Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Post Solstice Interim "Sprummer"

Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

The Post Solstice Interim "Sprummer"

Pacific Northwest Facts of Life

 You can almost set your watch by the near-perfect timing of  our annual segway from spring into summer, as these last weeks of Juneuary so reliably remind us, that for some of the year anyway, we are in the wettest part of the region. Cool cloudy days and colder nights, winds from the southern quarters, and occasional thundershowers, high water and messy beaches, small craft warnings and gales . . . you would think we were going back into winter. But with each passing day these events become less intense, more beneficial than difficult, and  before you know it you are out there on the water, enjoying some of the most refreshing weather we get all year. Between the raindrops we do pretty well here sometimes. By the 1st of July we will have a seasonal outdoors burning ban, and we will be the driest region of the entire country for two to three months.

 Yesterday my old Iliaska Lodge, Alaska guide friend Bill Howarth came for a visit, and we headed off to the beach to wet a line. The wind was spanking out of the south at a good 18-20 knots, with whitecaps spewing white foam, and the sky was threatening grey and wet. We hid out of the wind and had a beer and a cigar and talked about our lives as fly fishing guides for a while. Within an hour the wind died down, the bay was laying flat, and the tide was coming into a slick, flat drift, with lot's of bait and a few fish showing. We enjoyed a few hours of nearly perfect, balmy sunset fishing, on the kind of dark gliding water that you just have to fish on the surface. I chose Leland Miyawaki's Beach Popper, and got a few boiling followers. The interesting thing about this is that if we had gone by the forecasts, or even the way things looked when we had first arrived at the beach, we would have waited for another day to fish. Sometimes you just have to be there. We had fish around us all evening.

Bill Howarth is a kick ass guide, and one of the toughest guys I know.
One hour before this picture was taken the wind waves were two to three feet tall.
Despite Small Craft Warnings we had excellent fishing into sunset.

For the past week I have seen Pink Salmon here already, and jumping very close to the beach. So by the July 1st salmon season opener, here in Admiralty Inlet Marine Area #9, we should be catching a few of them while we are fishing for sea run Cutthroat. Good tough fun. A nine-foot, six-weight rod and 3X tippet is recommended. I like using floating lines for these fish most of the time. Almost all of the Pink salmon that we have caught have been incidental to the sea run Coastal Cutthroat trout fly fishing on our beaches, using trout flies. Despite many other options in flies, tackle and techniques, the Pink salmon seem to grab whatever is in front of them sometimes. They are quite obviously still feeding aggressively when they come past these beaches. Washington fisheries managers predict some 6.5 million Pinks on the run to Puget Sound this year. We might see quite a few. Ordinarily we begin to catch those fish incidentally around the 4th of July here. All fish are released without avoidable injury.

A hefty Pink salmon caught on a trout fly on the 3rd of July a few years ago.

 Some happy news for summer Steelhead fishermen this week, is that we have had some good rain on and off over the last week or so, and the rivers came up a bit, and flows will be on the drop in our big coastal rivers for the next few days to a week. Now is the time to get out on our rivers and try your hand at it. By the end of July it is usually very low and slow water here. But we have had a very good water year, and this bodes well for our Rainforest stream and river fishing well into late July. I will have some summer Steelhead and Sea Run Coastal Cutthroat trout fly patterns to share with you next week. Don't forget that Olympic National Park fisheries managers have closed all fishing on the Hoh River within the Park boundaries, including the South Fork Hoh River, and downriver at the mouth, in an effort to afford refuge to the spring and summer Chinook salmon run, which is very depressed, and has failed escapement goals repeatedly. State waters remain open for trout and summer steelhead fishing on the Hoh. We need to be mindful of our impacts and limit or tackle, flies and tippets, to rule out playing and landing incidentally hooked salmon. For more details:

Tidewater Summer Steelhead fly fishing on an Olympic Peninsula coastal river.

No Pebble Mine!

 On a conservation note, the Environmental Protection Agency had extended the Public Comment Period for testimony regarding the proposed Pebble Mine, in southwest Alaska, through June 30th. So in just a few days that opportunity will close. If you have not weighed in on this, here is your chance to do so. Please take a moment to look at the information. This project, purported to be the largest gold mine in the world, with the largest containment lakes for toxic waste water holding, threatens the entire Bristol Bay watershed, and the last, greatest runs of wild salmon on earth, and the jobs of thousands of people who work and live in the commercial and sports related fishery. The native people of the Bristol Bay region have had  a 15,000 year history of successful, sustainable, stewardship and subsistence on these watersheds and fisheries. This has been one of the great success stories in modern fisheries management. The Pebble Mine must not be allowed to threaten this way of life. See:

Celebrating over 33 years of fly fishing adventure!

 My saltwater season will run well through October here, with plenty of options for freshwater as well. Please plan ahead, and contact me in advance if you would like to come fishing with me here. We do all walk and wade trips, catch and release fly fishing only. This is Fair Chase fly fishing, with a single barbless fly, no droppers, floats, bobbers, tandems etc. And we do just fine at catching fish without doing a lot of harm along the way. Contact me for details.

Bob Triggs
Little Stone Flyfisher
Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide
P.O. Box 261
Port Townsend, Wa

Licensed Washington State Guide
Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Trout Unlimited Aquatic Educator Award Recipient
USCG 2 Year Cert/ 1st Aid/CPR/AED/BBP/HIV

Phone: 360-385-9618 / Toll Free: 866-793-3595



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