How would you fish this situation?

#1
Hello, I’m new to fly fishing this year. Every year kings attack baitfish within easy casting distance behind my house. This happens to all the properties north and south of me (I live on one of the San Juan Islands). This action always happens sometime in the last week of June until around July 4th. I’ve tried in the past with spoons and Buzz Bombs but no luck; my luck was the same the last 2 nights fly fishing. Oh this surface explosion always happens from about 2 hours to the peak high tide in the evening until the actual peak and tapers off. I have an 8wt Aetos with WF8F line. The only flies I have right now are ones that my son-in-law purchased for sea run cutthroats. I’ve been using the biggest Clousers he had, which were not very big. I’ve tried a variety of stripping tempos. There are so many baitfish; I figure I have to tie or purchase flies that stand out in a crowd. Even though my offerings have been totally ignored, it’s really neat to see all of that surface action. The fish I’ve seen that totally clear the water have looked to bee in the 20 lb size range. I have a Hobie kayak I can take out but plenty of active fish are within reach. Any suggestions?

Bob
 

The T.O. Show

Buenos Hatches Ese
#4
I'm not much of a salt fisherman, but I probably wouldn't be trying to stand out with my fly. I would try to match the baitfish as closely as possible and just work on getting the fly in front of the fish whether that's via a kayak or sink tips or whatever else.
 

longputt

Active Member
#5
Whenever, I fish that situation I'm always shocked how deep and how slow I like to fish. I'll throw a full sinker and wait a while for it to sink, a sparse fly that is about the length of the bait and only strip enough to keep the line tight. I've never caught a salmon on a slider or with a fast retrieve, even though I know some people swear by it. The other thing is to be a little stealthy, the further you cast the better and I wouldn't go charging down the dock. It's pretty easy to push them out casting range.

Even though some are busting the surface I think it is a higher percentage down below.

Just my experience, I'm sure there are many other things to consider.
 

Chucker

Active Member
#6
Chuck it out there where you see the action, and let it sink. Do precisely nothing until you can’t stand it any more, then make a few strips and stop for a bit. You’re basically trying to imitate a herring that has been injured or killed in the melee, and looking for a fish that is coming back to mop up.

It’s equally fun to use your fly rod to catch a baitfish, and then throw that out there rigged on a circle hook using a spinning rod.
 
#7
Keep at it,

Clousers are as good a choice of fly as any

Are you fishing a floating line? maybe try an intermediate line like the coastal quickshooter or outbound short
Thank you, one of my next purchases was going to b3 a sinking line of some kind. I’ll have to look up “quickshooter” and “outbound short”. I may also buy an OPST sinking tip to try.
 
#8
Whenever, I fish that situation I'm always shocked how deep and how slow I like to fish. I'll throw a full sinker and wait a while for it to sink, a sparse fly that is about the length of the bait and only strip enough to keep the line tight. I've never caught a salmon on a slider or with a fast retrieve, even though I know some people swear by it. The other thing is to be a little stealthy, the further you cast the better and I wouldn't go charging down the dock. It's pretty easy to push them out casting range.

Even though some are busting the surface I think it is a higher percentage down below.

Just my experience, I'm sure there are many other things to consider.
I try to be stealthy but am probably not because we do not have a dock; I’m basically clinging to a treacherous rock point (not too smart for a 70 year old). If I’m on the tip of the point and get caught up in the melee I may not notice that the tide has separated me from the rest of the point (fun times). I can wade the beach which is pebble until I get waist deep but I don’t have waders yet and I did not feel like getting wet last night but I may still do that.
 
#9
Whenever, I fish that situation I'm always shocked how deep and how slow I like to fish. I'll throw a full sinker and wait a while for it to sink, a sparse fly that is about the length of the bait and only strip enough to keep the line tight. I've never caught a salmon on a slider or with a fast retrieve, even though I know some people swear by it. The other thing is to be a little stealthy, the further you cast the better and I wouldn't go charging down the dock. It's pretty easy to push them out casting range.

Even though some are busting the surface I think it is a higher percentage down below.

Just my experience, I'm sure there are many other things to consider.
Thanks I’ll try that kind of retrieve.
 
#10
Chuck it out there where you see the action, and let it sink. Do precisely nothing until you can’t stand it any more, then make a few strips and stop for a bit. You’re basically trying to imitate a herring that has been injured or killed in the melee, and looking for a fish that is coming back to mop up.

It’s equally fun to use your fly rod to catch a baitfish, and then throw that out there rigged on a circle hook using a spinning rod.
Thanks I take your advise on retrieves; but I 5hink I’ll stick to fly fishing; I’ve kinda got the bug.
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
#12
I don't know if this is applicable but on occasion i used to see brown trout working in teams to corral baitfish. They would get them in a ball against the shore and would take turns darting in. They were so focused on the baitfish that they ignored flies even baitfish patterns. No way to solve that problem but just down the lake other trout were eating mayflies.. sometimes other fish are better quarry.
 

jasmillo

Active Member
#14
I have not been fishing the salt as long as many others on this site. I have encountered this a bunch of times in the last few years and it can be frustrating - or the best thing ever.....

I have had a good amount of luck using the technique described by @Chucker above. One thing I have not done in the past but I am ready to try this year is fish more realistic patterns in that situation. As an example, instead of chartreuse or pink over white flies, I’ll be trying black or navy over white/silver. No idea if this is a better strategy but let’s hope I get a lot of opportunities to try it out.

Also try the salt forums as others have mentioned. There are a few folks over there like @Nick Clayton, @Stonefish and a bunch of others who have either posted on this topic before might be able to throw you a few pointers.

Be safe out there hanging off that point. No fish is worth drowning over - even a 20+ pound king on a fly....
 
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#15
Chuck it out there where you see the action, and let it sink. Do precisely nothing until you can’t stand it any more, then make a few strips and stop for a bit. You’re basically trying to imitate a herring that has been injured or killed in the melee, and looking for a fish that is coming back to mop up.

It’s equally fun to use your fly rod to catch a baitfish, and then throw that out there rigged on a circle hook using a spinning rod.
I have found this to work more often than not now other fishes as well
 

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