Fishing advice for the Roche Harbor area?

Nick Riggs

I've been known to fish from time to time...
I am heading up to Roche harbor with some people (non-fishing types, so I can't get any advice from them) and I am just planning on fishing the entire time. Problem is, I've never fished salt before and wanted to go out for Lings or rockfish or cabezon or whatever is there, or whatever i can catch. I have a boat i can use, so that's not going to be a problem, I just need some pointers, mainly where to find the fish. (I'm not asking for specifics, just general areas you can find fish, i.e. points, bays etc., general stuff)
Fished the area by dinghy this summer with no luck. I would think your best chance would be to get into some rock cod... big heavy sinktip and weighted fly? Search the forum and you might be able to find some info on technique. Sorry this isn't more help.


Active Member
if you intend on fishing deep among the rocks, t14 head on an intermediate running line on a 10wt would be my choice. because things are dark down deep, i prefer all black flies with eyes and a bit of gold flash. i tie some deer hair flies that have been killer for rock fishes down deep. good luck and let us know how it goes for you.
Lots of kelp beds in the area if you have some type of water craft but be careful because the current in that area gets real heavy at tide changes.
Also be careful, because a lot of areas in the San Juans are closed to fishing to try and let the rock fish and other ground fish recover after years of over harvest. Because of the years of over harvest, rock fish fishing up there has not been good for years. I tried the Roche harbor area for 1 day of fishing last about 2 years ago after not fishing the area for 15 years and got a big goose egg so I can not help you much more then that.
Fish the slack tide off the west side of Henry Island right in front of the checkered sign above the cliff. If you don't fish the slack you will have trouble getting your line down because your boat will be going 5 knots in one direction and your line will be going the other. Large dark flies with some flash will be affective.