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I thought I would post this for the people who are still new to Beach fishing like I am. I am starting to keep a log of when I am not catching fish so I can figure out when not to go because all I am doing is getting skunked. Which is still fun and all- getting way better at casting those huge flies on a 5wt rod. Problem I have found of why I am not catching fish.

1. I tend to always go an hour before high tide
2. I am not sure where the rip tides are or where the fish are hiding- just try fishing around the point. Its hard to tell what forms are underwater. I always keep trying to cast farther out because I think I am not getting enough distance.
3. I keep going back to Lincoln and Carkeek Park so I can get to know the spot better... but the continuous skunk is still happening. Might just be the beach....
4. I have been using sand lance and candle fish to no avail... and an orange reverse spider.
5. Am I fishing to shallow. Floating line with 10 ft sink tip.
6. I keep switching up my stripping... but nothing has seemed to get a strike once.
7. Evenings are 75% of the time I go. Except Carkeek I tend to do both in morning and evening.
8. I originally started spin casting because I did not have my waders yet and I don't like to spin cast as much and it also proved to be unsuccessful... could be time of year too. (started after the pinks came through)

I just want to pick a beach --- not to far away and get to know it-- its just frustrating to get skunked every time out. Also reading Les Johnson books on SRCs... halfway through.
 

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Fly Guy Eat Pie
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hey Niveous, I also live right next to Carkeek and have put in countless skunked hours. Perhaps we will meet one day and enjoy a newbie skunk day at Carkeek :)

in all seriousness, with limited knowledge on fly fishing, I say keep trying. I know Carkeek isn't the most active area for SRC's so I'm sure it can be a bit slow.

Also after doing much reading on this, I'll be trying out an intermediate line soon so you might want to try that as well.

See you out there one of these days.
 

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hey Niveous, I also live right next to Carkeek and have put in countless skunked hours. Perhaps we will meet one day and enjoy a newbie skunk day at Carkeek :)

in all seriousness, with limited knowledge on fly fishing, I say keep trying. I know Carkeek isn't the most active area for SRC's so I'm sure it can be a bit slow.

Also after doing much reading on this, I'll be trying out an intermediate line soon so you might want to try that as well.

See you out there one of these days.
As a general rule, subject a few exceptions, most searun cutthroat from Seattle north are in the large river tributaries where they will spawn. For all intents and purposes, you are fishing the wrong beach. Look to the south sound.

Leland.
 

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Fly Guy Eat Pie
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thanks Leland. I have heard that south sound is the place to be. I will definitely need to make it down there. Perhaps catching a SRC will boost up my confidence in fly fishing. Carkeek is like a backyard to my home so I end up strolling down there on mornings and I get dissapointed every time!

Thanks again Leland.
 

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thanks Leland. I have heard that south sound is the place to be. I will definitely need to make it down there. Perhaps catching a SRC will boost up my confidence in fly fishing. Carkeek is like a backyard to my home so I end up strolling down there on mornings and I get dissapointed every time!

Thanks again Leland.
Don't be disappointed. If you live close by, it's your home water. Go see it at a minus tide and remember where all the structure is. Note the direction and speed of the tides at the different heights. Know that baitfish patterns do not always work particularly through the winter. If you keep going they will come. In the meantime, I wouldn't look for too many hard and fast absolute rules, after all, this is fishing.

Leland.
 

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Language, its a virus
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Niveous, First don't give up. SRC's are all over the south sound.
You will catch one just keep at it. From your post it sounds like
you are doing everything right there just arn't any fish in your area
now. On my beach I'll get skunked alot but a dozen fish day is just
as possible. These fish as a rule are not picky it is more a matter of
finding them. Since you fish Carkeek often go down at low tide and
look for structure (big rocks) and make a note on the location. As the
tide comes in the fish tend to hang around them. Right now can be some
of the best SRC fishing of the year.
Good luck.....

Dave
 

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Seconding Leland's remark about hard and fast, absolute rules. Sea-run cutthroat are almost constantly on the move and sometimes they just aren't there to be caught. They live by finding and eating bait; no bait, no fish. As to the availability of cutthroat in northern waters, I've caught them at Picnic Point and Golden Gardens in December and January, perhaps not in the numbers available at other times of the year, but enough to make it worthwhile and, of course, there are resident coho to be had.
 

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Blind hog fisherman
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I took two days of just driving to different south sound beaches on minus low tides, I did not take a rod. I did take a camera and photographed every beach I visited extensively. I walked the entire beach as far as I could, taking pictures the entire distance. I also had a notebook and wrote down things I thought might be important to remember. After those two scouting trips, then I started taking the rod with me.

I don't catch a lot of SRCs on average but I almost always catch some. Once in a while I'll get a hot day with numerous hookups but not often. I've hooked some real dandies, too, but most have slipped the hook before I get to do the releasing. I've only been trying the beach fishing thing since May (?).

Don't get discouraged, just keep plugging away. As for fly patterns, I think I've hooked some SRCs on almost everything I threw at them but it varied day to day. I like clouser and sculpin patterns in the spring and summer. Patterns for late fall, winter and early spring are unknown to me since I haven't fished those times yet. As soon as duck season is over, I'll be frothing the water again trying to learn more about these neat little fish.
 

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Team Umiak
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Any thoughts on "creating" habitat on a beach where none or little exists. If I had access to a boat, and access to a supply of "rock", is it unethical or illegal to plant said rock in locations that are readily available to me? Seems it would be win win..creating rough habitat where none exists, and protection/ambush havens for SRC.
 

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1. I tend to always go an hour before high tide
Niveous:

It is usually best to fish a location when there is good tidal current. It is particularly true when fishing for sea-run cutthroat and in most cases for resident coho. However, when resident coho are feeding on amphipods in the winter, schools of feeding fish will often be found at some spots where there is little or no tidal current.

Starting to fish an hour before high tide is normally a very poor time to start fishing since the tidal current will be slowing down dramatically. At high slack tide there is no tidal current and the fishing is almost always lousy since sea-run cutthroat and resident coho tend to scatter at that period of a tide. It is good time to stop and eat lunch or read the newpaper! I usually have the most succss fishing ebb tides since so many spots which I fish have the best tidal current conditions on ebb tides. I would suggest that you start fishing either an hour or so after high or low tides. You should be able to have better tidal current conditions vs. starting 1 hour before high tide.

Roger
 

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Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
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Any thoughts on "creating" habitat on a beach where none or little exists. If I had access to a boat, and access to a supply of "rock", is it unethical or illegal to plant said rock in locations that are readily available to me? Seems it would be win win..creating rough habitat where none exists, and protection/ambush havens for SRC.
You would also be changing the hydrology of the area, perhaps adversely impacting any number of plant and animal and invertebrate species, disrupting sediment transport along the beach etc. Any shoreline, nearshore or in-the-water work has to be permitted by the regulatory authority- local and county and state government,(Dept of Ecology, WDFW etc.) You can not just go out there and start piling rocks up offshore. Not to mention navigation hazards for people who use the area. If you find a place that seems naturally soft, sandy and relatively featureless- then it probably evolved that way. Those places host many spawning forage species, especially Sandlance and Surf Smelt. And often the larger predatory fish like Salmon and Steelhead and Trout feed there as well.
 
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