Saturday, June 24, 2017

Summer Solstice Sizzler!

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

Summer has arrived!

    Ordinarily I would think of the Summer Solstice as only a harbinger of the summer to come, and usually that happens sometime after the 4th of July. And in the interim, between the Solstice and the 5th of July, we can expect almost anything to happen, including hail. But not this year. After a prolonged, rude, incessant spring of cold dark days, and record breaking rainfall, we have gotten almost three days in a row of summer weather, with two or three more sunny warm days predicted in the forecast.  After that, I can't promise you anything. I keep my rain gear in the truck all year.  

   In my last post here I mentioned "the fish of the last cast." And I have many stories of this happening. After that entry, it was only a few days until it happened again. We had fifteen minutes to get back to the parking lot to meet the wives. So when Rob said "This is my last cast", you can imagine my inner world lit up a little with the hope that the Fish Gods were listening. And once again, they did not disappoint. I love it when this happens. It is so interesting to watch the mood lift, the smiles, the laughter. Is there anything more lighthearted than catching a beautiful wild trout so serendipitously? 

Another last cast sea-run cutthroat trout!
We caught this one on a size 12 Wooly Booger !

    After this weekend the weather is supposed to cool off for the end of June and into early July. (I see this as a 50:50 probability.) One nice thing is that when it's 80 to 90 degrees in Seattle, it's usually significantly cooler out on the Olympic Peninsula shores. The cool ocean breeze helps too. If you're fishing the shorelines, or rivers, or lakes you need to pay attention to the water temperatures. When it gets this hot and sunny for more than a day, the waters warm up. Trout don't do well at water temperatures above 60+ degrees. In the case of river or lake run trout, they may have limited ability to seek cooler waters, or "thermal refuge." (Here's an interesting recent paper on this.

    Saltchuck sea-run cutthroat have more options, and they can move freely for miles in search of cooler waters. (You might have to do that too.) Early morning, at first light, dawn, etc., can still afford us some good fishing in waters that may be too warm to fish by mid-day. Some people will fish later in the day. However, the air may be getting cooler by sunset, but it could still take the water a much longer time to cool down. So focus on the early morning before it's getting hot and sunny in the middle of the day. With this new moon, we will see some of the lowest tides of the year this week. The sun will be baking the bare beaches for hours, and those beach stones, gravel and exposed mud flats will serve as a heat bank, storing the solar energy for hours. When the tide comes in, the water will gain heat from the shallow edges. You really need to be fishing in cooler, deeper water then. Go find it. A rowboat or small skiff, a thermometer on a long piece of string, and you're all set. The only concern with this may be that the cooler waters will be found outside of more protected shoreline areas, like up in the northern region of Puget Sound, off of the exposed points of land, like Point-No-Point, Marrowstone Point, Point Wlson, etc. So be mindful that the closer you get to open waters, the more influence there is from wind and shipping traffic on waves near the shore. In some conditions the breaking waves present  a danger to shore anglers as well. Have fun, but be safe. 

   The whole point of this is that if you don't get the fly in front of the fish, you aren't going to catch much. So, think "deep, cold and slow."  And there's no use in fishing over hot water. It is not unusual for the trout to get spread out by now. The fry are all out of the streams. And there's plenty of bait around. Go find them.

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, private and group fly fishing and fly casting instruction, for beginners through expert casters.  I would be happy to help you plan your Olympic Peninsula fly fishing adventure. I also do public presentations for civic groups, private gatherings, and fly fishing clubs, Naturalist guide, rowboat picnics, tide pool and river trail day trips. Please call, write, or email for booking details. Now booking fall 2017! 

And sometimes we row . . . One angler only.
This is the way to go fly fishing for sea-run Cutthroat!

SSShhh!!! Listen to the quiet . . . 

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. Water Watchers, Beach Watchers and Shore Stewards Graduate
U.S.C.G First Aid/CPR/BLS/AED/BBP/HIV Certified

Phone: 360-385-9618

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