Trip Report Oysters, rotting chum and a few SRC

Buzzy

Active Member
#1
I headed over to Herb's cabin this past Tuesday. Snoqualmie Pass bare and dry and not a lot of traffic so the trip was fast and uneventful.
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@Old Man likes to remind newcomers to look at the blue lines on maps. This road is less than a blue line but it takes us to a wonderful beach that's loaded with oysters.
2.JPG The blue line we take to the water is, at the best of times, gravel. It is often rutted, matted with maple and alder leaves. Nothing a dunk in the saltchuck won't fix to clean up the boat.
3.JPG Oyster tides in December are in the middle of the night. We followed this creek out to the beds at midnight. Lanterns and headlamps and a bucket to sit on. The tide was a -3.2; a lot of beach!
4.JPG Not sure if you can make out the street sign, it doesn't give away much in terms of where we were wetting lines. Three adults in Herb's 14-foot boat is pushing the limit if there's much wind and the boat really doesn't allow more than two guys to cast; the guy on the tiller trolls his fly.

Tuesday afternoon, Herb ran the boat and hooked a half dozen SRC and landed the ice cream fish. The ice cream fish is the big fish of the day and whoever catches it buys ice cream for the boat.

Wednesday morning we were back on the water, breaking ice in the mud puddles as we drove into the launch site. The small bay we launched in was calm where the main body of the salt (okay, Hood Canal) was seriously white capping. Five hour drive one way for me to get to this place; I was hoping for calmer seas. But the small bay was fishing pretty well if you got your fly tight to shore.

Tight to shore was the key to success on Wednesday. Herb didn't do well trolling but he did a superb job of keeping the boat close to shore so Keith and I could cast to the beach. Almost every fish that struck either struck soon after the fly hit the water or we could see a follow. It was a lot of fun.

Keith was fishing a beautiful little streamer he ties for SRC; SR Predator. His creation and I'm hoping he will send me a couple of pictures with SBS tying instructions. He's an excellent tier.

I was fishing a rabbit strip pattern, gaudy at best and flashy in the water. Lots of movement. The head is UV orange for a hot spot. Herb called it The Tammy Faye.

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6.JPG 7.JPG They taste okay if you smoke 'em.....? Right? Everywhere we went we could see spawned out chum.
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I love visiting "the coast" (or is it The Coast?). So beautiful. I grew up on the Olympic Peninsula and sometimes wonder why I don't move back to the wet side. Sure fun to visit. Oysters at midnight. Kaki furai for dinner.

We didn't find any SRC larger than 13-inches. The fish were mostly fat and healthy. Keith caught one skinny fish with more spots than I've ever seen on a cutthroat. One fish I landed had a three inch gash on his back but still fought with vigor.
 

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
#3
One could easily die from hypothermia, starvation, or old age trying to revive that chromer. Best to bonk it. Yup, put the "priest" to its noggin' and then filet it out and brine it for a few weeks before you subject it to the hellfires of your smoker! It should come out just fine!

We should have a contest for "Best dead Chum head shot." Your pic would be a serious contender!
 
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Buzzy

Active Member
#6
Beautiful looking place! But what is Ice cream for the boat?
Herb and Keith have this long standing tradition that whoever gets the biggest fish buys ice cream for everyone at the end of the day. Sort of "I caught the big one, I buy the ice cream, you aren't worthy to buy it". Just an on going joke/tradition they've been doing for 40 plus years.
 

SilverFly

Active Member
#11
One could easily die from hypothermia, starvation, or old age trying to revive that chromer. Best to bonk it. Yup, put the "priest" to its noggin' and then filet it out and brine it for a few weeks before you subject it to the hellfires of your smoker! It should come out just fine!

We should have a contest for "Best dead Chum head shot." Your pic would be a serious contender!
I'm thinking puree it . Enjoy it fresh as chum yogurt, or let it ferment longer for chum cheese. Already has that nice brie crust starting.

And great report BTW.
 

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