What gives?

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
Found some feeding SRC's this morning. Threw everything at them but the kitchen sink. Had lots of "follows" a few swirls at the fly but only two smallish fish hooked up. Tried changing patterns, size and color of fly, speed and cadence of retrieve, fished deeper, on top, sideways, you name it. Had several large fish (16+ inches) make a pass but no grabs.


It was great to see the fish feeding. Those little hook teasers...

Presentation is everything! I have had the same experience as you described. It always seems to be on thoses days that I didn't take a shower, shave, or use Old Spice deordorant;)!

Seriously, I have had experiences like that in the Spring when the sea-run cutthroat are totally keyed into chum fry as a food source. During the Summer I have rarely had such experiences. When it has happened, the uncooperative sea-run cutthroat have usaully been in an area with very little tidal current. What were the tidal current conditions at the location?



Active Member
I would say they were either locked into a specific type of forage or they have seen a decent amount of angling pressure. I notice around here that the bigger cutts are reluctant to take standard SRC flies as the season progresses which I attribute to pressure.

Going smaller sometimes works. Also a realistic sculpin pattern off the bottom can work on picky fish. Or you could just move on to a more aggressive pod, but its always difficult to leave fish to find fish.

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
The tide was moving nicely but not too fast. Good current seam and the fish were on the inside (shore side) feeding. I'm thinking about using an intermediate line my next outing and try that sculpin pattern. I've also heard that once a SRC sees (takes a swipe at or follows) a pattern it won't be interested again. Not sure if this is true or not. Anyway, tomorrow is another day. I appreciate the suggestions and information. It's very helpful.
.......or lighting a quality See-gar.....or gazing appreciatively at the scenery.....or intently watching a crab molt 2 feet away from your boots.....or just lazily daydreaming......or......any of a thousand other things that can strip away the intensity of concentration of hooking up :thumb:


Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
Not when the SRC's are cutting the water in a feeding frenzy within my casting range and they won't BITE...never seen that with SRC before.

Besides, I haven't had a see-gar in 23 years and miss them too much. I know I won't quit again.

You been fishing?


Active Member
" . . . the SRC's are cutting the water in a feeding frenzy within my casting range and they won't BITE...never seen that with SRC before."

I have run into schools of searuns chasing bait, could be candlefish, could be herring - I wasn't with you. The bait are fleeing and changing direction so quickly and the searuns are in hot pursuit. It's a lucky person that can make a cast that cover these feeding fish. One false cast is too late. If you have the right fly, that's a start. I've seen some cast a sinking line to the boil and let it sink with no strip. I've simply picked a spot and cast the popper hoping for serendipity with me, the prey and predators.

There's no way you can cast fast enough so at least, enjoy the game.



"Chasing Riseforms"
I've had good luck doing a "change up" with a different fly at times. If they are not hitting and they are there, I start changing things, including retrieves, fly size, etc.
When they're chasing bait on the surface, a very fast retrieve sometimes works. I've also seen it where smaller fish take slow-stripped flies, but the bigger ones like the fly moving fast.


Dale Dennis

Formally Double-D
I fished a north sound beach (from boat) last Saturday, baitfish patterns were working very well with a large number of fish to the net. Also put close to a dozen to the net with the skating a flatwing sandlance.

There were a fair number of fish we were fishing over with some leaping from the water 2+ feet chasing bait which I have witnessed at the transom of my boat in the past.

Many cutts were lazily feeding (head and tail rise) on the surface as though they were taking emergers of course it was in the form of some type of forage but I could see nothing in the water that would indicate the source.

Fished yesterday morning, for a couple of hour’s, cutts seemed to be podded up more and fewer. Went to top water and were rewarded with another half dozen or so. We didn’t see any bait in the area, in fact we have not seen much in the way of bait all season. However, something I had not witnessed before were several small 5” sea perch on the surface and they seemed to be dazed or injured, one had visible bleeding gashes on his head as he tried to swim away.

Not sure if the searun are actually feeding on the perch, we have been seeing dollies in the mix but no other fish or seals in the area.


Active Member
Double- D

Sounds like some fun time on the water. The north Sound populations seemm to holding their own. Many sea-lice?

Those bulls love chasing shiner perch; suspect you are seeing the remains of a feeding spree.

Tight lines

Dale Dennis

Formally Double-D
Hi Curt,
Yes the cutts are definitely on the rebound I won’t give numbers but I’ll just say there are many and we have been witnessing a fair number of larger fish with each year passing. I can safely say that many are pushing 15” +. I am also seeing a large number of dollies in the mix than I have experienced in the past.

Earlier in the season (May) I thought we were going to see the sealice explosion again but now I am seeing virtually none, and the cutts look to be very healthy.
I also noticed a few cutts with what is termed on the coast as having blue backs, unlike the typical olive we see most of the time here.

It’s been a phenomenal year so far for the salt and good healthy signs for our Searun.

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