and stupid fun of dry fly fishing for trout, my best day, my best three hours straight, was on the San Juan River in New Mexico. I had driven down there with a guide friend, after our Alaska season at Iliaska Lodge, on Lake Iliamna, had ended. We red-eyed it down from Boulder at night, blowing past the warning signs for "Open Range Livestock On Road", in a decrepit, post-collegiate, Honda sedan. He had the speedometer needle buried. It was almost October and the fishing was fantastic, with cool nights and warm clear days. We walked into a fly shop/gas station/motel/cafe and looked over the flies. "Jeff, I am going to need a God damned microscope to tie one of these thing on to my tippet!" They had Blue Winged Olives down to size 26. "Trust me", Jeff said, as he scooped up a few dozen of the tiny things, and a spool of 7X tippet. And so we headed off to the river. After poking around for a while, taking long lunches and scouting the various bars and shops between our lazy fishing efforts each day, and catching fish after fish, it was almost time to head back north. On our last morning we scarfed down hot oatmeal and instant coffee and got on the water at dawn. There were already twenty people on the water. And six drift boats were lined up in the queu at the Texas Hole, drifting solemnly downriver, with several dudes per boat, all hunched intently toward the bright little bobbers . . . "Screw this". We headed off for breakfast at a diner. This was followed by yet more browsing and lunch, beer, naps etc. By 3 p.m. we decided to give it one more shot. We weren't disappointed at all at this point. We had each been catching fish every day, on dry flies. Jeff headed upriver, and I headed downriver. We planned to meet at 6 by the car.

 Walking down the river, mostly in an effort to get away from everyone else, I noticed one stretch where the only noticeable feature worth considering was a little riffle, way out in the middle of the river, where trout were obviously feeding, snapping up small flies on the surface. Really damned small flies. A solid 70 foot cast at least. I tied on one of the little, teeny, tiny green things, and I gave it a shot. Bang! Just as the fly hit the water. At that distance I could not actually see the fly, way out there on the water, but I could see the take. And so it went. cast after cast, one fish per cast, for hours. It was the Disneyland of fly fishing for me. Stupid fun. We drove home happy and tired.

 Back when we could still fish the Elwha River, I would take a hike up the Whiskey Bend trail in the fall, after Labor day, usually early to mid September. That time of year it can be wet up there at night. And by morning everything seems soaked. But by mid day, and early afternoon, it can be as dry as a parched desert again. There would always be a few people out in the chilly damp dawn, working down the river, nymphing and streamer fishing. Rumors of big Bull trout stealing the rainbow trout off of their hooks circulated. But it was slow. I was waiting for the sun to hit the water, and for the bugs to show. Hiking, reading, watching the bears eating berries, it was never disappointing up there. By late afternoon, when the sun begins to duck past the ridges, up there at Elkhorn Camp, the bugs begin to swarm over the water and the trout come out to play. You can wait all day for that. You won't be disappointed. I usually throw together a simple box of mixed dry flies for stuff like that. I like the old stand by flies, the Adams, B.W.O., the Autumn Sedge and Caddis, P.M.D. etc. The last time I was up there I had a few of those small flies from New Mexico in my box too. The Elwha trout loved them. I forget what color they were.

 Now that we are in a time of really low water out here on the Olympic Peninsula rivers, we need flies that will work mostly on the surface if we are dry line steelhead fishing. One great book about this is "Dry Line Steelhead and other subjects", by Bill McMillan. Here is a pattern that I created a few years ago, inspired by Bill McMillan's Steelhead Caddis. This is a fly that I tie for summer steelhead, and I also use it for sea-run coastal cuttroat trout in freshwater and saltwater. The hook is aGamakatsu T10-6H / size #6 or #8. The Elk hair was from some shed hair, from the Canyon Creek herd on the Hoh River valley one spring. There were bushels of the stuff laying around back then. The dubbing is Arizona Sparkle Nymph / Skip's October Caddis. I will fish this with a dry line and long leader. at least 9 feet long. If I tie it sparsely it will get just beneath the surface. Or I can build up the elk hair wing, and get it to stay on top, sometimeswith a little Gink or other grease. This is a great fly for the October Caddis hatch here in the fall too. What we're after here are gullible wild trout.




Little Stone's Steelhead Caddis

Your Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide and Instructor

Fly fishing for sea-run Cutthroat from a classic Swampscott Dory.
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. Please call or write for details.

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


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer Solstice Hopes



Your Olympic Peninsula fly fishing guide.
Catch & release, fly fishing only!

Summer Solstice hopes.

Walking the Island beach trail.

   When I talk about beach fishing with people who are unfamiliar with the Olympic Peninsula and our saltwater fishing, they always think only of summer. It is hard to convince people that we have year-round fly fishing on these beaches, even in the winter. People have a picture in their minds of sun washed sandy beaches, blue skies, and bluebird weather. And of course we all enjoy the fishing during these typically fair and sunny summer days. Especially with a light onshore breeze coming down from the northwest most of the time. Our air conditioning provided by the cooling influence of the Pacific Ocean waters. The weather gets calmer now, and we rarely see any significant winds or stormy waves. Brisk mornings, Warm, dry sunny days, cooling evenings. It will usually be like this right through September. 


Releasing a wild sea-run Cutthroat trout.

   We have had an unexpectedly mild June here this year. With only a few blasts of wind, and very little rain. This is hardly the "June-u-ary" weather that we have grown to expect and to endure annually here. No one is complaining. With the solstice here today, and the summer conditions we are already enjoying, it's full-on summer here now. The beaches are in beautiful shape now. And with the new moon on the 16th, and the waxing first quarter moon approaching, the tides are running good and cold here this coming week. Looks like the afternoons and evenings will be really nice for flooding tides. By the end of the month the tide ranges will be deeper and stronger with the full  moon approaching. You can't beat fishing into twilight this time of year, on a rising tide, and a full moon.


Juvenile Herring, Photo Jack Devlin

   Recently I was talking with my friend Jack Devlin after a local sea-run cutthroat fishing day here. At one point on the outgoing tide he saw a large, dark mass of small fish, moving along slowly in the ebb. It took him a moment to focus on what he was seeing- many thousands of juvenile herring, from 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches long, all bunched up together in a "ball", right at the edges of the beach. Just down-current of the herring were some resident coho salmon, and, surprised, he caught and released a few of them right then and there. And we have been seeing plenty of "bait ball" activity, with all of the the attendant wheeling and diving birds etc., along our beaches, and well out into the open waters of north Puget Sound and Admiralty Inlet now. The marine biologists who work here locally are telling me that many of these bait balls are actually large schools of sandlance. So there's two important fly patterns for you to be using this time of year- herring and sandlance, from to 2 to 4 inches in length. Everything, including the sea-run Cutthroat, feeds on these important forage species all year.


Fly fishing for sea-run Cutthroat from a classic Swampscott Dory.
By appointment only.


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 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. Please call or write for details.

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