Chum Fry: A Kick Off To Sea Run Season
It’s not really a kick off of Hood Canals fishing season, let’s be honest here. Hood Canal is pretty freaking good 12 months out of the year. We don’t have an off season anymore, that ended when we stopped playing with those plastic floaty things.
However, if you were to plan a kick off for the 2018 fishing season, I’d say the out migrating summer chum fry “hatch” would be it. We see that the Wild Fish Conservancy is already finding summer chum fry in the rivers. Although, We have seen them as early as the first week in February. I would not say the hatch traditionally starts until the 3rd week or 4th week in February.
We have announced our fly tying contest for the weekend of February 17th & 18th. The reason we chose this date was traditionally this is the week we kick off our Chum Fry season. Spinning up Chum Patterns is an easy task, but interesting chum fry flies will be fun to see!
Thousands of these little fish french fries come pouring into the Hood Canal causing feeding frenzies up and down the shorelines. These little awkward swimming guys school up into the shoreline structure in big clouds. When searching for these bait fish we look for dark clouds on the water, or little “rain drops” or “dimples” on the shore lines. Most of the time when we find these big schools we find them in the slack water along the faster currents.
One of my favorite spring time fishing tactics is running the shoreline quickly looking for the schools of bait. These “Run and gun” days burn a little gas, but we have real fast action throughout the whole day. March and April as the weather turns from wet and cloudy to sunshine this is our tactics!
Chum fry season is the fastest time of year for our calendars to fill up. Make sure to get your dates while you still can!