Sockeye on the fly in the salt?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Blktailhunter, May 5, 2014.

  1. Blktailhunter Active Member

    Posts: 161
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    Can it be done in the salt? I've been fortunate enough to get a king, coho, pink and chum on the fly the last two pink years. I would love to try and get a sockeye in the salt for the super Puget Sound Super Slam next year. Has anyone ever caught a sockeye in the salt on a fly while actually targeting them, or is one of those impossible pipe dreams? Heck, has anyone caught one while targeting them or not ? It's not something I would want to spend a lot of time pursuing and take away from salmon that I can actually catch, but wouldn't mind giving it a go if possible and the timing is right.
  2. Don Freeman Free Man

    Posts: 1,275
    Olympia, WA
    Ratings: +220 / 0
    Read Ferguson & Johnson's FLY FISHING FOR PACIFIC SALMON II. Bruce finally got one using the "no technique technique". He got one, so is now the only person to get all species of Pacific salmon on flies in the salt that I know of.

    I can't remember which pattern he was using, but it happened with his line hung off the boat while talking with his son in law.
    KevinLS likes this.
  3. DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

    Posts: 924
    Marine Area 9
    Ratings: +406 / 0
    Chris West did it fishing near the Ballard Locks
  4. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,999
    Ratings: +1,307 / 4
    Would be pretty cool to do it, but it sure seems a difficult proposition.

    Even the guys over on the gear forums don't seem to have much success targeting them in the salt. Always hear of guys catching them with plain red hooks.... Maybe a sparse bloodworm type pattern would draw interest.
    Blktailhunter likes this.
  5. Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

    Posts: 1,797
    Bellingham Wa.
    Ratings: +325 / 1
    When I was young I purse seined in Puget Sound, we would catch sockeye from time to time with commercial troll gear in their mouths. It was usually a sparse pink hoochie or a pink with black spots spoon. The Canadian troll fleet used to really pound them out on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

    TB Wannabe likes this.
  6. Blktailhunter Active Member

    Posts: 161
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    I thought that area would definitely be the best place to catch one but Shilshole Bay is closed to fishing from July 1-Aug. 31. Did he catch it outside the closure line or get a straggler after the closure ended?
  7. Don Freeman Free Man

    Posts: 1,275
    Olympia, WA
    Ratings: +220 / 0
    Here is a recent DFW release on techniques for catching sockeye. Once you read it, you'll see why prospects aren't great on a fly, but if you really want to try, grab your spool of T-18, tie some pink bunny squids and head north

    Attached Files:

  8. Chris Bellows The Thought Train

    Posts: 1,722
    The Salt
    Ratings: +877 / 0
    i remember a couple years ago a buddy of mine was telling me about seeing a lot of salmon finning on the surface during a june halibut opener west of port angeles. maybe those were sockeye.

    my guess is that with some time you could get a few sockeye fishing small pink patterns... but spending all that time for a grab or two with the cost of boat ownership and gas makes it pretty unfeasible for most people, especially if you consider that the eastern strait is one of the windiest spots in the summer when it comes to washington state saltwater fishing. definitely would be a local type deal for those with the ability to run out quickly when the conditions are right. maybe those already out at sekiu and neah bay in july would have a better shot if they can pass up (or get through) the massive numbers of aggressive coho.
  9. Lex Active Member

    Posts: 205
    Seattle / Carlton
    Ratings: +90 / 0
    I caught one off Golden Gardens off the beach last summer. It was gear though.. and from what I understand, that was like winning the lottery. Super rare. Good luck though!
    Jeff Dodd likes this.
  10. Jeff Dodd Active Member

    Posts: 1,627
    Langley, WA
    Ratings: +402 / 0
    I caught one a couple years back off bush point in early July. That fish hit a white buzz bomb. That 6 pound Sockeye hit harder than any coho I have ever caught. Jolted me to the bone! Awesome. Way different from lake sockeye.

    I have seen pod after pod of them swimming the shoreline in Mutiny Bay around the 4th of July. Maybe this year I will drift around in my new little Lund and target them with sparse red krystal flash flies on red hooks.

    Cuttbow82 and Nick Clayton like this.
  11. Fishee Member

    Posts: 156
    Ratings: +19 / 0
    Way back in my High School/College year, I've caught sockeye of pier in West Seattle and up in Edmond's. It's pretty rare to catch sockeye in salt. I've caught maybe 4-6 in my life time; bobber fishing for Kings and Silvers off the pier. They copper river sockeye, but that taste just as good and the color of the meat is just beautiful.

    The hard part now is where can you fish for Salmon in North or Central sound that is open? I'll check the regs.
  12. Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

    Posts: 2,324
    bellingham wa
    Ratings: +566 / 0
    I would think tat Van. Island would be the closest best bet.

    Go Sox,