Sea Run Cutthroat In The Rain:
Looking ahead at the forecast, we are going to be wet. Some of those days, we are going to be down right soaked. However, we are going to stay with the plan and get our big fish! Sea Run Cutthroat love eating top water in the rain. Ask 20+ year Puget Sound fishermen Leland if cutthroat eat the popper in the rain? (For real, you will have to ask him, I don’t have his number. )
Anyways, this coming week we are getting a lot of rain! Rivers are going to rise, mixed with high tides, it’s going to create a very high water event out in the Puget Sound and Hood Canal. Some areas are going to get pretty muddy, water clarity is going to go down in a lot of Puget Sound and Hood Canal. Some places this is going to make cutthroat fishing very difficult, if not impossible. We are excited about this! A bunch of high water means moving fish and fishing up into places we normally can’t get into. We also have a game plan going into the rainy season that ensures we stay in the fish during the rainy days that might leave you scratching your head.
Here are a few tips and tricks to keep you in the fish as well:
1.) Find the clean water! Nothing is more frustrating than fishing in the mud. You wouldn’t fish a fully blown out river. Don’t fish a fully blown out bay either! Sea Run Cutthroat can tolerate some murk, but once the area is blown, move on.
2.)Open Water! This goes with the clean water a bit. But once the rivers start to blow, you are going to have to get away from them a bit to find the clean water. Staying out of the deep bays and inlets with larger rivers and opting for small streams in open water is a bit more realistic.
3.)Fish Topwater! If the water is a little murky, thats alright! We have the added luxury that Sea Run Cutthroat are fans of eating bait off the surface. Grab those popping shrimp and gurlgers and fish the top water. The fish can not eat bait if they do not know where to look. With the popping and gurgling surface patterns the fish can find them easier than a baitfish.
4.) Find The Current! The main current in Puget Sound is our savior when things start to get grimy. We have had some gnarly rain storms blow out most of the deep south sound and even most of Hood Canal, once you find the main current, you will find some water clarity and happy fish!
5.) Floating Lines! Even if your fly is not a surface pattern, the floating line is key. The fish want to know where their bait is. If the water is cloudy, the shadow against the natural light is all they can see.
6.) Rain Gear! Lastly, I can not express to you enough how much I love my Simms Bibs. Perhaps I am a bit spoiled, but I live in them from September-April and they keep me dry, safe, warm, and happy. Keeping dry and warm this time of year is probably the most important thing on the water. Example: If you are out shivering and thinking about how miserable you are, you are probably not going to have the cognitive ability to think “Damn it, Captain Justin said I should fish my floating line when the water is off color!”
7.) Flies! High water means lower visibility when paired with rain. So while fishing the traditional flies will still catch fish, you might switch it up. We already talked about fishing top water. However, if you are going to stay sub surface you might want to go flashier, bigger, and badder as well. Fish flies with lots of movement that push some water. Typically this means going bigger, however bulkier works too if you can maintain your movement while beefing up the head.
Wrapping it up:
I get crazy if I am in the house for more than a day or two. I get grumpy, I want to kick the cat, and Brita has to tell me to go fishing. Also, I would never take a trip and think “we probably won’t catch fish.” So, having a solid game plan before heading to the water is a very important part of the equation.
Before it gets to bad out there, Saturday is looking good! (Tuesday ain’t so bad either)