|Low water on the Sol Duc River|
|A pretty little wild river Coastal Cutthroat|
Here on the Olympic Peninsula rivers and creeks the sea-run Cutthroat are once again moving up into fresh waters from the saltchuck. Not all at once, but a trickling few fish, here and there, through late summer and fall in almost every significant system that hosts them. And more waters hold these wild trout than most anglers know of. Along with the Cutthroat are our few wild resident Rainbow Trout, though the regional biologists refer to them as "Risidualized Steelhead". And summer run Steelhead fishing is an opportunity here now as well, as the bigger glacially influenced rivers have receded to lower flows and clearer visibility. Dawn and dusk may afford the best circumstances for some runs, while mid day fishing in shaded water can be productive. Stealthy, quiet presentations, longer drifts, greased line presentations, stalking holding fish in the deeper pools, wet flies, soft hackles, Steelhead Caddis etc. It is all about not letting them see you or hear you. In low water and daylight your presence will likely distract them, enough to stop them cold.
|Summer Steelhead fly fishing on the Sol Duc River|
In any case, we don't have to wait for the rain to go fishing. Dry line fly fishing for Cutthroat and Summer run Steelhead is often superb this time of year, and under precisely these low water conditions. Here is my own sparsely tied variation on the theme of the October Caddis. This is a prolific autumn hatch that we will see on almost every stream and river here, right into the hard freeze we usually get near November. I like to skate and drift this fly on the surface, greased a bit to aid in flotation. But this fly will work beneath the surface, just, and sometimes that is enough. And it has worked well, catching fish on the swing. I use this fly in saltwater too with good results on sea runs.
|Little Stone's October Caddis|
|A sea run Coastal Cutthroat Trout caught in saltwater|