How to find secret beaches

You don't have to get out your Atlas & Gazetter and explore hundreds of miles of shoreline to "discover secret honey-hole" beaches. I will probably get "flamed" for disclosing the method to "find" these beaches. But here goes! It is "shadow boating". It is different from "shadow casting" as used by Brad Pitt in the "movie".

My fishing buddy Steve Rohrbach and I used this method last week. However, it is not infalible so beware! Anyway, we saw a gal fly fishing in a C-Dory boat appropriately called "C-run". She was an excellent caster(nice "tight loops") and obviously knew the saltwater "game". She said that she had caught a couple of sea-run cutthroat inside the kelp beds. We had been shunked but we were too "macho to fess" up. We kept an "eye" on her for 15-20 minutes but it became obvious that we were not going to "score any secret honey-hole" beaches by following her around.

A couple hours later we had just finished a "cat & mouse game" casting to large coho chasing baitfish on the surface. About that time "C-run" gal saw us and motors over for conversation. It turns out that she had been watching where we had been fishing. We again were too "macho to fess" up that we had been watching her.

Below are strategies for "shadow boating":


1. Binoculars. When you see the other flyfisher also looking at you through binoculars, you know that you have been "busted":confused: .

2. Keep a safe distance away(1/4 to 1/2 mile) so that they cannot see that you are "using" binoculars as part of your fishing strategy:hmmm: .

3. Enter into your GPS all spots that they fish at. Sell these locations on WFF so that you can buy a bigger boat;) .


1. If you are having trouble with "shadowee's", don't whine about it on WFF;) ! Just buy a faster boat:ray1: !

2 If you know that a "shadowee" is following you, fish silty/sandy bays that are barren of fish and smugly pratice your casting:cool: . After fishing 2 or 3 of these type spots, they will think that you are a "newbie";) .

3. Write down the "shadowee's" boat number and send a bogus poaching violation report to WDFW that they were "bonking" sea-run cutthroat:rolleyes: .


PS: Seriously, if you read this "C-run" gal, Steve and I enjoyed talking to you!
You have discovered the so called secrete that many, many use both those with gear and those with flies. Heck we used to call fishing nets when out landing fish, flags for where the fish were and so did many others to the point we got to trying to release the fish without getting the net out so we were not crowded out of our current spot. Another hint to keep in mind when fishing from a boat is to listen to your VHF for where the Salmon are hitting. Many of the gear fishermen will each head diffrent dirrections then call one another to get fishing reports on where the fish are hitting. Some have now caught on that they are letting everyone know instead of just their freinds and have started using basic codes.
Two years ago many boats started to follow me when they saw me out because word had gotten around that I seemed to be hooked up every time they saw me. Last year they were all out of luck if they tried to follow me because one fish a day was my norm and that was hard worked for and normally not caught without putting in many hours. There were a few exeptions but not many.

Richard E

Active Member
Roger, great post by the way! I think folks have been doing this for years on lakes . . .

A buddy of mine who does way more than his fair share of 'catching' takes the clicker out of his reels so the drag doesn't make any noise. If you notice out on the lakes, catch a fish or two that take drag and pretty soon a rubber tube or 'toon hatch begins to start near or around your flotation device. Not that I've been guilt of being part of the hatch . . . :)

Steve Rohrbach

Puget Sound Fly Fisher
Bob, Roger and I rig for silent running. He has some very evasive techniques for dropping hangers-on. I would share a few but then I would have to kill you. I always learn something new from Roger. Sometimes the learning is better than other times. Needless to say, it is always fun.
Best regards, Steve
Finally! A practical solution to deal with the problem of increasing numbers of fisherman chasing dwindling resources. "Silent rigging" will hereafter need to be taught as part of basic fly fishing 101: the art of fishing under the radar. You guys crack me up.

I just hope Roger never finds that GPS tracking device I hid in his hull. :clown:


Active Member
So yesterday I nailed it - I hooked well into 20 wild silvers in about 2 hours off a South Sound point. Of course, being a point, there is the occasional boat going by.

Whenever that happened, and I had a fish on, I moved to the opposite gunnel, dropped my rod out of site and picked up the cell phone.

Earlier in the day I was drifting a new shore for SRCs and a gear guy pulled up from about 100 yards away and moved over towards me, put his heavy gear away and pulled out his ultra light. He must have figured that I knew what I was doing.

These places must be guarded to be one with the fish.
Yea thare is this shallow rocky beach I love to fish that right between two very well known fishing areas of the gear guiys. I have taken many a nice Silvers right off its shores fishing in less then ten feet of water. The hard part is not letting others see me fishing that area. Came up with a new tatic last year. Me and Amie acted like we were fighting helping to keep the two boats very far away from us with them not wanting to get involved. I had to keep the rod tip very low while I landed a nice 5-6 LBS Silver. It also worked pretty well early season on Rattlesnake lake on part of the lake we were getting a fish on every cast at to. Funny how guys out fishing do not want to listen to a woman get mad.:confused:

Steve Rohrbach

Puget Sound Fly Fisher
Martyg, given your success yesterday a good technique would have been shadowing you, casting over your line and snagging your fly to determine what awesome pattern you were using. :rofl:

Hikepat, you crack me up. I have seen you and Amie fishing off of Brown's but have never heard your domestic strife technique. It is amazing the lengths we will go to for a productive spot.

Best regards, Steve

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
Good one, Marty, I'm going to have have to get a fake cell phone...can probably make one out of a chunk of foam or scrap of wood. I still can't bring myself to get a real one.
Hikepat...good surf bros and I used to stage fake fights in the lineup to drive the kooks away...nobody likes to be around that kind of crap when they are trying to commune with nature...heh, heh.:p

Gotta go cool my jets on a local estuary for the rest of the day!



Active Member
As a follow-up to that stellar day... I went back to the same spot today - same tide - same time - and hooked some fish but they weren't nearly as agressive. In all I hooked 3 silver - all wild - all LLR, and landed 4 SRCs.

My go to pattern for the last 6 weeks has been a Angel Hair clouser, cotton candy over pearl white w/ white lead eyes in a size 4 or 2.

Me thinks that I am going to give fishing a rest until Neah Bay in a few weeks.
salt dog: I have spent the last couple days looking for "your" GPS tracking device on "my" boat:confused: ! I beg you to give me a hint so that I don't have to buy a new boat;) .

Bob T.: Just a warning, I might have to go the "cammo" stealth route("cammo" spray paint boat and wear "cammo" clothing):beathead: . "Cammo" face and rod/reel paint is not part of the strategy yet:hmmm: .

Steve R.: Do you have any "cammo" clothing:confused: ? Since I am the "captain" of "my" boat, another "duty" for you will be to look for "shadowee's" besides keeping me entertained;) .


PS: Sorry for this NFR post since I can't go fishing in this hot weather and am bored:beathead: .

Steve Rohrbach

Puget Sound Fly Fisher
Roger, although I do not have any cammo clothing I have taken steps to help us avoid shadowers. You will be getting a visit from some people to install a new "Harpoon" system on "your" boat. I am not talking about Moby Dick. The Harpoon is a Navy Surface to Surface missile. I figure that will keep our beaches secret. (We need to go fishing!) :rofl: