Monday, September 23, 2013

Autumn Equinox

Your Olympic Peninsula fly fishing Guide, 
Catch & Release, Fly Fishing only.

Autumn Equinox

Andy Hill with a beautiful fall sea run Cutthroat, caught last week.

 9/26 Weather Update and Warning!  

Things change fast around here sometimes!

For the past few weeks autumn has been gently, gradually seeping into our days and nights here on the Olympic Peninsula. But this weekend's big shift in weather patterns has left no doubt that fall is solidly here. By Friday 9/27/ we have some big rains coming, in a storm that will take days to push through. Kiss this weekend goodbye if you plan on fishing the west end Peninsula rivers. It is a little early for this kind of rain event around here, one we would normally expect later in October, but here it is. The National Weather Service has warned us about possible flooding in some of our Olympic Peninsula rivers as we may accumulate as much as 5-10 inches of rain over the next few days and through the weekend. The eastern Olympic Peninsula beaches, from Port Townsend and Marrowstone Island down through the Hood Canal areas, are already fishing really well, and this could hold true through the week ahead. But it could also be too snotty and windy to fish from Friday through the weekend. All of that will depend upon the wind at the time you want to fish. But suffice it to say that it is likely that we will not be fishing the rivers for a little while now, and the beaches are still going to be our best option while all of this blows over. It all depends upon the wind as this storm hits land. Sometimes we do not get hit so bad. And sometimes our rivers do not go wild. But if they do now, once the rivers come back into shape the fishing should be very good. Keep your eye on my updates here for that. No problem, the beaches have been fishing very well for Coho and Sea Run Cutthroat. The water cleans up along our beaches very quickly after a storm. Check out Dr Cliff Mass updated weather blog for his excellent overview of this incoming unusual rain event.

Saturday night readings, and it is just getting started! This will pull those fall salmon in off of the coast for sure!!

 While we are waiting for the rivers to drop back into shape with more moderate flows, the beaches are going to continue to fish really well. Even after the wind and waves that this storm is bringing, once things calm down the beaches will clean up quickly, often within hours. We are catching some beautiful, big and fat, wild sea run Coastal Cutthroat trout out here now this time of year. This comes as no surprise as we know that these fish have been feeding on forage fish and other marine forage species out in the saltwater all summer long. This is the time of year that I expect to run into a few big ones. We caught one particular Cutthroat last week, about 13 inches, and once we landed it, it had a herring hanging out of it's mouth that was about five inches long. So don't be afraid to tie some big flies now too.

Another nice sea run for Andy!
 One thing that may be happening with our "local" sea run Cutthroat in the fall is that typically the smaller streams here are running very low through August and into September, and sometimes much later. And these are very small waters, with narrow and shallow gradient upper watersheds. Perhaps the summer Chum and Coho Salmon returning to these estuaries and streams are displacing the trout out into the saltchuck for a little while longer than if there were no salmon around. Those big nasty Chums are gathering in some pretty small places right now, and they are territorial and aggressive. As long as the streams are running at summer low flows it is likely safer for these bigger trout to hang around in the saltwater areas for a little while longer, at least until the flows increase in the streams, and the salmon move upstream and begin to spawn, or even later. During the annual fall spawner surveys upstream we have observed adult sea run cutthroat in the company of spawned out or dead chums. But we rarely see them hanging around with actively spawning and guarding salmon, and certainly not in very low flows. So you can expect that I will have a preference for sea run fishing right through October, and sometimes even through Thanksgiving. We have miles of good beach fishing access here!

I told them to bring their flies, and they did!

 Despite the general impression that beach fishing is purely a "summer vacation" activity, September and October are the most productive months of the season here for bigger, wild sea runs and for Coho salmon too. The air is cooler, and we often enjoy refreshingly sunny days on these autumn beaches.

Andy had a magic week here recently!
 This is it! Autumn is here! The run is on! You should be fishing!

 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.
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Row Boat Picnics on a local salmon estuary.

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


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