2013 Salmon

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Nick Clayton, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    Ah Nick, great report and summary of your season chasing coho! As I said before, I nominate you for the "most successful coho fly fisherman" for the season! That looks like a great boat. You will certainly have lots of fun in that!
    Nick Clayton likes this.
  2. Dipnet

    Dipnet aka Tim Hartman

    Oh man, I nearly hit the "Report" link when I read this!!! :D;):D
    Nick Clayton likes this.
  3. Mark Mercer

    Mark Mercer Member

    Great post Nick, and great season too !!!! Way to go...
    Nick Clayton likes this.
  4. Nick Clayton

    Nick Clayton Active Member

    I know for a fact that there were many more successful fisherman than me this year. As much as I feel my game grew this year, there is so much more to learn. That's what I love most about this sport- There is no such thing as mastering it.

    More than anything I wanted to share some of the stuff that worked for me this season, and to share some of my enjoyment with you all. So many folks on this forum have contributed to my season in one way or another, I really just wanted to share that joy.

    Also, for as much as I have learned from this forum I am always hoping to help someone else learn a thing or two along the way. The flat out truth is that I never would have gotten going in this saltwater game without the folks on this forum. I wanted to get into beach fishing for quite a while before actually giving it a go. The reason it took me so long to get into it is simple... intimidation. Puget Sound is a huge body of water, especially when you're standing on the shore holding a 6 wt wondering where the hell to start. It was the kindess and knowledge of the good folks on this forum that helped me slowly start putting the pieces of the puzzle together. My biggest hope is that I can repay some of that generosity by helping anyone else trying to learn this great sport by sharing what I have learned along the way.

    The amount of experience and knowledge around here is truly amazing. There are guys who have been doing this for FAR longer than I, and who could fish circles around me. No doubt about it. I have a HUGE amount of respect for many of the fine folks on this board. In my eyes I'll forever be trying to attain that level. I doubt I will, but it is fun as hell trying!!
    Speyrod GB and DimeBrite like this.
  5. Dipnet

    Dipnet aka Tim Hartman

    Amen, brother! :)
  6. Irafly

    Irafly Active Member

    Dear Chris,

    It is time to designate the quadruple like button for posts such as these!

    Nick, I tremendously enjoyed my salty trips with you this year and that intimidation factor is hard core real. Fishing with you allowed me to over come some of that fear, but worst of all now I fear that this may distract me from my other fly fishing love of stillwater and steelhead and tropical bones and ahh crap it doesn't matter bring on the beach fishing I want it all.
    Nick Clayton likes this.
  7. Bagman

    Bagman Active Member

    Thank you. Your season review give me hope for next year . I'm not done yet as I'm still after that big hen.
    Nick Clayton likes this.
  8. Nick Clayton

    Nick Clayton Active Member

    John, thank you for your service to our country. Sacrificing time on the water is just a drop in the bucket compared to other sacrifices you and fellow service men and women make constantly.

    When you do get some time to fish in the future I'd be honored to fish with you.

  9. Cuttbow82

    Cuttbow82 Active Member

    Thanks for the great recap, Nick! It inspires me to try to progress next year. This was my first year flyfishing the salt and my first year back flyfishing period after about a 13 year absence. I did not have a great first season, but managed to land 4 salmon over about 7 trips. I will be studying your posts (as well as from all the other gurus) and tying flies during the offseason. I truly appreciate the wealth of information that this forum offers!
  10. mtskibum16

    mtskibum16 Active Member

    That sounds like a pretty great first season to me! I fished (admittedly half-a$$ed) for two seasons without catching a salmon. You have a great start and there will be plenty more to follow.
    Cuttbow82 likes this.
  11. mtskibum16

    mtskibum16 Active Member

    Just curious, is there a reason you're waiting for a big hen vs just a big fish or a big buck?
  12. Nick Clayton

    Nick Clayton Active Member

    Some of us are chubby chasers!
  13. Tacoma Red

    Tacoma Red Active Member

    A legendary posting by one of the best, congrats on such a great year and many more especially for your son.
  14. Bagman

    Bagman Active Member

    For some reason I have only landed hens this year, and that was on my mind when I wrote that. A big wild hen to put back in the salt would be a fitting way to end a silver season.
  15. fish-on

    fish-on Waters haunt me....


    Thanks for the kind words and for your support. It really means a lot.

    When the stars line up and I see you on the beach, I think the honor's mine.

    Tight lines

  16. Blktailhunter

    Blktailhunter Active Member

    Great post. One of the best I read here.

    Now that the silvers have mostly passed, for next year may I kindly remind people about beach etiquette. Before stepping in the water please take a quick look at the other anglers and see how far out they are standing in the water and then step into your spot going out no further than the of the fishermen, whether they be fly fishers or herring chuckers. The reason I mention this is because at one particular beach I fish the silvers have a habit of cruising just a few feet off the beach, especially at first light. Nothing worse than having a guy show up and then proceed to wade out as far as he can and in the process push those fish off the beach. If you are going to do that then go down the beach 100 yards or so. Had it happen too many times this year. Some beaches you may need to wade out to reach the fish, some you don't. If you see guys in waders only standing ankle deep, there is a reason they aren't wading out to the waists.

    For me personally I was a very good year. Not quite up to last years standards, but still very good. Once again had to buy a second catch card. I mixed it up this year. 50/50 between flies and herring. I had a lot of non-fly fishing friends visit this year and herring was the way to get them on fish. For me 70% of my fish were on herring. 30% on a pink/white clouser. I think the difference in my catch ratio was directly related to the time my offering was in the water. For every one cast with my fly rod I could get three with a herring. To be honest I really enjoyed the herring bite. Got to see a lot of the bites that happened just as I was about to lift the herring out of the water. I like said on this particular beach the salmon were very close to shore. Some of my best days were when I was alone and was able to cast where I could keep my offering about 10' from shore during the retrieve.

    Chums up next, can't wait for more silver next year.
    Bagman, Nick Clayton and mtskibum16 like this.
  17. mtskibum16

    mtskibum16 Active Member

    I totally agree about not just charging out in to the water. Like you said, often times the fish are in really close especially at first light!​

    I wonder how true it is about the time your offering is in the water when talking herring vs fly. The cast is quicker with herring, but often not as far (which isn't a negative if the fish are in close - see below for more on that). Also, the guys I see fishing herring are constantly walking back and forth to their buckets/bags on shore to put another herring on whether they lost it casting, to a bullhead, a seagull, or a salmon chasing it. Seems like they spend a lot of time walking back and forth and rigging herring.

    This brings up another good point I noticed this year. I get in the habbit of wanting to bomb every cast I make as far as possible in the direction I'm fishing. In my mind this equals more time in the water b/w casts and the possiblity of attracting fish further out. However, I found some times where this can hurt your chances of hooking up. One time in particular I was at a beach with my father-in-law who was in town visiting. He was struggling with casting and really only covering about 40-50 ft. We were on a point with pretty strong current at first light. I was casting way out, he was casting way in and then he started catching fish and I didn't. It took a while to realize what was happening.

    1. It was morning so the fish were in close - that meant his fly was in the "strike zone" longer while I was casting over it and spending most of my retrieve in deeper water.
    2. The strong current was making this worse because by the time I had retrieved enough line to get in to the "strike zone" my line had already swept down current to a straight-line retrieve. On the other hand, his short casts allowed him to make a good retrieve right through the good water.

    By the time I figured this out and started making shorter casts, the current changed up and the fish had pushed further out. Result: 2 for 2 (plus a shaker) for father-in-law, 0 for 0 for the rest of the beach. So to go along with the not wading out to your nipples right off the bat, stop and think about where you expect fish and how to best put your fly in front of their face before stripping 80-100 ft of line off your reel.
  18. Nick Clayton

    Nick Clayton Active Member

    Both good points and great info to add to this thread!

    I know one beach in particular we fished a lot this year that has a nice rocky ledge only within 30 feet or so of shore, and I hooked a lot of fish within 30 feet or so of this beach. My personal belief is that these fish would come in and cruise this ledge looking for food. I spent a lot of time casting more at a 45 dregree angle down current to try to work my fly along the ledge as long as I could rather than just cast way past it and waste a lot of time as Matt describes above.

    I spotted a lot of silvers swimming in very shallow water this year. It's cool to watch them cruise when they don't know you are there. Far too many people. , fly flingers included, can't seem to get past the childhood thinking that obviously the fish will be in the deepest water.
    Bagman likes this.
  19. DimeBrite

    DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

    Fish close to a friendly herring angler and synchronize your casts. When the herring guy hooks up and the fish is struggling, the other silvers in the school will get excited and more aggressively bite your fly. It can work with buzz bombers too.
    Bagman likes this.
  20. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

    All good points.
    If you find yourself alone on a beach with plenty of room to move around and cast, cast downstream into the rip nearly parallel to the shoreline.
    Dimebrite is the master of this. I've seen him hook a ton of fish doing this. This is hard to do with others fishing around you.
    Bagman likes this.