Party At Waters West

Party At Waters West!

WooooWeee!  We have a good one coming up ladies and gentleman!

Saturday the 19th of May up in Port Angeles!  We have a ton of fun coming your way! Here is a great link for the event!

Casting Lessons,  BBQ,  Fly Tying,  Story Time,  and a good ol’ fashion seminar on how to fish for Sea Run Cutthroat on Hood Canal.

This is a great time to get to know the new owners of Waters West.  A couple of good ol’ fashion fishy folks with a ton of knowledge and passion for our sport.   Waters West is arguably the best fly shop in the world.  Do you need Panda Bear eyelashes for your favorite Barumundi Fly?  I bet they can get it.  If you need to track down a rare or exotic feather for a certain pattern? Give them a call!

Bright Days

Come on out and enjoy the party!

Casting Is Fun

Casting Is Fun

As a fishing guide I get to see a lot of people fling a fly rod.  A LOT of people.  Everyday, there is something that always stands out to me.  It’s that no matter the skill level, if you make your best cast, everyone smiles.  It’s pretty obvious that casting is fun!  If you are new to fly fishing and you toss a loop that lays out straight at 40′, I’ll bet you will have a grin on your face.  If you are a seasoned veteran like Zack Dalton from Sage Fly Rods, and you bomb out a 90′ lightning bolt of a cast and the line snaps tight the fly flips out right on the target…  Don’t kid yourself, it feels damn good.  The pursuit to have more fun than anyone always started off with teaching folks how to cast a fly rod.

That’s why we love fly fishing.  The pursuit is almost always just as fun as the objective.  Of coarse we all love to hold that trophy fish and watch it slip out of our fingers back to the holding water it came from.  However, simply flinging some fishing string out there on a nice day brings a ton of joy into our lives.  It’s the difference between Fly Fishing and trolling.  Trolling is fun, but no one says, “putting a down rigger out is as fun as casting a fly rod.” It’s simply not the same thing.  Casting a fly rod is just technical enough to get your mind into it.  It’s also simple enough to not feel like you are wearing yourself out.  Fly fishing is a perfect blend of thoughtful mindlessness.

 

Thursday Casting Lessons

This brings us to why we decided to do the Thursday casting lessons down at Alderbrook Resort.  I LOVE to teach folks to cast a fly rod.  I love getting to know new people and showing them the joys that fly fishing can bring to their lives.  The other thing I love, is hanging out in beautiful places like the Hood Canal seeing the mountains and water, and the joy it brings into everyone that gets to experience it.  Combine the two, and we have Thursday Casting lessons… Plus great food and drinks,  a pool for the kids,  paddle boards for the non fishy folks.  It’s one of the few casting lessons that you can bring the whole family out for!

Come on out and join in on the fun!

Bright Days

Bright Days

Bright Days

School Of Chum Fry On A Summer Morning

Occasionally, we like to fish in good weather.  You know, shorts, bare feet on the casting deck, sunglasses for more than protecting against bad cast.   It’s starting to look like summer out there on the water.   I see a lot of people saying,  “Now that the suns out, the best of the fishing is behind us.”  This my friends, is simply not the case.   There is however different techniques in the summer to make sure that the bright days are not spent fishless.  Sea Run Cutthroat are predators, here are some tips to make sure your fly remains prey on the brighter days of summer.

Wake Up

If you want to fish a floating line in the summer, you will have to wake up early.  You can fish with a floating line and still get some fish in the mid day sun… You just won’t catch as many fish.  It’s that simple.  The shallow water is going to warm with the high sun and push the fish off into deeper water.  Nighttime allows the shorelines to cool off and the bait and Cutthroat to move back into the shallows.  Fish the low light and get your shallow water fishing fix in before the suns super high and beating down on the flats.  There are plenty of opportunity to get the floating lines out and stock the shallows in the summer if you wake up on time.  Check your tide charts and find a good tide early in the morning.

Bright Days

Fish The Riffle Water

Don’t get it twisted though, that high sun does not turn the fishing into a tanning session.  Find that main tidal current.  Those riffles through the structure are like a sun umbrella on your patio table.  Sea Run Cutthroat like to use that riffle to break up the sun while they are hunting.  Breaking up the light helps hide the fish from predators like birds while they are behaving the predators and munching the last of the chum fry or small herring.

Bright Days

Go Deeper

There are lots of little tricks to getting your fishing in when the sun is high.  However, when the sun is high and consistent, none is more obvious than you need to get deeper.  Finding the shorelines with access to deep water is a huge key to our success.  Casting into 3′ of water when the fish are holding at 13′ feet is not going to result in much success.  We like to make a handful of passes through these spots.  We will start by fishing that 10′-20′ deep range with type 3 sinking lines and fishing our flies down deeper and slower.  Then fish that same stretch from 5-15′ a little faster.  Finally, fish that 3′-10′ section even quicker.  This assures us that our flies have fished through all of the best structure and allows us to feel confident that we did not miss any of our fish.

Bright Days

There are a lot of problems to solve in a days fishing.  That is what separates a successful day on the water from a fishless and frustrating one.  I hope this helps you solve a few of those problems on the bright days of summer.

Fishing Report 5/7/2018

Fishing Report 5/7/2018

Starting Off,  we have been a bit sidetracked with, well… Fishing!  We missed a couple of… Okay, we missed a month of updating the Fishing Reports and Fish Stories.  So, I am going to do my best to keep up this summer!  Between a guiding, speaking engagements, our beach clean up, and Thursday casting lessons, I truthfully just spaced keeping up with it.  I will do better.

Fishing Report

Fishing has been no less than amazing this month.  Now,  the weather is getting more steady it’s been super predictable as well.  The key to success has been flipping back and forth between herring and chum fry.   Hood Canal has been crawling with chum fry, and they have been our main focus early in the morning.   As the sun creeps high in the sky we have been switching to smaller herring patterns and fishing that 6-10′ of water.

This transition into warm weather has been a blast. The fish are spreading onto their summer holds and finding the main tidal currents to get shelter from the bright sun.  Sight fishing has been fantastic with the bright days and calm water this week, and summer feels like its right around the corner!

Weather Update:

Weather is looking good,  Wednesday and Thursday have a bit of wind, however the weekend looks amazing!

Next week is looking like summer weather and awesome tides!

Open Dates!

This Friday and Sunday are open! Next week we have Monday and Friday open!

April Fly Selection

April Fly Selection 

Sea Run Cutthroat have a unique menu this time of year.  Swarms of Chum fry in the shallows, Herring hanging on drop offs, and small sandlance on the Eel grass. It gives an angler a few extra things to explore as they are out looking for Sea Run Cutthroat.  When picking/tying your April Fly Selection we have a few considerations to think about.

Chum Fry

Chum fry of coarse has to be the main focus due to the shallow water sight fishing that they encourage.  Cutthroat porpoising like they are sipping caddis flies on the Missouri river in Montana… Chum fry are an absolute blast.  Check out some thoughts on Fly Selection.

Chum Fry Flies

When the schools are small, we like to fish a real accurate chum fry profile like the “Chumbodies Baby”.  I like the red egg sack head because it makes my small fly stand out a bit.  I also fish this fly steady, but slowly.  Keep tight with the fly, but don’t make it run to fast.

April Fly Selection

Chumbodies Baby

If I see thick schools of chum fry,  I like to fish epoxy minnows, and really tear through the schools with fast strips and flashy chum fry profiles, if the bait is an inch, I would go a bit bigger, 2-2 1/2″. Why? It just seems to work. I like to pull the fly quite a bit quicker in these situations and try to find the feeding fish.  When we have thick schools of bait and not a lot of crashing fish, I tend to think the fish are gorged or just not around, and we need to find them quickly.  A good ol’ Epoxy minnow is a great searching pattern.

April Fly selection

Epoxy Minnows

Now if I see cutthroat crashing chum fry and slurping them down like crazy… The “Frisky Fry” gets tied on the floating line.  The small gurgler like head will keep the fly floating and skipping on the surface, but allow the bulk of the fly to skim just under the surface.  If the Chumbodies Baby is the technical assault weapon, the Frisky Fry is the Whoopy Cushion “gotcha” of the group.  I like to strip this fly just fast enough to make a commotion on the water and wait to see the bucket swirls of fish coming to the surface.

April Fly Selection

Frisky Fry

Sandlance

Sandlance are my favorite baitfish for sea run cutthroat.  If sandlance was a people food it would be the nacho. Every cutthroat loves a sandlance.  April is when we start seeing fish key in on them. Sandlance tend to spend most of their time in April schooled up along the edges of Eel Grass beds, and where a steep beach starts to flatten out.  So If you have a steep drop off at the edge of your beach, its probably not the best place to find schools of sandlance.  Sandlance are quick swimmers who dive when being chased and like to hide down in the eel grass. Cutthroat gobble these things up like candy bars and fat folks.

Sandlance Flies

Sandlance can actually grow to be a pretty large baitfish.  However, in April I tend to flirt with the 2 1/2″ epoxy minnow, or the 3″ Money Maker for most of my sandlance patterns. The epoxy minnows serve me double for when the chum fry are pushed off the shallow water and are hanging on the edges of Eel grass. The Money Maker is my go to fly for 99% of my Sandlance imitations.  The baitfish profile cast easy and has a ton of movement in the water.  This “Flat Wing” style fly uses a illusion of bulk without creating actual bulk and becoming buoyant.  Design along with the tungsten bead allows the fly get right to business fishing from the first strip.

April Fly Selection

Money Maker

I hide a tungsten bead in almost all of my sandlance patterns, and like to give a three second pause before I start to strip.  This gives the fly time to dive like a fleeing baitfish before the retrieve it.  Our retrieve stays pretty much the same for these all year long.  Short strips, start slow and end fast, don’t pause.  If you have been on the casting deck of my boat before you have seen the fish chase them in, and if you have made the mistake of pausing you have seen the fish veer off of your fly and disappear into the depths of Puget Sound.

April Fly Selection

Money Maker/Sandlance/Flatwing

Herring

Herring is a overlooked bait source for Sea Run Cutthroat.  I think much of this stems from the folks who write the books on Sea Run Cutthroat tend to be beach anglers.  Herring hang on the dropoffs and ledges in Puget Sound, making them hard to reach for most beach anglers on all but the lowest of tides.  Cutthroat will target herring when they venture into the shallower bays and when the herring are in big numbers.  Typically when we are fishing with Herring flies we are targeting bigger Sea Run Cutthroat trout.

Herring Flies

When we are tying Herring flies we need to remember a couple of things.  One, these are not narrow baitfish, so we need to provide bulk for the material.  Two, these are larger flies, so we need to pick the right hook.  Number one you can learn at a fly tying class, and number two I have some pretty strong opinions on.  The two hooks I like to tie my Herring flies on are the Tiemco 800s size 6, and the Ahrex NS110 size 4 or 6.  The heavy gauge wire will keel the hook well with a bigger profile fly, and the larger gape in the hook will make sure your hookups are well placed in the corner of the mouth.

April Fly Selection

Herring Money Makers

My herring flies are typically variations of the Money Maker, or traditional Flatwing.  Both of these patterns are sparse while keeping a larger profile in the water.  April is a great time of year to fish Herring patterns as they ball up near the shorelines.  The large cutthroat will leave small chum fry to target the larger nutrient rich Herring.  When retrieving the fly, you should be steady with short strips as the bait is pretty tightly balled up.  If you pull the fly in quickly you will tend to foul hook bait, or pull the fly out from under the bait balls where the cutthroat are hunting.

April’s A Transition

Overall April is a transition month.  The Cutthroat are spreading out from their winter holds.  The eelgrass beds are growing back to their summer thickness, and baitfish are moving back into their summer shelter.  Your April Fly Selection is all about being prepared for summer style bait balls, or spring chum fry…

April is also all about the All-Waters Spring Clean Up on April 29th! BBQ, Beaches, Fishing, and making Puget Sound great again.

Fishing Report 4/4/2018

Fishing Report 4/4/2018

Most of this month will be all about finding the right tides and the right bait.  Chum Fry are cruising the shallows in monster schools of delicious fish food.  We have found great success fishing the edges of the oyster veins on the start of the tides with small chum fry patterns.  Most days we can cruise the shorelines and watch for the active fish feeding on chum fry.

We have found many days when the chum fry is only attracting the smaller fish, and have found big schools of 3 1/2” herring on the drop offs.  This has resulted in larger fish and more aggressive takes, however the numbers of fish have gone down.  So it’s really in what you are looking for in your day.

We have had some awesome days throwing topwater “Frisky Fries” and just under the surface with “Chumbodies Baby” along the shorelines as well as going deeper with the “Money Maker” Herring and smaller Sandlance patterns.

With Chum Fry on the shorelines and Herring and Sandlance on the drop offs, it’s all baitballs and good times from here on out! 2018 is going to be a blast!

Weather Report

The next week is looking pretty… Wet.  Saturday is looking a bit breezy as well.  However, things change daily and we have plenty of hiding spots for the windy days.  Monday is your day to get some sunscreen going if you are heading out in the next week! We have some fantastic tides for tomorrow and the rest of the week!

Open Dates

 I have tomorrow the 5th open, as well as the 12th, 16th, and 19th! Most of Puget Sound is fishing pretty great right now and Hood Canal is in full swing for the rest of the summer! We are excited to get you out on the water! Remember to come out to the All-Waters Spring Clean Up on the 29th!

Fishing Report 4/4/2018

Lemmy’s Training To Be A Boat Dog

All-Waters Fly Fishing Spring Clean Up Day

Spring Clean Up Day

It’s about damn time we had some fun!  Maybe we could do a little fishing in between too.  We have been talking about this for quite some time now, and I think we need to just get it on the books.  April 29th we are going to do our inaugural All-Waters Fly Fishing’s Spring Clean Up.

We are going to have some help from some friends that hopefully we will announce shortly!

On April 29th, while you are out walking beaches, or cruising shorelines, let’s focus on cleaning up a bit.  Pick up your local parking lot, your beach, and your tide water if you can.

Game Plan 

Here is the game plan! We are going to Launch the boat at 7:30 and meet at Manchester State Park at 9AM to grill breakfast and clean up the park. We will provide Garbage bags, Eggs and Bacon for those who show up! At 10 O’ Clock we are off to pick up trash and fish our way to Anderson Point by 12pm. Anderson Point, As you walk down the park to meet us, we hope you will pick up trash on your way.  At Anderson Point we will grill up hot dogs for those who come on down! Great beach for a picnic and maybe even a few fish!

All is welcome to this event, if you would like to chip in for breakfast, beers, trash bags, let us know!  We can not provide booze for the event, so BYOB if you want, we can provide good fishing tips around the area, and some good ol’ fashion hot dogs for the BBQ.  We hope you all can make it out.  Let us know if you want to chip in some snacks for the bbq!

Good Times 

It’s going to be some great times, if you want some casting help while we are on the beach let us know.  Also there will be some prizes and swag for some of those folks that come out! Looking forward to a great day on the water!

Casting Lessons

Alderbrook casting LessonsCasting Lessons

We have mentioned it for a while, and we are finally ready! Free Weekly Casting Lessons! Finally, we got it done and worked out! Now, all we need is you guys to come out and celebrate with us!  From April through September we will have free casting lessons down at Alderbrook Resort every Thursday afternoon!. We want the first one, April 5th, to be a big event to show them that fly fishermen like to have a good time! We love Fly Fishing, and we thought this would be a great way to share it with everyone!

Alderbrook Resort

Alderbrook Casting Lessons

We wanted to use Alderbrook for the location for a lot of reasons and it took some extra time to set it up.  One,  If your family is not into casting fly rods (yet) there is plenty of other activities such as; Paddle Boarding, Restaurant, Heated Pool, Spa, and Hiking Trails… Really, there is a ton to do (even a full game room for those who hate outside).  Also, there is great fishing near by for those who are wanting to stop in, get a lesson, and ask us for some advise on where to go next.  Last, we wanted a fun atmosphere, That’s what Alderbrook is to us, you can’t walk through the door without having fun.  So, In theory, its a perfect match!

You do not need to be a guest of the lodge to attend these classes, however if you are, we will give you a discount on the free class.

Lessons

Alderbrook Casting Lessons

Every Thursday of the summer we will have casting lessons down at Alderbrook Resort starting April 5th.  We recognize that there are a lot of different levels of casters out there. If you are an expert that needs no help… Come on down, grab a cocktail and shoot hero cast across Hood Canal! Following that, you might be a average caster looking to pick up a few tips?  We can get you on your way to being awesome!  Maybe you want to add to that double haul,  and pick up some line speed, we can help you there.  Or maybe you are a down right beginner?   I can not think of a better way to smoothly transition to the sport! Come down and learn a thing or two about properly casting a fly rod! This is a great opportunity to get dialed in before a trip anywhere in the world.

We will have some structure to our classes on a case by case basis.  It will start off catering to beginners and move into one on one lessons.  The classes will be held at 4’O Clock every Thursday, but I encourage you to make it out on the 5th for the kickoff!

See You Then

Let us know if you can make it, and we look forward to tossing some line out there with you!  We can get you all set with a beach to visit afterwords too! Or enjoy a cocktail at the full bar? Oh… Did I mention their will be bar service to these classes? You know, because we have more fun than anyone!

Alderbrook Casting Lessons

 

Fishing Report 3/26

Fishing Report 3/26

Whoa, it’s been a bit since we have gotten one of these out! We have a handful of updates coming out later this week and we will sneak a fishing report in there as well! I believe some of the updates will make you understand our absence.  We had to cancel this morning due to some weather and found the time to catch up!  We have been on the water almost every day this month and we have had some spectacular fishing, some great weather, some frustrating weather, and some great times! Now, lets get the fishing report underway!

Fishing Report

Chum fry have been moving north and pretty much the whole hood canal is being flooded with these little guy.  Much of Puget Sound is experiencing the same.  We have been getting around spreading the fishing out a bit, and we are finding most of Puget Sound is having great chum fry hatches this season!  The Hood Canal is super clear, full of bait, and sight fishing is spectacular! Garbaging anything that resembles a small baitfish. Our sight fishing opportunities have been dependent on the weather, but when it is good, MAN it is good!  That sun has been a welcome beast the past couple of weeks! That four letter word that starts with “W” and ends with “F*%k1&G IND” has been mildly frustrating, However we have gotten through it and had some fantastic days!

Keys To Success

Here’s the keys to success during this chum migration from here on out.  They are out, and it’s great fishing! If the weather is cooperating, just sight fish them.  Go stare at your beach until you see the action, move for it, and make the cast.  The chum hang on the surface of the water, so it’s easy to see where we need to fish.

STAY TIGHT to your flies as you are fishing,  the cutthroat do not need to work hard to eat these chum fry, so the hardest part of catching fish during this time is detecting the take.  This can be super frustrating, if you stay tight, and you stay patient with your hook set, you will have amazing fishing.  Let the fish pull the fly away from you before you set.  Cutthroat do not have to change direction to eat chum fry, so we have to keep retrieving the fly until the fish pulls against us.  Patience makes a huge difference in the success of a day!

First Fish

The last few days we have had a few new angers of all ages get their first fish ever, which is super exciting! Congrats to all of you who got into your first fish, and thank you for sharing the experience with me! Parents thank you for trusting me to safely get the kids onto fish and coming along for the ride!  It’s the best part of my job! (Sorry for sending them home sugared out of their minds!)

To the adults who got their first fish these last few weeks;  Thank you for the patience and giving me the opportunity to share this world with you! I appreciate it more than you know!  The memories will be there forever!

Lefty Kreh- Thanks For Everything!

Lefty Kreh

Lefty was everyones favorite fly fishermen.  If you ask anyone in fly fishing who the most legendary fly fishermen is; without hesitation… “Lefty!”.  I find it hard to believe anyone who has ever lived helped grow the sport more than Lefty.  It was not through his social media, or his hip style.  His smile alone just made fly fishing look fun. Lefty’s patients and reasonable approach to teaching made it achievable.  Countless people studied his writing, videos, and seminars trying to pick up a hint of what he had to say. Lefty always appeared to be a very happy man, and I would venture to say, a lot of that had to come from bringing the joy of fly fishing to so many anglers. I can’t think of a expression more iconic to fly fishing than that Lefty Kreh smile.

Cheers Lefty

I first became aware of Lefty because of his picture on the wall at the old McRae’s bait shop in Homosassa Florida.  His weird name and his crazy tarpon photos amazed me. Now we didn’t fish for tarpon as a kid.  However, Homosassa was a fishing town, every kid knew the stories of the Homosassa tarpon.  Then there was this Lefty fella… He was out there fishing for them with a fly rod… What the hell was a fly rod?  Not to mention why did people want to follow him around with a camera?  His smile just had this mystery to it, like he knew something about fishing that made it extra fun.  He made you want to know his secrets.

Then a few years later I learned about fly fishing.  I picked up a book on tying knots, by Lefty Kreh! “Thats the crazy smiling tarpon dude from wall at McRea’s!”  Then I watched Youtube videos for hours on how to cast a fly rod… “Hey this guy is everywhere!”  It didn’t seem to matter if he was teaching a casting video on Youtube or holding up a fish from some corner of the world.  That smile was recognizable anywhere.  Was I starting to learn what made him so happy?!

I, like probably thousands of other fly fishermen spent hours studying his casting, knot tying, fly tying, and teaching techniques.  Actually I can’t remember I time when I didn’t know the name “Lefty”. From the first time I went down to the bait shop with my folks, to the first time I ever cast a fly rod.

Thanks For Everything

  I posted this on my social media, but Paul Puckett sketched something up that I thought was so perfect, I cant help but share it again.  Paul captured what we all loved about Lefty, I never knew him, but “Thanks for everything!”

Lefty Kreh, Thanks for Everything, Paul Puckett

Thank you Lefty, and thank you to your family for sharing his time with all of us.