Thursday, September 14, 2017

September's Cool

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

Cooler mornings on the saltchuck.

 We have been getting a nice late summer cool down here. And thankfully, the air has cleared, giving us blue sky days and starry nights again. The mornings are refreshingly chilled, and by noon we are back to shirtsleeves in the sun. The sea-run cutthroat that we have been chasing all summer have gotten fatter and bigger. This last week of cooling is turning them on, and we're seeing them slashing bait in the shallows again. The trout that were 12 to 14 inches in the spring, when they came back out into the saltwater, are several inches longer by now. So it's no wonder that I am itching to get out onto the saltchuck now. 

A robust September sea-run coastal cutthroat trout.
I caught him on the surface, on this ginger deer-hair muddler.

    We had a bit of rain here last weekend. It was just enough to dampen the earth, and overnight the river gauges jumped up a few hundred c.f.s. in many places. And now, just as quickly, the flows are receding. You could almost hear every living thing breathing a deep sigh of gratitude. This was a good thing for the insect life, especially the aquatic insects, and caddis in particular. Every late summer we watch for the first signs of the beginnings of the October caddis hatch, which in some years can be extraordinary. This year looks to be promising, as we are seeing the caddis cases everywhere, in dense concentrations. So it's not too soon to be thinking about the west-end Olympic Peninsula rivers and streams again, and the summer steelhead and cutthroat trout that will be feeding heavily on the pupae and adult caddis for many weeks ahead. Les Johnson once told me that fly fishing the Olympic Peninsula rivers for cutthroat and summer runs in the fall was one of his favorite times. 

 Speaking of rain. We are expecting some more serious rainfall here by Sunday. And the whole weather scheme here will be changing to cooler days and nights, and a wetter cycle ahead. This should be really good for the fishing. It's not the kind of heavy weather we can expect a little later, like in October. But it is enough to throw the switch on better river flows, and good fishing on the beaches too. It looks like it will be a brief soaking, followed by milder weather again. I am loving this!  Almost to the day, a year ago, Cliff Mass forecast a similar pattern of weather. Here's his recent forecast for the near future:

    The only hard thing about fishing this time of year here is making up my mind which direction to head out into, the beaches are going to be great for the next few months, and so are the rivers. It helps to be flexible. But I would much rather be fishing the saltchuck for sea-runs now myself. I know what can happen.

The next two months of fishing here are what we look forward to all year!

This is a classic wooden Swampscott Dory. Fully restored. We row the beaches, casting for sea-runs. This is the most traditional, salty and relaxing way to fish for sea-run coastal cutthroat trout. One angler only.  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 the 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 for April 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

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