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I've spent this last week reading threads posted over the past 12 months concerning South Sound/Canal src hunting, as I may be moving to Tacoma this fall for school. It has been fascinating reading posts from Stonefish, Roger Stephens, and Nick Clayton (among others) as they track down this amazing species. Along with topwater and "darkside" fishing, I have read on other sites that src's can be caught on dry flies in estuaries. There has hardly been any mention of that in this forum. Is this a realistic tactic for catching these beauties?
 

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Coast to Coast
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Are you talking about dead drifted dries or dries waked across the surface?

My experiences are SRC will take dead drifted flies occasionally, and there are some specific instances where they will take them at will. There was a spruce moth hatch around 10+ years ago now that had SRC rising to dries like they were in a freshwater stream. I haven't tried to target the termites yet.

Waked dries work. Before foam was a thing in fly tying I caught lots of SRC by just stripping a stimulator or small steelhead skaters tied with moose or elk across the surface. Worked great, but it became difficult to keep the fly on top after a few fish. The fish would sometimes take these flies as they dead drifted.
 

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I guided a father & son from Colorado on the beach for a half-day, they had some ideas about what worked better than the traditional patterns I've found success with. Out came the Hornburg's, which they claimed were responsible for 50 fish between them after I left them to explore on their own.

So, yeah. I still prefer Leland's popper and a Sculpzilla but that's me.
 

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Are you talking about dead drifted dries or dries waked across the surface?
Waked dries work. Before foam was a thing in fly tying I caught lots of SRC by just stripping a stimulator or small steelhead skaters tied with moose or elk across the surface. Worked great, but it became difficult to keep the fly on top after a few fish. The fish would sometimes take these flies as they dead drifted.
The first sea-run cutthroat which I landed with a top water fly was in the early 1990's. It was a Canadian caddis pattern called Tom Thumb. It uses deer hair for the tail, body, and wing. I had some success with this pattern and skating stimulator patterns but the hook up ratios were poor.

In the late 1990's I started developing top water sand lance patterns with foam bodies and heads. In the last few years I have developed top water squid and polycheate worm patterns. I have had good success landing +17 inch sea-run cutthroat with all these patterns.

Roger
 

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In my opinion, if you want top water action a popper/gurgler is the way to go. It's way more active and fun than just dead drifting a dry fly, or trying to get a non-foam fly to skate after a couple fish. Obviously an exception would be if you happen to run across a bunch of fish actively feeding on something.
 

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The very first SRC for me at the age of 15 came on a flying black ant pattern.... this fly is commonly used in estuaries in Vancouver Island area.... my uncle told me about a spot on the Oyster River and I fished all morning using streamers and wet flies with nothing.... then this ancient dude finally walked over to me and quietly handed me about a size 12 flying black ant and then perched on a rock and watched me cast.... a few minutes later there was a 15 inch SRC on the beach and I was laughing.... turned to thank the guy and he was gone.... true story
 
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