Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Of Sea-Run Cutthroat Flies and Men

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

Of Sea-Run Cutthroat Flies and Men

Fly Fish or cut bait.

   This is the time of year when it is hard to imagine that there are any hungry sea run cutthroat trout out there. No matter where you look there are nearly countless numbers of juvenile salmon of several species, feeding and growing in the estuaries, traveling in schools, making their way up Puget Sound toward the Pacific Ocean. When we do count them in some places, we are counting them in the hundreds of thousands, and even millions at a time, in some very small streams. It is no surprise that we fly fishermen will get focused on using smaller salmon fry and smolt flies this time of year. Flies like my Chum Baby, Doug Rose's Keta Rose, and many others, will be found in nearly everyone's sea-run Cutthroat fly box in the spring. These flies should be tied small and sparse in the early season, March and April and May. But there are many more options for fly selection, and for catching sea-run Coastal Cutthroat in the summer, than the usual salmon fry and smolt fly patterns that we so often think of as our first go-to choice. 

This late spring sea-run Cutthroat took a skated Steelhead Caddis fly.

Steelhead Caddis. Ordinarily an summer and autumn run Steelhead fly pattern.
The sea-run Cutthroat love them!

By now you may be noticing that many of these wild trout are getting hard to catch. And this is not at all unusual. For one thing, they have plenty to eat. The don't really need to eat your fly. For another thing- they have seen your fly out there, for several months now, and they may even have been caught on it- and they are avoiding it. So maybe you need to change flies. When they get picky about it I use smaller flies. For instance, there is a huge crop of baby herring out there now. Those flies can be as small as an inch or so. And Cutthroat are river fish after all, so why not try some ordinary trout flies like the Stimulator, Steelhead Caddis, Wooley Booger, Matuka, Sculpin, Mickey Finn, Gray Ghost, Hornberg, Muddler, Adams, Royal Wulff etc. If you have not yet tried dry fly fishing for sea-run Cutthroat on the beaches, you are missing out on some serious fun. When they get hard to catch, I change flies often. And Move! Maybe it is time to try a different location, miles away. Those wild trout are free to roam, and they do so all of the time. They don't "live" on any one beach.

Sea-run Cutthroat fly fisherman and artisan fly tier
Jack Devlin carries a wide selection of flies.
 So should you.

Master Veteran 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 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. Personalized and private fly fishing and fly casting instruction, and guided trips are available, to beginners through expert anglers. Public presentations, Naturalist guide for Rowboat Picnics and Tide Pool day trips. Please call, write or email for booking details.

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

Licensed Washington State Guide 
Certified Casting Instructor
Trout Unlimited Aquatic Educator Award
U.S.C.G First Aid/CPR/BLS/AED/BBP/HIV Certified

Phone: 360-385-9618

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