Why We Love Fly Fishing The Hood Canal:
It’s no secret that we are partial to the Hood Canal portion of Puget Sound. We love it. In fact, our life revolves around the seasons of this vastly diverse fishery. I thought I would share a few of the reasons why we love fly fishing Hood Canal.
The feeling of being remote is unparalleled in Puget Sound. The Hood Canal is a drainage from the west side of the Kitsap Peninsula to the East slope of the Olympic Mountain Range. The real beauty of this is that it creates a barrier that makes the eastern Olympic Peninsula a relatively inconvenient place to do business. Which keeps the population down to a minimum. So while you are fishing you might hear some eagles, a few splashes, and the occasional sea lion bark. It’s fairly rare to compete with other anglers or beach goers. The body of water is vast enough that when we do encounter other anglers, we usually know them on a first name basis.
Spring starts on Hood Canal earlier than most of Puget Sound. Which we appreciate more and more every winter. The end of February starts the spring chum fry migration that brings out the best of what cutthroat fishing has to offer. The bait is up high in the water column, the fish are looking up, and we have a fantastic saltwater blitz of feeding fish! This is all happening in the crystal clear water with snow topped mountains towering over you from the Olympics. I mean, what a way to kick off the fishing season!
The options are endless throughout the year, making Hood Canal a fly fisherman’s dream. The saltwater fishery varies with the water temperature. Which means, the fishery is constantly changing with the seasons. However, if you hit it right, different parts of the Hood Canal will “turn on” as the lower warmer sections will turn off with the rising temperatures. Likewise, staying with the cold water will keep you in bait rich water year round. Cutthroat like it cold, and will be more aggressive the colder the water temperatures get. Fortunately, year round you can always find cold water on Hood Canal.
As the summer rolls on and the saltwater heats up, the rivers that feed Hood Canal also “turn on”. This small stream fishery is unparalleled west of the cascades. These “blue line” fisheries have fantastic trout fishing that will leave you feeling like you discovered Washington’s best kept secret. Small streams and big rivers flow from Olympic National Park and create a fantastic native trout fishery!
Fantastic hatches of caddis and stone flies keeps the trout looking up. This while an abundant nutrient rich forrest feeds these streams and keeps the trout fat and happy on baitfish, aquatic insects, and salmon eggs. This is a two fold trip visiting these streams. You are also amongst some of the most beautiful scenery of any trout fishery in the world. Casting your fly into these trout rich waters provides an opportunity to reflect on the old growth forest of Washington’s past, while providing a world class opportunity to catch native trout. These streams flow out of true oldgrowth wilderness and remind you why wilderness should be protected for future generations.
While fishing is great in the streams, the saltwater is still fishing fantastic in the Canal’s colder stretches. However, when it cools back off down in the fall, fantastic doesn’t begin to describe how amazing the fishing gets. Whether off of our boat or off the beaches, the fishing is great in the fall. Big trout, and hatches of Termites falling from the neighboring hillsides. Dry fly fishing in the salt for big sea trout can leave you speechless! Twitching termites and ant patterns in the tidal current is as exciting as it gets saltwater fishing for our Sea Run Cutthroat.
Winter time on Hood Canal is when we typically see the biggest fish of the season. The shallow water cools way down and the big deep water cutthroat come up to hunt. Searching the shallows for sand shrimp and sculpin on the winter high tides. These big fish are special to the Hood Canal. Furthermore, the Hood Canal just has a more of them than anywhere in Puget Sound. If you can brave the cold winter, it is a great time to test your angling skills with some of the best shallow water sight fishing of the year.
These are just a few of the reasons we love sharing the Hood Canal with you! Not to mention the fantastic community of shops and restaurants, distilleries and resorts. Hood Canal is a great place to experience a wild and unique and saltwater and small stream fishery. In addition to having a wonderful family get away. Come join us and let us show you why we love fly fishing Hood Canal.