Westport Tuna Trip 9 September 2021

tallguy

Active Member
This evening I also figured out that I blew the trip for all of us by bringing my big cooler ready for 60-80 lbs of fish. The fish gods obviously knew I required punishment for such hubris.

Sorry guys..

Pretty sure now that to catch a WA bluefin, marlin, or Steve's yellowtail, you need to leave the big cooler at home, plus all cameras or other photographic equipment.
 

Matt B

...
WFF Premium
One observation for tying flies for tuna from yesterday: most tuna trolling Nick was doing was at 4-5 mph or so. That's actually on the faster side of "typical fly fishing" practice although I know gear is trolled up to 8 mph, and I even saw reports of people catching tuna at 15 mph troll (intentionally). So flies need to work and track at higher speeds

I had some issues yesterday with flies spinning on the troll, and I lost some confidence in a couple flies tracking well while trolling even though they were on heavyish 3/0 hooks and cleanly designed. I actually intentionally did not use stinger designs to help tracking, and was relying on the hook point to ride them well. But that wasn't always enough. I think when you jig or strip a trolled fly, it's getting to 7-9 mph and making it easy to spin or foul. Plus the heavy prop wash means the fly is rarely riding in clean water and has alot of chances to get up on its side or over.

I note that I have been tying for ~30 years, and feel I tie a pretty darn balanced, even, great looking fly. But at least 2 of my flies did at least some spinning, unexpectedly to me, and I came home thinking about how I can insure my flies track better out there.
I think you’re on to something in that the tuna troll game calls for a balanced, maybe even streamlined fly. When tying for tuna I tend to think of the Shock-and-Awe. What a streamlined, balanced fly. Also, it’s what I caught my first Charlie tunas on some years back.

Here are my flies that worked trolling yesterday, shown before and after a shower. The first one got mangled by pliers and I lost confidence in it and switched to the top one. Looks like an easy repair to that other one though. I think that’s something I tied for the tuna fly swap some of us did. Yeah I only fished my own flies, even though my swappers’ flies were far superior as a rule; sorry y’all, I’m sure you understand. :D
ECD33479-0F4A-443D-A7A5-E0C332A8F751.jpeg B659CF83-33E5-422F-AB1D-B0036BB644E4.jpeg

That top fly has caught a few tuna now. I actually retrofitted it after it was successful with a heavy mono loop off the back of the hook to help prevent fouling. Works a treat.
 

flybill

A collector never stops collecting!
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hah, i don't doubt that. but then reality sets in when i start making calls the day before saying "hey the forecast just cleaned up and we're running out of Depoe Bay. Let's meet at my place at 2:30am. I get a lot of "fuuuuuuuck that" responses.
I have a friend who says she wants to join me fishing.. and will cook the fish I catch.. I've tried to explain catch and release and she gets what I mean, but really doesn't understand the why. I can go somewhere where we can keep fish, so that's not the real problem. I tell her I'll be at the river at 6am! Then she says oh, that's too early! I've offered to have her meet me at say 10am, but can't guarantee fish.. I ended up going to Uwajimaya with her! LOL!!
 

SilverFly

Active Member
One observation for tying flies for tuna from yesterday: most tuna trolling Nick was doing was at 4-5 mph or so. That's actually on the faster side of "typical fly fishing" practice although I know gear is trolled up to 8 mph, and I even saw reports of people catching tuna at 15 mph troll (intentionally). So flies need to work and track at higher speeds

I had some issues yesterday with flies spinning on the troll, and I lost some confidence in a couple flies tracking well while trolling even though they were on heavyish 3/0 hooks and cleanly designed. I actually intentionally did not use stinger designs to help tracking, and was relying on the hook point to ride them well. But that wasn't always enough. I think when you jig or strip a trolled fly, it's getting to 7-9 mph and making it easy to spin or foul. Plus the heavy prop wash means the fly is rarely riding in clean water and has alot of chances to get up on its side or over.

I note that I have been tying for ~30 years, and feel I tie a pretty darn balanced, even, great looking fly. But at least 2 of my flies did at least some spinning, unexpectedly to me, and I came home thinking about how I can insure my flies track better out there.

As much as I dislike using them, an in-line swivel is a good idea for an outfit you intend to primarily troll. Although not necessarily crimped to an 80# shock leader (yes, I was fantasizing about Mr Stickface showing up):

20210908_104110.jpg

Beyond that not sure what was causing your twisting issues. As Matt pointed out, streamlining a pattern wouldn't hurt, but trolling the big squid was similar to dragging a wet sock. Even so, it tracked very well and looked a thousand times better in the water than the beat-to-shit muppet above.

The smaller squid was rigged on my 13wt, also using a 700gr AirFlo Depthfinder. Didn't troll this one nearly as much, but it seemed to track OK with no swivel, caught fish, and no twisting problems. Maybe the twisting has to do more with the line than the fly?
 

SilverFly

Active Member
This evening I also figured out that I blew the trip for all of us by bringing my big cooler ready for 60-80 lbs of fish. The fish gods obviously knew I required punishment for such hubris.

Sorry guys..

Pretty sure now that to catch a WA bluefin, marlin, or Steve's yellowtail, you need to leave the big cooler at home, plus all cameras or other photographic equipment.

Not your fault Ed. I brought the big cooler but didn't ice it and left the monster kill bag at home and our trips were slow.
 

SilverFly

Active Member
I run my own boat and it's a lot of the same. I have friends I enjoy fishing with in freshwater that I'd never think to invite offshore for a number of reasons. The crew makes or breaks these days for me because we're doing everything ourselves, so you need guys who are willing to get their hands dirty and be the one to put a rod down to help net/gaff/clean/gut fish, etc.

One day with a crewmember who was only interested in reeling in rods with fish on them made me re-think my crew planning. I've skipped nice forecast days because I couldn't get a crew put together in time.

need buddies who will get that blood cleaned up and get the fish taken care of between stops.

For the first timers who fished this week, check out the water in this pic Evan posted. This is what "clean blue" water looks like. Normally we don't even think about dropping lines until we see this beautiful deep blue. Didn't see anything like it all week.

20210911_083905.jpg

Edit: @Evan Burck, I mistakenly thought your attached pic would show in the reply. So I took the liberty of downloading and cropping it so these guys can see what albacore water is supposed to look. Hope thats OK but lemme know if not.
 
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SilverFly

Active Member
I've been once tuna fishing out of Westport. It was a few years ago. We got 3. It occurred to me that given the amount of time and the early hours and pounding crossing he bar etc. that you need to make sure of a few things before you do a trip like this.

1. The guide/ captain- I am a reluctant guided angler. I dislike being told what to do (I dislike the GPS voice for this reason) and I dislike marketing and guides who feel they need to explain a bad day. I have only had a couple guides I have ever liked. If the trip goes wrong and you dislike your captain (as would be my default setting) it can be a tough day of holding your tongue. I suspect a boat with Nick would be the only way I go out of Westport again. Frankly, I don't know him, but he conducts himself honestly here and always has.
2. The crew- For many of the reasons outlined above, going with a crew that you generally like could save an otherwise slow and expensive day.
3. Expectations- It's wise to keep them real. I've heard of 20 fish per person days. In my one time out, I did not feel a fish.

Maybe next year I will go again provided I can get 1 and 2 right. After going through a slow day before. I have #3 dialed in.

Go Sox,
cds

Understood. I can follow directions, but loath doing so if it's in a "my way, or the hi-way" sense. Big diff between being given sage advice, and suggestions, versus commands.

Nick is not like this at all. I sense he holds his tongue a lot when I start spouting ideas that have been fermenting in my noodle all year - when he's fully in touch with reality being out there day after day. He politely listens though, and even agrees with me on occasion. But he'll fish however you want - even if it's utterly stupid like a crew a few weeks ago. So the short answer is you will not feel as though you're being "guided" or "captained" for that matter. Fishing with Nick, all the deckhands he's had, and these WFF crews have been nothing but stellar experiences.

Same goes for the trip we booked on Far Corners Charters on Monday. Captain Andrew (who does some FF) and deckhand Gage we're extremely enthusiastic about learning from us, and were totally open to trying the game plan of trolling and casting only flies. First thing I asked was could we remove the rod holders from the stern rail? ... boom, they were gone. Every second after a troll strike matters, so Gage especially liked what we were saying about not having to clear troll lures and that the un-bit trolled flies we're getting hit consistently on the slide. But learning is always a two-way street so later in the day after hours of nothing I mentioned how fishy a multiple hoochie rig looked. We discussed it for a bit and it went on the troll using the starboard outrigger as additional attraction. The point being it was a totally cooperative experience.
 
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Bagman

Active Member
One observation for tying flies for tuna from yesterday: most tuna trolling Nick was doing was at 4-5 mph or so. That's actually on the faster side of "typical fly fishing" practice although I know gear is trolled up to 8 mph, and I even saw reports of people catching tuna at 15 mph troll (intentionally). So flies need to work and track at higher speeds

I had some issues yesterday with flies spinning on the troll, and I lost some confidence in a couple flies tracking well while trolling even though they were on heavyish 3/0 hooks and cleanly designed. I actually intentionally did not use stinger designs to help tracking, and was relying on the hook point to ride them well. But that wasn't always enough. I think when you jig or strip a trolled fly, it's getting to 7-9 mph and making it easy to spin or foul. Plus the heavy prop wash means the fly is rarely riding in clean water and has alot of chances to get up on its side or over.

I note that I have been tying for ~30 years, and feel I tie a pretty darn balanced, even, great looking fly. But at least 2 of my flies did at least some spinning, unexpectedly to me, and I came home thinking about how I can insure my flies otrack better out there.
I tied up mostly flatwing, blue over white about 4-6 inch long, which is my go to fly to start the the day off, I’m using a Airflo 700grain line which I believe is 125 foot long I set in the seat right outside the cabin, and play out about 100 feet of line. I watch most of the flys that the guys are tying on as well as changing, they range from 2-5 inches, and the colors and patterns were all over the place. So 2 trips out or about 10 hours of fishing and a total of 5 fish in the boat. There was nothing wrong with the flys the, way the moved, the colors, or the depth we were fishing at. The problem was there were no big schools, in fact we did not run over so much as a small school. At one time Nick spotted one tuna on the fish finder and had Jake chum a little and Steve ended up catching the one fish. It does Not matter how good of a fisherman you are you can’t catch what is not there. As Nick says it tuna fishing, which we did a lot of. Next time let’s do more catching. I’m game for that so if Steve is setting up a run for next year, please keep my name on your short list.
 

adamcu280

Active Member
I chatted briefly with two fly fishermen that were coming off the jetty yesterday, reporting murky water. I was walking towards the non-functional shower w my board after a surf.

Guessing they might be some people in this thread?
 

Matt B

...
WFF Premium
At one time Nick spotted one tuna on the fish finder and had Jake chum a little and Steve ended up catching the one fish.
I forgot to mention that. That was actually pretty cool how that worked. And I *think* that was all Jake the deckhand, think it was he who saw a mark and got up and tossed a few ‘chovies out there. About 5 seconds later, boom, fish on Cabezon!
 

SilverFly

Active Member
I forgot to mention that. That was actually pretty cool how that worked. And I *think* that was all Jake the deckhand, think it was he who saw a mark and got up and tossed a few ‘chovies out there. About 5 seconds later, boom, fish on Cabezon!
That's why I bring the jig rod. Some years trolling isn't even necessary. Just running from one jumper patch to another while watching the sounder. See a mark, drop a jig and game on.
 

Matt B

...
WFF Premium
I was pretty damn pleased with my first go at albacore nigiri and tataki. Nailed the rice. The missing slots were tamago (egg) for the kids 14876AAE-FC34-48A5-AB44-363A5E34C2C1.jpeg
Edit: look at that, scallions cut at 90 degrees, tsk tsk. Chef Matt B did not communicate the need for a bias cut to sous chef Mrs. Matt B, who happens to be the person who loves tataki and requested it.
 
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Salmo_g

WFF Premium
I've so wanted to go on a tuna trip for years. Two reasons keep reminding me why I haven't. First, I don't have a 12 wt fly rod. Second, I'm a puker, that is, I have a propensity toward sea sickness. I've been on the ocean a few times and just felt like I wanted to die. I could do something about the first reason, the second, not so much.
 

Matt B

...
WFF Premium
I've so wanted to go on a tuna trip for years. Two reasons keep reminding me why I haven't. First, I don't have a 12 wt fly rod. Second, I'm a puker, that is, I have a propensity toward sea sickness. I've been on the ocean a few times and just felt like I wanted to die. I could do something about the first reason, the second, not so much.
I have experienced this intermittently as well. Before this last trip, I got a script for 2 scopolamine patches. I think it ran me $50 for the 2. I put it one on the night before and we ended up having a pitching boat, and a horizon obscured by enough fog that I think I would’ve felt sick without it.
 

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