Bellingham cutts

Fished just south of Fairhaven today, near the little park at the end of Harris ave. I followed the railroad tracks south until I came to the first outcrop of land. In the kelp beds dozens of what looked like large cuttthroats were porposing, and sometimes jumping clear out of the water. Needless to say I tried nearly every streamer pattern I had, but without any luck. I was fishing around 6:30 pm during the out going tide. The only thing I saw that they might have been feeding on were either the flying termites in the air, or maybe the flying ants. They were acting like there was a hatch of somekind going on. Most of them were within twenty feet of the bank. I'm going to try again tommorow night around 5:30 or 6 pm. Anyone who knows how to catch cutts on a fly will be welcome company, being that I've only recently started fishing in the salt water.
I'm not a huge expert on cutts in the salt, though I've caught a few. Most of the fish I've hooked have been in the extreme south Sound, and I've never fished in the Bellingham area. Candlefish patterns (decievers, clousers, epoxy flies) are often effective, but cutts are also suckers for small sculpin patterns.

If they're acting like they're chasing something, then they probably are. They feed heavily on small crustaceans, euphasids, amphipods and other scud-like creatures, and often surface activity can indicate that kind of feeding, particularly if the feeding seems kind of slow and deliberate. I believe that euphasids and the like are more of a spring-time pattern, but like I say I'm no expert.

Also, get some surface flies and skitter them on the top, particularly if you're seeing surface activity. Steve Raymond claims he uses a dry fly as his searching pattern for cutts. I think almost anything will work, medium size, 10-12, Wulfs, elk-hair caddis, stimulators, small bombers or dressed muddlers, probably even Chernobyl ants.

If the feding activity is on baitfish, and there is a lot of bait in the water, try using something bright, like chartreuese and white or pink and white, rather than a realistic pattern; that seems to work for coho. Finally, try some kind of attractor, like a Johnson beach fly, or a Fergusson green and silver, maybe even a spruce or Micky Finn. Good luck. I'd love to know how it goes; sounds like fun just seeing it. Of course I never like letting the little pea-brains kick my butt.
Thanks for the advice I will give that a try. I found out today that it was probably pink salmon that I was casting to and not cuttthroats, which explains why they rejected all the streamers I threw at them.
Pinks are cool, and they'll take a fly, especially in the salt, and especially if they are apparantly feeding. I have no idea what though. I think small pink and white clousers work, and the attractors I talked about before. Trollers seem to like smallish pink or chartreuse hootchies.

There's a really good essay by Russ Chatham in a book called Anglers Coast about Vancouver Island (called "Island of Dreams" I think) where he describes catching pinks in tide water; that might have some info. Also try Steve Raymond's "The Estuary Flyfisher" or Les Johnson's "Fly Fishing for Pacific Salmon."
Thanks for all the info. I fished yesterday with pink shrimp patterns, white clousers, and chartuese wooley buggers without much luck. I hooked one fish that was about ten inches. It was very frustrating because around 6:30 PM the pinks were porposing and rolling all over the surface within in 5 to 10 feet of me. I casted in front of them, behind them, just about every where.

I tried fast stripping, slow stripping, medium strips, but still no takers. I tried both floating and sinking lines. I'm using a 10 foot flurocarbon leader and tippet, so I don't think thats scaring them. If anyone in Bellingham knows how to flyfish for pinks and is willing to give a free seminar, I will be at post point park around 6 pm tonight. I drive a silver subaru forester.