Q & A With Captain Justin

Introducing the idea of our Q & A series…

I have toyed with the idea of doing an ongoing Q & A at several different times and have finally gotten around to starting this.

Other than the fact that I love to fish for cutthroat, I really love sharing this fishery with all of you. I love seeing the fishery grow, and it is awesome to hear I may have helped someone understand this fishery through answering their questions. I have some goals for the next year or so that will allow me to do that more than I already do. But for now, the blog, Instagram, and Facebook are where we are at. I think this will be a fun little series. I will continue with the Q & A as much as I can throughout the year and do a “Best Of” at the end of the season.

Q and A

Q – What are your set ups (rod, reel, line, leader)?

I have 4 rod and line setups on the boat at any time, with those consisting of Floating, Intermediate, and two Sinking lines. Obviously not every situation is going to call for these setups, however they will work 99% of the time.

  • Floating- 690-4 (6 weight 9′ rod) Sage X, Sage Spectrum Max reel, RIO Outbound, RIO 0x Big Nasty leader down to 3x FluoroFlex Plus tippet. I like the total length of my floating leader to be about 10′.
  • Intermediate- 690-4 Sage X, Sage Spectrum Max reel, RIO Camolux intermediate, 6′ Big Nasty leader to FluoroFlex 3x tippet. Total Length is about 8′.
  • Sinking- 690-4 Sage Salt HD, Sage Spectrum Max reel, RIO Outbound Short type 3 sink, 6′ Big Nasty 3x FluoroFlex (on clear days) 2x if there is color to the water.

Q – What is your favorite structure for those bigger cutthroat?

Well… I think this answer requires a 4 parts. I think it’s common for most people to think they “luck” into bigger fish by accident, however there is always a reason the bigger fish are there. Solving that puzzle will increase your odds at encountering larger sea-run cutthroat. Below are the 4 things I look for to increase our chances of encountering large fish:

  • You need a lot of current crashing into the structure you are fishing. A bay filling up or emptying out on a piece of structure for instance creates great opportunity for big fish to ambush bait.
  • Access to shelter is super important for the fish to grow in size. For example deep water, dark holes, kelp and/or longer eel grass, and undercut ledges all allow for good hiding. Anything to avoid predation and aid in the ambushing behavior we just mentioned. Less stress equals larger growth.
  • A reason for the fish to make the effort to hang out. Typically the “big fish spots” hold a few big fish, year round. The reason for this is they hold different types of bait and different times of the year. During the big influx of sand lance, the migrations of smelt, the chum fry, shrimp, herring… These are places that are year round good for a meal. A big fat fish doesn’t want to migrate every month anymore than a big fat guy wants to run to the salad side of a buffet.
  • Cold water. As a rule, if the water warms up, the big fish don’t hang there. Warmth = Stress

Q – Did Brita tie this fly? It’s super nice!

After Hours

I tie nice flies too, thank you very much.

The truth is she might have tied this one particular fly, and she does occasionally give me a fly or two to fish. If I am super busy I might hit her up for some once in a while. However, I really like tying flies and I tie my flies weighted how I want, as bulky as I want, and for the kind of water I like to fish. Also, I just plane like showing my clients my flies.

I am super picky about how my clients fish the flies, where they fish the flies, and when they fish the flies… I don’t just tie on any fly for any situation. Fortunately, Brita loves me and knows that so she occasionally will tie flies with my style in mind.

The answer is, you should assume it’s mine unless I am bragging about how amazing Brita is. She’s the best fly tier I know, and I am unbelievably proud to fish her flies and share them with people… However… I’ll be honest, this question hurts my ego just a bit.

Q – Whats the best tide for Sea Run Cutthroat?

Look, just go fishing. The fish do not care, go down current of a good piece of structure and go fishing. Sure some areas fish better at certain tides….. but they don’t fish at all if you are not fishing.

Q – Top three favorite fishing snacks?

Well, this is a fun question. Nowadays its Coffee, Hempler’s Beef Sticks, and LaCroix (Coconut). If I do two trips a day I love the brussel sprouts at Alderbrook Resort.

Q – Best tip to become a better caster?

Q & A

One word answer: PRACTICE. But, for those that don’t like that answer, I’ve included another detailed response.. If I could give one tip it would probably be to quickly come to a complete stop and just feel the rod unload. Most folks get it once they feel what it is supposed to feel like. Casting is fun, and when its done right it feels so good. I really love teaching casting lessons, and I do them for free at Alderbrook all summer long. I assume we could probably give more than 1 piece of advise.

… To Be Continued …

This was fun and I plan to do this more often in the future! I hope you guys enjoyed the Q & A. Feel free to email, message or… Instagram comment/direct message me any questions you want for the next one. I think we will have part 2 of the Q & A out next week!

One thought on “Q & A With Captain Justin

  1. Pingback: Q & A Vol. 2 - All-Waters Fly Fishing - We Have More Fun Than Anyone!

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