Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Tides

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

The Tides.

The August Full Sturgeon Moon.

You have heard me say this before: "Don't get stuck in the High Tide mentality!" A very good example of this would have been this last week of tides, where we had very little overall height change between tides during the middle of the day, and slower incoming water, on the highest tides, into darkness toward the end of the week. Many people would not take seriously a mid day, broad daylight, high tide of 5 to 6 feet, losing only about one foot or less at low tide but a few hours later. They would have been looking at the later, major high tide for their opportunity. But what if that particular major high tide was scheduled for 10:52 p.m.?! On Thursday of this week that is just what happened.

"But for a few venturous souls . . ." (Jack Devlin photo)
 But for a few venturous souls it was a perfect set up for hours of opportunity. Of course it did help that we had overcast and cloudy, drizzling, autumn cold, foggy conditions for a day or two preceding this particular tide cycle. We had silver salmon and pink salmon rolling in front of us for hours, right through the mid day high tide, often just a few yards from the beach. We fished the earlier morning incoming tide for sea run Cutthroat too, very successfully I will add, and the mid day high tide for salmon. Predictably, once the tide topped out- at about 2 p.m.- like quitting time at the factory, almost everyone left the beach all at once. Except us. And we had fish in front of us for another two hours, even into the dropping tide. Then it got quiet.

 We took a break and had a late lunch. Then we hit another beach for the beginning of the next incoming tide just a few hours later. With no serious signs of working fish there, we jogged back to our earlier spot, on the theory that there was not enough overall tidal exchange that afternoon to change the pattern of returning fish in that vicinity. That they would likely get right back up on the shallow bars and flats again, as the evening tide began to move in. And that is exactly what happened. And so we had fish running on that beach again, in shallow water right in front of us, for several more hours into dusk. Later on, upon my guest announcing his "last cast", a big fish rolled right in front of him. So very Inspiring! . . . We quit when it was almost totally dark. Cool Beans. Sometimes it pays to leave your watch at home. There is a pulse to these things. A rhythm. You can't find that in a book, or a magazine article, nor in a blog. You have to spend your time on the water here. And each location has its nuances.  

A misty morning sea run Coastal Cutthroat trout session.

 And to what do we owe this day of magic? The waxing Full Sturgeon Moon! And beginning tomorrow, Sunday August 18th, we will again be enjoying morning minus tides, and afternoon to evening extreme high tides. This is looking especially good around the 20th and 21st. In fact we have Wicked Good tidal times and conditions ahead for the rest of this month! Many anglers would tell you to fish only around the period of a full moon, and only around high tide. They like the stronger currents and longer time period of flows. And in some places this is indeed an advantage. But some of these softer tidal days are not to be missed. Pay attention to the conditions!

Low light, shallow water, incoming tide.

 One great thing about weaker tidal exchanges is that the forage fish and invertebrates etc., are less likely to be swept away in strong tidal flows. They can hang around in quieter back eddies and pools etc. And with enough water around between tides this can keep the predators- (like those big, fat sea run Cutthroat trout that we want to catch!)- hanging around to feed, or . . . Just hanging around. They do that you know. Nothing going on; just hanging around, under a dock, along a ledge or in a trench, in deep water, in shallow fast moving water, just sort of doing nothing. I have often seen these wild trout suspended, amid a school of chum fry, or herring, smelt, perch, absolutely not doing anything at all. Not feeding. Just snoozing. You might wake these malingerers up with a well placed soft hackle fly, like a Partridge and Orange. Or maybe you'll trick one up on the surface with a lightly skimming Muddler Minnow. The quieter the water the lighter I will present the fly, and sometimes the smaller the fly as well. Try a dry fly too. I notice that with this recent bit of moisture we have had here on the west side of the state, and the humidity increase of the last week, and now with the return of summer-like temperatures, the Termites are everywhere here again. Try a rusty colored # 6 Stimulator. Yes! In saltwater! 

The pressure was just too much for this man.

 We'll be walk and wade fishing these beautiful Olympic Peninsula saltwater beaches right through autumn, with September and October offering us some of the best guided fishing opportunities of the year. If you would like to plan a fishing date with me- do it well ahead of time! Remember: Catch & Release, Fly fishing Only! 

Beginners welcome. Full instruction available. Complete support assured. Use of equipment available. Picnic lunch and soft beverages provided. Celebrating over 33 years of international fly fishing adventures!

Please call or write for booking details:

Bob Triggs
Little Stone Flyfisher
P.O. Box 261
Port Townsend, WA

Licensed Washington State Guide.
Certified fly Casting Instructor.
Trout Unlimited Aquatic Educator Award.
U.S.C.G. Cert?BLS/BBP/HIV/CPR/First Aid.
Private and public presentations.
Row Boat Picnics on a local salmon estuary.

Telephone: 360-385-9618 / International Toll Free: 866-793-3595


Web: Little Stone Flyfisher

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