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

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

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