Sea-run cutthroat esturary fisheries

Yesterday I took my boat out to target sea-run cutthroat at 4 esturaries and had wonderful fishing for these allusive fish. I fished the start of a large ebb tide(14' to 0') and stopped 3 hours before the low. In my experience, the last part of very low tides are not very good fishing except at a couple of spots.

The fishing at the first esturary(Nov. chum run) was excellent with most fish in the 10" to 14" range with a couple 16-17" er's. I only saw 1 sea-run cutthroat jump as they were "just there". I fished a lot spots in this esturary and only a couple held sea-run cutthroat. By mid/late April the chum fry should start out migrating and pull the main push of sea-run cutthroat into the esturary.

The second(Oct. chum run) and third esturaries(Nov. chum run) appeared to be devoid of fish as I didn't have any strikes. The second esturary should have the chum fry out migrating along with sea-run cutthroat into the esturary in the next couple of weeks. Both of these esturaries provide excellent sea-run cutthroat fishing in Spring and Fall but not yesterday!

The fourth esturary(Nov. chum run) was good with several 10-14" fish landed.

The fly of choice was a generic shrimp/sculpin pattern(weighted) and full sinking line with a steady moderate retrieve. Only 1 sea-run had it's spawning color(post?). All the other fish were silvery with no sea lice indicating that they had spawned a while ago but not having been in the saltwater that long.

This time of year before the main push of sea-run cutthroat into the saltchuck, it pays off to move around and cover a lot of water until you find out spots holding some fish. Hopefully, that will change in the next couple of weeks with chum fry(Oct. chum run) outmigrating pulling the sea-run cutthroat out to the Sound for an "easy meal". The Nov. chum run esturaries should have that occur a month later.



ka lawai'a
Thanks for the report Roger... I really like how precise the reports are, how you factor in things like the previous fall's salmon runs and outmigration of smolts into the biology of the SRC's... keep up the great reports :thumb:


Doesn't care how you fish Moderator
The Chum Fry migration is awesome. My friends and I have fished some well know spots in march and around easter and it is amazing how many SRC's are around. Just stacked up everywhere waiting for a quick, easy meal.


Nice report Roger. I went out to my favorite beaches on saturday and was completely skunked. Didn't even see a fish boil. I've obviously got some more exploring to do. :)
Yeah, thanks for the report. I too got the big goose egg yesterday. But I also wasn't able to get on the water until later in the day after dealing with a flat bike tire on the way to the beach. But oh well. I just keep chalking these days up to casting practice, which I can always use.

Steve Rohrbach

Puget Sound Fly Fisher
Roger, thanks for sharing the great reports. You have worked hard to learn your home waters and do an awesome job of understanding the environment. I have started a journal so that I can finally benefit from past experience and not have to relearn every piece of water each year. I am on the Center Console hunt. I am convinced that the ability to cover lots of water this time of year increases your chances of locating fish exponentially.
Best regards, Steve:thumb: