Giving them a break.

thanks chadk...those were pretty much my thoughts as well. I would of probably come as a jackass though, don't have a very good way of putting words on paper.

One of the issues would be that the season for cutthroat would be closed at the same time everyone targets resident silvers. My experience is that you can specifically target resident silvers if you have a boat - chasing after the schools. When fishing from the beaches you're usually fishing over both species. I suppose you could prohibit all fishing within 100' or 200' of shore, but that may be difficult to enforce.

Would you be willing to give up resident coho fishing in the winter to preserve the cutthroat? I think I would, but could understand how some might feel otherwise.

To me, one of the joys of cutthroat fishing is the personal nature of it. The really good fishing for me is at places, seasons, times, and tides that I've discovered myself. Leaving the fish alone when they're spawning makes good sense. One thing I do is stop fishing when the fishing is really good. If I release 3-4 fish, I switch to a popper or dry fly. If I hit 3-4 more on the surface, it's time to "declare victory" - put the gear away & do some bird watching, or clip the hook off your popper & watch the fish chase it.


Be the guide...
Scott Behn said:
I would of probably come as a jackass though, don't have a very good way of putting words on paper.
I feel the same way... but that has never stopped me before :ray1:


Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
Bob, great thread. I think that guy up in your area who teaches classes on fishing for searun cutthroat at the community college is spawning too many new cutthroat fishers. I think he ought to stop. Or be stopped. His name is Ron or something like that.
I was especially pissed off last summer when I found out he had taken his whole class to one of my favorite spots, which was already receiving enough pressure. I got there one morning and found two of these newbies had waded out and were standing right in the prime hookup spot, spooking the cutties, casting out too far, and not having any luck. I told them they were standing in a prime hookup spot where they should be casting to and not standing in (probably a mistake to clue them in), and they just gave me blank looks and didn't seem to want to move. After they left (because they were getting skunked), I was able to C&R a couple of nice ones, casting to the area where they had been standing.
I'll just have to walk down there before dawn from now on to get a jump on the new crowd. I only fish that spot a few times a year, half dozen at the most, but last year there were other fishers there every time I fished the spot, and the 2 years before I had it alone alot.

I feel for you guides. You must be suffering alot of mental anquish over bringing alot of new people into the sport, even though you do your best to educate your guests on conservation and ethical concerns, along with giving them casting instruction and showing them how to catch the fish.

I might support a 3 or 4 month closure off the beaches Dec (or Jan) thru March, but searun cutthroat don't stop eating on their spawning runs and recover quickly. I want to be able to go after them in April when the Chum Babies are migrating out. With the oftentimes gnarly weather conditions in the winter, is the beach fishing pressure really that heavy for searun cutts then?



Active Member
I would say I have seen more beach fishing in the last three years or so....especially summer am/pm's in the N. Seattle - Edmonds area than I did before. And to add it has been more fly-fisherman that I have seen. Carkeek for example ... spend several summer evenings with family (not fishing) and I might see a couple guys fishing here and there but most evenings none. Last year I would say I saw at least two and many times more at a time and almost every time we went. I think perhaps with the poor trout fisheries here on the West side and the good ones being a little ways away for Seattlelites...that they have slowly gravitated to the salt and the pursuit of Searun Cutts. In addition new books, Seattle PI articles, and magazine articles have kinda glorified and made many aware of this fishery. Thirty years ago when you were at the beach with spinning gear :( and trying to collect what we called piling worms for bait to catch trout, flounder or whatever...people, including other fisherman, would look at you like a dumbass when you said you were fishing for trout (too) in the Sound. I wish it was still like that.


Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
While I think giving Searuns a break is a sensible idea, be careful what you wish for. I think this is an issue where individuals need to make the call on whether to fish searuns or not during the post spawn period. I don't think you want the WDFW involved with this. When things get closed, there is no guarantee they will open back up. You may also lose the opportunity to fish other species in the salt due to closures, those being resident silvers, blackmouth and steelies. Once WDFW gets involved, it is a whole new ballgame.
I've always had my best luck on searuns in the late summer, early fall. It is tough to put in much time fishing for them then. While Searuns are great fish, I'd rather fish for the 5-10 lb silvers that are available at that time. Besides, those hatchery silvers taste great on the BBQ.

Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
I can't speak for other guides, how they work or how they fish etc. But I do know that the average person who seeks a guide's services is usually not from the area and needs some help. Of my guests, only a small percentage are skilled enough to just go out and catch fish here on their own the first time out. And even they know that hiring a guide for a few days in a new area can be beneficial. But most of my guests have quite a lot to learn and do not present an immediate threat to the fish, especially on their own.

Additionally I support only fair-chase fly fishing, which I define with a single barbless hook only, all catch and release. We try not to handle the fish at all. And my days on the water are as much about environmental education as they are about actually catching fish.

I know quite a few anglers who are very good at catching these fish. They fish often and hard and they catch and release a lot of fish. In my busiest week of guiding I wont expect my guests to have a catch rate like some of these people have in a day or two of fishing out here on the salt for Cutthroat. These better, more experienced fishermen are incessant, obsessional and compulsive in their quest for the next best or better fish. They are rarely sated by catching a few nice ones.

In my own fishing, my personal recreation, I have backed way off of these fish. Since I am guiding for them I dont feel it is right for me to be chasing them hard myself too. It's not fair to the fish and it is not fair to the guests who come to fish with me. If all I did was fish for fun, and didnt guide for a living, I might go back to fishing hard for them myself again and my catch rate would expand rapidly from there.

You can slam guides all you like but there are a few of us who have opted for conservation and preservation of our wild fisheries resources, and our work, lifestyle and wallets reflect that choice. I could sell out the fish and whore it to death for money if I wanted to do that. I dont want to live that way.

None of that has anything to do with what I proposed here. But it is interesting to see people begin to accuse and blame (guides) instead of accepting responsibility and thinking about the longer term picture.


Active Member
Bob Triggs said:
I can't speak for other guides, how they work or how they fish etc. But I do know that the average person who seeks a guide's services is usually not from the area and needs some help. Of my guests, only a small percentage are skilled enough to just go out and catch fish here on their own the first time out. And even they know that hiring a guide for a few days in a new area can be beneficial. But most of my guests have quite a lot to learn and do not present an immediate threat to the fish, especially on their own.
100% correct. Very few people who want to fish the salt for cuts are going to be able to go out and catch SRCs with any consistancy.
This is a very well intentioned post and i tend to feel the same as Bob does about SRCs. They are a great fish and one i have grown up fishing for. Countless hours of my summers have been devoted to catching cutties. I really used to have it dialed in and could go catch 10+ in an evening a short distance from my house. But i have seen the cuts come back from a very small local population and the rebound they have made is amazing... I really dont want to see them head into the gutter again. For that reason i havent fished that bunch of cuts for quite awhile... I would like to think they will be there for me when i only have an hour :)

People who post about SRCs on here do more damage than the few guides that do take trips out on the salt.


Active Member
No...but I think when someone got outside the box they got in the guides' grills...and was swaying a big bootie. But that's not really slamming...anytime you get out of the box you are going to upset those that like closed boxes...???

Keep the damn box open jump in and out as you feel :)


Be the guide...
Porter - I'm afraid I'm going to have to call in a full on emergency MTV intervention.... I think were losing you buddy....

Kyle Smith

DBA BozoKlown406
Sorry guys, but I'm not worried so much about the threat of respectful, enlightened people such as yourselves pursuing an elusive fish with barbless hooks. While I agree that fishing pressure is in no way good for fish, fly fishing has to account for the tiniest fraction of the dangers a searun faces today. How about habitat destruction! How about the huge amount of raw sewage in Lincoln Park and Lake Union, along with the associated bacteria that has got to be sucking tons of oxygen out of the Sound's water. Maybe the Puget Sound region should come up with a new sewage outfall system involving a massive tube under the Olympic Mountains. Though practically impossible, it would send a lot of our problems to open water and do a lot less damage, proportionately. Warm water from industry has got to suffocate hundreds of pre/post-spawn, PCB mercurythroats in the Duwamish. If kids in a South Seattle elementary school have toxins in their water fountains, just imagine what the untreated water's like.


Active Member
Interesting discussion -
Let me review -
1) a couple months ago there was discussion that centered around the potential higher hooking mortality on our sea-runs in the salt over that seen in freshwater with most suggesting that anglers limit their catch out of concern for the fish.

2) Now many are suggesting that we limit our catch out of concern that the fish during the winter/early spring are in spawning condition. During that period the fish don't need the added stress of having to fighting for the lives.

3) It has been stated that at least in the past the anglers could not trust the bios at the old Dept. of Game to take care of the fish (no one there cared about them) so the anglers needed to do so themselves and must continue to do so now. Though I must say I had the chance to hoist an adult beverage or two with a number of the younger new bios from WDFW at the coastal cutthroat symposium and was very impressed with their interest and enthusiasm for the sea-runs.

4) It is clear that with the exploding human population grow and our development in the small watersheds that support our cutthroat that their habitat is under considerable pressure from degrading habitat(s) which is certain to increase. Those in the fish conservation business are clear that the first step in protecting fish that are experiencing habitat problems is to put to end population impacts from fishing.

5) The sea-run fisheries in the marine waters are clearly an example of a mixed stock fishery. The stream of origin of those fish being caught are unknown so there is no certainity whether the fish being harassed are from populations in trouble or not.

Given all the above it should be clear that any angler concerned about the cuttroat and their future should not be fishing the salt beaches under any condition. Further I would expect at there will be a spate of proposals from ethical anglers demanding the end to marine "trout" fisheries in the very near future.

Tight lines
Life is too short! I know a family that lost their mother while she was talking to her sister on the phone. Leaving a husband of 16 years and four children between the ages of 7 and 15. My point is buy your license, go barbless, release all coastal cutts, have fun, and enjoy this beautiful state we live in. I'm off my soap box, and heading for the boat with my son for some afternoon blackmouth fishing.:ray1: Tight lines