Saturday, April 9, 2016

A Sea-Run Spring

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

A Sea-Run Spring

I have been waiting for this all winter . . .
    Ever since the spring equinox I have been feeling that itch to get back to the beaches again for the spring cutthroat fishing.  I managed to get on the water with friends a few times this winter, and it was always hit-or-miss as far as the catching went. And one develops a kind of stoic mindset when doing this fishing, much like winter steelheading, that it may be a while before the next tug. So you pace yourself, to get through the long dark winter, one swing at a time. There's just enough action to keep you coming back for more, though you may have to wait between storms. And then the spring equinox comes along, and the sun has been returning to noticeably warm the northern latitudes for a few months already, the little buds and blossoms are opening up, the storms are fewer, farther between. You are gaining strength and hope for the spring fishing again. 

Back in early March we headed down south for a little early spring fishing . . .

    The chum salmon and pink salmon fry have been emerging from their river gravel incubation, since around early to mid February depending upon where you are on these waters, and they are entering the estuaries all over the Puget Sound and Olympic Peninsula region. So it will pay to have some juvenile salmon fly patterns in your fly box. These fry will range in size from one inch to over several inches long by now. The larger ones will be in the southern waters, while up here in the North Sound region they will be around 1 to 2 inches long. The longer that the season goes on, the faster they will grow. And they are all migrating northward, toward the sea. So, being up here in the northern area, you can see some chum fry that are an inch and a half long, drifting by on the tides, and then you'll see some fry go by that are almost three inches or longer, all in the same day. I tie my salmon fry imitations from one to three inches long in the spring. 

Chum Baby flies. A very successful pattern in Puget Sound country.
You can find them at:

 Orvis Bellevue Store, Peninsula Outfitters Fly Shop,
The Confluence Fly Shop 

  But it's not just about salmon fry. Sea-run coastal cutthroat trout feed on a variety of forage year round. In contrast to the focus on smaller flies that we use in the spring, like shrimp, squid, juvenile bait fish, fry etc., here's a look at a few flies that work all year in these waters, for trout and for salmon:  

Classic flatwing streamer, by Jack Devlin
Clouser Minnows, bait fish style.
    I went into greater detail on spring and  summer sea-run flies HERE.

This is probably the most relaxing way to fish for sea-run cutthroat.
Call or write for details.

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, or row along the shorelines in the dory, fly fishing for sea-run Coastal Cutthroat trout in freshwater and saltwater, and in the rivers for Cutthroat trout and summer steelhead. This is all strictly catch and release, traditional, barbless single hook, 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, beginner to expert. 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

Licensed Washington State Guide 
Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Trout Unlimited Aquatic Educator Award
2006 W.S.U.Beach Watcher / Water Watcher graduate
U.S.C.G First Aid/CPR/BLS/AED/BBP/HIV Certified

Phone: 360-385-9618

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