Friday, September 23, 2016

Autumnal Equinox

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

Autumn colors.
Photo Credit: Julie Knott

    Autumn has come on with a blustering rush here on the Olympic Peninsula. Today was a good example as we got rain in the morning here, and then a lot of wind, big waves, and we didn't fish the beaches while that was going on. Tonight the waters are calm again, and the sky is clear and cool, with a lovely starry night above. I can't wait for the burn ban to end,  so that I can sit by a fire under the stars with an impossibly cold beer. We have had some good cooling weather, refreshing light rains, and even a few heavier rains, with some strong and wild winds too, mixed in with the warmer days- A slow transition from summer to fall. It's like smoke under the door. We have come from the dry, dusty parched earth, to the sweet pungent relief of wet ferns and dripping conifers, in just a few weeks. Speaking of smoke, don't you just love these crisp autumn nights, icy clear skies, and the sweet smell of cedar smoke coming from the chimneys. 

   Fishing conditions on the west end Olympic Peninsula rivers are still kind of slow, with low water the main culprit. But September and October are really prime-time out here for the cutthroat trout fishing on some waters here. One of the best times is right now, as the October Caddis hatch is beginning with this solstice. And this hatch will go on for weeks, well through October. The hatch begins in the lower rivers, and slowly expands upriver over the weeks ahead. Some days it is like a blizzard out there. Unfortunately there is still an early closure scheduled for gamefish season on those same waters. This is supposed to protect returning fall run coho. I never hooked one of those salmon when I was trout fishing with a five weight rod and trout flies. I suppose that it is possible. But not likely. Especially on dry flies. At any rate, if you have plans for the autumn trout and steelhead fishing here, you better get moving on it, low water or not. 

    There is a spark of hope for the fall trout fishing, I am seeing the state open some gamefish seasons around the state as the coho run counts are improving in some places. Don't hold your breath though, for places like the Sol Duc River and Hoh River etc. Make sure to check the state, and National Park, fishing regulations before you head out there. Also check the state fishing hotline number, as that is updated immediately when there is a rule change.

   WDFW Rule changes online: 

   WDFW Fishing Rules Hotline: 360-902-2500

   Fortunately, we still have the excellent autumn sea-run coastal cutthroat trout fishing on our saltwaters to enjoy now. 

Autumn Sea-Run Coastal Cutthroat Trout.

And this fishing can go well into November up here in the northern waters. Some of us fish all winter. There's almost always a few nice fish around. But I have to say that fall is when the big ones show up. They have been out there cruising and bruising all summer, feeding, and growing. Last week I was out with a few anglers, and I was demonstrating how to cast and drop the fly on the water, and pick it back up again, with just a little bit of skating the fly up off of the water on the pickup. The idea is to make it look like a baitfish on the surface. But sometimes you are just showing someone how to cast, and the fly keeps hitting that same little spot on the water right in front of you. After a dozen or so drops and pickups of the fly, a very hefty and strong cutthroat grabbed the fly and proceeded to work the heck out of me. 

Nice, hard fighting, fat fall fish. 
Close your eyes . . .  
Imagine . . .
18 inches . . .
Deep and fat . . .

Sorry, No Picture.

   The forecast for the next week to ten days looks very good for our beach fishing. Mostly mild days, cooler nights. Light winds, almost no waves. Perfect sea-run cutthroat fishing weather. This won't do the rivers any good. I'll see you on the beaches! 

The most relaxing way to fish for sea-run cutthroat.
One angler, maybe two,  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 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