I think we can all agree that Sea Run Cutthroat Trout are aggressive fish. Although, following that statement, occasionally they do get picky! On these days you can see the fish, you can watch them sipping like trout on the Ranch section of the Henry’s Fork. These are the days that make balding men wish they had hair to pull out. Sea Run Cutthroat tend to smash baitfish pretty regularly, these are the days they just want something else.
- Get Stealthy. The first thing I do when my clients are getting the rejects is add a couple feet to the tippet. For most days 6-7′ of 2x Rio Fluoroflex is enough. When the fish are following and it’s just not happening, I like to add a couple extra feet of 3x to that.
- STOP! When we know the fish are there, and we are being sneaky with our leaders, and still not getting the takes. I like to STOP!!! Stop casting for 5 mins. Drink some coffee, watch the water, take in the sights. Just freaking leave the fish alone!
- DEEPER!! Play with your depth, I have had full days where the fish would not eat a fly on anything except floaters. In that same respect I have had whole days when they would not eat a fly more than a few inches off the bottom. Try playing with the depth, this is our number one problem solver.
- Switch It Up! Perhaps, while you were leaving the fish alone maybe you noticed the juvenile anchovies swimming around. Or, you noticed the fish were working the shallow points for sculpin or shrimp. Remember, these fish WANT to eat, so its our job to feed them what they want. These fish will even find small creel like Amphipods or Isopods occasionally on the menu.
- Move It! Some times, you have to own the defeat. Don’t waste a whole day on a pod of fish that are not willing to eat your offering. I call this “Finding happy fish,” and I think its an important part of fishing. You know the fish are there, and you can come back and try again after the tide shifts.
When the fish are getting picky, these 5 moves keep us in the fish. I believe it was Albert Einstein that said; “I am not a rocket surgeon, however, we can’t keep trying the same thing over and over again.” Furthermore, if all else fails, I know where you can find the best tequila on the Hood Canal.