How to choose a beach for SRC fishing?

#1
I've been doing river and lake fishing for some years now, but just recently learned that SRC fishing is a thing here in Puget Sound. So I turned my eyes to saltwater beaches around Seattle area. In the past few days, I made a couple of scout trips just to find a place to start, and did a little fishing, but not a lot. I've been to all parks from Carkeek to Dash Point, plus a couple of "secret" public beaches, which are basically front yards for beach houses.

Tiring, but I did learn a few things from these scout trips: 1. a stripping basket is almost a must (so I made one out of a Sterilite basket); 2. room for back casting is important, especially when it's high tide; 3. free floating sea weed is a big problem because they can easily get caught on the fly and line; 4. wind is even bigger a problem on ocean beaches than lake beaches.

Other than above, I believe that sandy beaches do not attract fish because there is nothing to eat on the sandy bottom, like Golden Garden Park. But for beaches like the south side of Alki Point where it's rocky and with a lot of sea weed, I believe they provide food, and thus fish. Also, I like steep slope beaches like Lincoln Park, rather than slow slope ones like Carkeek.

So far I have't decided where to go for my first real beach fishing for SRC, I just want to list my criteria out and run it by people to see if I missed anything or I'm on the right track? (Oh, they say SRC fishing in Puget Sound is year round, right?)

Any thoughts? Thank you in advance.
 
#2
You are on the money, get a 6wt rod for the wind, a 5wt will do but a 6wt is better. It's obviously nicer to catch a SRC on a 5wt but when you get an SRC at 14" + it will be nice on a 6wt as well. They fight hard pound for pound.

You are right on target about your beach assessment, rock vs sand, steep slopes versus gradual, drop offs, oyster beds, mussel beds, depressions, nearby creeks etc. I consistently catch big SRC where there's much sand lots of it actually, but there's a creek nearby and lots of green on the bottom with rocks in some areas but not all.
 
#5
Most experienced sea-run cutthroat fishers go by the saying "no flow(tidal current) no go(no fish)". IMHO tidal current is probably the most important factor to have success fishing for sea-run cutthroat with 1 1/2 to 3 mph. water movement being prime. Cobbly beaches, points, gravel bars, shelves, depressions, current seams, drop offs, etc., etc., etc. with prime tidal current are usually excellent sea-run cutthroat locations.

Roger
 

Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
#6
There are many forage species that use sandy and muddy bottom areas along our shores. One that comes to mind are sandlance, which sometimes burrow in softer bottom materials. And you can bet that trout know about this. And if trout can eat clam necks, they sure as heck can eat sandlance. I would not avoid muddy or sandy bottomed areas if they were anywhere related to the kinds of current and flows that Roger illuminates in his post above. If you keep an open mind about this adventure, and you remember that, along with exploring the likely places, that you should fish some of the least likely places sometimes too, you will get some really rewarding surprises. If the sea run Coastal cutthroat trout were that easy to figure out, they would all be gone by now. They will humble you, and bless you, and inspire you. You will love them, and sometimes hate them, only to love them once again. There are many valuable life lessons awaiting you in this fishing. We are so lucky to have this here. http://olympicpeninsulaflyfishing.blogspot.com
800px-Ammodytes_hexapterussandlancenoaa.jpg

photo usgs
 
#7
There are many forage species that use sandy and muddy bottom areas along our shores. One that comes to mind are sandlance, which sometimes burrow in softer bottom materials. And you can bet that trout know about this. And if trout can eat clam necks, they sure as heck can eat sandlance.]

Some years sand lance are a major food source for sea-run cutthroat from early June through mid-Nov. When sea-run cutthroat are feasting on sand lance, a fly fisher will probably be able to catch some very large sea-run cutthroat with 3 to 4 inch sand lance patterns even as a top water pattern. It has been several years since I have seen much sea-run cutthroat/sand lance activity. When it does happen, be ready and hang on as it can be frantic action!

Roger
 
#9
Thank you all, guys. Thank you very much for your input, and especially, encouragement.

Dipnet, yes, I just placed on hold Johnson's book from the library, I will read the WFF article tomorrow when I'm in the office. :) Thank you for the pointers.

And, Roger, Bob, yes, I'll look for moving water and don't give up on sandy bottoms either.

Thank you all!
 

wadin' boot

Donny, you're out of your element...
#11
I troll between sites that look interesting from the kayak, rod takedowns have given me new perspectives on where src may hang, particularly at deep low tide. If there are the sort of semi-floating lacey weeds around (not eelgrass, not kelp) they like hiding between those. From the shore that makes casting into that mess a bit of nightmare, fromthe Yak though you can see lanes for retrievals. Most times if you hang up in those weeds you can get out of it with a little tug, and a floating line makes that easier. If you've fished bass, casting between the weeds should be no problem. These sites also seem to be a hang spot when there is no tidal movement...