SRC/Adult Silvers Congregating in Estuaries

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Roger Stephens, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. Roger Stephens Active Member

    Posts: 1,205
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    Now is a good time to start checking out your favorite estuaries. This past week, I have fished a couple estuaries and have had excellent success for SRC and adult silvers. Fish are finally starting to show up in numbers at these estuaries. The sunny days have been less than optimum conditions. So I can hardly wait for some cloudy days.

    The SRC were usually in the 12-16" range with an occassional larger one. The largest silver was 28" long and was a fish to remember since it was such a hot fish. It took out about 100 ft. of backing in a hurry before I had to pull the anchor and chase it down. I thought for sure that I was going to lose it as it took quite a while to land it on a 6 wt. rod.

    All the SRC and adult silvers have been hooked on a brown shrimp pattern. My fishing buddy concocted the pattern(called Al's Fly) several years ago and it has been a hot pattern this year for winter resident silvers, SRC, and now adult silvers. It has consistently been out fishing the "old reliable" clouser minnow pattern. The fish are frequently hooked well inside their mouth and appear to aggessive "eat" the fly rather than just nipping at it. It will be interesting to see how Al's Fly works when the main push of silvers arrive and they become more lock jawed. It is easy to tie and below is the recipe for Al's Fly:

    THREAD: Black.
    HOOK: #6 TMC 9394 stainless 4XL. Hook shank wrapped with .03 lead wire.
    TAIL: Squirrel tail, natural fox.
    BODY: Medium brown, Krystal Dub, Harline Dubbin Inc.
    HACKLE: Brown saddle hackle palmered over body.

    Give it a try!

  2. Willie Bodger Still, nothing clever to say...

    Posts: 1,112
    Lynnwood, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    So, no eyes, just (basically) a thin weighted brown bugger?

  3. Les Johnson Les Johnson

    Posts: 1,590
    .Redmond, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    The shrimp pattern should be very good. I like simple patterns that aren't too overdone. This one should be a winner.
    Years ago there was a Horner Shrimp (late 1930s) that was designed for northern California rivers like the Eel, Matole, Smith, etc., for salmon. It was usually tied on a size 4, extra-stout Mustad 7970 Hook (any good hook will work). It was a simple but effective pattern.
    Hook: Your choice
    Thread: black
    Body: Chenille (olive green, burnt orange, tan). It was not usually tied with flourescent colors as the NorCal rivers used to be so gin clear
    Feelers: Ginger hackle palmered
    Tail and back: Natural brown bucktail or red squirrel with the tips tied in at the hook bend and extending back about the length of the hook.
    Head: black thread built up to represent an eye. Some tiers painted eyes on the fly (It was before Witchcraft stick-on eyes).
    I'm going to tie up a couple of yours -- and since you reminded me, a couple of Horner Shrimp. Thanks for the pattern -- and for kick-starting this sometimes stumbling old memory of mine.

    Good Fishing,
  4. Luke Filmer Member

    Posts: 246
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thanks for the report!
    I have been hooking an occasional larger coho as well, but after 4 or 5 runs, and a few cartwheels they always seem to work my hook loose. Pretty frustrating, but fun to have on for a minute or two. :rofl:
    After snapping off a HAWG a few weeks ago it's a real mixed bag of tactics to keep them buttoned on. :hmmm:
    Seems like the 10 - 15 pounders are like hooking a chevy, and the 6-8 pounders are just electric, and the 3-5 pounders are the easiest to play out.

    The smaller fish 3 to 4 pounds seem to be less acrobatic, and I can usually get them to hand. I keep my barbless hooks VERY sharp, and set the hook hard once they strike, but the bigger ones have been really hot! :eek:
    Caught a few on shrimp patterns as well, but a colorfull Clauser seems to getting more action for me personally.
    I use a shrimp on sandy beaches, and a Clauser on rocky beaches.
    RAIN STARTING FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :thumb:
  5. Jim Kerr Active Member

    Posts: 704
    Forks Wa
    Ratings: +147 / 0
    Hey fish artist,
    You never know, but try tying on light wire gamkatsu salt water fly hooks. These light wire jobs seem especialy good at stickin in silvers. I got a box on accident some years ago and noticed a difference right away.
  6. Scott Salzer previously micro brew

    Posts: 2,894
    Ratings: +206 / 0
    We hit both silvers & SRC's on gold bead head olive green WB. The cutts I caught were nice fish, 18".
  7. ibn Moderator

    Posts: 1,885
    Federal Way
    Ratings: +10 / 0
    Yeah, I really like the gamakatsu SC15 and the SL12S hooks. They have a wider gap then most hooks and are very sharp, they penetrate well from their thin wire. I've had a couple SC15s bend out on big lingcod, but never on a salmon. Never bent out an SL12S, they're a heavier wire then the SC15.
  8. South Sound Member

    Posts: 567
    North Tacoma
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    Mirco, did you take any pics of the cutts? Would love to see them. -
  9. Roger Stephens Active Member

    Posts: 1,205
    Ratings: +326 / 0

    You are right! Al's Fly is basically a slim wooly bugger with a squirrel tail.


    Thanks for the info. on the Horner Shrimp pattern. I'll have to tie up some with the three colors you suggested. I have had good success with a tan shrimp pattern for resident silvers in winter/spring. It will be fun to try the out those colors for adult silvers over the next month on Puget Sound.

  10. Teeg Stouffer Fish Recycler

    Posts: 683
    Omaha, NE / Council Bluffs, IA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    How do you fellas fish those shrimp patterns?

    Cast, and then strip-strip-strip in short strips with pauses, or dead drift?

    I know how scared baitfish act, and I know how dying baitfish act, but I don't know what a shrimp looks like in the water.

    I got some hookups on a big shrimp pattern down in Florida this past weekend, but none to hand.
  11. Luke Filmer Member

    Posts: 246
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    We got into them thick today, but they just would not bite the Clauser's.

    Serious lockjaw.
    I did hook several nice src while trying to hook rolling silvers.
    At one point we floated right over a school of about 50 of them. I happened to look down from the bow and see them scatter!
    I tied a shrimp pattern on right away, and started working them. ---They were'nt having any of it at all. Several exciting follow ups, but just a tease.
    We casted into the beach on the way back to the boat ramp, and hooked a few more SRC's.
  12. SilverFly Active Member

    Posts: 397
    Camas, WA
    Ratings: +58 / 0
    The "estuaries" I like to fish are lower Columbia and CR Gorge tribs far from the salt. These slackwater coho are not typically aggressive, and the subtle approach works much better (for me). I also like to use smallish shrimp or krill patterns but mostly in red, purple, orange, and black. At times these flies work great but there are plenty of times I might as well be casting a paper clip! A dead slow strip and pause retrieve is about the only one I use. It's interesting that you say the fish tend to "eat" these smaller shrimp patterns because I've noticed the same thing. In addition to silvers, I've had a few steelhead actually swallow these flies.

    Good post. Now I have some new patterns and colors to try!

  13. Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

    Posts: 5,663
    Somewhere on the Coast
    Ratings: +544 / 0
    Last year a buddy of mine hooked and lost a nice King using a brown shrimp pattern in the tidewater section of a Willapa Bay stream. I'm going to have to tie some up now that the days are shorter and I can find the time to tie.

    In the last two weeks, I have have made three trips targeting searun cutts from the estuary to the upper tidewater pools of a couple of local streams here'bouts, and have had good success. Yellow Reverse Knudsen Spiders, and Orange ones, both in size 6 worked, as well as a #6 Borden Special, and then changing up to smaller patterns (#12 Gray Hackle Red, or a sort of mongrelized "Searun Special" tied with half yellow, half red body, palmered with brown hackle, and with a bucktail wing, size #10)if I missed a strike and couldn't get another take on the Rev Spider. All these fished using a clear intermediate sink tip and about 7 to 8 feet of leader tapered to 4x.

    Two trips, I managed to bring four nice ones to hand each day in the 11" to 14" range, and eight to hand on the other day, same size range, except for one dinky 9"er, which jumped high and put up a fiesty battle for its size.

    Saw the usual deer, otters, herons, kingfishers, ducks, sand pipers, ouzels,vultures, hawks, eagles, other birds, a seal chasing a fish, and the local Osprey sitting on a branch 30' away eating a large searun cutt about 18"-20" long. Also two "babes" in kayaks, with whom I had a pleasant chat!

    Coho entering the larger Twin Harbor streams for over a week now, but not the smaller ones yet, although this rain may change things. I heard they even bit a couple of days last week in the Willapa, where usually they are notoriously tight-lipped.

    Cancel all your appointments, bail on all your obligations, lie if you have to, but get out there!