I woke up Sunday to fog rolling in thick along the beach and a heavy overcast reaching a good couple of miles inland before it thinned out to blue skies. Winds light and predicted to pick up from the SW later. Got my usual late start on the tide, getting launched and under way from Brady's Oysters at the Elk River bridge near Westport in my Native 12, just as the tide was reaching its final push to high. So I paddled like a demon for a good hour and a half to make a few miles before the tide started working against me. I made it up out of the overcast and into the sunshine. Looking back down across the estuary, I could see the fog bank piled up along the beaches. Luckily, there was not much runnout, as this was sort of a "neap" tide (a relatively low high running out to a relatively high low)....good for exploring for cutthroat hiding places in the upper fringes and tributary mouths of the estuary, as the woody structure and other hiding places are not completely hidden under too much water to find it. A harbor seal watched and followed me for a bit, and i saw another sunning herself on a mud bank while her pup swam around nearby. I went to an area where I have had success before, but that was later in the season when the searun cutts were returning. Still too early for that, but I wanted to see if I could raise a few resident cutts or smolting searuns. I had neglected to tie up some of my favorite colored Reversed Spiders, so I tied on a #8 yellow bodied/red-tailed/lemon-dyed Mallard Flank hackled job on the end of a 7' leader tapered to 4X attached to a clear intermediate sinktip dangling off the end of my 9' 6wt TFO (whew), and then I stripped out some line and began flailing it around toward pilings, logs etc and stripping it back in erratically. No love. I trolled my way upstream further, pulling my fly as close to pilings, logs, and the undercut mud bank on my way to a good stretch of holding water I know of, and diddlydiddlybang! a small cutt of about 6" attacked and impaled itself on my barbless fly. I stripped the little fighter in and sent it on its way, made a few casts in the area with no hits and began trolling upstream again, when diddlydiddlybang! a small cutt of about 7" hung itself up on the end of my line. Those small cutts sure are pretty! I seriously worked a good deep corner hole that had shade, lots of logs, and was just a sweet looking cutthroat hidey-hole, where I had fooled a 15" searun last July, but nothing that might have been lurking there liked the looks of my yellow reversed spider. I continued working my way upstream, had a nice hit trolling, put down my paddle and picked up my bugpole and strip-strip-BINGO hooked and "played" another scrappy 7" cutthroat. I says to myself, as there is no one around, "Wait a minute! This last one should have been 8" if things are progressing as they should be.... hmmm.... the situation here has apparently peaked." So I sidled up to a nice log that had some vegetation growing on it, was in the sun and out of the wind, and let the currrent pin me there while I enjoyed my sandwich and micro-brew. Halfway through my sandwich, my eye spotted a freakin dandelion growing on the end of the log I was up against. Being a professional landscape maintainer, I could not help myself...I had to go and uproot the damned invader! :beathead:Mission accomplished! It was time to head back, as the tide was almost hitting low. Its always tough to turn around and leave such a beautiful place, but I knew that I was going to have to paddle against the incoming tide as it was, and I wanted to beat the heavy push. I LDR'ed one more small cutt and missed a strike on the way back through the "higher probability cutthroat zone" and then bit off the spider and tied on a larger Flash Conehead Muddler and trolled it on the way out. To my surprise, I had a good grab down in the estuary, but missed it. An otter was rooting and digging around for something on a mudflat, and I got it to look up at me momentarily when I yelled "Get a life!" I was back in the gray, the wind had picked up considerably, and I had to fight against a good wind chop slapping me broadside from the port side, forcing me to paddle harder and do more strokes on the starboard side. I was fighting the flood, but I had my skeg down and my Native 12 tracked well and I was able to hold my course without too much extra effort. While hauling my kayoe back up the 100 yard long trail, I mentally drew up plans for a single-wheeled, fat-tire kayak dolly to negotiate the 1-foot wide path without trampling down the vegetation...this lugging of the yak on my shoulder was getting old already!