Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Summer Sublime

Your Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide.
Catch & Release, Fly Fishing Only!
Fly fishing for Coho salmon. 

      I am loving this superb, sunny summer weather! Even though I did get roasted a few weeks ago. But now that the second degree burns have healed, and the last layers of  skin have fallen from my ears and lips, I am back in action. Broad brimmed hat, sunglasses, long sleeve sun shirt, sun gloves, gobs of SPF 40 sunscreen . . . Check! I want to be able to remember how sweet this sunny warmth is four months from now, when it's cold and grey and raining.

   Salmon season opened on July 16th here this year.
Looking out on the Admiralty Inlet waters that morning at dawn, it looked like a naval invasion- Hundreds of fishing boats were working from point Wilson to the southern end of Marrowstone Island alone. And this went on for the entire first week. Last year the state closed the Chinook salmon season within a few weeks of the opener, because they had already nearly met the entire summer harvest quota. This year they closed it in one week flat. But this time they are evaluating the run size to see if it can be reopened later. We are still able to fish for coho though. Swinging flies in a tide current, wading in knee-deep water. That's the way I like to fish. We'll just have to wait and see how it goes.

UPDATED! Link here: https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=2175

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I'm breaking out these Bad Boys!

   Sea-run coastal cutthroat trout fishing has been up and down here so far, with our good days and slow days. I am certain that the brief extremes of heat had something to do with this. One thing that I have noticed is that we have more two-year-old and three-year-old cutthroat out in the saltchuck around here this year. And they are growing fast. Not surprising since the schools of juvenile herring here have really exploded this season.  So this fall the fishing might be really good again. The more the merrier. One of the more interesting reports came from a friend who saw a Minke whale, cruising along the edge of the beach, where he was wading and casting flies for cutthroat. I guess he got out of the water for a few minutes!  This is one of the great things about beach fishing here, we see a lot of cool stuff.

   We have had several very hot periods here so far, and we're well into the summer drought and fire season now. There are a record number of wildfires around the state right now. See: "Morning Briefing" here.  So if you are coming to the Olympic Peninsula waters to hike, camp or fish this summer, especially up in the mountains, you need to be careful about fires. Statewide Fire ban information here.   Olympic National Park will have it's own rules.

You can't have enough Clouser flies this time of year!

    When it gets this hot in the summer, mid to high 80's or higher, we can expect that some waters will warm up quickly. Dawn will be your best opportunity for trout fishing anywhere. Deeper lakes and some saltwater situations, will often have cooler water, and better fishing conditions during the day. The key is finding water at 60 degrees or cooler. Warmer water will stress the fish too much. On a bright summer day the saltwater shallows will be very warm. Find the cooler, deeper water on an incoming tide.  I have never really been a fan of heavy, deep sinking lines and weighted flies. But now is the time to be fishing deeper and slower, any way that you can do it. I will often rig two rods for a day, one with an intermediate sinking line, or sinking leader, and one with a floating line. That increases my options. It's amazing though, how deep you can drift a fly on a long leader, with a floating line. Clouser flies, bead head soft hackles, cone heads, etc., will sink like a stone with a slow enough drift, even in a current. I still much prefer surface fishing in the saltchuck, with Poppers, Sliders, Gurglers, Muddlers, etc. Many baitfish fly patterns can be tied sparsely, with no added weight, and will swim just beneath the surface with only moderate stripping action. Adding  a bit of fly floatant to a light streamer fly can really get it on top. This will work just as well in some lake fishing situations, before the bright sun gets out on the water and sends the fish down deep again.
Fly fishing for sea-run Cutthroat from a classic Swampscott Dory.
For one angler. 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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