Post Weekend Weekend Fishing Report

Post Weekend Weekend Fishing Report!

This past weekend was beautiful out on the water.  We had flat water (for the most part) and good fishing throughout the weekend.   However,  we did hit our first couple of post spawn fish of the year and found most of our fish pushed way up in the estuaries.  Also, we saw a few more schools of those chum fry kicking around.  As a result, I would venture to guess we are days away from the big migration starting.

First,  we were seeing some evidence of post spawned fish in a couple of spots.  If you find that you are seeing some skinny fish with frayed fins, I recommend leaving and finding some new water.  Which,  is exactly what we did.  If you do end up with a post spawn fish on the line,  quickly get it on it’s way.  These fish just did their business and are trying to adapt back to their marine environment.  You are only making it easier on yourself the next time you visit this area.

Most of the fish we found the last few days were chasing down sculpin and shrimp patterns still.  However, towards the end of the day yesterday it was getting a little bumpy, the boat was rocking and the shorelines were getting a little murky. With the added turbidity to the water, we were having trouble seeing our flies.  In response we switched it up to a larger, flashier traditional flat-wing and found a lot more success.  I find that if I can see the fly, the fish can see the fly as well.

We did fish a few chum fry patterns toward the end of the day on Saturday with success. However, I will be honest and say I am not sure it would of mattered what we were tossing.  The fish are well schooled up and wanting to eat anything that crosses their path.  The biggest challenge of the weekend was finding the areas the fish were podded up in.  Once we found the fish, the catching part was fairly easy.

Upcoming Weather and Dates!

This week we have some great weather in the Forecast! With the light winds and bright weather it is feeling a heck of a lot like spring!  We have Thursday open this week along with Friday Morning for a half day!  In addition,  our next openings are next Thursday (22nd) and Friday (23rd)!

 

Speaking of fishing…

 

We have a handful of speaking engagements coming up that I wanted to let you all know about.  Come on out, as I am excited to meet some new folks and see some familiar faces at all of these events.

First, we have 2 presentations at the Lynnwood Fly Fishing show! This is the biggest fly fishing show of the year in Washington.  Again, We are talking about fishing for Sea Run Cutthroat on Hood Canal.  This show will be a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see you all at there.  We are no stranger to the Lynnwood Show, and we are stoked to be back. Come check out the new program, February 17th & 18th.  Come hang out in the booth, enter the raffle, and let’s talk some fish!

Second, We will be the guest of the Bainbridge Island Fly Fishers.  The good folks on the Island are having us out to talk about our program and Fly Fishing Puget Sound/Hood Canal. Check them out if you are in the area.  February 27th we are hanging out with them.

Next, March 15th we are headed up to the Fidalgo Fly Fishers in Anacortes Washington.  We are spreading our word of good fishing cheer and having a good time on Hood Canal. Finally,  we look forward to being back in this part of the state and seeing some old friends!

Last, the final one for the spring will be on May 16th down at the Clark Skamania Fly Club in Vancouver Wa.  I absolutely love this club, and enjoy the heck out of hanging out with them all. I can’t wait to get back down there and talk Forest into buying me a cocktail.

We are looking forward to hanging out and meeting all of you.  Until then we will see you on the water!

Fishing Report 2/6/2018

Fishing Report 2/6/2018:

Fishing Report 2/6/2018

The first fishing report of February already! Fishing has been steady and similar fishing to the last one to be honest.  Predicting the wind and weather has really been the battle this past week.  However, the fish wanted to cooperate, so that makes it easier.  They are real focused in on sculpin and sand shrimp on the flats and shallow water. We did however see our first set of chum fry in the southern stretches of Hood Canal this past week.  We are looking forward to the schools coming out in the next coming weeks.

Additionally we found most of our fish this past week fell to a new sculpin pattern we have been working on.  I plan on sharing that one with you in the next week.  We have been looking for a durable and larger profile sculpin pattern that does not hold much water.  We are pretty excited to share what we came up with.

Weather Report:

This coming week is looking beautiful and to be honest we are looking forward to fishing in some nicer weather! Chum fry should be showing up and the sun screen might even make an appearance.  A little wind on the forecast but nothing we can not hide from.

 

Open Dates:

We have a cancelation date for this coming Saturday.  Good weather and great fishing, that one should fill up quick! Also next Tuesday and Thursday are open for what we think will be the true kick off of Chum Fry Season!  Get your dates soon spring is filling up fast!

 

Why We Love Fly Fishing Hood Canal

Why We Love Fly Fishing The Hood Canal:

It’s no secret that we are partial to the Hood Canal portion of Puget Sound.  We love it.  In fact, our life revolves around the seasons of this vastly diverse fishery.  I thought I would share a few of the reasons why we love fly fishing Hood Canal.

The feeling of being remote is unparalleled in Puget Sound.  The Hood Canal is a drainage from the west side of the Kitsap Peninsula to the East slope of the Olympic Mountain Range.  The real beauty of this is that it creates a barrier that makes the eastern Olympic Peninsula  a relatively inconvenient place to do business. Which keeps the population down to a minimum.  So while you are fishing you might hear some eagles, a few splashes, and the occasional sea lion bark.  It’s fairly rare to compete with other anglers or beach goers.  The body of water is vast enough that when we do encounter other anglers, we usually know them on a first name basis.

Fly Fishing Hood Canal

Spring starts on Hood Canal earlier than most of Puget Sound.  Which we appreciate more and more every winter.  The end of February starts the spring chum fry migration that brings out the best of what cutthroat fishing has to offer.  The bait is up high in the water column, the fish are looking up, and we have a fantastic saltwater blitz of feeding fish! This is all happening in the crystal clear water with snow topped mountains towering over you from the Olympics.  I mean, what a way to kick off the fishing season!

The options are endless throughout the year,  making Hood Canal a fly fisherman’s dream. The saltwater fishery varies with the water temperature.  Which means, the fishery is constantly changing with the seasons.  However, if you hit it right, different parts of the Hood Canal will “turn on” as the lower warmer sections will turn off with the rising temperatures.  Likewise, staying with the cold water will keep you in bait rich water year round.  Cutthroat like it cold, and will be more aggressive the colder the water temperatures get.  Fortunately, year round you can always find cold water on Hood Canal.

Tributary fly fishing hood canal

As the summer rolls on and the saltwater heats up, the rivers that feed Hood Canal also “turn on”.  This small stream fishery is unparalleled west of the cascades.  These “blue line” fisheries have fantastic trout fishing that will leave you feeling like you discovered Washington’s best kept secret. Small streams and big rivers flow from Olympic National Park and create a fantastic native trout fishery!

Fantastic hatches of caddis and stone flies keeps the trout looking up. This while an abundant nutrient rich  forrest feeds these streams and keeps the trout fat and happy on baitfish, aquatic insects, and salmon eggs. This is a two fold trip visiting these streams.  You are also amongst some of the most beautiful scenery of any trout fishery in the world. Casting your fly into these trout rich waters  provides an opportunity to reflect on the old growth forest of Washington’s past, while providing a world class opportunity to catch native trout.  These streams flow out of true oldgrowth wilderness and remind you why wilderness should be protected for future generations.

Termite Fly fishing hood canal

While fishing is great in the streams, the saltwater is still fishing fantastic in the Canal’s colder stretches.  However, when it cools back off down in the fall, fantastic doesn’t begin to describe how amazing the fishing gets.  Whether off of our boat or off the beaches, the fishing is great in the fall. Big trout, and hatches of Termites falling from the neighboring hillsides. Dry fly fishing in the salt for big sea trout can leave you speechless! Twitching termites and ant patterns in the tidal current is as exciting as it gets saltwater fishing for our Sea Run Cutthroat.

Winter time on Hood Canal is when we typically see the biggest fish of the season.  The shallow water cools way down and the big deep water cutthroat come up to hunt.  Searching the shallows for sand shrimp and sculpin on the winter high tides.  These big fish are special to the Hood Canal.  Furthermore,  the Hood Canal just has a more of them than anywhere in Puget Sound. If you can brave the cold winter, it is a great time to test your angling skills with some of the best shallow water sight fishing of the year.

These are just a few of the reasons we love sharing the Hood Canal with you! Not to mention the fantastic community of shops and restaurantsdistilleries and resorts. Hood Canal is a great place to experience a wild and unique and saltwater and small stream fishery.  In addition to having a wonderful family get away. Come join us and let us show you why we love fly fishing Hood Canal.

Perfecting Performance: The Perfect Set Up For Chum Fry

Perfecting Performance: The Perfect Set Up For Chum Fry

The chum fry season is upon us. In the next couple of weeks we will start seeing the beginning of the biggest out migration of salmon in Washington state.  Sea Run Cutthroat are the first predatory fish to get a taste at these baby salmon as they begin on their long hard fought journey to the ocean. Here are a few tips at how we keep our rods rigged for chum fry hatch.

Set Up For Chum Fry

Brita’s Double Chum Fry

When putting together our set up for chum fry season we consider these things:

  • Adding action to a small baitfish
  • Keeping our fly in the water
  • Getting our fly to the bait balls without spooking them

First, add action to a small baitfish. This is actually a two step process. Tying a small “Lefty’s Loop Knot” will add a bit of action to the fly, allowing the fly to swim freely on the tippet. If you jump on “Animated Knots” it’s called the “Non Slip Mono Loop”.  So far, this is a pretty darn good start.

Set Up For Chum Fry

However, we are not done adding movement to your fly.  I typically fish 2x or 10lb Fluoroflex Plus tippet in the salt. For Chum Fry Season we are stepping down a notch to 3x or 8.5lb tippet. These are fairly small flies, and we are trying to make the best of it.  Also, lengthen your leader a bit to 8-10ft.  This will allow your fly to swim as free as you can get while still being manageable and attached to your fly line.  Whew, we are now feeling trouty and light huh? Let’s move on to the next couple steps in our quest for greatness.

Big Fish Set Up For Chum Fry

Next on the list, Keeping your fly in the water! While this seems like a no brainer, there is some technique to this. If you are fishing a sinking line, you are going to be on the bottom for this one. We want to move our fly and get the fishes attention, however we want to fish slowly… How do we do this? As short of strips as you can possibly do quickly. Keep that fly moving, however bring in a very small amount of line while doing so. Occasionally I will twitch my rod tip while keeping tight to my fly, but that is some next level teasing. Now picking out a fly line for this task is a bit harder. We love throwing the floating line when at all possible, however occasionally in the wind the intermediate line tracks the chop a bit better and detects more strikes.

Let’s review:   We are throwing a beautifully tied chum fry (maybe it was one of the winners from the contest).  To attach that fly to our tippet is a Lefty’s Loop Knot to keep it swimming freely. Furthermore we are extending our leader out to 8-10′ to add the extra stealth and movement to the fly. We are coming up in the water column to a floating or intermediate line to keep our fly from fouling on the bottom with a slow retrieve. Now, how do we get it to the fish with some grace so we do not spook the school of bait or the Cutthroat?

My favorite two lines for sending chum fry flying are The Rio Outbound Floater, or the Coastal Quickshooter Intermediate. Here’s why:

First, The Rio Outbound floating line is a smooth sailing rocket launcher. It’s fun to cast distance with this line smoothly, but if you need to punch it, the line preforms well under pressure. Also fishing a floating line is fun, and this one will handle the longer leader a bit better than the outbound short will.

Big fish Set Up For Chum Fry

Now for the Coastal Quick Shooter Intermediate line. If there is chop on the water during chum fry season, which early season, there often is. The Coastal Quick Shooter Intermediate line will get down in it and track straight on the retrieve rather than getting slack from the chop. This is even more evident when the boat is bouncing a bit. Also the Coastal Quick Shooter is just that, it’s quick! One back cast and get that fly back in the water.  You didn’t get on my boat to look good casting, you got on to catch fish.

We have discussed the ammunition, now for the weapon of choice.  I think the 691-4 Sage X is the best suited rod for the job. This rod is just plain fun. The 9′ length allows you to fish the fly with a twitchy retrieve without diving your rod tip to far off the boat, and the power and recovery of the rod allows you to shoot a line such as the Outbound with a 10′ leader without getting chatter.

Add your reel of choice and you have yourself a picture perfect set up for fishing Chum Fry in the Puget Sound off the beach or off of a boat. I’ll add that my real of choice is the Sage Spectrum Max for its toughness and smooth drag.  Along with it’s polished looks and the ability to have it match most rods on the market.

Contest/Fly Fishing Show Update/Early Chum Fry Dates

UPDATES! UPDATES! AND A FEW DATES!

Our Contest is getting underway and we have seen a few early entries in the last few weeks. Again this is for unique and fishy chum fry.  Some really cool patterns have been sent to us via email and social media! Remember to #AllWatersFlyFishing to show us what you have going on.

We are raffling off a dozen of our traditional Flat-Wings at the show. These flies would typically sell for $120 retail. Come on by and throw in your name, email, and phone number for a chance to win a pretty sweet set! We will post more pictures as the show gets closer!

Fly Tying Class Flat Wing

Also, Chum Fry dates are filling up quick! So get them while you can!

We have February 22nd, and 27th open! Also, March 1st, 4th, and 9th!

We won’t be warm and toasty, However, we will be having more fun than anyone else!

Tips and Tricks: Chum Fry Hatch

Tips and Tricks: Chum Fry Hatch

Chum Fry Hatch Fish-Bram

The local legion of Puget Sound “hatches” is the chum fry.  Folks flock to Puget Sound from all over the state.  They are coming here for a chance to experience some of the most exciting trout fishing around.  Bait balls getting slashed at by predatory Sea Run Cutthroat trout, fish clearing the water spewing small bait fish into the air, and eating flies with no hesitation.

If Puget Sound’s most famous “hatch” is the Chum fry migration then the Hood Canal is the holy grail of it.  Hood Canal famously has huge runs of chum salmon in a relatively narrow and healthy body of water. Moreover adding the littering of small spawning creeks and a summer run of chum, you have yourself the best fishery around for this event!

Chum Fry Hatch Kype

Here are a few things to know before heading out:

 First, be as close to the stream that they are coming out of as you can, exactly when they are coming out. Then find the schools of chum fry, and keep your fly in the water as much as possible. Finally, if at all possible, be on the down current side of the school. This allows your fly to be the first chum fry to get to the cutthroat.  Done! You have all of my tricks (that I am willing to share with you here). Let’s Elaborate a bit!

Starting off with being close to the streams.  The big balance of fishing the chum fry hatch is being there as they are dumping out of the creeks. You want to be close so you are getting fish that are just turning onto the bait.  The first bite of cake is always the sweetest. However, we don’t want to be there before the school has emerged and the fish are not turned on. So it’s really a balancing act. 

The next step to finding success with the chum fry hatch is this. “Keeping your baitfish in the water!”  There is a lot of bait to choose from! Getting a “eat” is a matter of having your fly in the water when the fish crashes through the school.  Typically these fish are eating 5-10 baitfish at a time at the begging of the hatch, you can’t be one of them if your fly is being casted.  Use SUPER short, fast, strips that barely move your fly. The object is to keep it fluttering and slack free but try not to pull it out of the school of bait.

The last step is probably the most difficult from the beach, however simple in theory. Stay ahead of the school. You want to be the first few baitfish that get hit.  If you had a choice to run from a hungry T-Rex or a uncomfortably full T-Rex I think you would choose the latter.  Positioning yourself ahead of the school works three fold as well;

  • First, it allows you to be the first baitfish on the buffet line, instigating the most aggressive takes.
  • Next, staying ahead of the school allows your slow retrieve to stay in the bait for a bit longer.
  • Last, it allows you to reach the bait without repositioning yourself for the longest amount of time. The fish have to swim to you, then past you.

Chum Fry Hatch Fish

If you put these thoughts into consideration you should have a fairly successful Chum Fry Season. The next post we are going to do is how to rig your set up for the most success during Chum Fry Season.

Coming soon

Alright folks, we were a bit light this week due to some predictably bad weather and busy schedules.

I wanted to give a quick update on some upcoming things to look for:

  • We have a new fly tying video about to be dropped on one of the most outrageous flies I’ve seen in a while… I’ll say this the video title will be “Brita Get’s Dirty. A little bit of editing and that will be out.
  • A update on the Fly Tying competition/ Fly Fishing Show will be coming this weekend.
  • The best set up for tossing Chum Fry
  • A new introduction to the All-Waters Fly Fishing staff
  • A new fly tying step by step.
  • New Classes Coming Soon!
  • I know some of you figured it out already, but we will have our big announcement for this summer right after the Fy Fishing show.

We have been super busy this week and missed out on a few days of the Fish Stories, and we are sorry for that.  I will leave you with this sweet video from Sage Fly Rods on fishing the Mod on the Henry’s Fork!  We love the Henry’s Fork and the Mod, and thought it might be an appropriate lead up to some of those big announcements that are coming.

Sage MOD from Sage Fly Fish on Vimeo.

Brita’s Fly Tying Classes

Brita’s Fly Tying Classes:

Brita has a couple of fly tying classes coming up in February!  We don’t do as many of these as we wish we did, so we decided to pick it up a notch.

Fly Tying Class

First, her intermediate saltwater fly tying class will be on February 10th.  This class will cover Chum Fry, Poppers, worms, and baitfish. This will be a 4 hour class from 3-7pm in  the Bremerton/Silverdale area. Call or email for more details.

Fly Tying Class Chum Fry

Also, she will be holding a class on Flat-wing flies on February 24th. This will also be a 4 hour class from 3-7pm in the Bremerton/Silverdale area.  I can not think of anyone more qualified to teach a class on these dynamic, beautiful, and effective flies.  Call or email for more details.

For both of these classes we will supply all materials, instruction, and some refreshments, The cost of the classes will be $150.  Please bring your own vises and basic fly tying tools or let us know so we can supply them. We announced the classes yesterday on social media, and have 3 spots left for Intermediate Fly Tying, and 2 spots left for the Flat Wing Flies.  For all the materials or tools you would like to bring check out The Avid Angler to grab what you need!

Fly Tying Class Flat Wing

Stay tuned for more up coming classes!

 

Chum Fry: A Kick Off To Sea Run Season

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!