Fishing Report October 25 – 5 Keys To Success!

Fishing Report October 25

You know what they say?  Time flies when you are having fun!  So, besides rapidly screaming through the month of October, we are having a blast!  Fishing has been off the charts, we have shared the water with awesome folks, and we have been straight up slammed!  October has lived up to its hype this year once again! Heres 5 keys to success!

So whats the keys to success this late in the month?  Let me tell you!

5 Keys To Success

1.)  Find The Fish

It’s simple, you don’t want to waste your time probing fish-less water.  However, you also do not want to skip over a good fish spot in the name of moving.  Balance it out. We try to do more than one pass over a certain piece of water if we are finding success. First we cover it fast and see if we find some action, a follow, take, or fish! Second pass is where we methodically try to fish with a porpoise and make the most success on a spot. Occasionally we get them all on that first pass, but if we don’t see any action we move on.

2.)  Fish Flashy

Sure, a good ol fashion Wooly Bugger will catch them, as well as a dull classic Clouser Minnow. Perhaps you are correct.  However, you’re dull fly won’t be seen from 20′ away and have strikes from fish that you might miss without the glisten of flash.  Likewise, skip the super realism of summer bait balls and go to a more searching pattern.  Get the general profile of a baitfish and make that bad boy shine.

3.) Dress Warm!

No one likes being cold.  With the fog we have been having and the general dampness of the air, make sure you stay warm. Check out Captain Mikes blog on some hfelpful ways to stay more comfortable.  Let us know if you need us to bring an extra layer for you.

4.)  Branch Out

Late fall and early winter is a great time to be on the water.  The fish are plentiful and there are less crowds than summer time.  Check out that spot on the map you have been wanting to explore.  Shoot us a message and ask for some new spots you haven’t thought of. Maybe reach out to that buddy who you have wanted to fish with.  You never know when you might strike gold with a spot!

5.) Tequila

Bring your guide chocolate tequila from Mexico! What the hell man, that stuff is crazy good.  Sort of like a Mexican Chocolate milk.  I can’t remember the name of the bottle, nor do I know spanish… I will call it the El’Buzzed El’Coco Cow.  Yes, That does help the fishing.  (For the record,  I am not a big drinker, and  I will absolutely not drink with you on the water…)

Closing Argument

These are just some keys to success; However, we have said it from day one.  Those having the most fun win at the game of fly fishing.  I truly believe if you are in fact fishing; Meaning your fly is doing somewhat what it was designed to do in fishy water, if you are having a great time, you will catch fish.  It’s proven day in and day out on my boat.  It’s  not about being the best, the most equipped with the latest gear (although we always are, thanks Sage Fly Fishing) or even having the most know how, its about fishing smart, and having fun.  Cutthroat are honest fish. They are even more honest when the weather is cool and they are on their shallow hunting grounds.

The cool weather has the fish moved up in the shallows and hunting strongly this time of year.  It’s a pretty spectacular time of year to get out there!

10/15 October Fishing Report

October Fishing Report

 We have already covered the fact that October is down right amazing.  This week we have been welcomed to the water with beautiful fishing conditions.  Slick water, cool weather, and sunshine that has no end.  Did I mention we have been starting at 8am? Yeah, 8am… Eat it August!  I love October.

On a scale of 1-10, 10 being spectacular sea run cutthroat Fishing and 1 being what happens when you try to fish in your bathtub… I’d say fishing is a full on 10.  The cutthroat are gobbling down anything we have tossed at them.

October Fishing

We have been finding most of our fish on intermediate lines pushed up on the shallows.  3-6′ of water has been our main target this week.  Have we found some in the depths? Sure have, but why bother when there are plenty pushed up shallow?  We have been using a wide variety of general baitfish patterns.  Mostly Money Makers in peach and orange or chartreuse and peacock.  As a bonus,  top water fishing has been awesome this October as the fish are pushed into the shallow water and more densely populated.  To round things out,  we have been fishing some worm flies  just to switch things up over the oysters.

To be honest, we have been having a lot of fun trying to see what the fish won’t eat.  They are not exactly picky… More like a vacuum than a traditional trout.

Coming up!

We have some great weather and fishing  the next couple of weeks.  Get your dates, a boat open on the 20th, 21st, 23rd, and 26th.  Let us know and we will get you on the water!

October Fishing Report

Future Dates

If you are going to miss out on October, I have a secret for you!  November is a lot like October… just a little later.  Fishing continues to be great, Cutthroat move closer to their estuaries, and we continue to have more fun than anyone else you know.

November 2nd, 6th, 10th, 13th, 16th and 18th.  Let us know, we would love to share the water with you all and show you why we love the fall out here on Hood Canal and Puget Sound!

October Fishing

Captain Mike’s Guide To Beating The Cold

Captain Mike’s Guide To Beating The Cold

(A brief note from Captain Justin: Captain Mike sent me this a bit ago and I have postponed posting this for when it gets cold. Now as it gets cooler I thought it would be more appropriate.   I don’t think there is a more qualified human being than Mike to do this.  Thanks man!  You are one of the best humans, fishing guides, and writers I know.

Cold

Your Wet You Don’t Have To be Cold

Raise your hand if you like to be cold.

(Brief scuffle ensues.)

Alright, now that the one madman is out of the room, we can have a reasonable conversation.

Reasonable is probably a relative term; I hate being cold. I loathe it. I would rather be waterboarded…

OK, that’s too far. (Also, I imagine any torturer worth their golf-cart battery would use ice-cold water.) But yeah, I really do not like to be cold. That being the truth, I have also spent 40+ years (20+ of those years professionally) pursuing sports which require frequent wettings, often in less than warm conditions. I have swum out of whitewater rafts in November and once guided West Virginia’s New River Gorge on a day when the high was 17°F. Was I chilly? Yes. Did I call off the day because it was cold? No, because I know how to dress so to be relatively comfortable in the wet and cold. OK, yes, also because it was February and I really needed a paycheck after starving through the winter… but that’s beside the point.

We Fish In Cold Water:

Individual bravado aside, here in the Pacific Northwest we fish in cold water, often with more cold water hanging in the air or falling from the sky. Perversely, those latter conditions can make for better fishing than we might find on a bright bluebird day. So we don’t get rained out; when we wake in the morning and see those clouds and wet air rolling in, we smile and our hopes begin to rise.

But then we walk outside and remember: It sucks to be cold.

It’s even worse to be wet and cold. Unfortunately, clambering through wet second-growth to get to a trout stream or chasing cutthroat from a boat in the driving rain means wet, or at least damp, is inevitable.

So, what’s the answer?

Step 1: Stay home on less-than-ideal-conditions days.

Just kidding, just kidding…

The real answer: Accept the inevitable, prepare, and remember that being wet does not mean that you have to be cold.

Eat right and stay hydrated:

(Disclaimer: Few reputable nutritionists would recommend as a daily diet the plan I’m about to lay out.)

Start with breakfast. Hell, start with dinner the night before. Make sure the engine of your metabolism has the fuel it needs to burn warming calories all day. A lot of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Maybe twice what you would eat in a normal meal.

Drink water. Drink water before, during, and after your meal(s) and while you’re on the water. Without this step, all that food is just going to sit. Give your body the fluid volume it needs to carry all those calories and nutrients you’ve consumed.

Dress in layers and NO COTTON:

Old news, I’m aware, but news I see ignored on a daily basis. Cotton absorbs and holds more water than your body can effectively heat. And your goose-down jacket, when it gets wet, is going to lose loft, effectively negating its ability to keep you warm. It is the 21st century, though, so you have a ton of clothing fabric options that will retain heat when wet. Most of these are the newer synthetics, but there are a couple natural fibers that will also serve. Just, again, NO COTTON!

Think of your clothing as a capsule. The idea is to hold warm air in a bubble around your body while limiting the amount of moisture against your skin. If you can do that, even if you’re wet, you will stay warm.

Take a good look at the weather (both current and forecasted). The clothes you pick for that day should require no more than three layers, not counting rain gear. Fewer layers mean fewer options for regulating your temperature. More layers means… We all saw A Christmas Story, right? If you can’t put your arms down, how will you double-haul?

Example 1:

OK, so the forecast for the day is a high of 50°F, rain, no sun, and when you wake up at 4:00AM it’s 40°F with heavy fog. Time to lay out your clothes.

Your three layers consist of base, mid, and outer.

Base:

Your base should be tight to your body and of a material that will wick moisture away from your skin. This is where those natural fibers really shine: I like both Smartwool and silk. They’re both stretchy, very warm, and comfortable against the skin. There are also many synthetic choices of base layer. These have all the best properties of Smartwool and silk, but they also share one serious flaw: They retain, and maybe even magnify, smell. Just something to keep in mind for that end-of-the-day stop at the local eatery. Whichever you choose, make sure to tuck your shirt into your long underwear when you dress. Skipping this step will mean lost heat every time you bend over.

Mid:

The mid-layer should be tight but a little less-form fitting than your base. On the upper half, this is the layer on which I like to have a hood. Also, if the day warms, this is often the layer you end up wearing as the outer-most layer, so consider a fabric with some wind stopping ability.

Outer:

The outer layer is the big warm air reservoir. Patagonia’s Nano jackets and pants come to mind. When you are first trying on this layer at the store, make sure it fits properly over the layers you plan to put underneath. Too tight, you’ll actually squeeze out some of that warm air; too loose and you will get too much air movement, like a drafty house.

Typically, on a day like I’ve described above, I would wear two layers on the bottom (long underwear and my Patagonia Shelled Insulator pants) and three layers on the top (long-sleeve undershirt, medium-weight hoodie, and a synthetic-down jacket). My rain bibs would go under my outer jacket; my rain jacket would top everything. If I was stream fishing, the outer jacket would go inside my waders to avoid it getting soaked if I waded deep. Then my rain Jacket over everything.

Ultimately, what you want is to be able to regulate your temperature by adding or losing layers. With that in mind…

You Do Not Want To Sweat!

Go back and read that line again, it’s important. What is the purpose of sweating? To cool us. If you dress so warmly that you sweat, you will eventually get cold. This is more a concern when stream fishing, where the day often starts with a hike to the river. On these days, you should be almost cold when you start out; you’ll warm as you walk. If you get out of the guide’s truck and feel comfortable standing there at the trailhead, shed a layer or two.

It’s a different story on the boat. Running in an open boat at 35mph creates a 35mph wind. If you are comfortable when the boat is sitting still, the wind chill is going to make you cold once the throttle is wide open. I often find that the best answer to this is just adding my rain jacket over the clothes I’m already wearing. This creates an effective wind block and lets my clothing hold onto the air that my body worked so hard to warm.

As to that raingear… Jacket over bibs or waders. This is the layer that keeps us from getting soaked by cold rain or melting snow. It is also the outer layer of our warm-air bubble. A breathable, waterproof, (Gore-Tex, etc.) fabric keeps the rain off while also letting out the steam made by our working bodies. Nylon and rubberized fabrics do well keeping the water out, but they hold in the steam. Eventually, this will make you wet, which will make you cold.

Forget about staying one hundred percent dry:

I have yet to find any outfit—including a custom-made drysuit—that kept me fully dry. What we want is an outer shell that keeps the great majority of rain or snowmelt out while allowing the bit that does get in to run back out. While the shell is d

oing its job, our inner clothing should wick moisture away from our skin, not hold onto excess water, and fit in a way that allows air to be held and warmed by our metabolism.

It’s The Accessories That Really Make The Outfit:

We’re talking about those little touches here.

Hat. Your head, face, and neck have a large surface area, roughly two square feet, about the same as your back. Would you want to be outside in the cold with your entire back exposed to the elements? No? Then wear a warm hat.

A buff or scarf. In the boat, as I said, you get cold while running. Your neck is a big hole in the top of your upper layer, letting that 35mph wind get in and steal your warm air. A buff or scarf makes an excellent baffle in that hole and can be pulled up over your lower face while running.

Gloves. Can you stand them? If so, wear them. I wear them, but I also buy the best-fitting, fingerless, gloves that I can find. If you’re going to handle a fish, take them off first. The gloves will stay dry, your hands will stay warm, and you won’t pull slime off the fish. This is good for the fish, and for the way your gear bag smells the next time you open it.

Footwear:

Justin was mocking my socks-under-sandals look just the other day.   Side note: My feet, which were in and out of the water all day, were toasty warm. In the winter, I’ll wear rubber boots, but only once it’s miserably cold out and only when guiding. If I’m actually fishing, I’ll still rock the wool socks and sandals, the latter of which will get kicked off once I have a rod in hand. I hate to be cold, but I refuse to bomb a perfect cast only to find I’m standing on my running line. If you do wear rubber boots on the boat, make sure you can kick them off with minimal work. This is a matter of safety. Swimming in rubber boots is, well… let’s just say difficult.

Avoid alcohol:

Alcohol dilates your distal blood vessels, allowing heat loss through your skin. (That being said, once I’m back in the warmth, nothing chases off the inner chill like a glass of Redbreast neat, just in case anyone is thinking of tipping with anything other than cash. Justin, I hear, likes Don Julio.) Leave the beer in the cooler and drink some more water instead. On that note…

Pee When You Feel The Urge:

You’re drinking water, right?  Well then, your kidneys will make pee. If you hold onto it, your body will lose heat into your bladder. Yes, man or (especially, sorry) woman, it is a chilling, difficult, task in cold weather while wearing all that clothing, but after you’re done, you’ll be warmer.

Eat:

Like undressing a little to urinate, eating will actually make you feel colder (This is due to the food being less than body temperature, compounded by your body’s shunting of blood to your digestive tract to deal with this new load of food.)  but you have to keep the engine fueled up.  If you ate enough for breakfast, intermittent snacks will probably get you through.  I like Clif bars.  High energy, portable, and if you keep them in a mid-layer pocket they’ll be warm and gooey, which makes for a nice treat on a cold day.

Hypothermia:

This is what happens when you get too cold.  Despite all our preparations, it can happen, and it can be life-threatening.  Know the signs (clumsiness, confusion, slowed breathing, shivering or, worse, cessation of shivering without being warmed) and be willing to call it a day well before things reach this point.  Fishing is awesome, but it’s not worth dying for.

Parting Wisdom:

River or boat, there are a few things you should add to your cold-day gear list. Mostly these come down to safety. I like to have a way to start a fire (You should beach and get out of the boat first, btw.), extra water, extra food, emergency warming blanket, and one more layer than I think I could possibly need. In the boat, I also suggest wearing an auto-inflating Personal Floatation Device (Mustang makes several excellent options.). I wear one even on warm days, but on a cold day, wearing ten pounds of clothing, with ocean temperatures often in the high 40°F’s, life-expectancy in the water can be measured in minutes. A PFD is, literally, a lifesaver in this situation.

Being prepared for a cold day will not only let you get on the water more days, it will make those days safer and much more enjoyable. Winter brings some truly large fish up out of the depths into fly fishing range. It also chases a lot of people off the water, which results in less pressure on those big fish. And when you’re home, showing people the pictures of the netted monsters, you’ll get that question: “You were out on the water today?”

And you won’t be lying when you say, modestly, “Aww, it really wasn’t that cold.”

Renaming October- Fishtober

Renaming October- Fishtober

October is always a bitter sweet month to be a fishermen in Puget Sound.  The fishing is always pretty good out in Puget Sound, but it does not get better than October.  Sure spring is great, summer is fantastic, and Winter has amazing flats fishing… But October… Oh goodness.  Fishing in October is down right perfect (November is pretty sweet as well).  However,  there are a few down sides…  October marks the end of any hope for flip flops and shorts.  It ends any hope of the occasional bikini hatch at the resorts (I hear the comments from the dirty old guys!). No more swimming when we take a break for a snack. All of that aside, it’s perfect fishing, and I suppose what more could we ask for?

October slob

Get To The Point Will Ya!

What makes October perfect for fishing?  Well, I have asked myself this for about 8 years now.  I think after a ton of contemplation I am finally ready to say… It’s complicated.  Cold weather, less bait, concentrated fish, experience.

Chill Pill

Let’s start with Octobers weather, it’s unpredictably predictable.   October will average air temps in the  50’s.  Which means we will see similar air temperatures to sea run cutthroats favorite water water temperatures.   In conclusion there will not be a die off in the feeding throughout the day.  In contrast, July is wonderful, but once the mercury peaks, we are probably done with the best fishing for the day.

October Bend

Fish Snacks

Moving on from weather, is food sources.  October sees a decrease in baitfish from Septembers endless supply of fatty protein. The fish are still fat and happy, and obviously still well fed.  However,  the pickiness you see in late august/early september is completely void in October.  If you are going to be forced to put shoes on to go fishing for the first time of the year, you might as well fish to happy slob fish.

October Is For Concentration

Continuing on down the list… I always say October is the perfect time of year to fish for Sea Run Cutthroat, this is only true if you find them.  Cutthroat concentrate together way more in October-December.  In the summer we do these endless drifts down shorelines fishing every pocket and piece of structure.  When October hits (the first big cold spell) we notice that the fish concentrate more on certain spots.  Will we catch a single fish once in a while if we drift? Sure! Often though, you will find vacant beaches where we fish in the summer. Those fish have moved onto their cold weather holds. However, if you find the pods of feeders, we tend to double up, or have a dozen fish follow the fly in.  This is the time of year we will have a small fish eaten off the line by a larger cutthroat.

October Doctor

Time Served

Last is experience.  When we first started fishing for cutthroat we were stuck to the beach.  We fished the public (and often private) beaches that we knew we could pull a few fish.  The cold weather would come and some of these beaches would be best suited for contemplating life, and others would all of a sudden make you feel like a fishing god.  As we started exploring more, spending more time on the water, and getting off the beach, it became clear how these fish behave, and we started growing opinions on why.   This is a great time of year to pay attention to the successes and failures on the water.  October changes things out there more than any other time of the year.

October is here, we are stoked. To be completely honest, all of the cold months are pretty wonderful.  We will give you the tips on how to take advantage of it soon.

Coastal Cutthroat Giveaway

#guidelife

We are back!

Sorry for the delay in posting.  We’ve been… Not Posting.  But, we are back!  To celebrate it being October, being able to breathe after a busy season, also to celebrate the fishiest time of the year. We are donating big to the Coastal Cutthroat Coalition giveaway.  They are auctioning off our package!

Rules!

To enter here’s what it takes; Head on over to the Coastal Cutthroat Coalition Parasite Watch page.  Report what you catch in the month of October.  The more days you fish and report, the more times you are entered to win the giveaway!

Give Away Prize!

1.) Rio Coastal Quickshooter Fly Line-  We understand that the majority of cutthroat fishing is done from the beach.  We want to outfit you with the best beach line on earth. Bam!

2.) Yeti Rambler 20oz Tumber–  Look, It’s October!  Coffee needs to stay hot, and after fishing cocktails need to stay cold.  No one does it better than Yeti.

3.)Sage Hat and Buff- While you are stopping at that barista in the morning you want to look fly right?  No one looks better listening to Kool And The Gang like a fly fisher in a Sage Trucker.

4.)Flood Tide Co. Koozies– Look, I’ll be honest.  I bought koozies, shirts, hats…. I decided I looked way less ugly in the shirt, and Brita looks really good in the hat.  It’s October, keep your fall IPA cold and quit complaining.

5.) A half dozen flies tied by yours truely.  Old School Money Makers, Disco Shrimp, CutiePie Sculpin, Flashy Flatwing, and a shimp I played with.

6.) Stickers, a few Flood Tide, All-Waters, Sage Fly Fish… Possibly a Rio Products one…

Look, we have more fun than anyone. No one loves this fishery more than us. So let’s share the love!  Go fish, report and get the giveaway!

I hope you all had a great summer! Now that the madness has slowed down a bit, we are back to our usual schedule!

Afternoon Delight- After hours Trips

After hours Trips!

After Hours

Last week just flew by and I know a lot of you didn’t find the time to get out!  Fortunately this week, really the next 10 days, has awesome After Hours opportunities!  We are geared up and ready to get out for the 5pm-dark After Hours trips all week and looking forward to it!  With enough light to stay out late we can start as late as 6pm and run till 9:30.  The tides are shaped up awesome, the fishing has been amazing, and we have been taking advantage of it ourselves!

After Hours

Looking forward to another great week of fishing!  Early mornings and late afternoons are going to hold the best fishing of the day!

This does not mean that mid day fishing has been slouching either.  We have had awesome fishing in the mid day sun keeping our flies in the cold clear water.  We’ve had to make some adjustments to deal with the warmer brighter weather but we have had a great time!

Bringing the kids out has been popular the last few years and with this warm weather comes warm water in the lower reaches of hood canal!  Meaning Swim Season is here!  If the kids want to swim around lunch time this is a great time of year to bring them out as well!

Connections

Connections

The connections I have made over the last decade have made me feel unbelievably fortunate. To elaborate a bit, I have been able to share the water with folks who have done all sorts of great things.  Climb Kilimanjaro, fish Tiger Fish in Africa, Played in the NFL, US Special Forces, business owners of all kinds… Business, Travel, Summits, Sport, Entertainment, you name it.  I have been able to connect with some of the worlds most interesting people on the water.  It’s one of the things I love about my job.  I get to share it with all of you.  Also, I get a brief glimpse into the life,  careers, families, and passions. While you may be the one on the trip, I am a brief tourist in your lives as well.

Other than the connections I make on the water, tying your tippet to the leader, I am fortunate to continue that relationship off the water. I get calls from clients at least once a week “I want to catch a tarpon, can you help me out?” “I’m headed to Belize for permit, what do I need to bring?”

Where to go, who to book, and how to prepare.  Whether it be casting lessons prior to the trip, or how to outfit yourself for success. But most of all, how to put it all together. How does your backing connect to the spool? How do you connect your backing to the fly line? Leader to line? Line to tippet? Tippet to fly? How the hell does all this work together in order to hold onto a 100+lb fish?

Connections are the name of the game in Fly Fishing. Without the right connections, your fish will swim away with your fly, leader, line, or just break everything and swim away with half your rod.

So lets start this thing off!  We will start with the backing to reel and work our way right down to the fly.

Arbor Knot

Connecting Backing To The Reel

This is a pretty beyond simple knot… In fact it is so simple that when Mike Lawson first showed me I didn’t really get it.  There are a few ways to make this connection, however, this is the most straight forward connection available.

If you notice, Simons accent makes this knot come together beautifully.

Loop To Loop

This is the fast, strong and simple way to get two loops to join into one. Backing to fly line, line to leader, and leader to leader making a solid connection.

Simon was the coolest guy I have ever talked to… Right up until he called Dancing Queen a “great hit”…

 

Albright Knot

“I don’t have a loop in the back of my fly line! What do I do?!  I don’t have tools, or line welding knowledge!”  First, don’t panic.  The Albright Knot will take care of you.  This is a great knot for most backing to fly line applications.  Particularly for anything involving trout, salmon, steelhead…  Back to you Simon.

Jeez man, That Simon has us covered today!

Tie Fast Nail Knot

“Justin, the fly shop sold me this crazy tool because I broke the loop off my favorite floating line battling barnacles at Purdy Spit.  I went to the one with bad customer service so they didn’t show me how to use it!”   No worries my fluff chucking friend.  Zack has you covered here…  I will say this before we get to the video.  I do not think this is the BEST way to attach a leader to a new fly line.  Use the loop to loop connection in that case.  They are strong, quick, and I really like them.  However, if you are battling kangaroos in the outback and they bite the loop off your fly line, this will keep you in the game.  Go buy one of these tools, learn how to use it, and toss it in your pack.

Loop Knots

There are a lot of reasons to know loop knots.  One, you can skip the last few knots we learned (you should know them anyways) if you know how to tie them up and how to use them.  The first loop we will learn is the Perfection Loop.  This is the handy loop in the end of every prepackaged Rio Leader.  This is a great loop to know for doing a “loop to loop” connection to your fly line.

The next loop we will learn is the Double Surgeons knot. This knot can be used for the same thing as the perfection knot, attaching leader to fly line, or backing to fly line.  This is not as strong as the Perfection Loop or the Bimini Loop, however its quick and easy if that break strength is not as important.

Leader To Tippet

I am going to go ahead and say it right off the bat.  There is two knots I use almost 100% of the time for trout, salmon and steelhead.  First,The Blood Knot, 98% of the time. This is the best knot for attaching MOST leader to tippet situations. If you suck at the Blood Knot and you are going to tie a crummy one.  The Double Surgeon is a good alternative.  I will occasionally use a Double Surgeons Knot if I can not see (fishing at night) or in the freezing rain (hands are not working).  However, thats fairly rare.

  Additionally,  I use the Improved Blood Knot for tying two pieces of tippet with a big jump in size.  Zack actually was the one who showed me that knot, and I have appreciated it greatly over “I hope that stays.”  This knot works great for in a pinch when you hit the end of your spool of tippet.

We are going to give Simon a break and let Zack knock this one out of the park… Remember how Simon was classy and used Chap stick?  Now, watch as Zack chooses to drool all over the screen.

Fly To Tippet

Finally! How do we put our stabbers on the fishing string?  Well, there are obviously 4,000 different knots for this.  I am going to go over my two favorite ways. First, the Non Slip Mono Loop.  This is our go too for Sea Run Cutthroat, and most weighted or baitfish flies.  I want to get the most out of my fly, and this allows it to swim naturally and move freely in the water.

Back to you Simon!

Now,  When we are up in the mountains and using dries and nymphs mostly we need a knot that is small, strong and secure to the hook. That’s where the Improved Clinch Knot comes into our arsenal.  Here’s Zack to finish this thing out!

 

Let’s Wrap This Up

Fly Fishing is all about the connections we make.  With the environment, the fish, the guides, and even the equipment.  If we miss our connections we can spend all the money in the world on booking world class trips, $1000 fly rods, and the best accommodations the world has to offer.  But we will miss the opportunity to truly be in the game.

Thanks Simon and Zack for unknowingly being our star actors for this fish story.  Thank you Rio Products for your wonderful library of You Tube videos as well!

 

Fishing Report 6/11

Fishing Report 6/11

Whew! This past week/weekend had some unstable weather that kept the fishing ranging from Great to Pretty Good… We had some pretty epic days out there with big fish, great laughs, and wet weather.  Then we had some pretty good days of dodging weather, and finding some fish in between points to break the wind!

Despite having to work a bit harder on the “pretty good” days, we stayed in the action throughout the day.  Not to mention we were rewarded with some pretty awesome fish!  Thats one of the best parts of summer time fishing, the fish will reward your efforts as long as you put it in!

Salt Water

The keys to success with the saltwater fishing has been staying in the feeding zones.  There has been a lot of bait in the water these past few weeks and the bait is sticking around for the summer.  Finding the areas the fish are feeding has been the biggest key to success.  The edges of the kelp lines and over the eel grass beds has been our best prospects.   Most of our fish have been coming on Sandlance and Herring patterns.

Mountain Streams

We headed up into the mountains the other day to scope them out for the season.  We must admit, we ended up… Well fishing… and did not do a great job of getting photos and exploring as much as we intended to.  However, we did get a decent amount of info for you.  The small streams are dropping WAY faster than in years past, and the bulk of the fish came out of the deep slower pockets.  They will be up in the riffles as the water levels off for the summer.   We found a few fish in the 8-12″ range plunging the deep pools.  Quite a few in the 3-6″ range were willing to play on dry flies.  We will be back up to explore later this week.

Weather

With overcast mild weather setting in for a while, we have some great expectations for the next week! The cloud cover will keep the bait high and the cutthroat up hunting on the eel grass flats and off the drop offs. We have a lot to look forward to as the summer rolls along!

DATES!

We have 1 cancelation date this week that is Friday 15th that is $100 off of a full day or $75 off a half day!  Other than that we have 14th, 17th (fathers day) open!

Next week we have 18th, 20th, 22nd, and 24th open!

Captain Mike and myself want to thank you all for coming out and keeping us busy this summer!

Slack Tide

Slack Tide Jumpin'

Slack Tide

Every week people are shocked that we will catch fish through slack tide.  “I read that fishing stops for the hour before,during, and after slack tide!” I get that all the time on the boat.  “This guy told me that he wrote ‘the book’ on fishing for Sea Run Cutthroat, and he asked if I wanted his autograph.”  I get that once in a while too…

“Well… We caught fish for the last 3 hours!  You can probably find in writing someone calling a wooly bugger a squid too!”

The truth is, if fishing stops for 2-3 hours every time the tide changes I would have very little time to actually do my job!  Before we get into to much, I will say this.   When the tide actually comes to a complete stop, if you have a lunch, eat it… But if there is ANY movement at all, you should probably be out there checking it out for some fish!

Slack Tide Release

Get To The Point

There are some tricks to getting the most out of a slacking tide.  As the tide comes to a peak low, or peak high it must come to a stop in order to change directions. This is what we all refer to as “Slack Tide”.

Often folks think Slack Tide is a total waste of time.  The thing is, on most situations, you can time this out to get the most out of a tide.  As the tide slows down, the most water movement will be over the points of land.  The more significant the point, the more the water will be moving.  Sea Run Cutthroat will almost always follow the moving water.  As the tide does slack out (or stop moving) the fish will typically hang on the point because they know that is where the current will pick up the fastest.  As long as we can drop our flies right in front of them, we hardly notice a slow down in the fishing.

While we are in our boat, we can run south as the tide is slowing down, and find more moving water, then move north as it slows down and it will have already switched.  We don’t ever really need to stop fishing.  This is a huge advantage on slower tide changes where the tides seem to take for ever to start moving again after they slack out.  On Hood Canal the body of water is narrow, so it takes very little to get a current along the shorelines, however, having this trick up our sleeves has helped out on many different occasions.

Slack Tide Netted

Fighting The Salad

Our last Slack Tide trick we are going to share is how to fight the salad.  Many times after a low slack tide the tide water rushes in and fills the area up with floating eel grass, kelp, and other less than desirable catches.  First off, this sucks, no way around it, it just plane sucks. However!  There are a few tricks to make the best of it.

Starting off, find the current seam.  Most of the time, if we look hard enough there is a tidal current that will act as a aquatic dust pan.  This will at least lower the amount of weeds on one side of it.  If you can find the tidal current, you can find some fishable water 9 times out of 10.

 If you are having a hard time finding the tidal current, we have a little trick for you too… Find a point of land.  Often, one side of a point of land will collect a ton of weeds.  Also it creates a tidal current that will clear the down current side of weeds.  Not all beaches have these two options.  So my last suggestion… Go to a beach that has one of those options.  Move your ass on to a beach that you can fish.  So many times I hear “ah the weeds kicked up so I stuck around and caught frustration.”  My time, which is inevitably my clients time, is to valuable to be stuck in the frustration station.

June 1st Fishing Report

June Fishing Report

June Fishing Report

Whew!  It’s been a blur of great fishing and great weather these last few weeks.  As we are moving from spring into summer fishing a few things are starting to change out on the water! Before we get into the June Fishing Report I just want to thank all the folks who have come out and shared the water with me these last few weeks, it’s been a ton of fun sharing stories, fish, and making some killer memories!  We have hit some seriously beautiful fish, and had some pretty amazing weather to enjoy it in!

We are pretty well into the full summer swing of things now, and the fishing is starting to stable out and be predictable. The fish have moved onto their summer hunting grounds where they will be for the remainder of the warm season.  Also the summer bait has been flooding into the Hood Canal in football field sized schools. Herring and Sandlance are pushing onto the eelgrass and the fish are fattening up as a result.  Although most of the chum fry has left the lower reaches of Hood Canal, we are still seeing smaller schools up north.

June Fishing Report

Most of our fish these last couple weeks have come out of the fast water.  We have been focusing on water that is moving quick enough to barely be able to sight the fish in.  The high sun and low mid day tides have pushed the fish out to the deepest, sharpest points they can find.  If you can find the fast water on steep points you should have great success throughout the day!  With these big tides coming up, finding fast water should not be a big issue.  Most of our fish have come on type 3 sinking lines, sight fished over 4-10′ of water.

 

Weather Report

The 10 day forecast looks pretty great for fishing, not to hot, not cold,  cloud cover for at least part of the day to keep the water temps cool along the shorelines!  It’s pretty well fishing season!

 

DATES DATES DATES

Last minute opening for this Sunday! $100 off the day due to cancelation!

June Fishing Report

We are filling up fast for most of the month of June! I  (Captain Justin Waters) have Thursday June 7th, 10th, 13th, 15th,  and just opened up the 17th which is Fathers Day!  I look forward to sharing the water with you guys!

Captain Mike has 13th, 15th 19th, 22nd and 27th!

June Fishing Report

Coming Up!

We are up in the mountains checking out the creeks starting this week!  Checking for changes and exploring what rivers and streams are still being effected by run off!  Let us know if you are interested in checking out some small streams coming up here soon!