Friday, March 20, 2015

The Vernal Equinox and a new moon

Your Olympic Peninsula fly fishing guide.
Catch & Release, Fly fishing only!

The Vernal Equinox and a new moon . . .

Shared with gratitude to Irving Mortensen
    This first day of spring is sweeping across the Olympic Peninsula with a bit of much needed rain, and a little snow in the mountains, and gale force winds. As I sit here this evening the house is shuddering and I can hear the wind soughing through the trees. We have had a few pummeling 40 knot gusts so far. Out on Admiralty Inlet the seas were pretty rough today, and they cancelled some ferry trips. As it grew dark tonight I could hear two barred owls hauntingly calling to each other beneath the blowing din:

"Who-who-who . . . Who-cooks-for-you?" 

   It was raw and cold enough tonight to put a light blanket on the horse. I gave him a little extra straw bedding and hay too. By the time I got back up to the house the wind was howling, driving the rain sideways. The dogs were glad to get back into the warm house, ready for dinner and a nap. I made a hot pot of tea and set my flashlight out on the table.The dogs are snoring now, hunkered in, ignoring the storm. Stuff like this just makes me feel good.

    It's not like we have had a hard winter here. It has been improbably warm, dry and mild most of the time. We are actually in a drought right now. The rivers have been pretty low for much of this winter, aside from a few spikes in flows from the rare rains and snows we have had, and a couple of high water events. It seems like we are getting just enough rain to keep the rivers alive. Certainly this is good for the fish right now. Tonight the rivers are going up a little again. And for the next few days ahead it looks like it will freeze and snow some more in the 3000 to 4000 foot levels. So the rivers may moderate and pull together quickly after all. A little hint of winter. But the solid long range trend is for warmer and drier weather ahead, so don't be fooled by a cold snap now. Even though we have had spring-like weather for many weeks, and we have been fishing on the saltwater much of the winter, it is only now really spring. 

Spring scouting trip and cheap beer.

    Rumors of fish . . .There has been much talk lately of great sea-run Cutthroat trout fishing  just south of us. And of course I am not surprised to hear that the Chum salmon fry are already out in good numbers in South Puget Sound waters. We are usually a few weeks behind that activity here. I have heard that the chum fry are making their way into our local estuaries now, along the north Olympic Peninsula coast. It takes some time for them to move away from the creeks and out along the shorelines in the currents. Typically these juvenile salmon will be about one and a half inches in length right now, and growing daily. The Cutthroat trout will be right behind them too. On a recent scouting trip, one of several over the last month, we did not see any remarkable action and we only saw a few fish. The anticipation is palpable though. There is nothing like being there on the day that they show up. "If you snooze, you lose." And it doesn't hurt that Saturday's new moon will be pulling on the tides a little harder this month, as it is a "super moon." Now if only we can get out there between the raindrops and winds this week

The Orvis Recon 9 foot 5 weight is turning out to be a very sweet beach rod.

     Somewhere down there in South America they are in their first day of Autumn today, and the end of their fishing season is closing in on them. While way up north in the Arctic Circle my pagan Viking cousins are dancing naked around a huge bonfire. And we here are just at the beginning of our season. In a little over a week we will need to buy our new annual fishing licenses. There's flies to be tied yet, reels and knots to be checked, rods to be cleaned and repaired etc. These blustering chilly nights can fool you. Spring is here and it is time to get ready and get fishing. 

Speaking of flies-  
It's Chum Baby time again!  

    The Chum Baby fly is one of the most important fly patterns to have in your fly box when you are sea-run Coastal Cutthroat trout fishing, especially in the spring. You will find that this fly works very well for smallmouth bass, char and rainbow trout too, especially in waters where those fish feed on juvenile salmon. This is an excellent  and long proven successful, general spring fry pattern.

And by next week you will find them at the Orvis Bellevue store! Dozens of Chum Baby flies have once again begun their migration across Puget Sound, over the I-405 Bridge, and all of the way upstream to the Orvis Bellevue Fly Shop! 

   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 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.  I would be happy to help you plan your Olympic Peninsula fly fishing adventure, for beginners through expert anglers. 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, May 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
W.S.U.Beach Watcher
U.S.C.G First Aid/CPR/BLS/AED/BBP/HIV Certified

Phone: 360-385-9618