Sailing and Fishing the San Juan Islands


Lucky if I get out anymore!
Gonna be out sailing the San Juan's for a few days in July. Will camp on one of the small islands and spend mid-day out on the water riding the wind. Mornings and evenings will be free - hopefully for flyfishing from the shore or canoe. Are there any good prospects? What species are there and what kind of gear do I need to bring? I haven't fished the Sound since I lived in Kirkland many years ago and that was before my conversion. :) Thanks for any info.
You can always try fly fishing out there. But I think it would be more productive gear fishing unless there is a secret SCR spot. You might be able to get some seabass off a kelp bed.....
Vancouver, I can not say that I have had the opportunity or experience to play around in the San Juans during that time of the year, but my guess would involve using full fast sink lines, 7 to 9 wgt rod, clouser 1/0, and fish the kelp beds and tide rips for silver, pink or King salmon, rock fish, cod, etc.

Early morning may allow you to fish a dry line with suface gurglers and poppers, and give you a chance to see what rises. If you see fish jumping, it may be the pink salmon, which should be running through the sound starting sometime in July, though you may be early for migrating fish.
Leave the fly gear at home and take a mooching setup. The ling cod up there is open I believe and you should be able to pick up a few bottom fish. Whole and cutplug herring should do the trick bounced right off the bottom.
I have been trying to figure out how to fly fish for the bottom fish in the San Juans for a lot of years and haven't figured it out. There is no question they will hit flies as I have caught many rock fish and lings on flies fished with conventional gear.

The problem is if you aren't on the bottom you aren't fishing. And getting the fly on the bottom in a fishy area without putting a $50 fly line at risk requires circumstances that I have not found around the tide swept areas where the rockfish live.

The thing with fishing for bottom fish is you want a little tide drift so you are constantly moving to new water but not too much or you can't keep on the bottom. As the tide and wind are constantly changing, so must your stratagy. Constantly adjusting is a lot easier with conventual gear then it is with a fly rod.

I'd love to be wrong and I'm certainly going to keep trying but the above is the current state of my knowledge. :) :)
east fork I think your on to something. The only way I have figured it would be possible is to replace the weighted line with some spectra line and mooch with a fly rod. Although I have yet to give it a shot, I thought about it and decided to just use mooching gear.

If you figure out something let us know, I am sure there are a few out there who would love to give it a shot.

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