Transition Game?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by porterHause, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. So, I've made it my quest this year to get the beach thing down on the fly rod. So far it's been unsuccessful, and now it seems that the coho will soon be in the rivers. What do you beach casters do while awaiting arrival of the chum? Is there some sort of transition period where you take yourself elsewhere...i.e rivers? Do you switch focus to SRC? Or you just let your fingers heal for a couple weeks before recommencing the attack?
  2. The coho are still heading to or hanging out in estuaries. When the action stops at the beach, I'll be chasing the waiting period fish until the chum show up. SRC may be hanging out in the same areas as well.
  3. Coho are in the rivers now. The Duwamish, for instance, was positively hopping with coho yesterday. They were jumping everywhere, super abundant below 112 st, starting to color up. No one, and there were tons of gear guys and no fly guys, was landing anything. No sea-runs either. Seems like the Duwamish estuary is a bust for them. Either that or I have no clue where to go...

    Back to the original question, I guess my decision on fish targeting relates directly to how long I have to fish, how long travel time is and where fish are. Consequently I am trying to go urban or overlooked...
  4. Jon,
    I've got a few more trips left of stripping like a maniac in hopes of finding big aggressively feeding ocean fish.

    The coho are starting to show all the classic waiting or staging period signs. Set scales, color, fully developed milt and eggs and thin empty stomaches. The takes are very subtle, almost like your fly ticking a piece of eel grass on the retrieve. You can continue to fish the salt, but a change of tactics will be called for in the near future.
    Time to slow things down, longer leaders and go very sparse. You should consider fishing a floater as well.
    Flies like the California Neil, Crofts Spider etc will do the trick.
    Here is a link to a thread from 7 years ago with lots of great info in it.
  5. Great info as always, SF. Thanks for sharing!
  6. Thanks SF. After a terrible casting day Saturday AM, I took Sunday off and gave myself some casting practice in the park. Nothing better than a heap of Outbound splatting in the water to attract fish.

    Does anybody know if Croft's Spider is in the FF for Salmon book? I can't find a pic, other than Jim Kerr's fancy diagram on SF's link.
  7. I found this one, not completely sure if it is the right one but it looks pretty close

    It was at this website

    (I hope it's okay to copy and paste from there. Pretty little fly, by the way.)

    In any case, I'll still be out there Jon. Even not catching fish, I found this last month that there is absolutely no better way to start the day than the brace of a slight saltwater breeze and the coolness of the current around your waders. I'm going to give it another week or two, just for the fun of it.

    Hope to see you out there. Maybe after the rain we can try to figure out salmon in the rivers together (or have you already done that?).


  8. I was out Friday evening and for some reason just had one of those horrific casting days. I'm still trying to get used to my new Outbound short. I found that I was trying to over power my casts too much and no matter what I did I ended up with a pile of line and no distance. Finally got frustrated and headed home. Was back out Saturday morning and was able to focus on slowing down... Especially on my forward cast. Roll cast the head out, single back cast with a haul, then a nice smooth forward cast with a nice high stop.... And boom, that line was launching like never before. Sometimes you just gotta take a deep breath and slow down.
  9. I'd have to second what Nick said.

    One thing I figure out this last week in my casting was to either stop high on the forward cast, or even raise my rod at times after making the forward cast. I found that worked really well when I was really trying to punch the line out and coming forward a little hard on the forward cast--I'd let the line start shooting and then raise my arm/rod and it would keep everything up above the water and give it a bit more time to straighten out.

    To be fair, I'm not using an outbound, so it might be totally different. But just a thought.

  10. Must have been something with the moon on Friday evening/Saturday morning. I've definitely got the overpower problem, but after 3.5 hours at Discovery Park it was somewhat under control.

    Jason, I caught one pink, and one coho on a fly rod last year, and a ton on gear. One of those came with a guide. I'm definitely down to figure them out on a fly...anywhere.

    Thurs/Fri gear slinging on the Cowlitz, and weekend backpack trip to Alpine Lakes, so my time is short. I'll be out there tomorrow AM though for sure.
  11. Oh and thanks for the link. Going to give it my take tonight on the vise and be ready to go tomorrow AM.

    SF, what do you mean by "set scales?"
  12. Jon,
    When you catch a fish earlier in the year, you'll notice a great deal of scale loss. The scales on a salt fish not ready to spawn are rather loose. When the fish enter the waiting or staging period, their scales set as they prepare to spawn. Set as in adhere more to the body and you won't see the same amount of scale loss. When this happens, you'll also notice they aren't as chrome bright as earlier in the season. They start taking on kind of a gunmetal gray tone to them rather then chrome silver.
    I always scale the fish at home with the hose. Do this to a fish with loose scales and they come flying off very easily.
    I did the same thing to the fish I caught yesterday with set scales. The scales didn't come off nearly as easily.
    Hope this helps,
  13. Jon,
    The silvers have been in the rivers for awhile already, but in general are not biting well due to low, warm, clear water. Until the rivers get a good push of water (at least a 0.5 inch rainfall) you should stick with your beach fishing and reach your goal. You have a few good options:

    (1) Keep fishing your local proven Seattle area beaches during quality tides for migratory silvers (e.g., LP)
    (2) Move into MA-13 to enjoy some high quality cutthroat fishing. While fishing for cutthroat you will often
    hook into a surprise silver or two, especially in estuary areas. You may even spot early chum.
    (3) Start fishing beaches near areas where silvers are "staging", but not actively feeding. These can be areas
    around hatchery net pen release points or in the estuaries near actual spawning streams.
    Warning: Staging coho are plentiful but can be frustrating and fickle (also a little dark).
    (4) Move up to the North Sound away from the estuaries and fish for feeding migratory ocean silvers.
    Warning: The weather in October gets brutal and the tides have less exchange, so your casting and
    retrieving will need to be tip top.

    I used to choose option-#2 every October, because it was relaxing and the fishing was very good. Lately I've been choosing option-#4, because in spite of the tough conditions the reward can be huge.

    Good Luck!

    ten80 likes this.
  14. Option #1 it must be, at least for now...and early AM is all I've got. Option #2 sounds like a confidence booster...much needed at this point! :p

    I set up this Cowlitz trip a couple months ago for my girlfriend's father's birthday, so it's going regardless of conditions. It will be better than work.

    Thanks as always for the info!
  15. Interesting. The bigger fish I caught this past weekend had very loose scales and very small/under-developed eggs. Does that mean anything? Would it have just staged longer or maybe had further to go prior to spawning than say a fish with set scales and fully developed eggs?
  16. Matt,
    The fish you caught is fresh from the ocean and still actively feeding, so it has loose scale, smaller roe, and an active digestive system. If you didn't catch that fish, it would have gone south to the staging grounds near a net pen area or in a river/stream estuary.
  17. I have got to say, I absolute love this forum. I don't know what it is about the salt, but everyone here is always super helpful, kind, and stoked about anything salt related. Certainly not the case for some of the other forums on the site.

    I can't say how much I've appreciated the tips and urging-ons I've got from all of you guys over the last month or so. Even got out fishing on PNP this Saturday with a fellow member, which is a first in the 5 or so years I've been a member here.
    Tacoma Red likes this.
  18. Matt,
    Tim dialed it in for you. Some of the net pen coho are like the lost children of the sea. They don't have a home river to hone in on so I think they just swim around ripening trying to figure out what to do or where to go.
  19. Jason, was that you with ten80 Saturday?
  20. Yeah. I had meant to come introduce myself, but was waaaayyy too focused on the fishing! Was a nice morning, and a great introduction to PNP, even without a fish.


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