Ben had "off the chart" sea-run cutthroat fishing

Ben(AKA itsbenlong) was absolute a "hoot" to fish with as there was non-stop chatter/laughter with the day going by too quickly. He was new to the sea-run cutthroat fisheries but got the hang of it quickly. Ben absolutely "clobbered" the sea-run cutthroat as he landed so many fish that he would complain "oh it's only a small one" when a fish was less than 12 inches.

We fished 8 locations and at 6 of them sea-run cutthroat were caught. Ben landed numerous 16 to 17 inch long fish as shown in the first photo while the second photo shows average sized fish. He landed a sea-run cutthroat on his first cast. We fished that gravel bar for approximately 45 minutes as the fishing was superb and there was no need to go to another location to find willing sea-run cutthroat. The third photo shows the "killer" pattern that Ben was using and looked like the 1 1/2 to 2 inch chum fry that one fish puked up when he was landing it.

I got a couple of sea-run cutthroat on Jeff's top water slider squid pattern plus I got a lot of fish on an olive/whitde clouser minnow. A few fish were in the 16 to 17 inch range.

Wildlife sightings were awesome as 2 or 3 orcas whales were sighted about 1/4 mile away. Also, a bald eagle hit the water about 40 to 50 feet below the boat as it got a sea-run cutthroat.

The epic day ended when Ben landed a 16 to 17 inch sea-run cutthroat and we called it a day!

Two important tips for successful sea-run cutthroat fishing are: (1) try to fish locations with optimum tidal current of approximately 2 mph or plus/minus 1/2 mph. (2) If you don't hook any sea-run cutthroat at a location after a couple of minutes move down current or to another spot. Sea-run cutthroat will almost always strike an appropriate fly pattern if they are there. Why waste your time casting into "empty" water? I see that happen quite often by other anglers.




Active Member
Thanks Roger for being so generous with your hard won experience.
I get my vicarious flyfishing fixes often from reading your posts.

I'm too tired to really reply, but I'm glad you had a good day with Ben, sounds like some fantastic fishing!! A day he won't forget, especially since it doesn't always happen!

I'm glad you're looking topwater Roger, I've been slacking in Hood Canal, but picked it up locally with the slider... it's the only way to go! I'm getting so obsessed that I'm trying to raise a fish on top to make sure they're around, then going sub to hook up and determine size, then going back to topwater to tempt the monsters.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2

It was May 30th last year that we had spectacular top water fishing on that same gravel bar. Remember? Will have to get you down here in the next week or so to try and repeat that action!

Great report, and (as expected by many) you guys nailed em. Good info Roger about staying in one spot too long and fishing dead water, the guys new to this need to listen to your sound advise.

Where do I start? I guess from the beginning would be best! : )

I arrived in Seattle on Wednesday, just in time to miss the tail end of the out going tide. So I went to the closest fly shop on my way from the airport to my hotel (Orvis) and ran into Leland while looking at flies. He showed me all the SRC flies and I purchased 2 each of 4 types of subsurface flies and went to my hotel to gaze at my gear and get it together for the following day.

Thursday morning I woke up way too early, excited about the day, knowing the whole time that I wasn't going to fish until the tide started going out. So I had a good 6 hours to get everything together and meet up with some friends from Seattle who were going to take me fishing. (actually, I took them fishing) lol

We headed out and went to one of the locations mentioned in my previous post "I can't afford a guide". I forgot to mention that my friends showed up with some short trout rods, spinning reels, 20+lb test line, split shot weights, power bait, beer & food. When we arrived, they set up a couple of big boulders with a large board they found on the beach as a bench and camped out. They were casting their bait about 20 feet out from shore in an outgoing tide and had to reel in and do it over again because it just got more shallow as the minutes ticked by. Being that they had this camp set up we didn't really have the ability to pack up and move, like I do when I fish. So, I ended up fishing around where they were the whole time, not really knowing what I was doing or what to look for.

About 3/4 of the way through the outgoing tide, I passed a couple fly guys and we conversed for a minute. One of them mentioned he read my post and knew I was fishing with Roger Stephens the following day. He said not to worry because Roger will put me on fish......I walked away with a feeling of relief and couldn't wait for the following day to come.

Needless to say, I didn't catch a thing on Thursday, but I had a great time hanging with my friends and seeing all the beauty the Puget Sounds has to offer.

Now this is when the story starts picking up............

Thursday morning I wake up even earlier, after working until midnight. I couldn't wait to meet Roger and wasn't sure how early I should leave so I could make it by our 10:30am time to meet. I headed down to meet him and ended up getting there without a hitch about 45 minutes early. I figured I would wait around the corner for 30 minutes before I started anxiously banging on his door. I woman walked by my car when I was waiting and I waived to her, thinking she might be wondering why this strange person is parked on the side of the road, just sitting in the car. I ended up meeting her in person being that it was Roger's wife. lol

I think the minute I met Roger, we hit it off! Our conversation started immediately and didn't end until I drove off at the end of the day. Within 30 minutes I felt like I have known him for years. By the way, I am getting to the fishing part and you can probably tell by this post why our conversation never stopped. Don't worry, I did pause from time to time so Roger could say something too. : )

Anyway, we took off and launched at this place that was just simply beautiful and pristine. Once we got geared up and ready, we took off and Roger had several spots he planned to take us. Roger asked me if I needed a fly to use and if so to help myself to anything he has. However, I had this one fly that I picked up at Orvis, I wanted to try first. It was the most natural & simple looking fly I had, which Roger showed above in the photos. What a fly it turned out to be!

We pulled up on our first stop, dropped the anchor and the wind started picking up with a constant blow which was wiping out my back cast. However, it didn't matter one bit. My first cast was awful, along with many others! I have been using my spey rod for so long that I almost had to start over with my single hand and to top that off, getting used to that Rio Outbound Short in the wind with a heavy headed clouser was something too.

My fly was in the water for about 10 seconds and all of a sudden I felt my rod load up with a slam that didn't come close to representing the size of fish I retrieved. It was a beautiful, clean SRC, my first of many! We sat on this spot for a bit, moving a little left, right and forward, picking up a few more each time we moved and then decided that we should head on. I don't remember how many we caught there but at least 15 between us. For the next 4 hours or so, we bounced from spot to spot, picking up fish on almost everyone of them. I only changed my fly once to try a pattern I swing for steelhead with. I caught a few fish on it but felt like my original choice was better and switched back to it.

I couldn't tell you how many fish we both caught exactly, because I quit counting only mine after 25. I wasn't able to keep track of how many Roger caught, but all I can say is, it was a lot of fish. I think by the time we fished our second location, Roger taught me enough to feel 100% confidant about where, when and how to catch SRC's.....I was telling him, that I couldn't wait to get out there on my own the following day to see if I could put it to the test. Just before we were getting ready to start up the boat and head in, I think I may have caught my biggest fish of the day on my last retrieve. It was a good 17"+ and fought like a fresh steelhead on my 5wt rod. We couldn't think of a better way to wrap it up and head in.

On our way out, we ran into someone on the beach who knew Roger and he was heading out for some SRC's and asking us how we did and what we were using. So, I took the fly off of my line and gave it to him. I hope it worked as well for him as it did for me.

Well, as you can see, I had a more than excellent day of fishing. But even better, I made a new friend and got to experience the pristine beauty in Roger's backyard. It was an amazing place to be and I left it with a peaceful feeling inside me, looking forward to the time I return. We had a great day, full of great conversation. We found out that we have both lived and/or worked in several of the same places in California. We hoped to talk a lot about that, but the fishing was so darn good that we almost didn't have enough time to touch the surface of those topics.

For those of you who haven't fallen asleep reading all of this and actually made it to this point, I will also share with you my quest for the elusive SRC's the following day.

Roger pointed out a few locations I might try, just before I left and I got up early again, anxious to test out my new skills. So, I packed up all my things, checked out of my hotel and headed to the ferry terminal, which by the way, was a nightmare to get to due to road blocks and traffic. I ended up dashing through a residential area and worked my way around it all. When I got off the ferry, I headed straight for the first location and found that it was very difficult to get to the water, due to private property all around it. I ended up about a mile past where I wanted to fish, geared up and headed out to give it a try. I ended up walking up and down a beach not finding anything that after Friday I would waste my time on. So I packed up and thought I would try and access the spot I really wanted to be. I finally found some parking and ended up walking through a restaurant parking lot and found some access behind it. A bunch of folks in the restaurant were looking at me. The first think I noticed was signs in front of every building stating that the beach was private property. I didn't mind because nothing in front of them looked worth a darn so I just hurriedly walked past them and trudged up the beach. I finally saw one spot that looked a bit interesting and since I had to pass it on the way back I kept going. Finally, at the end of the beach where it meets steep cliffs and rocks, I see a spot that looked spectacular! It had everything I learned from Roger! I remember my heart was beating faster than usual and I couldn't wait to make my first cast.

After bouncing my fly off a few rocks behind me and finally getting it in the water, within seconds I felt that memorable slam of my line and brought in a frantic SRC. It was on! I caught 10 fish in that one spot. After several casts of nothing, I noticed that the time was escaping me and I was not going to make it to all of my original locations before I had to catch the ferry and get on my plane home. So I decided I would jam on and try and fish one more location closer to the ferry for a quick 30 minutes if time allowed. On my way back down that beach I couldn't help but stop at this other location I noticed on the way up. It wouldn't be a primary location choice but a definite secondary choice for sure. I ended up picking up 4 more and after a bit of slack time, I ran down the beach, jumped in my car and sped off to my next and last location. By the time I arrived I had about 30 minutes to get to the water, fish and get back to my car before driving to catch the ferry. So I jumped out, still in my gear, grabbed my rod and jogged down to the water. I looked left and saw a spot that might be really good, but it was way down the beach. I looked right and it didn't look very good at all. I opted for the right because it was closer and as I was walking down the beach two guys came around the corner with fly rods and said they didn't catch a thing over there. That didn't really bother me, because I felt like I might just know something they didn't. At least I hoped I did! lol

I got to this one spot that looked okay and noticed that I only had a few minutes before I had to get back. I made a couple of casts and tied into another fish, which made me laugh with a bit of joy. I fished until I might be late and caught a couple more. These were all very small fish but nonetheless, really fun to catch and a great way to end the trip.

So, that is my story! I just want to thank all of the folks on this site that helped me along and all the people I met on the beaches who took a few minutes to stop and chat. I want to especially thank Roger Stephens for is most gracious offer to not only take me fishing but teach me a few of his tricks on catching SRC's. We had such an excellent time that I think we will do it again. You guys have an awesome fishery and I thank you all for sharing it with me.

Until next time! : )


[quote="itsbenlong, These were all very small fish but nonetheless[/quote]


There you go again complaining about small fish like you did on Friday;). Just kidding!

Great entertaining write-up and was like I was there! But I was there for part of it:) . You are one fishy Dud who learns quickly. Must be a carry over from all the fisheries which you partake in. I was so pleased and excited to read that you had excellent sea-run cutthroat fishing on Sat. all on your own plus you got some more large fish. Way to go!