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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been doin a little experimenting in the south sound with surface patterns for cutts. Cutts seem really eager to hit the fly but have a hard time landing a direct chomp. I've been using a black-underside chernobyl ant with chartreuse thread. Does anyone else know any effective patterns for surface action in the saltwater? I don't know if I'm getting refusals, but they chase it and sometimes perform acrobatics to try and grab it but I get hook ups only half the time.
Great fun though when the big fish are there. Any input would be cool-
Bryan
 

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I have been having the same problem. I'm new to the whole dryfly cutthroat scene, but alot of time it seems like they are overeager and hit it so hard that they just plain miss or barely get hooked. It could be the fact they are not use to feeding on the surface in the saltwater (unlike trout found in a lake environ), or they hit the fly out of curiosity? I don't know, anyone else have and idea?
 

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This seems to be a standard complaint. Even old masters I've talked to like Les Johnson acknowledge that cutts seem to love topwater flies, but just can't seem to get ahold of them. Les told me about a solution some kid had come up with, but now I can't remember what it was. I thikk this may be what Steve Raymond meant when he said in "The Estuary Flyfishier" that he uses dry flies as searching patterns for sea runs. They like the things so much that if they are around, you'll find them with some kind of skittered fly, then you can switch to a streamer or bait imitation and start hooking them.
 

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The pattern I have had most of my success on is a Cutthroat Candy (I've also heard it called Searun Candy). Just about all of the takes I've experienced have been very subtle slurps not doing justice to the size of the fish. One of my best fish of last year was a 19" beauty that hardly made a ripple on his take. From mid-August thru September they will also go after termites on the surface. My overall experience with dries in the salt has been real hit or miss. A cast to a rising fish doesn't always result in a take and there will be other times when nothing is showing that a skating dry produces. I think most of the time when Searuns are rising they are chasing baitfish up to the surface. That's my best guess anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I like that idea. I also agree with Bob that cutts are usually splashing around chasing baitfish. A small olive and white or chartreuse clouser with a lot of krystal flash seems to be a steady producer underneath.
 

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I have put in as many hours as the people who claim there pros at sea runs and i would never recommend fishing dries unless there is baitfish scattering and adult fishin jumping out of the water and you are trying to get there attention of these aggresive fish, but as far as just spending a couple of hours to burn fishing fish a reflective baitfish imatation in the 1 1/2- 2 inch range. pearl flashabou can be seen from many feet away and the biggest cutts I swear come out of now where and hit a bright fly on the pause usually. ALWAYS PAUSE YOUR FLY FOR A FEW SECONDS AT LEAST, you'll see

hey are any of those stuck up guys from kitsap county that I showed all of you up at southworth out there with the 16 and 19 inch in 5 minutes after being smirked on for drop shotting flounder and leaving my fly rod on the gravel beach untouched until 5 minutes before I left. you all look like computer guys.
 

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I think your idea about termites is dead on.

There's no doubt that the cutts are breaking the surface when they're chasing baitfish but i've often watched them rise casually and at regular intervals in the exact same spot while i've been fishing for pinks off the beach in August; and this behaviour seems identical to when the same fish are feeding for surface flies in a freshwater pool. It's also rare that any of these particular beach cutts are ever caught and, considering that the flies being used are very effective on them at other times of the year and that there are many anglers in the area, it would seem to me that these cutts are definitely after surface flies.
There's an incredible amount of insect life on the beach only a few feet from where the cutts are feeding. I think it's just too readily available as a food source for them to ignore, and i would think that the insects are significantly easier for them to catch than a bait fish in flight. And if the main diet of the cutts were exclusively baitfish i think they'd be alot bigger in the salt than they are ( my friend caught an 8lb. cutt off the beach last year but this size is the exception rather than the rule).
The refusals that are occurring might be happening because there's so few of us targeting them with dry flies and consequently our arsenals for them are not as effective as the wet flies which have had time to evolve over a longer period. (Going to a smaller or larger fly after a refusal might trigger a take).
I've been carrying a MacIntosh dry fly ( squirrel body and brown hackle), one of the most effective flies used for Atlantic salmon and speckled trout in Newfoundland, to use on the cutts in the salt..... but you know how it is ..... tough to experiment when there's a huge cutt showing and you've got the choice of an experimental dry fly that's hiding in the corner of your fly box and that old dependable front and centre wet fly that's making you feel like a traitor if you don't choose it.
I really hope this topic is on going because i think the more we experiment with dry flies for cutts then the more success we'll have with them.
I also think there's a tremendous opportunity out there for dry fly fishing for Pacific salmon.

cheers

nic
 

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I have not used yet for SRC but I have used to good effect when working bait fish schools a natural Zonker patern on the surface to great effect Twitch it like a Rappela floating lure on the surface and watch the fish strike hard right on the surface. The main trouble with this is a tendancy to move the Zonker to fast and the fish misses so work it slow and try not to get to wound up when the fish hits. This is hard because the strike will get your heart pumping. I use some floantant on just the rabbit fur to keep the fly on the surface just enough so that it does not ride to high. This pattern works well when working a bait fish school because a fish on the surface is injured and easy prey. Work the fly with just twitches of your rod to give the right effect. One note is if birds are working the bait ball keep the fly away from them the fly acts just right for them to have an easy meal as well. :pROFESSOR
 

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Your buddy caught a 8 pound searun cutt? WOW! Thats two pounds over the state record and a monster of a cutt any where. I believe there are a few searuns in the 6 to 8 pound range but darn few and I would have to see some pictures to believe your buddy. I know if I caught a 8 pound searun I would take its length and girth and get a replica made of it because thats a fish of a lifetime. :BIGSMILE

Has anyone been out for searuns lately and done any good?

fly15
 

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Rockfish:

No, I am not one of those stuck-up guys (but I do spend a lot of time in front of the computer). Just curious - what is drop-shotting?

Coho

ps: I met a fisheries biologist today who has been stationed down in your neck of the woods for many years. He mentioned some successful silver spots - I may e-mail you in late summer to ask you about them.
 

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Yes, fly15, i had my doubts too. But unfortunately Gary Stewart ( a noted steelheader in this area ) had witnesses .... in fact, it was Chris Jones ( the witness ) who told me about it. Chris currently lives on the beach ( he was chucked out of his grandparents - for reasons he's not keen on disclosing) where the fish was caught; since he's been residing at his ocean 'residence' he's seen a number of cutts in this weight class...... i've seen two.
I was extremely surprised at the state record down there. Gary was out in Sooke today and caught numerous cutts 4 of which were in the 21 inch range.
When i mentioned it to some of the natives on the reserve who fish for chinook off the beach, they were quite unimpressed and said that catching a fish of this size was not unusual for them (they're catching them with hardware) ........... geee.... sorry if i sound like a Texan (i'm told everything's bigger down there.......)....... i hasten to add though that, unfortunately, it's bloody unusual for me to catch a cutt half that size!!
I know we're fishing across the Straits but i wouldn't think there would be that much difference in the size of cutts. What's the lake record for cutts?

cheers
nic
 

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I tie a couple patterns that semi float. I put just a small underbody of foam. Then tie in some krystal flash in pearl, green, and blue for wing with chain eyes (I use chain eyes since they're not as heavy as barbells). I toss it out and let it sit on surface, just barely sinking. I do a couple quick pulls/twitches then wait. Do that a few times. Make it seem like a crippled fish on surface. Have had a few strikes like that. Have even caught a few silvers that way out on the KeyPen.

Steelheader69
"You haven't lived until you've run a cataraft. Friends don't let friends run Outcasts."
 

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hey coho a drop shot is; take 30 inches of leader tie a hook with a palomar knot on in the middle. tie the smallest cannon ball weight you can get away with 1/4 - 1 oz on the end. attach the top part to your mainline with a size 7,10 barrel swivel. use 7 ft medium action spinning rod with 6-8 lb test. and keep tension on the line and just flick your rod tip it gives the bait incredible action that no other set up can and always keeps your bait in the strike zone and can fish holes real slow like that conventional gear would be real fast. is virtually snagless unless the weight gets wedged but any bottomfish can not resist it. havent been up to the straits yet this year but would probly be the best rig for fishin off jetties. and have caught most kinds of bottomfish that swims in puget sound off it in places that were very difficult because of rocks and ledges that eat tackle. give it a shot.

email me anytime about those spots he was talkin about.Ben

3 inch curl tail worms or 2 inch for flounder in basic colors on 1/0 gammie hooks is what I got on my set up.
 
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