We get a ton of feedback whenever we mention fishing for Sea Run Cutthroat on the surface. It’s actually a very simple way to catch these fish from a technical fishing aspect. Sea Run Cutthroat tend to hunt from deep heading up towards the surface. So naturally, if you fish something on the surface of the water, they will see it. With the right circumstances top water fishing is the best way to catch Sea Run Cutthroat Trout.
Let’s get this going!
We will start at the fly:
The Flies– I have three rules when choosing a fly for my clients. 1.) It has to float high and be visible. 2.) I have to be proud for them to see it in a fishes mouth. 3.) I’d prefer the fly looks like a bait source. That being said, the old fashion gurgler is tied on the end of the line often. I would be completely honest, out of ego I would ALWAYS prefer to fish my popping shrimp.
The Leader– I build a lot of our leaders on the water. But if I have them, I like the Big Nasty 6′ leaders. I add a couple 2-3′ of 2x-3x FluoroFlex Plus tippet on the end and we are off to the races. Yes, I know FluoroFlex sinks, attach it to a foam popper and I assure you that is not the cause of your problems.
The Line– I love the Rio Outbound. It cast great, it’s slick, it’s durable, and most importantly it floats high. We all hate a floating line that is “sticky” to the water, and this does not do that. I love the connect core version of this line. However, I have a older version on the reel right now that I had laying around due to a incident involving the prop of my boat and a client stripping into the water behind me. Both versions seem to float and cast the same in my experience. However, the newer version I prefer due to when we fish subsurface with a floating line I think you pick up more fish on the strip set and detect more takes due to the non stretch “Connect Core”.
The Reel- Sage Spectrum Max. To be completely honest, I would just prefer this reel to all the others that I own. It’s drag is super smooth, which to me is most important. The reel is super durable as the boat runs across the chop. Plus it looks super good. For the Tech Specs go check it out. Those are the qualities I most love about this reel.
The Rod- When I fish, I love getting fish to eat surface patterns. That’s my favorite way to catch fish. So, I rigged my favorite rod up with the floating line. The Sage SaltHD is in my COMPLETELY non-bias opinion the best rod ever made for Sea Run Cutthroat trout. NOW, in my COMPLETELY bias opinion, it’s the best rod ever made. I love a fly rod that I can fish in tight with and make good cast. Also, the fly rod loads into the cork and unloads like a cannon when pushed. I have never seen a person overpower this rod, and I have had everyone fishing it for months now and have yet to see someone not be able to feel the rod load. Oh yeah, and it is super sensitive, super fun to fight fish on, and is made locally on Bainbridge Island.