Thursday, June 21, 2018

Summer Solstice

Your Olympic Peninsula fly fishing guide.
Catch & release, fly fishing only!

Summer Solstice 

Walking the Island beach trail.

   When I talk about beach fishing with people who are unfamiliar with the Olympic Peninsula and our saltwater fishing, they always think only of summer. It is hard to convince people that we have year-round fly fishing on these beaches, even in the winter. People have a picture in their minds of sun washed sandy beaches, blue skies, and bluebird weather. And of course we all enjoy the fishing during these typically fair and sunny summer days. Especially with a light onshore breeze coming down from the northwest most of the time. Our air conditioning provided by the cooling influence of the Pacific Ocean waters. The weather gets calmer now, and we rarely see any significant winds or stormy waves. Brisk mornings, Warm, dry sunny days, cooling evenings. It will usually be like this right through September. 

Releasing a wild sea-run Cutthroat trout.

   We have had an unexpectedly mild June here this year. With only a few blasts of wind, and very little rain. This is hardly the "June-U-Ary" weather that we have grown to expect and to endure annually here. No one is complaining. With the solstice here today, and the summer conditions we are already enjoying, it's been just about full-on summer here now. The beaches are in beautiful shape. And so are our rivers. And with the first quarter waxing moon upon us, the tides are running good and cold here this coming week, and right through the end of June. And it looks like the afternoons and evenings will be really nice for flooding tides. By the end of the month the tide ranges will be deeper and stronger with the full  moon approaching. You can't beat fishing into twilight this time of year, on a rising tide, and a full moon.

Check out the 10 day forecast:

The next week or two looks perfect for trout and summer steelhead fishing on the Olympic Peninsula rivers. I like using dry flies, but you can't beat a good soft hackle fly at a time like this. Early morning and later afternoon into evening fishing will be the best times. But I have to tell you, I would rather be fishing the saltchuck anytime.

Juvenile Herring, Photo Jack Devlin

   I was talking with my fishing friend, after a local sea-run cutthroat fishing day here, a few years ago. At one point on the outgoing tide we saw a large, dark mass of small fish, moving along slowly in the ebb. It took us a moment to focus on what we were seeing- many thousands of juvenile herring, from 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 inches long, all bunched up together in a "ball", right at the edges of the beach. Just down-current of the herring were some resident coho salmon, and, surprised, we caught and released a few of them right then and there. And we have been seeing plenty of "bait ball" activity, with all of the the attendant wheeling and diving birds etc., along our beaches, and well out into the open waters of north Puget Sound and Admiralty Inlet now. The marine biologists who work here locally are telling me that many of these bait balls are actually large schools of sandlance. So there's two important fly patterns for you to be using this time of year- herring and sandlance, from to 2 to 4 inches in length. Everything, including the sea-run Cutthroat, feeds on these important forage species all year. Flatwing flies will do nicely for this. Count on these forage fish to be in abundance for the next few months, many of them close to shore. 

I tie these Flatwing style herring / sandlance flies for sea-run coastal cutthroat trout.

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

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