Beek question # 492..Do you fish all year?



Can you or rather do you fish the salt all year round?

I know from my very limited experience up north, that it seems to be really focused on the salmon that's about it..

I know of some fun places down around your way in the early part of the year...but what about after the salmon have passed through? Do the SRC's not follow them up the rivers? Are the beaches still worth doing for anything?

I personally get lost up in the rivers this time of year, not fishing for green slugs but hoping for early steel etc. Sometimes I need to recharge the batteries and am finding more and more that the beach is a very welcomed change of pace.
Would like to check it out a few times from now till the end of the year if it's a viable option?

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
I have fished the salt year round. I think that some rivers with salmon runs might entice the SRC to follow for egg and flesh food. I think that other SRCs may reside and spawn in freshwater areas that don't have such fanciful feasts. I have no idea if that is true, but I do know some places I can find SRC mostly all year long.

Tom Johnston

Been around a while
There is some kind of fish to catch year round down in the south Puget sound. Spring, summer, and fall you can catch searuns generally with this month and beginning of next will have what you call big searuns. From what I have gathered the big searuns of Oct and Nov is caused from them going into the rivers and feeding on eggs/flesh and coming back out and going back up the rivers and doing this mulitiple times??????. I have fished some areas that have a creek or river tied to them and have caught a couple of big searuns. Largest probly be about 20". Searuns spawn at two different times of year, spring and fall. So there are always some searuns to be caught. From Nov to March the rezzi fishing can be pretty good in the south sound. Then of course theres the months of when the salmon start migrating to the rivers...... Anyone feel free to correct me if Im wrong.

Scott Orness

Small fish in a big pond
I used to coach during the late fall and winter months, but now I am into chasing searuns and I am finding they can be found in different locations in Area 10 and Hood Canal. I prefer the Hood Canal fish at this moment in time, but I also have more confidence in the spots I fish over there. What a spectacular fish and I believe the population is fragile. They are my new love and I am hoping to hit my first fish over 20" this fall. I had one go for a popper last week that came clear out of the water and missed everything. She may have gone 20.

On the other hand, you can find blackmouth and resident silvers while fishing for src's. I do fish a few specific blackmouth spots that seem to produce every so often.

With a 4 and 6 year old and with little daylight, I also like to restock my flies during the winter months.


Active Member
The brackish waters of the Stilly can produce SRC this time of year. They tend to come up the river with the high tide and then follow it back out again. They also will head up the river this time of year as well. That is not saltwater fishing like you asked for though. I have been finding SRC on a couple beaches with fresh water streams. Coho are in as well. They are not as easy to spot as the pinks we've been enjoying. They will be easier to catch on a fly when the light is really low, like dark. The trick is finding places to fish where you can enter in the dark without worrying about getting a ticket for trespassing. A boat helps in this regard.


Active Member
Yes, with the Eastern WA lakes, Im a Chironomid maniac, to BC for more stillwater in May/June, into the summer chasing rezzies, Ling Cod, Rock Bass in the sound, then onto Kings, Coho, Pinks or Chum depending on the year, and winter steelheading. Couple that with a tropical winter trip for Dorado, Sierra, and Rooster and Im set. When I lived in CO, it was two rods in my quiver, now with so much quarry available, Im going bonkers with keeping up with all the gear. Throw in a motor boat, two prams and its insane madness.


Active Member
I don't know where you picked up the tidbit about sea-run cutthroat spawning in the fall. Cutthroat (all cutthroat) are spring spawners. Typically coastal cutthroat might spawn sometime between January and June with a peak around March. Sea-run cutthroat enter the rivers as early as July in some cases but more usually in the late summer (the Stillaguamish usually has fishable numbers by mid-August). In many smaller, low-volume streams, they may not move in until November or December; this is probably an adaptation to limited accessibility and the relative lack of available food (they also drop back quickly to salt water after taking care of the necessary business of perpetuating the species.

Cutthroat differ from other anadromous species in that they continue to feed during their freshwater sojourn and it is relatively rare to find a "snaky" sea-run cutthroat cutthroat, either in the river or newly returned to the salt. I think there is way too much significance given to the coincidence of salmon runs and the entry of cutthroat into the rivers. They are not "following the salmon up to eat their eggs"; they will feed on a wide variety of macroinvertebrates, from October Caddis pupae and adults to tiny Baetis mayflies, as well as sculpins, young-of-the-year salmonids and and sucker fry and, yes, eggs washed out of the salmon redds.
Even after the SeaRun Cuthroat push up the rivers, I usually can count on picking up some SeaRuns from Snohomish County beaches into December. After that, the game is pretty much left to counting coup on resident Coho until Spring (where allowed by WFDW rules). But even in January, I've had seaRuns pick up a drifted amphipod. I suspect these late season SeaRuns to be more akin to the South Sound fish, looking to breed in the streamlets emptying directly into the Sound, and not up the big rivers.


Very interesting information being put out there..Many thanks..I didn't know that Preston, I just assumed they were following up for eggs...

I try and go where the crowds aren' this season pink year was a bust for me on the salt as I just can't get fired up to stand in a gong show...Yellowlab, I fish year round as well, from the chronies in interior b.c. to the chuck..I tend to love rivers over everything else so will head away from the beaten path to find my fishing nirvana...Great year for salmon so far but to honest..after the first week or so when the river I fished was a mile from the salt and the fish dime bright..It is a pretty dramatic drop off fishing for green slugs..Have started seeing the odd chum but not much in coho's..though on the busy rivers a few...

I am finding with fishing the salt it's such a break from the hike up and down a beach looking and not stumble over a hundred guys in the process...Might still be too early for that around here...but I have heard the greenling and cod can be caught..ptyd and just learning a new trick is pretty damn fun...


Active Member

Since you're near the Canadian border the Vedder should be good very soon and there will be some bright Coho. I am planning to hit it up soon, once I get a positive report. My motto is: "If it swims, I want to catch it on the fly", kind of opens up the possibility for a year around fishery. When we weren't catching salmon in the sound, we did do well with the flounder and even caught some Pacific Cod?!?! That was interesting. Good luck with your quest!

Tom Johnston

Been around a while
Hey Preston thank you for correcting my info I was putting out there. I thought I read in some book that searuns spawn in two different times of year guess my memory did not serve me right! I would rather catch a big searun(20") than any salmon in the river or salt. Its the greatest feeling to land a big searun.