San Juan Island September 2011

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by powderglut, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. Ok..... I "hoped" to give you the new guide to fly fishing the beaches of SJI. I wanted to tell you about the epic mornings at South Beach and Cattle Pt and Eagle pt. Maybe taking fish after fish in Open Bay on Frank Island. This is why I joined the forum. Where else would I find all the right info on beach fishing these islands. I'm a pretty meticulous planner when it comes to travel. Most of the things I plan, I do. In this case we got to do just about everything I had on the agenda, that is..... except, all the fishing I had planned. I got 2 days of angling in Vancouver Island prior to getting over to SJI. My wife and I met up with 2 more couples to share a house just north of Roche Harbor for 10 nts. It was her landmark b-day(29 I think) and she wanted to share it with 4 of our best friends. Well, I gotta say it was an awesome great time spending all of it in San Juan County, Washington.
    I knew these islands were gonna be cool. All the pictures. But they just don't compare to the real thing, and.. all the friendly locals we met. We saw whales from Capt Jim Maya's Boat. We saw orcas from Lime Kiln SP and The Land Banks just south of the park. How cool is it to see orcas herding up salmon from land. We biked Lopez Is, cruising by Spencer Spit SP and Shark Reef CP, a dinner in Lopez Village . We went over to Orcas Is and climbed Turtleback Land Bank,stopped at West beach, went to the top of Mt Constitution, stopped in Olga and Doe Bay, and finished with dinner in East Sound.
    Oh yeah, SJI! Let's see, We hit American Camp (South Beach) and English Camp (climbed Young Hill) both part of SJI National Historical Park. Friday Harbor, Roche Harbor, The Whale museum, San Juan County Park, Snug Harbor (whale and kayak trips). Great sunsets, sunrises and salmon dinners at the house. With all that we did in 10 days, we still only scratched the surface.
    About the fishing or lack of. I thought I would get up every am and beach fish. I figured I would get at least 2hrs in before they even missed me. I was hoping to duplicate my success from 2 years back when we camped the beach in Pt McNeill VI. 2 hrs of great beach fishing every AM. My problem was access on the north end ( our house was on the very north end), a kayak would have been tremendously helpful. The best fishing beach was South Beach, about completely opposite ends of where we were. 40-45 mins each way. I know, pretty lame. I had 3 rods and every beach fly you guys told me about, along with a few of Jay Mohl's favorite beauties from Clayoquot Fly shop. I guess I'll be ready when we make the next visit. There's a lot of very cool beach camping that will probably bring me back.
    Thanks to all who contributed to my limited beach knowledge. I now have a great excuse to get my butt back. I need some time in the Olympic Peninsula too. Maybe , if I'm lucky, with one or two of you WFFers.
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  2. Wow, you hit all the highlights of the islands; your itinerary would be a summary of the island's visitor's guide. As you saw, the salt waters around the islands is not as fly-friendly as the west side of Vancouver Island. When you head back, I would be happy to give you some thoughts on some fun freshwater fishing in the islands. Thanks for sharing the flavor of your adventure.

  3. The situation wasn't quite the same. I almost felt like the tour director on this trip. I didn't take advantage of the few spots given when I could have fished. A morning at South Beach was tempting, but with so much going on each day, I deferred to the group. As you had mentioned, I saw fish taken from boats just east of Eagle Pt and quite a few hookups in front of Henry Is. Next time, we're talking about driving out and camping on each island. That will give me a lot more freedom to fish. I would love to be on S Beach when the fish are there. Who knows? They may have been. Beautiful water! Still got a lot of places to see on the SJIs.
  4. You should have biked Mt Constitution, not Lopez. Its a ripping decent. You should also plan a trip during lingcod season and try that species on a fly rod. lots of opportunities in and around the SJI.

  5. There's a lot of things we should have done. I have a huge list. Considering six of us with opinions, we did pretty good.
    Next time we head that way, I think we'll drive so I can bring lots more toys. Camping at some of the beach parks will make it easier to get out in the am and get a line in the water. Having a kayak would be nice, I'll have to figure that out when the time comes.
  6. They also come in extra large too

  7. I've heard. I hope to get some more shots next summer. Combine it with a trip to VI. Gotta get my ocean fix.

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