|Sunrise over the Cascade range.|
February is over a month after the winter solstice. Up until now I have been taking it on faith that the days were getting longer. But by now it is undeniable. And I am feeling optimistic for the progressive return of those long sunny days on the water. Even if it's only adding a few seconds of daylight to each day. I have fished on the beaches a little bit this winter, and we've had some great days. But the weather has been rough too, so timing is everything. The last week of January was superb, with mild days, lots of sun, almost 50 degrees. And some big fat trout around too. This is enough new energy to stimulate me into fixing my leaky waders, checking all of my tackle, and sorting through my fly boxes. And it's time to tie those spring sea run cutthroat trout flies. There's plenty of time. I'm even going to paint the dory again. The cutthroat will be heading into their spawning period shortly, and the fishing on the saltchuck will be slow for a while. It won't hurt to give the fish a break for a time, to allow them to recover. It's amazing what a difference a few weeks can make in the condition and fight of these wild trout. I like to get back to fishing for the sea-run cutthroat trout in mid to late April up here in the northern reaches of Puget Sound country. South Sound anglers enjoy an earlier return of the cutthroat, and the chum fry. We're a few weeks behind them.
This will be my 37th season as a fly fisherman. So you would think that I am kind of over the excitement and anticipation of the coming spring. But I'm not. I spend the early winter months thinking about the fishing we did earlier in the year, remembering things about the way the water was, how the tides and winds were on some days, and remembering the fish that we caught. There's always a few days that I will never forget. And I spend some time each winter, scouting new water too; looking over marine charts, tide and current tables, and road maps. Every year I like to try some new water. I have been fishing here on the Olympic Peninsula for the last 16 years, and there's still so much to see and do here. It's a lifes work.
I try to add some new flies to my fishing too. This is something that we can do throughout our fly fishing lives. It's amazing to contemplate the variety of trout flies that can be used for sea-run cutthroat fly fishing. Just about any trout fly will work at one time or another, not just saltwater flies. Dry fly fishing on the saltchuck is a hoot. And even though we may have our favorites, we should always be trying some new things. If you are tying your own flies, then you know how rewarding this can be. If you aren't already tying, I encourage you to get into it soon. This really rounds out your fly fishing adventure. Catching fish on your own hand tied flies is very satisfying. I just got this message from fly tying dynamo and sea-run cutthroat guru Jeffrey Delia today. This looks like a good opportunity to learn some new fly tying ideas:
Howdy Folks,Just thought I would let you all know there are still a couple of seats left for my Steelhead/Salmon Fly Tying Class this Saturday Jan. 28
at Peninsula Outfitters in Poulsbo. If you’re interested please call the shop at 360-394-1599.I hope you have all been doing some Winter Cutthroat fishing, we have had some great fishing recently and you can read about it and see some of the fish pics on my Facebook page. If we are not friends on Facebook and you would like to be just type in Jeffrey Delia Facebook page and send me a friend request.Thanks,Jeffrey
Spring sea-run coastal cutthroat trout fishing season is just a few months away!