First shot at the salt

Well I went out after work yesterday and hit Lincoln Park from 3-7PM for my first try at some searun cutthroat fishing. It was, as they say, a good day fishing. I flailed around in the slack water south of the point for a while, wondering why my casts were all falling short and finally discovering that I had missed a guide halfway down the rod. Got that fixed and moved up into the rip line coming off the point and things started going better. My casts smoothed out and lengthened, the moving water held less seaweed to foul my fly, and the movement of the water helped me relate it to stream fishing. As I moved up north of the point I let my fly get pulled around with the tide in a big arc as I slowly retrieved it. I haven't really heard anyone mention this as a technique but it seemed natural to me. I began getting a few bumps on my retrieve, but nothing I could set up on. Finally I got what felt like a solid hit! My rod thrummed and my adrenaline pumped, I lifted to set the hook, and......out came my line minus the fly. I knew what happened before I even looked at the end of my leader. An ugly little pigtail silently reproached me "take more care with your knots dummy." :beathead:

Still, it was a very nice afternoon and I'll definitely be back again. Even that one abortive bite really got me going. Also, it turned out to be great casting practice. I really noticed my stroke improving as the day went on, and my left hand was coiling the shooting line without me telling it to toward the end of the day. Next time I'll try hitting the morning tide change so I'm not staring into the setting sun on every cast.

Thanks to everyone on this board for the informative posts on this subject which I've been agressively mining over the last few months. It reduced my usual period of helpless flailing to what I consider the absolute minimum.

I hope to see some of you out there soon.


Scott Behn

Active Member
Good on ya Brian...another technique you can try goes this way...At first it will feel ackward, but it really works when the occasion presents itself. Put your reel seat and real in your casting armpit and hold it with your casting arm. Then proceed to use both your hands to retrieve the line. What you end up doing is a constant steady retrieve and your not letting the fish have a chance of "second guessing themselves" being that they're opportunistic feeders they will hit it. When they do just take your casting hand lift up on the rod abit and proceed to play with Mr. Coastal Cuttie...

First shot at the Park

Brian, sounds like the kind of day that draws you back for more! Lincoln Park is my old stomping grounds, and a gem of a park. Working the kelp beds on the North side of the Park during the summer sometimes produces hits from salmon laying in wait in the kelp on the edge of the main current to ambush bait fish. Back casting for joggers is productive during most daylight hours. :rofl:

You may want to try strip setting on a hookup, instead of setting with a yank of the rod. This keeps the fly trailing in the water and allows a cutthroat to hit it a second time; if it wasn't stung on the first hit it is likely to come back: they can be aggressive little buggers!

Tight lines!

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