Chum Fry Fishing Report 3/13

Chum Fry Fish Skin

Chum Fry Fishing Report 3/13

Man-O-Man where to start?! Chum Fry is the keyword for this March Fishing Report and they are damn near everywhere! This week we have had Cold/Comfortable/Warm/Perfect/Wet weather.  It has been down right confusing trying to layer up in the morning for a day on the water.  However, the chum fry is out in full force! Sight fishing for big cutthroat along the flats has been down right amazing! Schools of chum fry getting caught up on the shoreline current has been our main keys to success.  However tossing big baitfish off the dropoffs on slack tides has lead to some great success on the slower parts of the tides.

Fly Fishing this time of year is as good as it gets.  If you stay in the chum fry the fishing has been great, and if you get out of the chum fry the fishing has been unpredictable, however not to shabby either.

Chum Fry Big Papa

Listen up!  I’m going to give you the trick of the season. Slow down and just do some searching.  We just slowly cruise the shorelines, waiting to see fish heads and bait boiling, then make your cast at feeding fish.  “Alright there he is make your cast… slow, strip, STRIP,  speed up… STRIP, STRIP!”  Then start laughing and playing your fish!  Come on now, how could it get any better?  Chum Fry season has delivered in an absolute spectacular way this year!

Chum Fry Fish ButtHere was the conversation at the dock yesterday;

“Hey Justin, I just realized the guys who recommended you said you tell a lot of jokes, we didn’t hear any today!”

“…Shoot man, I don’t know why I didn’t tell them.”

His wife then said, “I know why, you were to busy netting fish and laughing at the fishing!”


A few keys to success:

  • Stay out of the run off!  As the winter turns to spring the snowmelt can shut the fishing down.  Stay away from the creeks that are kicking out the snow melt.  Allow me to elaborate on this. First, snow melt will often lower the water temperature and clarity, making it difficult for fish to hunt. Furthermore the snowmelt carries lots of minerals that can lower the oxygen levels and often makes for lethargic fish.
  • Stay with your game plan! If you are fishing somewhere with a lot of chum fry, stay fishing in the bait.  Your go to spot probably is not going to fish the same if all the bait is south of you still.  Cutthroat will move to the bait.
  • Work out from the source! Start by, finding the creeks that are dumping the bait, and move out to the good water north of it.  Also, this is a great way to find new water for the whole year and great fishing now!
  • Slow down!  Sometimes your eyes are better for searching than your brain. Take some time to just stare at your situation.  Looking down the beach is often the best way to find a starting point.  It might seem counterintuitive to stop casting, however that is often the best place to start when things are not going as planned.


This coming week we have some cloudy overcast weather in the mid-high 50s… But what the hell do those weather men know anyway?  I’ll take that mid 50 degree weather any day after the past month of cold.  If you look at the forecast it looks like “Fishing Weather”!


Chum Fry Big Fish In Net

We don’t have many for the next few weeks.  We moved some stuff around today and opened up the 19th, 25th, 27th, 31st.  I can’t say this enough, Thank you so much for all of you who came out this month. I am humbled to be able to share the memories with all of you!

April Dates:  3rd, 10th, 12th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, 25th, 27th, 29th.  We are filling up pretty quickly and looking forward to another great month with all of you!  Chum fry will still be emerging from the rivers all through April and we will stay ahead of them all month.  I am fired up and looking forward to continuing the roll we are on!

Chum Fry Cutthroat Swim Away

Captain’s Clean Up

We will announce soon the Inaugural Captain’s Clean Up for April.  Keep an eye open for it later this week!  We are super excited to party with you all and spend the day cleaning up Puget Sound.

Spring Is Started- Fishing Report

Spring Has Started – Fishing Report

Holy smokes,  This weekend was a blast! Spring Has Started! Thanks to those who came out and joined in on the fun!  Last week we had great fishing, and found most of our fish on Shrimp and Sculpin patterns, we were going strong… Then it started to go down hill…

Spring Has Started

The Scramble

First, we had a last minute cancelation of our entire weekend! Not an awesome move.  However, occasionally things happen, and we have a super awesome client base that was able to help me out and fill in the dates! Thanks so much for your support guys!

Next, on Thursday, we went to wash down the motor and our water pump went down… Again, our weekend was in shambles!  We called around, got the parts and were back up and running for Saturday morning.  We unfortunately had to cancel our Friday and move some things around.  But we managed to salvage the weekend!  Timing could not of been better!

Spring Has Started

The Flood Gates Are Open- Spring Has Started!

Saturday morning we headed into one of our favorite spots.  The weather couldn’t of been more pleasant.   However, our typical spring spots were just feeling empty.  We hunted for a bit, and eventually caught on to what was happening.  The fish were super podded up on small schools of chum fry.  Once we found the small pods of bait, the fish were absolutely frenzied and quick.  We managed a really good day, with lulls and then fast moments of brilliance.

Spring Has Started

All day Saturday we just felt like it was ALMOST perfect fishing conditions… We were absolutely right. Sunday morning we rewarded for our game plan… Chum Fry were kicking up and we stayed in the bait and the fish all day.  At high tide we pushed real close to the creek mouths and we could see the bait being pushed out by the current of the outgoing tide.  Right onto a buffet line of savagely feeding cutthroat trout.  Forget about professionalism for a minute.  When you drop three fish on one retrieve and still land one… The fishing is god damn bananas.

Check out our Tips and Tricks post to see some tricks to taking advantage of the Chum Fry hatch!

We started early, and stayed late, jumping from one spot to another hunting chum fry. The spots we didn’t find them we could tell the fish were pushed into the creek mouths.  In some instances up in the flats of the estuary that we couldn’t get to with the tide, we could see fish hammering chum fry in the deep pools.

If I were to describe the fishing in one word…

Spring has started and we are stoked!  Lets Get some fishing in!

Weather Report

The weather report has some clouds and light rain in the next 10 days, however the temps will stay in the 50s and be pretty typical early spring weather.  Spring has started!  I can’t imagine starting the spring off any other way!

Spring Has Started

Dates! We have some Dates!

Come on out tomorrow March 6th, I am open to a half day! From there we have Friday March 9th, 11th, 13th, 16th, and 18th open.  We look forward to sharing the water with you! Chum fry traditionally last  till May, however the most exciting time to find them is as they are first dumping out of the creeks!  It’s like a treasure hunt, and you can potentially strike it rich!

Spring Has Started


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.

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!