Cutts in a pink year?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Brad Niemeyer, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. What do the sea run cutthroat wise ones say about cutthroat fishing in a year of pink salmon? Do the cutts sprint up the rivers early? straggle in late? Do they avoid the mobs of salmon and hang on the edges or below them? Or neptune-forbid, do they dissappear?

    Last year the cutt fishing was so good I'm wondering what might be in store for the "S" rivers late summer fall 2013?

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  2. I used to like to fish Pilchuck creek at this time of the year.
  3. I guess I should start making my plan, I'd ask for access points but I know your answer will be "get a map, explore" Having said that, ALL my success with river SRC is due to timing and tips from old timers who know...
  4. I think they hunker down a little more because of all the salmon. I also think with the large numbers of salmon in the river they will concetrate more so if you find one likely there will be more. This has always been true of cutts but more so during humpy years. I fish the Skagit for cutthroat and I have found that the increased boat traffic seems to affect the fish more than the humpies do. Early before the boat traffic picks up the fishing is about the same as a non-humpy year but once the masses get their boats launched and start churning up the waters the bite is off.
    Bob Triggs likes this.
  5. Why would I do that. Access on Pilchuck creek is easy. You can access the creek at all the bridges. You just have to watch out for all the thieves that hang out there.

    In the many years that I lived and fished in Washington, I believe that I have fished every inch of that creek from the mouth to above Highway 9. And from the lake down about 5 or 6 miles. I only missed fishing a small portion in the middle.

    I've caught a lot of fish out of that creek. But it wasn't always with flies.
  6. If you get a good clear and shallow stretch of the river where you can stand quietly and watch the schools of pinks move upstream, you may get the opportunity to see something amazing.

    At the tail end of each school are a couple, or a half dozen, or sometimes even a dozen, smaller fish moving up right behind them. If the school stops for a minute you may be lucky enough to catch these smaller fish darting around and butting the bigger fish. You also will see the pinks turn on them and chase them off, but they always come back after a few seconds. I remember staring down from one of the Stilly Bridges and watching this happen for several hours. I just stood there and watched in amazement at the entire process as it repeated over and over.

    After seeing what was going on I decided that I would fish the very tail end of the holding water. I strategized that I would cast to, but not over, the last fish visible in the gray lines formed by the schools of Pinks.

    That's when it happened. SRC, SRC, SRC.. I was using a small, micro lead-eyed, white marabou with one grizzly hackle feather, needle thin, baitfish pattern. I would consistently pick up those little bastards harassing the salmon from behind by putting that baitfish pattern just beside them and stripping it hard away from them to try and trigger the predatory response.

    It works, good luck!
    Bob Triggs and KerryS like this.
  7. Yeah, I did it behind a school of Chums and I caught a very big Chum. It put a nice bend in my 5wt Loomis.

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