Little bait, little flies

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Chester Allen, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. Chester Allen

    Chester Allen Fishing addict and scribbler

    I spent Monday and Tuesday fishing a variety of South Sound and Hood Canal beaches. It was the usual sea-run cutthroat deal, as the mysterious fish weren't at some beaches -- even though I thought they would be there -- and the fish were at other beaches -- including one I thought was a longshot for the tidal conditions.

    I fished one beach on the incoming, and I had never fished that beach on the incoming before. I hit it hard with an intermediate line and small -- about 1.5 inches long -- Chum Baby fly. I didn't even get a bump, even though a lot of bait was around. The tidal flow was really strong -- we had big changes over those two days -- so I put on a Rio fast sinker. The box advertises 6 to 7 inches of sink per second, so it wasn't too much fun to cast. But that line got down a little deeper and I hooked some fish. One fish was the classic monster take and heavy, heavy head shaking of a really nice fish. It came unbuttoned late in the fight -- just as the thought of taking a photo flashed into my addled brain. I got a glimpse of a big tail.... So it goes.

    Here's what I came away thinking: I saw lots of chum fry, but most of them were stll pretty small -- less than two inches long. A Chum Baby -- thanks Bob Triggs! -- that matched the size got a lot more attention than a longer Chum Baby. Sparse flies -- they almost look as though they're not there -- got more attention as well.

    I'm also still thinking about that headshaker with the big tail....

    Oh -- if anyone is looking to sell post-1998 Ross Gunnison 2 or 3 reels and spools, I'm looking to buy!

    Tight Lines!
  2. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    This time of year you can tie the Chum Baby fly on size #8 and #10 hooks, and eliminate the bead head on some of them. The actual fry can be almost invisible, and the fly that you use should also be very sparse, small and translucent, with only one or two pieces of pearl or multi-colored crystal flash included. By May I will be using more sandlance and herring flies, but I will also be tying them down to an inch or so in length, and also very sparse and small, sometimes down to size #12 on a dry fly hook. Then I will use them on a dry line, or an intermediate sink line, depending upon what I am observing the fish doing. If you are finding feeding fish, actively showing on the surface, try a smaller fly. But don't forget that as the season progresses, the fry will be growing every day. And it won't be long before they are much bigger than your flies.
  3. Alexander

    Alexander Fishon

    Thanks, I'll be hitting the beach tomorrow in the AM on the out going, can't wait. Had a stellar day last weekend on an epoxy (less then an inch) chum fry imitation. I want to try a different beach but the action was so good i'm going back to the same one... ;) Got to feed my addiction!
  4. Duane J

    Duane J Member

    Chester/Bob/Alexander: Thanks to all three for sharing your experience and strategies. I need all the help to solve these salt water mysteries--Duane
  5. Adrian

    Adrian Active Member

    Best SRC advice...keep movin' till you find em'
    Chester Allen likes this.
  6. Alexander

    Alexander Fishon

    that's one approach or pick a beach or two and fish them a lot at varying tides and in various locations. Pick a beach or two and study the heck out of it. It may help to know if it's a decent SRC beach, this can be done by online reading/searching. Soon you'll learn/know the best times to fish a particular beach. I've taken this approach myself and have found it helpful. Between 3 beaches I know when one fishes better over the other depending on weather and tides.
    Nick Clayton, Stonefish and Bagman like this.
  7. Chester Allen

    Chester Allen Fishing addict and scribbler

    Good stuff here.

    This is how I learned to fish sea-run cutts, and it's exactly how I learn to fish each beach. Each beach is different, and each one fishes differently on different stages of tides. This sounds complicated, but it isn't -- if you fish the beach throughout incoming and outgoing tides -- and different weather and tidal ranges. I have a portfolio of beaches that I've learned since 1995, and this how I learned them. I'm always learning new beaches, as the sense of discovery is amazing. There is nothing like fishing a beach for the first time on a big low or minus tide and seeing a rip suddenly form -- and then find cutts right in there.

    Anyway, once you know a few beaches, you can cherry pick -- hit them at the best times and the best tides. The fish will still surprise you all of the time, but being dialed into the natural world like this is the best feeling....
    Alexander, Tacoma Red and Stonefish like this.
  8. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

    This is good advice for salmon fishing as well.
    For new beaches, I like to fish a minimum of two hours on each side of a tide change. I think that gives me a pretty good beginning snapshot of the beaches potential.
    Sometimes just sitting on a log observing the beach it actually better then fishing it. You'll see things you won't see while concentrating on your fishing.
    Just a short move up or down the beach from where you would have been fishing can make a big difference in your success.
    It is to bad more folks don't enjoy the discovery part of our local saltwater fishing.
    Alexander and Chester Allen like this.
  9. Alexander

    Alexander Fishon

    Well, some general intel for today. I hit a beach today that did real well just last week, last week the tide exchange was about 6.5ft and I was able to hit it before the sun action! Today I hit that same beach in that same spot but the tide exchange was about double that of last week and I wasn't able to beat the sunshine....and I was there around 6:30 ish, it was sunny and the tide was in high. And Mr Chunky Seal was out there as well, spy hopping the entire time. I also decided to try out a new rod I recently built ( not for salt, but I had to try it), a short 1 piece glass rod (a converted glass spin rod). When I got there I realized I brought the wrong line...a 3wt, vs a 5wt. Casting it wasn't very enjoyable, but I fished it anyway. :D. Was hoping for an SRC on the glass rod, maybe next time.
    Eyejuggler likes this.
  10. Alexander

    Alexander Fishon

    Oh, got distracted... Point was no fish in same spot (very fishy) but the over all conditions weren't optimal IMHO, that spot fishes better on a slower tide. I almost got ripped away in it as my leg cramped up and I was feeling the water force push on me hard

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