A Sea Run's eating habits

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by kelvin, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Nice tie, Kelvin. I've searched the web for a "crab larvae fly" for quite a while and haven't found anything. You might have it. I have wanted to try one all winter for resident coho but had no idea where to start. Now I do. Thanks.
  2. If I really believed that was the requirement for the BEST fly I would have said so. Don't put words in my mouth.

    By the way, some of the best cutthroat fishermen I know, who've been doing it for 50+ years use nothing but an olive wooly bugger, catch more fish than you or I, and can't understand the mania to match the hatch for one of the most opportunistic feeders in the sound.
    Mike T and Bob Triggs like this.
  3. Agree but there are a couple of exceptions that are important to be aware of to have success when the proper fly pattern will make a difference.

    (1) When chum fry outmigrate in Spring, it can be almost a "match the hatch" situation. If the sea-run cutthroat are really "keyed into" chum fry, a chum fry or similar baitfish pattern can make the difference between having good success vs. marginal fishing.

    (2) June through Oct. sea-run cutthroat can be totally "keyed into" sand lance if there is a good population available. In situations like that I have used a sand lance pattern and had hookups every couple of casts while my fishing partner was using a "proven" pattern and had no hookups. Once he switched to a sand lance pattern, he started hooking up fish. The fishing can be incredible using a top water sand lance pattern in these situations.

  4. The megalops stage crab fly patterns that I have used,(sorry no picture), have been size #10 or #12 or even #14 to #16, (closer to actual size But still huge compared to the naturals), tied on shrimp/scud hooks, very, very sparse. I use mono eyes, either store bought or home burned mono tips, about 1/8" to 1/16" diameter. If anything I like the eyes to be a little "overstated" or abnormally large. Even at 1/16" your mono eyes will be larger than the real ones. And I will wrap a thread base on the hook, from behind the eye to well into the bend, and then tie in one frond of CDC, grey or tan, at the "tail". And then wrap the thread to behind the eye again. Then I will tie in two light tan or grey CDC fronds, in much the same manner we would tie in calf tail hair, as stand up, split wings for a Wulff type dry fly. I set these CDC "wings" very close to the eye of the hook, at 90 degree sideways angles to the hook. A variation in this is to use a very sparse, thin dubbing, such as possum. I like it with dubbing. But it has to be impossibly sparse. This is a matter of creating a ghostly, impressionistic, translucent fly, rather than a full bodied opaque fly.

    If you look at the megalops stage crabs in the water, in a natural setting, often they are barely visible as individuals. Once they group up they appear as "clouds" or groups of greyish or beige colored "swimmers", though they are not very fast. You can be looking right at them and miss them. Larger pocket estuaries, tide pools, lagoons, near shore shallows, places with warmer and more plankton rich water etc, can hold huge numbers of these crab juveniles in early to mid summer. And every fish and bird will eat them. Even on a size 16 to 18 hook your imitation will be bigger than the naturals. But it will work, usually on lighter tippet, a 5x or 6x, and dead drifted. I have seen some interesting patterns that were simply a bit of glue gun glue, spread along the hook shank, and a pair of mono eyes, on very small dry fly or shrimp/scud hooks. I do like scud flies, size 12 through 16, in an ash, grey or olive color. And these can double for gamarid amphipods, or "Beach Hoppers", very nicely. We see Cutthroat feeding at the edges for these very commonplace small crustaceans as well.

    I have no doubt that crabs in the soft shell state, at any stage of life, would be easy prey for Cutthroat.

    my blog: http://olympicpeninsulaflyfishing.blogspot.com
  5. Bob great info
    any chance you can post a picture of your megalops?
    ant particular time of year you find they work better?

  6. apparently the inspiration for the movie ALIEN
    crablarvae_600.jpg megalops2.jpg


  7. +1... would really like to see a photo of your fly, if possible.

  8. No experience to offer I'm afraid as I am still a SRC newb. I will say this, that is one damn fine looking crab pattern and if I was a SRC, I'd be all over it like a rat on a cheeto :D.
  9. apparently some fish do enjoy these beside Sea Run Cutthroat
    given the number of these in this fishes gut
    I think there are times this could be a prodctive pattern

    Bob Triggs likes this.
  10. 3mm in size
  11. Let's not be a smart ass now. You knew what the man meant.
  12. I agree with Steve here. I just picked up Richards book and it has some excellent information and patterns worth checking out.
  13. Hmmm. I am wondering if you could indicator dead drift a somewhat similar pattern in moving water and have any luck? I will hopefully be trying it this weekend.

    Also a question for everyone, when do the chum fry enter the sound? As early as late Feb or early March?
  14. Using an indicator for dead driftinga a crab pattern should work. In the past I used an indicator to dead drift an amphipod pattern with success when a school of resident coho is feeding on the surface when eating amphipods.

    Oct.(early run timing) spawning chum normally have their fry start outmigrating by mid-March. While Nov.(normal run timing) spawning chum have their fry normally start outmigrating by early April or a little later.

  15. I'll keep my thumbs crossed for an early fry run out. :D
  16. Fair enough I should have used "one" instead of "you" as I was just raising the question: if a cutthroat only uses movement and size to determine prey why would one use anything but the simplest fly with a retrieve that keeps the fly in the zone the longest?

    I fully agree they are very opportunistic and I will happily use the same fly all day unless I'm making great casts to working fish and getting rejected more than a couple of times. Then I'm changing flies and it's not going to be to an adult crab fly. :)
  17. Shouldn't silver fry be out even earlier?
  18. chum fry move into the salt when they are still fry, I believe coho fry stay in the freshwater longer.
    Also chum often spawn in water very close to the salt, creeks like minter, chico and some of the other small creeks dont have much space for millions of little fish, so they move out into the salt while still very small.
  19. Kelvin,
    Just curious, what type of fish did that stomach sample come from?
  20. Website did not say

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