First day in the salt

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Mortong, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. Mortong

    Mortong New Member

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    Today was my first day flyfishing saltwater. I live a short distance from Richmond Beach Park, so I walked down there for low tide today (my calves still ache from the long, uphill walk home).

    Heading south from the beach entrance, about 3/4 of the way to the point, there was a large school of fish feeding on the surface. I waded out to waste deep (in jeans and sandals!), but had no luck. I felt one bite, but wasn't able to hook it.

    All in all, not a bad day, even without catching anything. It's been a few years since I've been fly fishing, so it was good just to be out there. It was also promising to see that it's such an active area.

    Does anyone else have much experience with this beach? What fish did I see jumping today? Any stories or experiences you feel like sharing? I'm not looking for all of your fishing secrets, I'm just curious what people have seen down there. Thanks!
     
  2. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

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    I have seen both searun cutthroat as well as resident salmon and have caught same there.

    Leland.
     
  3. Les Johnson

    Les Johnson Les Johnson

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    Richmond Beach has historically been a very good spot a bit later in the season for salmon. Cutthroat should be around in pretty good numbers soon as they are dropping out of the north Puget Sound rivers and creeks.
    I like it best in the fall when you find some nice healthy cutthroat and larger salmon.
    Good Fishing,
    Les Johnson
     
  4. Mortong

    Mortong New Member

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    Wow, I had a great evening between 5:30 pm and 8:00 pm at Richmond beach. I had one throw the line, but landed two. My fishing buddy landed one. They were pretty small, but put up a nice fight (much better than I'm used to with my past of Eastern Washington river/lake fishing). I wish I was better at identifying saltwater species, so I'm asking for your help: here is a link to a pic of the one my friend caught. There was no real adipose fin - just a bump with a small thin piece dangling off of it (is this a hatchery fish or a species with a nearly non-existant adipose?). The back of his fish was green, while my two were black. Otherwise they appeared identicle. Does anyone recognize this? Thanks in advance for your help.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. ibn

    ibn Moderator Staff Member

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    That there is a hatchery coho.
     
  6. Mortong

    Mortong New Member

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    Thanks for the quick response. I'm curious about something, though. Coho are definately not in season right now, and it looks like the season has been cut drastically. I don't want to harass this population, but it seems to me that avoiding hooking them will be a challenge in and of itself.

    Obviously there's no way to prevent hooking an out of season fish completely, but is there a technique or method you use to lower the chances? Or is it just something that happens, and all you can do is make sure you handle the fish carefully while releasing it?

    Sorry if I seem overly concerned about this -- my previous fishing experiences have dealt primarily with smallmouth bass, crappy and the occasional rainbow or brown trout. I'm not used to dealing with threatened populations, but want to learn to fish my new waters responsibly.
     
  7. Zen Piscator

    Zen Piscator Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.

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    what kidna fly is hanging outta its mouth.
     
  8. Mortong

    Mortong New Member

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    My friend was using a spinner, not a fly - so that's what you see there. I was using a generic baitfish fly, similar to this: [​IMG].
     
  9. ibn

    ibn Moderator Staff Member

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    The best thing to do if you hook an out of season fish is release it as soon as possible, I would avoid handling it at all, if you're fishing for cutthroat, it's already a single barbless game, so you should be able to just reach down and pop out the hook w/out even removing the fish from the water. It helps if you have a knotless rubber net, that will keep the fish confined and unharmed.

    It's good to ask questions, and your questions are good ones.

    The fish you caught was probably an outmigrating hatchery silver heading for the ocean. Some may argue that since it's a hatchery fish you don't have to worry to much about how you handle them, as they're really put there to be turned into food anyway. For me, I treat hatchery fish with respect when I release them, handle them as little as possible, and I'm of the opinion that others should as welll.

    Hopefully I'll be catching that guy at Neah Bay next summer when he's 10lbs heavier.
     
  10. Flyfishsteel

    Flyfishsteel New Member

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    IBN, whats wrong with catching silvers this year? Is the season gonna be that bad? Where did you get your info?

    thanks!
     
  11. ibn

    ibn Moderator Staff Member

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    I dont really know how the season will be this year, I just doubt that fish would be returning this summer if it's leaving the river nowish. Given the super low quote for cohos at Neah Bay, I'm not expecting much out there this season, but whatever, I'll still be going heading out there quit a bit.
     
  12. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    There are alot of resident silvers in Puget Sound. They don't migrate to the ocean. That fish will be 2-4 pounds when I harvest it this summer off Jeff Head. Mmmmmmmm.:thumb:
     
  13. Les Johnson

    Les Johnson Les Johnson

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    With the Fox Island pens shut down, our resident coho are released from the Squaxin Island pens. They are all supposed to have the adipose fin clipped to ensure identity as a hatchery fish. Resident coho are held back beyond their normal migratory time which tends to curb this natural urge, thus they remain in Puget Sound. Some do however migrate up along the west side of Vancouver Island, at least as far as Tofino. They return in the late summer and early autumn as 3 to 5 pounders.
    There are not many (if any!) wild resident coho remaining in Puget Sound although they were abundant through the 1950s. I have a photo of Roy Patrick (re; original owner of Patrick's Fly Shop) displaying a 3-fish limit of resident coho taken in August of 1948. It will appear in our new salmon book.
    Good Fishing,
    Les Johnson
     
  14. Mortong

    Mortong New Member

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    Well, then. Come later this summer, some of these fish will be mine! I don't want to take a lot of fish home, but I'm looking forward to my first self-caught Salmon filet, cooked half an hour after pulling it out of the water.

    Of course, even if it was just catch and release, I'd still do it. I've never felt anything fight like that--and they were small! I can't wait to hook a full-grown fish.
     
  15. Denny

    Denny Active Member

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    Good for you!

    But, to second Ibn's comments, try to handle these fish as little as possible if you expect to release them. Man, that fish you show in the picture barely has any scales left! It looks like you guys really manhandled them. The scales come off from these fish extremely easily so, again, the less you handle them the more likely the fish will live another day (of course, you plan to bonk 'em and eat 'em).

    I see so many guys drag these little fellas several feet up on the beach where the fish gets sand all over in the gills and what not, their scales get rubbed off, and the fly fisher holds the fish down with his knee while he extricates the fly from the fish's mouth. Holding on to the fish, vise grip tight, with his two hands, he'll hold the fish up for his buddies to see, wander back to the water, and toss the fish back in the water. Sure, it was catch and release, but that fish probably won't make it.

    I'm sharing this with you because I'm guessing with your interest and enthusiasm you'll be doing this some more and will be catching fish, and it's important to know that these fish are both hardy and delicate. The intent of catch and release is so the fish can live another day, not just to let the fish go.

    Good luck, and be careful with the fish!

    :beer2:
     
  16. Porter

    Porter Active Member

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    Richard...I noticed same thing....of course this fish could have been handled before ..and fell for the hook twice or more. I was trying to figure out if those were scales on the hands or water droplets. Any ways...handle carefully and my approach is to de-hook in water w/o net....I know sometimes it does not work out that way but usually you can take the hook out while they are in the water w/o touching them. Do your best....really that's what most of us try to do! thanks for sharing :) :)
     
  17. Mortong

    Mortong New Member

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    Thanks for the input Porter and Richard. I was about 100' down the beach from him, so I didn't see how he handled it before I got down to him. Regardless, it's sound advice: I'll be sure to treat them with care and keep them in the water while I release.
     

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