This summer feels like it has taken a decade to get here. We have had an outrageously wet winter, a crazy unpredictable spring, and it’s finally arrived! Summer time in Western Washington. I know we have a ton of plans for the summer, get the yard finished up, go camping in the Olympics, head to the coast for some beach fun, and plenty of fishing in between. However most of our plans involve fishing here at home on the Hood Canal for Sea Run Cutthroat!
Here are the top 10 reasons to target Sea Run Cutthroat this summer:
1.) Great fishing- Not to sound like a hater, but the river fishing in Washington doesn’t hold a candle to our sea trout fishery on the Hood Canal. We go out time and time again and prove this is the best trout fishery in the state. On it’s best days I would put it neck and neck with the Missouri in Montanta. On it’s worst, I’d put it neck and neck with the worst days I’ve had on the Mo in Montana. The big advantage Hood Canal has? You don’t have the crowds and the fish are true wild native trout!
2.) Accessibility -Where else can you get miles of public access to great fishing water? Most of which is drive up access – you don’t even need to hike to catch fish on a good percentage? Oh yeah, and with a boat you can fish almost every inch of the water without argument? We have it good here in the Western Washington salt.
3.) Solitude- Oh man, the crowds are killing me… I thought I saw a boat about 2 hours ago off in the distance. These damn eagles, porpoises, herons, and whales sure are crowding up the places though.
4.) Beautiful- If it was not for these wild shorelines, snow topped mountains, and amazing sunrises coming straight out of the Hood Canal it sure would be a beautiful place… Not to mention the fish breathtaking as well!
5.) Relaxing- Being barefoot up on the casting deck hooked up to a big hook nosed trout sure is stressing me out. I am pretty glad you have that cold one frosting in the Yeti for after the battle… Those sandy points are a pretty nice places to take lunch and kick back too!
6.) Technical- You mean I can learn and enjoy what I’m learning at the same time? Every time I go I will learn new technical skills that will improve my success rate? Who wants to catch more fish anyways?
7.) Bi-Catch- It would be a bummer to accidentally catch a 15lb chinook today… It doesnt happen every day, however for a good chunk of the year I get surprised by salmon pretty regularly. I even have a photo kicking around somewhere of a client with a Greenling… Yeah I know, what the hell is a greenling? (Stop emailing me, I know what a greenling is.) The truth of the matter is while we fish water that is most conducive to Sea Run Cutthroat trout, occasionally especially when there is a ton of bait around, we are surprised by other fish!
8.) Cool Factor- There really is not much cooler than fishing the saltwater. Every day feels like an adventure. Conditions are forever changing with the tide levels. Plus, pulling out fish that can’t really be caught in these conditions anywhere else in the world, and on flies and light tackle is pretty damn cool!
9.) Wild- These are wild fish in wild places. I know, cell phone reception is a little spotty in some places on Hood Canal, however I have been working on adding a tower to my boat… I’ll solve that pesky back cast problem eventually.
10.) Peoples Fish- I have been saying it for years! The best part of fishing for Sea Run Cutthroat is that these are the peoples fish. Making them Catch and Release, putting no commercial value to them, makes their only value fun! This fishery is the best example of what happens when we all work together. It’s catch and release because some folks said “enough is enough” and banded together and fought for it. These are the peoples fish! So come out and enjoy it!