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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Snuck out to agate pass for an hour in the early afternoon yesterday. A fish rolled near the boat. Caught a 17 inch cutthroat on the deep water side of a boulder just south of the bridge on a Chartreuse/White Clowser minnow and a sinktip line. I skated a small bomber dry with no luck.

Anyone ever catch sea-runs on a skated dry in the salt? Steve Raymond's Estuary Flyfisher says that its the best way to fish for them but I have yet to take a salt water searun on a dry.
 

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Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
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Yes, I have taken them on a varietry of foam back and popper type flies, all no larger than size six hook so I don't hurt them or kill them. I have taken cutts on all manner of dry flies in the salt, from humpys to royal wulffs, stimulators, caddis, ants and beetles and deer hair mice.And of course the Adams works fine too. Skating and dapping,( dangling the fly downwind, with a very high rod tip extended upward, the line blowing in the wind,and the fly bouncing on and off of the surface), seems to trick them up. And sometimes I strip them like mad.

Back east I used to take a lot of late afternoon and early evening trout in the Beaverkill river by drifting a dry fly down a seam and twiching the thing under at the hanging point, at the end of the drift, and then stripping it in on short strips of a few inches at most. This seems to drive the sea run cutthroat nuts. So I do that a lot. They like action in a surface fly. All the things I worked so hard to accomplish back east, quiet presentations, long drag free drifts, stealth...none of it impresses these cutties in the salt. They want a fleeing meal and sometimes a commotion on the surface is all it takes. Go have some fun with it.Break some rules and laugh out loud.
 

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I've caught them on dries as well after reading Raymond's book. Actually the little white foam poppers that you can buy from Hill's flies work as well as anything. My experience is that they're tougher to hook on dries but you get lots of boils and spectacular misses which makes it fun. I also think I catch bigger fish deep and slow than on top.
 

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Skating flies work great for searuns... You can have days when that is the very best way to fish. Foam backed flies are my favorite, but a foam-bodied Steelhead Bee is an excellent choice skated in the fall.

The real key, I think, is to fish in areas with current and let the current and your retrieve skate your fly. When you're on feeding fish, they have a hard time leaving a surface fly alone. For example, last week, I took my 11 year old son out, and he essentially just skated a fly in the current below the boat as we were anchored. One fish (or maybe it was a pod) hit the fly perhaps a dozen times as he dandled it in the current before a foot long cuttie finally hooked up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the ideas. Encouraging to know that success if possible on the dry. Agate Pass has a nice current and it's possible to skate the fly just like you would at your favorite steelhead riffle.

Interesting thought about letting the fly skate on the hangdown. Would work well from my pram.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I was fishing agate pass which is between Bainbridge Island and the Kitsap Peninsula. I was just under the bridge.
 

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It seems to me that if you're going to fish on top for searuns, why not use a floating baitfish imitation and thereby add silvers to your list of catchable fish off the beach? You may as well "match the hatch" with a cripple don't you think?

Leland
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You mean something like your popper? By the way is there a picture of it posted anywhere on the website. Would love to see what it looks like.
 

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It doesn't have to be MY popper. Gurglers work well also. I just think that baitfish are the hatch, why fish dryflies? Would you cast streamers to trout sipping #20 baetis?

Leland

My popper is on pugetsoundflyfishing.com and the waflyfishers.com archives.
 

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Leland,
Tried your popper for the first time this weekend from 2 N Kitsap beaches - I can see that this is going to be my preferred way to fish - it's very exciting!

I tried with your 15' long recommended leader but had a world of issues getting it to roll out smoothly - any words of wisdom? Is your leader length due to spooking fish with the floating line?

thanks

Jim W
 

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Jim,

Did you get some boils, follows, slashes or takedowns?

Try cutting your leader back to 12 feet and tapering to a 1x or 2x tippet. I don't think the fish are leader shy but rather, they are flyline shy. Many times, my popper doesn't straighten out either but a couple quick strips usually does the trick. In fact, the fly spins around a bit before it straightens and what better way to attract a killer take than being wounded AND disoriented!


Leland
 

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Thanks Leland,
I eventually ended up with a shorter leader and a 10# tippet which worked well.

I had one follower/boiler at the north end of the canal at Twin Spits. I slept in and missed the tide so it was more of a practice run for next month....and time to be in sun and nature.

Jim
 

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Ah, Twin Spits. That's where I had one of my most unusual popper hits. It was three years ago and the tide was running hard at the end of the point and the sun was lighting up the whole water column. I was stripping with two hands as fast as I could go as a silver was coming from the left on an intercept course. The fish, popper and rod tip all met at the same time within inches of the beach! What a hoot!

Leland
 

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I can't wait for that to happen....I did find my attention was very focused the whole time on the popper - when fishing subsurface my mind wanders....esp. to the occasional sunbathing beauty....a dilema for sure.

That brings up another technique issue- I use a multitip RIO and like to keep the 15' tip outside of the rod so I can false cast less- so as the popper comes to shore, I would swing the rod horizontally to the beach to cover the skinny water zone while keeping the floating tip outside of the rod. I would expect to not be able to hook as many fish because I can't strip strike, but did not want to give up fishing the last 20 feet of the retrieve - I guess it comes down to a choice of wishing to see the explosive last second takes versus more hookups close to shore. For me, explosive takes outweight actually hooking more fish.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I fish out of an 8 foot pram. Motor over and say hi if you're there when I'm there. I'm usually against the West bank of Agate Pass because I don't want to run the boat traffic gauntlet in a small pram without a motor.

My family has a summer place at Suquamish. I do most of my fishing in the evening when the kids are headed to bed or at the odd hour or two in the afternoon when the kids are occupied on the beach.
 

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Leland: "why fish dry flies"?

Because there were hundreds of spruce moths blowing down on the water today and the sea run cutthroat were gobbling them up like tricos on a spinner fall.

Because for much of their life cutts do eat insects both below and above the surface.

Because it's fun and it works.
 
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