Sea-run cuts...how to?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Hicksder, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. Hicksder

    Hicksder Flyfishing for sport, not food.

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Home Page:
    Having grown up in Idaho country, my fishing experience has been mainly river and reservoir flyfishing. I am really trying to get accustomed to the different techniques needed for northwest fishing...i.e. steelhead, salmon, and cuts. I feel partial to the fishing up here as my father was a pioneer in the area a long time ago and even had a flyshop called the Fishin' Fool. However, his expertise is in steelhead fishing (he fished with Steelhead Bob, Alec Jackson, the Kaufman bros, and Tom Darling).

    Me...I have fished for sea-run cutthroats on two occasions now with no luck. I have asked a couple local fisherman how to approach them. There answer has been to fish at an angle to the beach. They have also told me to use chartreuse minnow patterns.

    I guess my question now is...timing and location. Where are beneficial and successful places to fish for cuts and what times of the year are they most prevalent?

    Any other recs, i.e. patterns, stripping technique? Please write me privately if you dont want to give up too many secrets to the masses.

    Thanks,
    Justin Hicks
     
  2. ibn

    ibn Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2002
    Messages:
    1,885
    Media:
    513
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Federal Way
    Home Page:
    Use the search function on the site and I bet you'll find more information then you need.

    As for when and where, you should just go fish some beaches and find out for yourself. There are hundreds of miles of fishable beaches in the puget sound and hood canal. A couple spots to try your luck would be Lincoln Park, Picknick Point, Docs at the Tacoma Narrows.

    I like to fish a clear line, 6wt, short stout leader, and small olive rabbit strip clousers. I vary up the retrieve, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, sometimes eratic. I think the biggest thing is to keep moving around, don't sit in spot and cast for 2 hours withough catching anything. Take a few casts, then walk a bit, and repeat. Dont worry about casting at an angle, just be aware that cutties can be in really really shalow water, so before you even take a step in fish close to shore first.
     
  3. Hicksder

    Hicksder Flyfishing for sport, not food.

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Home Page:
    Thanks ibn. I am not the type of fisherman to ask for all the secrets. I definately like to figure it out on my own...half of the sport!!! I read a couple of posts. I have no experience in Hood Canal so I might have to venture over there at some point.
     
  4. Steve Rohrbach

    Steve Rohrbach Puget Sound Fly Fisher

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    630
    Media:
    36
    Likes Received:
    74
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Hicksder, the best advice that I can provide is to buy a copy of Les Johnson's latest book, Fly Fishing for Coastal Cutthroat Trout. It has great information on the species, habitat, conservation and a wonderful selection of great flies that are tried and tested right here. Then get a Gazeeter and start looking for points and beaches with access to streams, oyster beds, rocky bottoms and start fishing. This site will answer more questions than you can imagine if you take the time to research. Many of the members of WFF fish the local beaches. A friendly hello can often result in a quick ride along the learning curve and sometimes some nice flies.
    Good luck, Steve
     
  5. Porter

    Porter Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    6,595
    Likes Received:
    597
    Location:
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
    Steve and IBN offer good advice......IBN gave you a couple of great spots...but in May and later. Stick with the Chartuese bait patterns...also have attractors such has reverse spiders in Yellow/Black...Orange/White..and many other type patterns to lure ....Good Luck :) :)
     
  6. Sterling silver

    Sterling silver Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2004
    Messages:
    189
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Gig Harbor, WA
    You really need to learn what the fish are eating. Different areas have different feed, hence different patterns are more succesful depending on the area you are fishing and the feed you are trying to replicate. Review the site and get "The Book" (Les' cutthroat book). Then look at the beaches to see their topography and the way the currents play with the rocks. Then cast a fly and see what happens. Just remember, its not just "what fly do I use?" That might sound like an obtuse answer, and perhaps it is, but learning the ways of the sea-run cutthroat trout is a learning experience. And that is one of the things that make these guys such addicting fish.

    Sterling
     
  7. Les Johnson

    Les Johnson Les Johnson

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Messages:
    1,590
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    .Redmond, WA
    Coastal cutthroat, not unlike coho salmon, will certainly go after attractor patterns bright, dark or drab. I always carry a selection. On the other hand it pays to have a selection of zooplankton and baitfish patterns in various sizes; herring, sand lance and anchovys, in a variety of sizes to match any bait that may be in the area. A pattern that has served me well for a couple of decades from Alaska to Mexico in various sizes is the Captain Skippy. It is a general baitfish that I employ from size 6 through 3/0, depending on the quarry.
    As for poppers, and we are almost always talking about Leland Miyawaki's Popper, I just tie them the way Leland does. I don't figure there is much need to mess with a winner.
    Good fishing,
    Les
     
  8. Porter

    Porter Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    6,595
    Likes Received:
    597
    Location:
    Kenmore, WA, USA.
    Captain Skippy? :) Is that a inside name or is it well known among fly tyers/shops...personally I have never heard of that one...but lots of times certain flies will acquire dual or several names but it is the same fly regardless. This is like golf...it can never be mastered :) :)
     
  9. Jason Rolfe

    Jason Rolfe Wanderer

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,184
    Likes Received:
    378
    Location:
    the beach
    WHAT?! Fly fishing can never be mastered? That's it, I'm done. This is craziness.
    ;)

    Cheers.
    Jason
     
  10. Steve Rohrbach

    Steve Rohrbach Puget Sound Fly Fisher

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    630
    Media:
    36
    Likes Received:
    74
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Captain Skippy is a tube fly that can be found in the book, Tube Flies: A Tying, Fishing & Historical Guide by Mark Mandell and Les Johnson. The book has a lot of great saltwater patterns that are perfect for Puget Sound ranging from Letcher Lambuth's Sand Lance to tube fly versions of the Flashy Lady. Check it out.
     
  11. Les Johnson

    Les Johnson Les Johnson

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Messages:
    1,590
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    .Redmond, WA
    Captain Skippy

    The Captain Skippy began as "Capitan Skippy" in Mexico, so named by a pal, Peter Hylander. As Steve notes, it was first tied on a tube to create bulk easily and to more quickly change hook sizes -- and to quickly switch from single to double hook rigs if sailfish should show up. I still tie it on tubes for northern Pacific fishing and in smaller sizes for Vancouver Island south through Puget Sound on both tubes and standard hooks.
    I have seen a surprising number of Captain Skippy patterns in the fly boxes of experienced northern Pacific salmon saltwater anglers over the years.
    Genesis of the Captain Skippy came from my noting that our herring here in northern climes and the flatiron herring of mexico are pretty much the same critter. So, I tied a rather basic interperatation of a herring to try during my travels. As it turned out the Captain Skippy works end to end Baja to Bristol Bay and points in between.
    And.....for all of you Clouser Minnow afficianados out there; yes, I do tie the Captain Skippy in a Clouser configuration, although somethwat more sparse than the bulky herring-profile original.
    Good Fishing,
    Les Johnson
     
  12. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2003
    Messages:
    4,086
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    802
    Location:
    Olympic Peninsula
    Home Page:
    Two words: "Chum Baby"...the fly.

    Do a search on this subject "Sea Run Coastal Cutthroat Trout", "Beach Fishing" etc here, and you will be buried in a legion of references, fly patterns, discussions, trip reports. It's truly an amazing fishery.
     
  13. Les Johnson

    Les Johnson Les Johnson

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2003
    Messages:
    1,590
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    .Redmond, WA
    The Chum Baby certainly served our Orvis clientele well over the past several weeks. Remember, although the outmigration of little chum salmon will be tapering off soon, the Chum Baby is going to continue to work for a while longer, just like a big floating stonefly does two weeks after the hatch has ended on the Madison.
    Good Fishing,
    Les
     
  14. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    957
    Location:
    Marysville, Washington
    FYI -
    In the north Sound one can expected to continue to see reasonable numbers of chum fry on the beaches through most of May with lesser numbers continuing on into June. Also remember that other juvenile bait fish (herring, sand lance, etc) will also be found on some of the beaches and if the fish are not rigidily keyed into specific fry the chum baby (or other generic fry imitation) will continue to fool the cutts.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  15. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2003
    Messages:
    4,086
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    802
    Location:
    Olympic Peninsula
    Home Page:
    I still love a Knudsen Spider or little Royal Wulff, great producers for me year round.
     
  16. Steve Rohrbach

    Steve Rohrbach Puget Sound Fly Fisher

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    630
    Media:
    36
    Likes Received:
    74
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Bob, I fish the Knudsen Spider frequently. I use a black body on dark days and on bright days use an orange body. I have been thinking about tying one with Alec Jacksons spade peacock rope technique. Do you have a go-to color?
    Steve
     
  17. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    2,985
    Likes Received:
    957
    Location:
    Marysville, Washington
    Steve -
    I too fish the Knudsen spider a lot - I would say over the last 25 years the "spider" in one of its many variations has probably accounted for 85/90% of the sea-run cutthroat I have caught.

    I've come to the conclusion that the color of the body isn't really all that important. My "hot color" seems to vary quite a bit from year to year and seems to have more to do with whatever I have on when I find a pod of fish and less on their preference. Also have found that have a something different from what most folks are using is a good strategy - if most rods are fishing yellow than a dark color seems to more successful.

    That said my must have colors include: yellow, orange, black, purple, dark olive, chartreuse, and silver. Also besides mallard I use gadwall and widegon feathers for the hackle and use mostly flies in sizes 8s to 4s.

    Bottom line my success seems to have less to due with patterns and more with location and presentation. I use mostly spiders because they are effective and simple and cheap to tie - up to 18/hour. If I have little invested in the fly (either in $ or time) I'm more likely to fish it among the cover (see comment about location) and am willing to break off a snagged fly rather than distrub a potential hot spot trying to retrieve the fly. My cutt boxes typcially have 12 to 15 spiders of a given size in each of my favorite colors - I freely admit to being way over the top when it comes to sea-runs as my cutthroat boxes typically hold 400 to 500 flies and I replenish several times a seasons.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     

Share This Page