Friday, October 22, 2010

Stillaguamish Surprise

Steve Bohnemeyer and I hit the Stilly yesterday looking for coastal cutthroat. We chose Thursday as it appeared to be the last day of sun before the next Pacific storm hit. We chose well. Cool in the morning, we fished from the sunny side of the river. At the first spot, a place I've only fished for pinks, we found nothing but dinks. Went downstream and found nothing. Headed upstream from Arlington to the North Fork.

The water was clear and cold, the sun high and bright with some salmon broaching and a few cutts rising. Steve broke the ice with some cutts on a black spider. I missed a couple on a Percolator--they ignored the Elk Hair Caddis. A soft-hackle or mayfly emerger would have been a good bet, but they were resting quietly at home. I've been tying some 3-4" long flashabou baitfish patterns but needed to test them to make sure the fibers wouldn't wrap around the hook shank. One cutthroat took the pattern to task. Switch over to chartreuse clouser that Yakima River smallmouth love, as did one cutthroat. Switched to black reverse spider that got bit by a coho. Suddenly it was game on! While trying to get it to pose for a couple more photos, it decided to favor the other side of the river and took my only black spider with it.

Steve loaned me one so the catching continued. Not a lot of fish, but enough to keep us casting and exploring the next riffle and run. Just the way it should be on a stunningly beautiful day.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

South End Chum

Hit the water about 4:15 pm on a rising tide down at Johns Creek in Mason County. Heard the fish were in and indeed they were. 9 guys with bait casters and 1 slinging the same gear, but with a fly rod were lined up to intercept the chum as they headed towards the creek. Some fish were around as clearly disclosed by the crashing seals and the frequent "happy jumper." One gear guy had two salmon and a broken rod. About half of the gear fishers had beached fish, but the fish were pretty much keeping their mouths closed. Gear dudes left.

Here's the gear setup. 3 inches of pencil lead, a 3-4 foot long leader, with one orange and one chartreuse small corkie and a bare red siwash hook. Cast, let it sit and wait for a chum to swim by and pick up the floating corkie.

I took a bunch of photos, including a quick video of the guy explaining about the broken rod. Such a pretty day, then the sun dropped low into the magic hour--that's the early morning and late afternoon hour when most movies are filmed--took a bunch more photos. No fish were showing.

As the tide turned and started to drop, the fish appeared. Had the whole place to myself--just me and the big dog on the end of my line. Several jumps, some runs and some minutes later, the dog was released back to the pack. Next cast, another fish. There went the fly line, got it back on the reel, there it went again into the backing, got it back, there it went again into 20 yards of backing. Did not land this one--the leader broke when I had the fish snubbed down tight. You see, since I really had trouble handling this fish with a 9 weight and since I was fishing two flies, thought maybe I was dealing with a double.

The fly was much like an orange comet--short, silver diamond braid body, orange crystal chenille, couple turns orange hackle and silver plastic bead chain, fished on a floating line. It was the tail fly, the head fly was much the same, but in pink. They left pinkie alone.

The fish are already colored-up so go now.