Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"Winterish" . . .

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

"Winterish" . . .

  November 21, 2013 Update

  We are enjoying one of the mildest autumn-into-winter transitions here that that I can remember. Timely rains have kept our Olympic Peninsula steelhead rivers alive, with great fishing between the spates, and now a long stretch of sublime weather is moving in, and the rivers are on the drop- Again. Meanwhile, our beaches are fishing just fine, thank you! The forecast for the next ten days is looking very good, with some of the mildest weather predicted through the weekend here. Hatchery run winter steelhead are moving in on the recent spell of brief high water, and these fish will be encountered throughout most of the rivers here now. Flows are on the drop and just about everything should be eminently approachable for walk and wade anglers, and especially for traditional swung fly steelhead fly fishing.

 It's rare that we can expect to get a bit of a sunburn while winter steelhead fishing out here. Normally, by Thanksgiving, the winter runs will be full-on here, and the hatchery runs hold well through December and through New Years week. With these frequent rains we have had, and the resultant runoff, I expect that more fish are on the move, perhaps a little earlier than expected. But Thanksgiving is over a week away, which is an eternity for winter weather forecasting here! So, when the sirens call, when the stars converge, when the muse whispers in your ear, and when were talking about no serious rain for the next week or more here- Do not wait to get on the water and enjoy it! (P.S. Bring sunscreen!)

 With the river flows dropping back into good condition for fly fishing now, we will expect water clarity to continue to rapidly improve over the next few days. By this weekend many of our favorite runs will be gin-clear, or nearly so. Just lately the night time temperatures have been very cold, and we have had some bright sunlight too, with more of that in the forecast, so we can expect that we will encounter some fish holding in the deeper and shadier niches. And this means that you will need to get your fly to slow down and hunt for them. As much as we have become accustomed to going to the heavier sink tips, sinking leaders and sinking heads, to accomplish these deeper presentations, sometimes a dry line will do it better. When the rivers are on the drop, and the flows are slowing down, try using a floating line and a longer leader. Now is the time to get out that traditional spey rod, and long belly spey line, and slow it all down. An six to nine foot leader, tapered to a 10-12 pound test tippet at most, might be very good. Using this approach, paired with using sparser flies, on heavier hooks, you can often happily eschew the dumb-bell eyed monster flies, and still get a very controllable presentation. In fact, the lighter the conditions get, as far as improved water clarity and slower, lower flows, the smaller and sparser the flies I will be using. I will include some surface waking flies in this mix too. Yes, I know- "It's winter" . . . But we have learned to go with the flows, not the calendar.

Hatchery Steelhead do not belong in the Hoh River . . .
But we catch them here every winter!

 Speaking of the Saltchuck . . .

"Meanwhile, our beaches are fishing just fine, Thank you!"

Gratitude . . . The Salmon Festival is back!
    Our friends over at the North Olympic Salmon Coalition are throwing a little party, this coming Friday November 22nd, 4-9 p.m., Chimacum Grange Hall, and you are invited! 


The many ongoing salmon habitat restoration projects being undertaken by NOSC have succeeded in returning tens of thousands of wild spawning Salmon, Steelhead and Coastal Cutthroat trout, and more, to our north Olympic Peninsula regional waters. If there is anyone to credit for our having such coincidentally good wild sea-run Coastal Cutthroat trout fishing here- it is the dedicated and extrordinarily hard working, inspiring staff and volunteers of this organization. Please support them! 

Happy Thanksgivukkah!!

 See Dr Cliff Mass weather blog for the latest updates on this holiday weekend regional weather. We are especially blessed this year!

My neighbors are getting nervous . . .
Autumn Cutthroat and early Winter Steelhead!

  We'll be walk and wade fishing these beautiful Olympic Peninsula saltwater beaches right through November- And any time that the conditions are right- all winter!   Our early winter-run Steelhead are coming into the Olympic Peninsula coastal rivers with each spate that we have been having, all through autumn so far. If you would like to plan a fishing date with me- do it well ahead of time.

  Remember: Catch & Release, Traditional 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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