Make the best of your spring fishing!

Make the best of your spring fishing!

Spring time is the best time of the year for us! It’s a chance to get some sun light back into our lives, we see all of our clients for the first time of the year, and we start seeing other anglers out on the water.  However, for most, it’s a time of year to dust off the rods, and get back out there! So why not make the best of your spring fishing?

Here are some tips that will make your spring, the best one yet!

Study the map!

– Spring is all about chum fry and finding the bait. Look for the places that bait will congregate! Here is 3 things to look for:

  • North of a chum salmon creek. Chum salmon typically don’t migrate deeper into the sound.
  • A obsticle that bait will have to swim around, such as a point.  Chum fry are poor swimmers, and points make slack water that will group the bait all together.
  • Shade from the sunny shorelines.  Chum fry don’t want to be sitting ducks for…ducks, and other birds.  They will go deep when the sun comes up or hide in the gravel, putting down the frenzy of feeding fish. Think high banks and over hanging trees.
Be Prepared!

Hood Canal Views

– It’s spring, the weather might shift and you might need to shift your fishing along with it.  Or your wardrobe. Here’s what we mean:

  • You head out and it’s overcast and cold. However, as the day scoots along the sun comes out and pounds the shorelines.  You might want to make sure you brought more than just your floating line along.  Also you might want to have a few weighted baitfish to plug along those drop offs!
  • The forecast is calling for 68 degrees and sunshine… Who trust the weatherman in Washington’s spring? Bring and extra jacket so you don’t end up at the taco joint drinking beer instead of fishing.
  • It’s the first big push of fishing for you of the year! Make sure you have your fishing license and all of your gear together! Nothing sucks more than thinking you are prepared and your guide telling you that you need to go online and get your license.

Have a Plan B!

-Our success is because we are prepared. Not just that our rods are rigged correctly, our flies are sharp, and we have more fun than everyone else.  We go out to the water with a plan A, B, C, and D.  Here’s some advise for this spring.  We are not saying you will need a back up plan, but often a strong plan for the day will keep you on the water and in the fish!

  • Plan A- Fish the estuary water with chum fry and look for frenzied Cutthroat.
  • Plan B- Head out to the first point and search the edge of the current and slack water for popping bait and frenzied trout.
  • Plan C- Search the shaded shorelines for bait.
  • Plan D- Plug the drop offs and structure with weighted flies for fish searching for bait down deep.
Spring Fishing
Try something new

 I can only speak from my own experience.  For example, for years I had two methods for catching cutthroat, and if those two techniques didn’t work, I would say “well… the fish are off the bite, we are not going to catch them today.” Now, both of those techniques were fairly effective probably worked 85% of the time. 10% of the time they worked poorly and we scratched out a few fish. and 5% of the time, we got blanked because we were just not versatile enough to figure it out.

  • Tie a new fly that you know others fish. For example, I NEVER used to fish sculpin patterns or shrimp patterns.  Now when we need a technique change or the fish are coming up deep from the bottom in the winter and not committing. We know how to get them.
  • Stray from your normal sink rate. Fish deeper water or fish the flats.  Become more versatile in the water you can find fish in.  We have seen big fish swim through shallow troughs on the flats when the water temperatures are down. We also have had many days when all of our fish came out of 25′ of water in the summer.
  • Let go of the reigns.  I learn a lot from fishing with my friends.  When I let Brita dictate our day on the water, we fish stuff I normally skip over.  Also when Mike’s running the boat, I gain a new perspective of spots that I fish all the time. Every now and then you have to set your ego aside and say “how would you approach this problem?”
Spring Fishing
Commit To The Plan

-Sometimes you just have to take the beating. Wait out that tide shift or that rising water temp.  Some times you just have to commit to the cause.  I can’t tell you how many times our plan is to fish through a crummy tide waiting on that 9:30 tide shift. We will pick up a few fish, but then it turns on! We might fish water that is not the plan A waiting for that tide to shift before we go to the best place of the day.

  • When planning your day, don’t beat the hell of out water that has not shaped up yet.
  • Pay attention to how your favorite beaches shape up when the tides shift.  Where is the slack water? Where is the fastest current? How does the eddy set up?
  • Fish your way into the best spots.  Watch how your fly line reacts to the current as you approach a rip, sometimes the water is ripping below the surface and you can hardly see it move from the top.

I hope these tips help make your spring fishing the best yet!