"Whiny" sea-run cutthroat report ends well!

I have not been fly fishing for sea-run cutthroat on Puget Sound very much during the last month. I am "addicted" to this fisheries so I have been crankier than normal because of a lack of fishing "fixes". So Monday I decided that I needed to remedy that by taking a long boat ride(approx. 35-40 miles but only used 4 gallons of gas thanks to a 4 stroke Honda motor) to check out some prime spots that I had not fished in several months.

The day started out perfect with a nice ebb tide, no wind, and good cloud cover. Expectations were high but after fishing for 2 hours at several good spots I had not even seen or hooked any fish which was discouraging and making me crankier. But "bingo" at the next two locations I "hit the jackpot" and had some great sea-run cutthroat fishing the S.T. Clouser Minnow(olive/white). There was a large range in the size of fish from small(4 to 6") to large (17 to 18"). It sure pays off to "hit" a lot of spots to find out where fish might be hanging out that day. Having a boat makes it an easy tasks particularly if there is no/little wind.

Over the last last couple of months I have been surprised at how many small sea-run cutthroat(4 to 6") that I have landed on Puget Sound particularly this Spring and somewhat last Spring. I thought that sea-run cutthroat didn't normally out migrate from fresh to salt water until they were in the 8 to 10 inch range. Hard to say whether it is good or bad that there seem to be a lot more small sea-run cutthroat in Puget Sound the past two years. My gut feeling is that it is good since there is more food in Puget Sound for them. Thus they will be able to grow bigger faster unless they get eaten. Maybe Les Johnson or Curt Kramer can provide a knowledgeable response?

I ended the day at a prime resident coho spot and landed two nice sized resident coho(2 and 3 lbs)on the S.T. Clouser Minnow. I kept one fish and it had some 4" sand lance in it's stomach. One of the sand lance had teeth marks in the middle of it's body so it must have gotten clobbered from the side by the coho. There were a lot of sand lance along the shoreline and periodically schools of coho would "crash/slash" through the sand lance often spraying waves of baitfish into the air. It is always awesome to see this kind of surface activity. All this action was taking place close to the shoreline in 5 to 10 feet of water along the out side edge of some kelp beds for 1 1/2 hours before the low slack tide and for a while longer during the flood tide. Almost every where I went a lot of sand lance were evident which bodes well for the resident coho to stay in the area and put on a few more pounds by late August.


Ethan G.

I do science.. on fish..
Sounds Awesome. I too am addicted to SRC's, and am a bit cranky of not catching fish as well. It's good to hear that some of the larger fish are around now. I haven't seen or caught any lately. Where abouts were you fishing?

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
Thanks Roger. I always look forward to reading your posts and reports. You have a way of sharing the benefit of your experience and writing facinating reports that doesn't rat out specific locations; yet, you always leave me feeling like i've learned something that I can put to use the next time I get to fish the South Sound.:thumb:
Saw lots of SRC jumping inside the Des Moines Marina last night as I was putting the boat in the water for this coming weekend. To bad its not legal to fish inside the marina break water area.

Rich Schager

You should have been here yesterday...
"surprised at how many small sea-run cutthroat(4 to 6") that I have landed on Puget Sound particularly this Spring..."

I'm surprised to even hear about SRC's that small in the Sound. Smallest I've ever caught was about 10". Is catching searuns this small a specific locality situation, or is this more common throughout the Sound?


Steve Rohrbach

Puget Sound Fly Fisher
Roger is a student of the south sound. He puts in his time. He studies habitat. He keeps a detailed journal. He experiments with different flies and has created some very effective patterns like the sequin tube clouser. I added one of his innovations to a Mike Croft tube fly last weekend and it was amazing how it imparted life to the fly.

When he says it sure pays off to hit a lot of spots where the might be fish, you can be reasonably assured that he has encountered fish there sometime in the past. While he won't disclose specific spots, he is very generous with his knowledge. Doing a search of his past posts would be a great start on a graduate education on fishing the sound. We are lucky to have him as a member of this forum.
great pattern that i received in a tube swap, and i need to replicate it before i fish it , cant wait. by the way Roger, sent the flies out today.

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