Looking for beach rookie advice

Brad Niemeyer

Old School Member
Long time fly fisher, fresh water. I need salt water advice, like "the Idiots guide to catching salt water salmon near Edmonds"
Never had any luck fly fishing the salt. My 16yo son wants to catch a salmon and I think it would be great if we could do it off the beach in MA10 or MA9. We have 5-6-7-8-10 weight rods to choose from. We have boxes full of clouser minnows, muddlers, buggers and streamers. I've even got foam poppers for us to go Leland Miyawaki style...

I've caught blackmouth off Point No Point mooching as a kid with my grandpa. Tried picnic point a few times for SRC, no luck whatsoever. I catch my SRC in the rivers in September/October. We fish the snohomish river for pinks and silvers with some very spotty luck. In the sound it's just flat, featureless, and feels a bit hopeless...

We need a general beach recommendation ( Picnic point? Carkeek/, Edmonds? Mukilteo?) , a time of day/tide, a favorite pattern, a typical cast/retrieve pattern. Do we need 2 hours on the water or 200 hours on the water? Should we wait until coho and pinks start showing up?

Can any salty fly flickers give us a helpful clue?
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
6 or 7 weight will be fine.
A stripping basket helps as does a integrated type line like a Outbound Short etc.
Those types of lines help because you want to make as few backcasts as possible before launching your fly. A intermediate or type III is what most folks fish.
Expect to make a lot of casts as most the time you’ll be blind casting. Cast out, retrieve and cast out again.

The sound is far from featureless. It is like a big river. Fish moving water and you’ll find fish.
Look for rips, seams, choppy water (aka coho chop) etc which often form off of points of land.
There are coho around now. It will only get better as we move into August and September when ocean fish start showing up.
The east side of the sound lacks for great beaches in my opinion, but you can catch fish there. If I had a couple tides to fish on this side of the pond they would be early high into the outgoing or early low into the incoming depending on the beach. Every beach has different tides they fish better on.
A ferry ride might be in order as well.

You‘ll just need to pay your dues and the fish will reward you. A lot of folks try a few times then give up if they don’t catch anything.
It isn’t as always easy but when it all comes together it will be worth it.
Good luck out there.
SF
 

Jake

veni, vidi, fishi
Sea run fishing has not been great this year, and in my experience now that spring is over even if it were a good year it won’t get good in the Edmonds area until September/October.

I recommend the central or south sound, or Hood Canal. If you’re up for a drive, the Olympic Peninsula rivers near Forks can be great in summer. I would try beaches in the Gig Harbor area if I were you. Morning and evening Incoming tides are better on warm sunny days as they bring in colder water which the sea runs seem to prefer, and bring the fish in from the deeper areas. Cloudy days are better than sunny days in my experience, too. Dropoffs and steep beaches are your friends right now, and if you can fish from a boat you’ll find them much easier.

I live in Lynnwood, and average about 250 beach sessions a year on beaches in the area bounded by Everett, Discovery Point, North Bay, and Hood Head, but sea run fishing has been so underwhelming lately that the past couple of weeks I’ve turned my attention to lake fishing, chasing small blue lines, and dreaming of next year when I can join the folks chasing tuna on the fly.

If I was bound and determined to fish the well-known beaches between Edmonds and Mukilteo, I would choose a morning where a very early spring high leads into a minus outgoing tide that slacks about 11am or noon. I would start as early as I could (dawn or before) and fish until about an hour before slack.
 
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Merle

Active Member
Stonefish nailed it; the only other thing I would add is that the clousers you mentioned are the best place to start. They don’t need to be giant ones either, maybe #4 or #6. Olive over white, chartreuse over white and pink over white are all good.

In odd years the pinks will be in which ups the odds of connecting considerably, but anymore you’ll need to bring your own rock to stand on when they’re in. Seriously, the known public beaches will be absolutely inundated with anglers.

You may also catch sculpins and flounder/ sand dabs, which breaks up the monotony but also indicates you’re probably stripping a bit too slow.

Have fun and let us know how it goes!

Andy
 

Albula

swollen member
Those who responded to this post would be welcome in my boat or camp any time. It is truly refreshing to witness a question from someone who is just starting out both asked with respect and, even more so, answered with respect. Kudos to all involved.
 

Brad Niemeyer

Old School Member
Thank You all....I appreciate the thoughtful responses. I have a stripping basket. check. Choppy moving water near points. Check. Coho around now. Check. Put in some time. Check. ( well the kid needs a fish in a hurry) Travel to better beaches. Check. Small size 4/6 olive over white. Check. Intermediate or type 3 line....Should I be rigging a short 4-6 foot leader 2x-0x? Do I need to get down in the water column, like 3-4 feet? Is a surface presentation effective?

I will report back after we give it a try....
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
Thank You all....I appreciate the thoughtful responses. I have a stripping basket. check. Choppy moving water near points. Check. Coho around now. Check. Put in some time. Check. ( well the kid needs a fish in a hurry) Travel to better beaches. Check. Small size 4/6 olive over white. Check. Intermediate or type 3 line....Should I be rigging a short 4-6 foot leader 2x-0x? Do I need to get down in the water column, like 3-4 feet? Is a surface presentation effective?

I will report back after we give it a try....

I like 6-7’ leaders. I’d forget the X rating stuff and save that for trout.
Early in the season for coho I just use a straight shot of 12 lb Maxima Ultragreen or STS fluorocarbon. As more ocean fish show up I’ll bump up the lb test. Get your strip strike down.
As far as Clousers, I tend to use size 2 on standard clousers.
Color wise it is hard to beat chartreuse over pink....with yellow 5/32 eyes and a red or orange thread throat behind the eyes of course. ;)
As we roll into September the stinger clousers really shine as you start getting those plucky bites.
A intermediate or type III will get you down far enough.
As far as topwater, you can catch fish that way but you’ll catch a lot more coho fishing the dark side (subsurface).
Just my opinion, but topwater can be fun if you enjoy getting follows and missed takes without a lot of hookups.
The two best topwater patterns I’ve used in the sound are @Roger Stephens Delia topwater squid and gurglers for take to hookup ratio.
I hope this helps.
SF
 
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Chickenhawk

New Member
Long time fly fisher, fresh water. I need salt water advice, like "the Idiots guide to catching salt water salmon near Edmonds"
Never had any luck fly fishing the salt. My 16yo son wants to catch a salmon and I think it would be great if we could do it off the beach in MA10 or MA9. We have 5-6-7-8-10 weight rods to choose from. We have boxes full of clouser minnows, muddlers, buggers and streamers. I've even got foam poppers for us to go Leland Miyawaki style...

I've caught blackmouth off Point No Point mooching as a kid with my grandpa. Tried picnic point a few times for SRC, no luck whatsoever. I catch my SRC in the rivers in September/October. We fish the snohomish river for pinks and silvers with some very spotty luck. In the sound it's just flat, featureless, and feels a bit hopeless...

We need a general beach recommendation ( Picnic point? Carkeek/, Edmonds? Mukilteo?) , a time of day/tide, a favorite pattern, a typical cast/retrieve pattern. Do we need 2 hours on the water or 200 hours on the water? Should we wait until coho and pinks start showing up?

Can any salty fly flickers give us a helpful clue?
I have had similar experiences. Live out in snohomish. Did all the local beaches minus island county beaches. I just catch a ferry to the canal and fish the beaches over there. Productivity level went up a substantial amount. I like the coastal quick shooter line. As well as a stripping basket. Both were game changers.
 

Kfish

WFF Supporter
Really good advice from Stonefish. Fish early at first light will increase your chances especially if there's a good tide exchange. The bright sunny summer mid-days are the worst for beach fishing IMO.
 

Steve Saville

WFF Supporter
All really good advice. The only thing I can add is to prepare for some runs that feel like your rod is going to be ripped out of your hands because there is a lot of open water for the fish to run to. It's not like a river where the fish are confined to banks. It also depends on how tight you keep you drag. I've had coho take me to and into my backing only to find that they are two to three pound fish.
 

jasmillo

WFF Supporter
Nothing to add to what stonefish said.

I would just reiterate his point to not give up on the fishery. If you fish the scenarios he describes, eventually you will get into fish. It might take some time though...or it might not. I was in you your shoes not to long ago and now catch fish fairly consistently if they are around. Then again, I fished 5.5 hours this morning on a beach that consistently produces coho. I literally did not stop casting that whole time, unless I was changing a fly. No bathroom breaks, no water breaks....no decent fish :). They just were not there. I did not see one decent fish hit the beach.

When they show, it’s really, really fun though.

Good luck!
 

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