What I learned at the SRC seminar.

I attended the SRC seminar at Fishy Business in Olympia (along with 39 others!) and I'm happy to say that it was well worth the 20 bucks. I suspected from the very beginning that I would learn about more gear, gadgets, and doodads that I would need almost immediately and I was certainly right about that!:eek:

I discovered that I need oars for my boat because I'm probably spooking lots of fish by motoring too close to them. I have a paddle for emergencies but, I don't think I want to use it unless I have too.
Looks like I'm gonna have to build in some oarlocks on the boat.

I also learned that I need an anchor and some kind of anchor system that will allow me to raise and lower the hook quietly. I've been guilty of what is probably a common mistake for an old gear guy. I have just been drifting with the tide and casting & retrieving. Apparently that is a mistake. I should be looking at the water as if it was a river, anchoring up, and swinging my fly in the current. Hmmm... not like mooching at all, this stuff. Makes sense too when I think about it. By anchoring and swinging the fly in the current I will have my fly in the water a lot longer than by just casting and retrieving. Is this pretty much the consensus with the rest of you SRC anglers out there?
I also learned that I should be using a sinking line when fishing from the boat. I know that there are different approaches on this subject. What is your take on line type for SRC fishing from a boat?

I've been pretty lucky with my fishing on the S Sound so far, 8 trips in 4 weeks and only one skunker. Last Sunday the Nisqually had puked the whole area full of silt and I didn't get a bump all day.

I'm excited to see what my new knowledge will do to my success rate!
What did the rest of you guys & girls take away from the seminar?



Active Member
the anchor can be usefull at times, but drifting has been the best bet for me...you just gotta line your drift up right and it is money.


I usually drift through like tom mentioned, if I hit fish I'll run back up giving the spot a wide berth then drift through and drop anchor just upstream of the spot we're catching fish. It's really sitational. I'd say 75% of my trips in Puget Sound I don't even use my anchor once.

I don't use oars either. There are times when I wish I had an electric motor though. I'm sure I put some fish down with the loud outboard.

I use a clear line for all my cutthroat/resident fishing, be it from the beach or from my boat. Sometimes we'll have a floating setup pre-rigged with a popper in the rod holders if the fishing is hot.
I agree with ibn and tom on anchoring. I have had some success swinging flies while anchoring, but most of the time I end up drifting with the current. You can just cover so much water.

If there is enough current and you know where the fish are, swinging may be the way to go.

I have a little folding grapple anchor that I will sometimes let out with barely enough scope for it to hit the bottom to slow me down if there is alot of current and I want to cover the whole beach a bit slower.

I have gone almost exclusively to a clear intermediate, although I use a type 3 sinker sometimes too. I like the sinking lines because they get those non weighted flies down a bit further than the floaters.


Active Member
I dont fish any sinking lines anymore because i cant fish poppers on them. And it really doesnt matter much in IMO. If a cutt sees the fly and wants it, he will come and get it. its not like they are a very selective fish.
Oars can help but the motor doesnt put fish down unless you are on a flat or in quiet water where you arent moving much anyways. I have caught a ton of fish off my boats while the motor is running, although i have learned from my friends boat, a good electic motor is pretty sweet. The only fish i have seen really turned off by motors are resident cohos while they feed on amphipods on a flat.
Anchors can be good, but i prefer to float and cover the beaches. usually there isnt just 1 spot that is holding fish on a beach that you can cover from anchor. I like to get the right distance from shore and on a good line and float the entire section i want. sometimes its only 30 yards and sometimes its more like 200+.
Hey Jon....did you hang around long after the seminar? I was picking the brain of one of the old boys from Shelton after the presentation for about an hour...got some great tips...really nice guy. He was pretty free with the info but not too specific

We need to compare notes...I've been doing really well too...sounds like you are fishing just a bit northeast of me closer to the Nisqually.

As far as the seminar goes...I was hoping to meet some guys but they didn't have a break where we could mingle...guess we'll have to bump into each on the water sometime.

I really can't focus on cutthroat with this being a pink year...3.3 million of the buggers and I'll settle for .000001% this summer. In '05 they were HUGE!


Casting in the wind...
Ok, this may sound really stupid to some of you, but remember I am new at this...

What is SRC???

I heard there was a seminar, but have no clue what SRC is???


Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
I usually fish the coastal estuaries, but when I fished the S Sound from my squanoe last Spring, I found a spot at the mouth of a small cove where I could anchor up in slow water just inside the seam of a fairly swift (at least 5 or 6 mph) current during max ebb tide, and swing my fly along the seam and then strip it back in the soft water. It was cold and raining, but I was having a blast C&Ring some nice searun cutts. In this particular instance, drifting along in the swifter main current seemed too fast. I was in a fairly narrow inlet and the outgoing tide just roared thru there.
Regional differances anchor/drift

For what it's worth, here's a little clarification about Mel Hurd's advice on anchoring and drifting techniques:

In his opening, Mel used a chart of the sound, and traced out the southern area below McNeil Island, telling us that his presentation would be geared toward this area. We're in Olympia, and he knows this region better than the rest of the sound. He pointed out that the inlets around here are much narrower than up north, and that we get exaggerated tidal exchanges. This translates to currents that are dramatically faster than up north. This phenomena has two results which affect the way we fish.

First, consider what effect doubling the speed of the current is going to have on your free drifting boat. For a brief period around slack tides, we can expect to float leisurely along, casting to whatever structure we choose, and control our retrieve any way we wish. I love this technique, and do use it whenever appropriate. Soon though, the currents pick up, and you realize that you're in a river, complete with riffles, whirlpools and eddies. Traveling twice as fast, you're lucky to get off half as many casts over the same length of shoreline, and those aren't as effective since your line and fly are now moving quicker as well, which makes it tough to control your presentation.

The current affects the fish as dramatically as it does any thing floating on the surface. Once the velocity reaches a given point, our target fish respond by following the flow to feeding stations. As the bait is forced along with the current to localized concentrations, the predators find spots in which to hold while the conveyor belt brings the chow to them. This can be points, bars, back eddies, drop offs, boulders, and any other features that we call structure. By remaining stationary, the angler can control his/her presentation to these concentrations of actively feeding fish, and once you've found a hot spot it becomes very, very productive

In short, there are many ways to fish the sound. Knowing these techniques, and learning when to use each will determine who has to straighten their own lines while they're fishing, and who is having it done for them.
Regional differances anchor/drift

One of the things I've heard/seen repeatedley about SRC is that they have an incredibly diverse range of behaviors. Mel described a wide range of cutthroat behaviors as did Les Johnson and Steve Raymond in their books. There also seems to be a wide range of tactics used by different anglers to catch these fish. I doubt that any one angler has all the answers to targeting SRC. Mel said that he has been getting after these fish for over 20 years and he still had lots to learn. That aspect of the sport is particularly attractive to me. It's really interesting to hear the different techniques used by different folks in different locations, and then trying to apply those techniques to the few spots where I know I can find fish already. I'm looking forward to swinging flys from an anchored boat and also looking forward to trying some of the other tricks mentioned like Myawaki's poppers and those tubeflys you showed me, Freedon!
Thanks again to everybody who is willing to share their tips and tricks with those of us who are new to the fly!


Casting in the wind...
After reading some of the post, I have to say I am a little envious that I wasn't able to attend... Sounds like it was a blast and you learned a lot of new tactics to try...