Being humbled on the water is a benefit that I think is lost to most anglers. I am constantly humbled by the daily events that happen on the water. Whether it is by a fish refusing my “go to” fly of the day, or the schools of bait not being in the places I think they might be. Not guessing what the weather is going to do correctly, or just down right finding no fish on the first or second stop of the day.
However being humbled is a good thing, it teaches you lessons or reminds you to keep your wits about you on the water. We always get the fish because we are always in search of becoming better fishermen on the water. Learning new tricks, learning more about our local environment. Some times it takes getting your ass kicked to teach us these things. I do believe days on the water where things don’t go as planned and you still manage to have a good time and find a few fish make you a better angler and make you a better person off the water as well.
Today we were searching Puget Sound for chum fry and we stuck it out at our first spot just searching, very little blind casting for the first hour of the day, we caught a couple smaller fish, but they just were not in the numbers we were expecting. Eventually I said, “well lets give plan B a try.” We motored for about 10 mins south and found some nice fish that were eating sandlance. We spent the better part of the day in this area and had consistent fishing for the rest of the day. I have fished this spot for a couple of years pretty consistently however standing up high searching the structure for signs of movement I noticed a pocket created by the creek mouth that is either new this year or I have never seen in the past, we cast into it and cracked off the biggest cutthroat we have hooked all year. I truly feel it takes a few seasons to really get to know a new piece of water, and getting your butt kicked is a good reason to be looking for alternative ways to attack.
A humbled angler is a lot more fun to spend the day with than a cocky know it all type guy anyway. So spending some days trying new tricks is not a bad way to spend time on the water.
I am hesitant to say it, however I think we are finally starting to get some spring weather. I have spent two whole days on the water this past week without being rained on! Oh yeah, and the chum fry are pouring from the rivers!
We have been spending most of our time on the Hood Canal, from Twanoh State Park through Quilcene Bay. Mostly meeting up in the morning at Seabeck General Store or at Alderbrook Lodge and the fishing has been great! This past week we have even had some great weather to enjoy with the great fishing!
What we have been finding when chasing the cutthroat keyed in on Chum fry is that after a certain point in the day they have been gorged on the bait. We can watch the fish react to the fly however they become lazy and we have to fish very slowly to them. So our method has been to strip long twitchy slow retrieves through the schools of bait and this has resulted in soft, halfhearted attacks from the cutthroat OR what has seemed to work better is to bring the boat out in front of the schools by a few 100′ and fish to the fish who have not been gorging on fry for the last week. Thats when we get our crushing takes that we have all become accustomed to with Sea Trout fishing.
Puget Sound has been starting to pick up with the Cutthroat fishing, however it is still a bit early for the lights out fishing in the areas we mainly focus on, so we will be staying on the Hood Canal for the next couple of weeks and enjoying the more remote fishing!
After about 2 years of kicking the idea around I decided to go ahead and do it. Thank you all for the second year in a row of making me the most booked guide in Puget Sound, the luckiest guy in the world, and thank you for the business, friendship, and being a part of my family. Now, Welcome to the All-Waters Blog. This will be more of a fishing report than a actual blog, however we will see where this goes. I’ve got a lot of big stuff coming your way.
February has not proven to be Spring out here on Puget Sound and Hood Canal, we have fished in rain, sun, and snow. Mostly though, we have shivered our way into some pretty nice fish! I would say Spring is coming, however if you can, you should be enjoying the last of a pretty darn good winter fishery.
Spring is on it’s way, and yesterday we saw some evidence of it in the form of schools of chum fry on Hood Canal. Get your dates while you still can!