A really big searun

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by hedburner, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. hedburner

    hedburner Member

    Called in sick yesterday morning, yep real sick, went fishing in a little river up north of here. Started out losing flies in the trees, hooking a few little smolts, dodging kings going upstream and avoiding wading through the riffles where the kings were digging redds. I got to a small hole that had a giant of an cottonwood tree that had fallen across the river. Rolled cast a orange reverse spider into the middle of the pool up a couple of yards from the cottonwood, halfway through the drift, whump whump whump a fish grabs the fly. Set the hook and I can feel the fish shaking his head back and forth. This fish comes up just under the surface and slowly rolls his body back and forth. I'm thinking before I got a good look at it that I hooked a salmon. I look closer, (this is a small river and I was less than fifteen feet from the fish). I see spots, lots of small spots, going all down the sides to its belly, a heavily spotted tail and that pretty bronze color that cutts have when they have been in freshwater for awhile. I'm looking at the biggest cutt that I have ever hooked in 35 years of fly fishing. All I did the next for seconds was look in awe at this fish. I've had lots of 20 inch cutts, and hooked and lost some that were a smidge bigger, but this fish was way bigger than that, possibly 4 or six inches longer. But, back to reality, I had to do something and quick , I had to get the loose loops of line on my reel and hopefully get him heading upstream. My worst fear was the fish going under the cottonwood where I knew he'd break me off. I was just starting to fumble around with the reel handle when the cutt turns downstream and jets under the log. That was it, my line and leader minus the spider sails through the air and lands in a limp pile on the shore. Gone. But damn that was a helluva fish!
  2. Steelheader

    Steelheader Only 3 more years until I can think like a fish.

    How does it go. Better loved and lost than not loved at all. Nice report. :thumb:
  3. spanishfly

    spanishfly Steelberg

    I feel your pain! How many times did that scenario rewind in your head that night?
  4. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    thats a nice sea run, did you try beads in the riffles? I'm willing to bet a light pink bead pegged with a toothpick 2 inches above a dull weighted nymph would be money, try it
  5. Teeg Stouffer

    Teeg Stouffer Fish Recycler

    How does this work? The bead doesn't have a hook, if I understand you right, right?

    I've heard of this as being an alaska trick - is the idea that the bead is an attractor, they zip in to look at it, but then take the fly? Why not just tie a bead-fly egg pattern?
  6. Jon Brengan

    Jon Brengan flyfishing addict

    the bead trick

    I've seen this, have'nt tried it yet, but the idea is to slide the oppropriate color bead up your leader and secure it in place with a toothpick (breaking off the excess) then tie your drab nymph or plain hook to the leader. That way when the trout grabs your bead and you strike, hook comes up and hooks fish. Like I say, I haven't actually tried it, but the theory sounds good.

    Good luck!!
  7. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

    To me that sounds like snagging. But what do I know about all of this.Probably nothing :confused:

  8. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    I think it originated with gear fishers. Latest issue of F&H Lies has an article by Scott Haugen that mentions it.
    We fly flingers could do what Teeg said, and accomplish the same trick.

  9. hedburner

    hedburner Member

    I've been wanting to tie up some egg patterns and try em' in the riffles, just haven't gotten around to doing that yet. And yes, just about every waking moment I can still see that fish shaking back and forth. From now on I'ma gonna be packing a camera in my gear bag. Kinda funny when I returned to work the next day a lot of people asked me how many fish I caught. :eek:
  10. Les Johnson

    Les Johnson Les Johnson


    I have trouble with this kind of fly fishing. To me, a wild trout, a sea-trout at that, deserves better than any kind of gerry-rigged snagging tool. A swung fly, or a drifted dry is certainly a better method ethically for catching great trout. If a person is intent upon snagging trout -- any trout -- I would rather see the person using a spinning or drift outfit rather than a fly rod in his/her pursuit. It really is not fly-fishing so why use fly fishing equipment?.
    As for the 25-inch lunker, Curt Kraemer believes that such outsized cutthroats are probably hybrids that have crossed with summer-run steelhead. I have caught only one that size, in the Stilly. It looked to me like a huge coastal cutt but Kraemer thought otherwise and he certainly knows more than I do about this fine trout.

    Good Fishing,
    Les Johnson
  11. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    its definately not a snagging tool those would be pixees and weighted treble hooks, the critical thing is the 2 inches a fish sucks in the bead and gts hooked in the corner of the mouth 99% of the time if the gap is 2 inches or less, if its more then that you are likely to snage fish but 2" seems to be the ticket, a bead melted to a hook is also deadly, the problem is you can't weight the fly and have to use split shot. I'm gonna say it now, in egg pattern situations glo bugs just don't cut it, they are usually tied way to big, and orange, you want light pink or "rootbeer" colored beads that look like dead eggs because thats what the fish eat, if your fishing behind pinks chums or kings go with 8mm if you're fishing behind silvers or reds 6mm and its money or you could throw dead drifted dry flies and get skunked your choice :D
  12. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    Actully thats a great technique for glacial streams except you tie some globug yarn two feet up the leader

    I've only done it once when king fishing and I got one I'll admit I was using spinning gear but with nothing but a small egg patern in a huge river seemed to work.
  13. Nailknot

    Nailknot Active Member

    I'm not sure this would be "snagging" exactly, since the fish is intending to eat the bead. Snagging/flossing, to me, means hooking fish that are not eating your fly. One of the problems with weighted glow bugs or egg flies is fish taking them so deep (dead drifting most any small weighted fly this can be an issue). If the intent of pegging the bead 2" above the hook is to prevent a swallowed hook, seems like it would be ok. Seems like the trailing hook may be more likely to hit an eye or gills... Is the pegged bead technique even legal in WA?
  14. hedburner

    hedburner Member

    I can see how a cuttthroat steelhead hybrid would be bigger. If the fish took on the steelhead trait of going to the ocean and not returning to spawn every fall, in two years of ocean feeding they would return as 5 or 6 pound fish like the two salt steelhead do.I think I only have about a dozen or so 20 inch fish landed. And I think thats on the high end of their life span. Which possibly means those fish have made a spawning run four times in their life. Somewhere I have some studies that were done down in Oregon on the survival rates of cutts that have spawned more than once, and it really isn't very good as I recall. Probably why most cutts caught are around 10 to 12 inches. These would be fish on their first spawning run. Second spawn fish would be up to 15 to 17 inches. A 20 inch fish could be 7 or 8 years old, figuring 3 or 4 years in fresh water as a smolt and 3 to 4 years as a adult. Maybe about 15 years ago or so I hooked another monster cutt on the same river. I seem to also catch more 17 to 18 inch fish on this river than I do out of the Skagit or Stilly. Maybe some rivers produce bigger fish or may be just less pressure on fish here. When I was younger I always figured cutts would get way bigger than 20 inches and then it just kinda dawned on me that the 20 inch mark was really a trophy fish and the ones any bigger a real rarity. That's when I gave up bait fishing for them. I thought the only way to get the big ones was with a big ol' nightcrawler. And killing fish, (and my kill rate was good too) hundreds of fish in those years before. Since then it's been exclusively the fly rod, and hundreds of fish released to live, and I can still hook the big ones with fur, feathers, and hair. Using a simple dressed fly that is a work of art and beauty. Which I think is right to use on these the most beautiful fish the northwest has in its streams.
  15. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    I've spoken with a few local old timers here'bouts in the Twin Harbors area.
    One old guy who used to fly fish but doesn't any more due to failing vision and bad shoulders told me he fished for Bluebacks for over 60 years, and his biggest was 22". Another grizzled old has-been whose fished the same local streams for nearly as long claims a 24"er. And a couple years back I encountered an old guy at the boat ramp who showed me a monster well over 20"...he was wearing a guilty expression (C&R on that Willapa Bay stream) that pleaded for understanding and he told me, "It's the biggest one I ever caught...I just couldn't throw it back."

    Anyway, good story, and interesting discussion. By the way, that orange bodied Reverse Spider has foiled some nice SRCs for me this year...a couple of 15"ers and a 16+"er.