Perfect Coastal Cutthroat

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Steve Knapp, Sep 8, 2012.

  1. Steve Knapp

    Steve Knapp Beach Bum

    I started a long over due vacation this morning with a trip to one of my favorite Searun beaches. I have been working on swinging flatwings a lot lately and started the morning with that tactic. I landed a couple small Searuns and missed 3-4 hard strikes... I seem to miss the strip set quite a bit when swinging flies. The strikes always catch me off guard.

    School after school of bait had been passing by and it was obviously getting hammered by cutthroat, but I wasn't enticing them. The water finally set up so nicely with a current rip and slightly nervous water that I had to switch over to topwater. A school of bait went by and I cast my slider just in front of them. The current started to pull my slider and I saw a big wake form behind the fly. I kept stripping faster and faster until the cutthroat exploded from the water, crushing the fly. I realized quickly that this was a huge fish. I finally coaxed it close enought to get a glimpse, and I realized that this was the biggest Cutthroat I'd ever had on. Several panicked minutes later I eased this beauty into the net. Then I really started to shake! Grinning ear to ear I took a couple photos and watched this perfect Puget Sound trophy swim away. The bow on the net is 18" when measured inside. This fish easily broke 19" and was as healthy and fat as I've ever seen. Vacation has started out pretty good.
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  2. mtskibum16

    mtskibum16 Active Member

    Beautiful fish man! A trophy for sure. Have a nice vacation!
    Jackd likes this.
  3. Wow! Perfect is an apt description; very sweet. Thick fish.
  4. Brandon S

    Brandon S Member

    "Perfect" is an understatement, Wow!
  5. Jason Rolfe

    Jason Rolfe Wanderer

    Damn, and you got it on top to boot. Just icing on the searun cake.

    Great work.
  6. Saltman

    Saltman "Just Fish!"

    What a treasure! Congratulations.....
    We are truly blessed to live in a place where these special fish roam.
  7. Jason Rolfe

    Jason Rolfe Wanderer

    I'm interested in your swinging tactic. I've thought about that a lot when I've been fishing the beach and there's a good current coming through. But I've never actually focused on swinging the fly like in your description.

    Do you literally just cast out and let the fly swing with the current? Do you strip, lead the fly, follow the fly, anything like that? I'd be curious to hear more about the tactic and set up.
  8. daveypetey

    daveypetey Active Member

    Steve did I see you out this morning? My dad and I were just past the point. Was that you with another guy roping a couple hogs in the current?
  9. Steve Rohrbach

    Steve Rohrbach Puget Sound Fly Fisher

    Nice fish pardner. Looking forward to tomorrow.
  10. Nick Clayton

    Nick Clayton Active Member

    What a beauty!!!! That is one fat sea run.
  11. Roger Stephens

    Roger Stephens Active Member

    Congratulations Steve! Awesome beautiful, fat, healthy sea-run cutthroat plus kudos for getting it on a top water pattern. What a thrill for you.

  12. Steve Knapp

    Steve Knapp Beach Bum

    Thanks guys! It's fish I won't forget, thats for sure!

    Jason, I've been casting diagonal across the current and mending the line so the current pulls the fly across the current towards shore. I'll give the fly a couple strips here and there, but I'm relying on the motion created by the flatwing itself. After the fly has started to slow, I'll strip it back in. I'm picking up the most fish as the fly swings towards shore... but it is not like a free drift, I keep tension on the line and the fly is really moving. Fish are also grabbing the fly at the end of the swing, letting the fly just sit there.. and on the retrieve. I have never fished rivers, so I don't know whether this is standard swinging tactics or not, I'm just following what I've read in Striper Moon. Same cast Leland uses for his popper.

    DaveyPetey, I didn't see you, unless you were in a small yellow boat? I was in MA-13
  13. daveypetey

    daveypetey Active Member

    Oops, no I was on a beach south of LP, great current this morning, lots of tugs and landed 4 12" fish. There were a couple guys up current from us, and they landed one coho and a couple SRC's also.

    Cheers, awesome fish. I am green with envy.

  14. DimeBrite

    DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

    Beautiful cutthroat and perfectly photographed in the net. Well done!
  15. Jonathan Tachell

    Jonathan Tachell Active Member

  16. Gorgeous fish! Congratulations.
  17. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

    Well done Steve!

  18. Steve Call

    Steve Call Active Member

    Outstanding fish!
  19. Mark Mercer

    Mark Mercer Member

    What a brute! Nice one Steve. That's one you'll keep reliving for a few days, I know I would.
  20. Gorgeous specimen. Congrats.

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