Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Post-Solstice Interim "Sprummer"

The Post-Solstice Interim "Sprummer"

Your Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide.
Catch & release, fly fishing only.

The Post Solstice Interim "Sprummer"

Pacific Northwest Facts of Life

 You can almost set your watch by the near-perfect timing of our annual segway from spring into summer, as these last weeks of June-u-ary so reliably remind us, that for some of the year anyway, we are in the wettest part of the region. Cool cloudy days and colder nights, winds from the southern quarters, and occasional thundershowers, high water and messy beaches, small craft warnings and gales . . . you would think we were going back into winter. But with each passing day these events become less intense, more beneficial than difficult, and  before you know it you are out there on the water, enjoying some of the most refreshing weather we get all year. Between the raindrops we do pretty well here sometimes. By the 1st of July we will have a seasonal outdoors burning ban, and we will be the driest region of the entire country for two to three months. And it will be full-on summer here again. Mostly. Hopefully. 

On the saltchuck, were seeing tons of juvenile herring this year around the Olympic Peninsula beaches and nearshore areas. They have metamorphosed by now, and they are running around 2 inches long, and growing quickly. I tie my herring flies from around 1-1/2 to 3 inches long now. And very sparse. If there's a key thing in herring flies in particular, it is to feature some amount of deep, rich blue color in the topping. It doesn't have to be a lot. But it does work well. Tie them sparsely, so you can see plenty of light shining through them in the water. I don't ordinarily use much tinsel or flash on my baitfish flies. But sandlance do have a unique, colorful sparkle to them. They are brightly multicolored at times.

Some other very commonplace forage species for sea-run coastal cutthroat trout fly fishing are sculpin and stickleback. There's countless sculpin fly patterns to work with. There's dozens of distinct species in the Puget Sound region waters alone. But I have found that drably colored flies, mottled in appearance, in grays and greens and browns, sometimes in a mix of those colors, works very well. Always have a few black ones handy too. They hold near the bottom mostly, so of course you can tie them with weight;  coneheads, beads, lead wraps, pre-cast sculpin heads, etc. And you can tie them with no weight at all. I like the Muddler fly, and the cutthroat do too. Perhaps because of it's sculpin-like or "bullhead" profile. I fish deer hair sculpin on the surface, greased with floatant, with lots of action. The Matuka fly is a perfect sticklebak fly pattern, weighted and unweighted. Most of the time I am fishing with a floating line, and I use longer leaders and slower, deeper presentations, to get the weighted flies down when the fish might be deeper. This works great with bead head soft hackle flies too. And it is an easier technique in faster flowing water. Fast water has a way of ripping heavier sink tips and sinking lines around too quickly. It's a trick to get a fly to work deeply, slowly, in fast water. Employing a Poly leader can do this at times.
A mix of Baitfish Clousers.
The blue back flies emulate herring.

With July comes more consistent heat, fewer clouds, and some of the hottest days of the year will run through July and August. So you have to keep water temperatures in mind when you are trout fishing anywhere, in the saltchuck, or the fresh waters. I think that very early morning fishing in many paces will the best stewardship option. A stream thermometer is a good thing to have handy, even in the saltwaters. In the heat of the summer, the saltchuck in some locations, especially the broad, shallow flats and bays, can get too warm to hook and play and land trout. Look for the deeper, cooler water. Often that will be during an incoming tide.  Lake fishing is almost always a good summer fishing option, depending upon the lakes. The deeper lakes will often fish more consistently through the summer heat. The deeper regions of these lakes won't have much of a temperature change year-round.

You have so many fisheries open around the region now, that it will be hard to make up your mind where to go fishing. Lakes, streams, rivers, bays . . .  One thing that I try to do every summer is to find some new place to fish, somewhere on the Olympic Peninsula that I have never fished before. I have been out here for almost 20 years now, and there's still plenty of water for me to explore. I like the way Doug Rose wrote about this place, and the fishing. He had his heart in it. Seek out his words. Once it gets too hot to go fishing, you can sit in the shade and read Doug's books instead.  

My favorite Doug Rose fly fishing book.

Fly fishing for sea-run Cutthroat from a classic Swampscott Dory.
By appointment only.

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 Cutthroat 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 through advanced casters.  I would be happy to help you plan your Olympic Peninsula fly fishing adventure, for all levels of ability. 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. Please call or write for details.

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

No comments: