Monthly Archives: August 2009

Pink Lemonade Stand: 8/30/09

We’ve been fishing a local urban fishery for a a week since I found out about the location from my fishing contacts. The Marine are 10 fish have moved in and they were in force yesterday. As I was driving over the West Seattle bridge the water in Elliot Bay looked like a fireworks displays with so many fish showing themselves in the form of pops, jumps, whitewater, and splashes. It was pretty amazing to witness so many fish, it made the run of two years ago look like it didn’t exist.

I didn’t get the boat onto the water until after noon, when Chuck W. met up with me to take a stab at Pink salmon on the fly rod. He had some luck at Westport fishing for Coho and Pinks but hadn’t been out to this stretch of water and wanted to feel the tug at the end of his new 6 wt. TFO professional rod.

On the water was Jeff H. no big surprise, this guy can really put the hurt on the fish. He’d be on since 8 am and already had a 40+ fish day, far surpassing my stellar day with dad at Dash Point. He found an estuary alongside the main stem of the waterway where hoards of pinks were coming in to rest. There was no rest for us for the next 5 hours, 90′ casts, double hauls and plenty of tail walking, whoopin’ and hollerin’ and netting to go around. We set up shop and could almost predict the hits as the schools came in. It wasn’t blind casting, it was the hunter and its prey. The tides were nearly perfect for the day, with a low at 8 am and the high at 4 pm, a very BIG incoming tidal swing that kept churning out fish after fish into our little honey hole.

All in all a fine day on the water, I wanted to take the Tiderunner out to explore the waterway upstream, many fish, but also many fisherman. We did see an area with several fly guys in an estuarian appearing locale, but didn’t bother to anchor up and give it a whirl. We fished for a while, but them decided our efforts were better off with heading back to where Jeff was doing his damage.

All in all, it was a good day, perfect weather, perfect tide, and good fishing companions. I did catch an odd pink with some sort of spinal defect, it was bent up like corkscrew, a stunted fish in size, but still managed to survive its youth to make it back to spawn. I really thought I’d be ‘done’ with this fishery, but I can’t seem to stop returning, the allure of the tug is just too much.

Chuck and I finally left around 18:30 to try our luck with bucktailing out in the sound for our luck at Coho. After a long run towards West point, with no fish to hand, we called it quits at 19:30 and decided it was time to grab dinner and head home. A gorgeous sunset, and a fish box full of our limits, but there was one mishap. As we prepared to pull anchor, I strung up the Cross Current GLX to change out the leader for bucktailing and snap, the tip limped over like a frail twig from a dry tree. Oh well… good thing for their bulletproof warranty. Im going to see if I can swap it out for the Native Run 10′ 6wt. which Jeff has, and I’ve casted, its a great stick much nicer than the 8 wt. I owned before. Its a little stiffer than my classic series, but it’ll be nice to have that sword to the collection.

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Pink My Pram: 8/26/09

Well, its not pink but I needed to water test the ‘new’ 8′ pram, so what better venue than to take dad out for an afternoon of catchin’ Pinks. I intended this pram to be used on stillwater for Chironomid fishing for trout, however, due to the location that I fished the day prior it warranted double duty as I wanted to get back to better understand these fish. Since low tide was at 4 pm, the previous day the action was really hot two hours before the low, so I figured we had some time to get things done around the house and make our way to the launch. The day before, I tested the 8′ pram, brand unknown for leaks, passed. Adjusted the oars, passed, mounted the seat, passed and installed a bow mounted Scotty Anchor lock, passed. It was ready to go on the water. But dad had little experience with rowing, so I had to give him a quick lesson today, along with learning how to tie the loop knot and how to adjust the drag and properly fight and land fish. Up to this point, I’d been playing guide for him, but he needed to ‘grow up’ in the fishing world and learn to bait the worm on his own hook.

Although I’ve tried to teach dad how to fly fish in the past, its just not in his blood to fly fish. Fishing is in his blood as was with my grandfather. But dad isn’t the type to get out on his own as , as he likes the fellowship and time that we get to spend together more than the fishing alone. I on the the other hand, well…. errr, just kidding. I won’t ever look back during these times and wish that I could work more or spend with my buddies, this is father and son time. I’ve been blessed with a great dad. We’ve fly fished the Green River, Utah, the monster caddis hatches on the Arkansas river, CO, mountain biked the famous slickrock trail in Moab, camped all over the country, hiked, rollerbladed, skied and been through alot together. Im glad that we can enjoy the ‘good stuff’.

Once I put dad into his boat, and launched him, he took to it quite well. I told him where to anchor, he did and soon after he was casting away. Within the first 5 minutes he was all smiles with the rod bent like a pretzel and a hot Pink salmon on the Gamakatsu Pink hoochie lure. I threw cast after cast, but to no avail, then bam, another fish on for dad. This didn’t last much longer as I had to catch up and show who was the top dog. It took me a while to get into the zone. First problem, I tied on a new leader which was much longer than what I was using the day prior, second problem, I used a different fly, technically it shouldn’t have mattered as it was a slight variation from what was working well. But I couldn’t keep of the blasted fish pinned on as they all came off after a momentary fight. Those darn Mustad hooks, which I will never buy again! I had no problems with the Orvis saltwater stainless hooks, Japanese made, chemically sharpened and very strong. Lesson learned, don’t change a good thing.

I wasn’t overly optimistic with the fishing today, as it was a weaker tide change with the low high being a delta of 4′ from the evening high high. I think the best salmon fishing occurs with a big tide swing of 9 or more feet. We saw fish pushing through, but not the numbers I saw the day prior with Jeff H. I wanted to stick it out for the evening incoming, but it wasn’t too spectacular, I landed a few more, dad got one more and we decided to pack it in by 5 pm and on the road by 5:30.

A decent day, but I’m still feeling like this place has a few more days of learning that needs to be accomplished. I’ll be out again but it will have to be next week, and armed with the Tiderunner to explore the body of water to the north that otherwise wouldn’t be possible to do by rowing. The capper to the day was the last fish for dad, and then my rod went into taco mode, a nice double header. You’re all probably sick of the the reports, but I’ll be grinning in February while browsing through this blog to remind myself that it was good to get out fishing and better to have shared the experience with dad.

The first three shots in the gallery was from an exploratory trip to Lincoln Park last Friday the 21st. I saw no risers, but plenty of fisherman. I watched a couple of fly fisherman whip the salt water into a froth without the reward of a tug. I decided to string up the rod, but didn’t make it into my waders, instead I snoozed off for a nap while hearing the lapping of the waves on the northerly shores. It might be a different ball game next week, but I’ve never had much luck at Lincoln Park anyhow, but thought it was worth a driveby as I was in Seattle for business that day anyhow.

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Pramela Anderson: 8/25/09, Marine Area 10

Just like clockwork, I promised that I’d be back on the water. After three days of non-fishing, my hands started to shake, my eyes watered, my heart rate and breathing slowed to a crawl. I needed the only thing that could revive myself, ‘the tug’. I live for it and figuring out a new place, new challenge but same fish isn’t always like turning on the key to your ignition. Sometimes you have to crank the starter a few times, the fuel injectors have to be firing correctly and the spark plugs have to be igniting.

After reading some reports from other websites I wanted to try something closer to home as I’d been fishing Dash Point pretty hard. With my last trip with dad on Friday, I feel that I’d mastered that beach. My predictions of the run peaking last week and now tapering were pretty much correct with the reports I’d been seeing on the boards and what I was hearing first hand from my fly fishing network.

I’d left the house and got on the water by 11:30 am. Upon my arrival, a few minutes I’d seen a couple of guys from a boat connect, but there was no visible evidence of fish breaking the surface like the beach, there wasn’t too much current, like the beach, there wasn’t a specific location that I could target, as I couldn’t find the bottom, and didnt know the topography of the bottom.

So, I rowed around, and finally dropped anchor in about 25′ of water as estimated by how much anchor rope fed through the Scotty mount. Visibility was poor with about 3′ of clarity. I made about 20 casts until I found a willing fish. Boy, they sure did look different than the at the beach. The two I landed looked more like trout then salmon. Green on top, pink along the lateral line, but still some chrome ont he bodies. The spots were more visible but no huge humps or really pinkish coloration.

About a half an hour later, Jeff H. shows up with his Koffler pram and rows out to me and anchors up. I say its been slow but a few more fish have been caught around us, and we see a fish every now and then, nothing like the beach, but its hopeful findings.

1 pm came, and it was like a light switch turned on, with rise after rise, schools so large that dorsals and mouths could be seen breaking the surface all around our prams. With many of my casts to those nearby schools resulted in positive hook ups, with aggressive fish on the move and all headed to their final goal, native spawning gravel. Cast after cast, I’d connected with at least a dozen fish during that hot and furious 45 minutes. Three hours of fishing, a fishery close to home, and back in time to enjoy my wifes kimchee wontons which I fried up along with preparing a fresh batch of brined Pink for the smoker tomorrow.

I’ll be back tomorrow with my dad as I’ve outfitted him with his own pram, we’ll be armed with the knowledge of the right time, tide and location. According to the tide chart, low was at 3:05 pm, with the action starting to get hot at 1 pm. I would think a bulk of this action to last 2 hours beyond the low. In every situation we found on the beach, fishing around the low was critical to our success. I had to pull anchor and left by 2 pm, but I suspect that fishing slowed a little at 3, but probably picked up again with the tidal push of incoming with another freshet of fish.

I was surprised to find bigger fish than on the south sound, and mostly females, 5 females to 1 male. The fish caught after 1 pm were fresher fish, in good condition with alot of chrome and no difference from what we saw at Dash Point.

Whats nice about this fishery, apart from being close to home is the easy launch, easy to find location, and not having to row out too far to get into the action. Can’t wait til tomorrow to give it another whirl, I’d post photos, but I don’t want to give away all my secret spots, so I’ll leave it up to you folks to do some exploring.

Do you want to see something that will blow your mind? How cool is Google maps? With the online satellite mapping, you can see how big the schools of salmon are. I wish I knew what time they took the photo, but you can tell its recent, evidenced by the presence of boats and lots of Spokane street gear chuckers on the bridge. See that big black mass that looks like a giant amoeba. Guess, what that is? Don’t believe me? Well, zoom in and use the mouse to move the map, first to the north of the marker, and then to the south. Look at the two splashes to the southwest, still don’t believe me? scroll to the south of Spokane street and on the water to the south of Spokane and look to the right of that waterway. BINGO! It must have been a tide change in the waterway as evidenced by the presence of the low water mark, a large school in the shipping lane preceeded by numerous ‘small’ schools running up the Duwamish. I would bet that those ‘small’ schools number in the 20-30 fish per streak, so makes you wonder how many are swirling around the bay? I believe it, because I witnessed this 2 years ago. Just some massive schools of Pinks that looked like big bait balls, all moving like a choriographed danced troop. FYI, Inner Elliot Bay is closed: August 25th-31st. So if you think we were fishing this, we weren’t. I can’t give away all my secret spots, but as I was surfing around those dark features sparked my interest and thought it was too cool to not share.

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I’ve reached Pink Nirvana: 8/20/2009

If there is such a thing for fly fisherman, today was THE day to end all days for me. Dad and I hit the beach from the Tiderunner and was phenominal. Some of you may lift your noses up with being ‘bored’ of these fish, some may want to get out and try their luck after viewing a few of these videos, others will be green or rather pink with envy. Regardless of your position, it was goooood. I don’t need to explain or blog more, I’ll let the videos tell the story of how our 3 hours on the water pretty much went. We did drop a couple of crab pots, no Dungees but a few red rocks throw backs.

Rod: GLX Cross Current 9′ 6 wt
Line: Airflo Striper with 15′ intermediate tip
Fly: Conehead Pink Turd

Later this evening I met up with an old college buddy whom I’d lost touch for over 20 years ago. Oh, the wonders of social networking, facebook. Turns out, that he was going to be in Seattle for a driving event. He is a Porsche driving instructor and was in town to teach local afficiandos about driving the cars. I got to jump in a GT2, just kidding… more like a Boxster S and wore out some rubber on the Boeing test track. Fun stuff! The VIP after party was nice too with lots of good food and nice cars and planes on display. Although this isn’t fishing related, my buddy Pete knew how much I loved fishing when we went to school in Colorado as I was always up on the Poudre River fishing every chance I got. He was into cars and going fast, so the two worlds met today and I’ll share some of the pics as well for those that might be interested in this kind of stuff. I know, its a fishing site, but you have to follow your passions, and I do love to fish as Pete loves to drive.

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Freight Train: 8/19/2009

I believe the mass of the Pink run on the south sound is in according to my analysis. Looking at the run two years ago a bulk of fish on Dash Point were had on 8/4/07. There isn’t data from the week of 8/6-12, but it looks like it peaked on 8/14/2007 with 99 Pinks sampled, and then dropped to 8 fish four days later on the 8/18/2007. If we use the data from two years ago, and look at the current data, it would appear that this week is the height of the run. There seems to be some missing data from Dash point, but if you look at Redondo as an example, there were 6 fish on the 8/4/09, then bumped up to 220 on 8/9/2009 and then tapered down to 16 from yesterdays figures. Those fish probably made their way to Dash Point where we’ve been fishing today, as I haven’t seen a school this large in the past few days that we’ve been fishing it. Granted its hard to figure out based on the # of anglers on those days (weekdays versus weekends), but I think were on the pinnicle based on what I witnessed today. The run this year seems to be about a week later than two years ago, I didn’t look at the data from that, but just based on the the reports I’ve been reading and the feedback I’ve heard from other fisherman. If this is the case, hopefully we’ll see the tail end of it towards the first week of September as we started to pick up fish on the 5th of August.

Tides were right, time was right and the fish were generally cooperative. I had a meeting in the a.m., but was able to boogie to the beach and got on at 10 am, just in time to catch a little low, ebb, and then incoming. Today I met Jeff H. his brother Brent, and Rex T. who was in the parking lot when I arrived. Rex said he was taking a break and was hydrating when I said, not to leave, as its going to be really good. I wheeled the pram back out to the waters edge and within my first few casts was into fish. Just beyond beach casting range but not too far from shore, the run was cruising, making its run towards the silty waters of the Puyallup river.

What I saw on the incoming tide was pretty amazing. A run so long and thick of fish it stretched from the point, halfway to the bay or more by my rough estimates. It was likely at least a half a mile long, my jaw dropped as I viewed head after head, tail after tail as they casually swam by for MINUTES, nothing deterring these guys from their final destination. There were times when the run was 360 degrees around me with fish porposing and easily viewable just 3-5 feet below the surface. Once noon hit, they were off the bite, I really had to struggle to get them to take, altering my retrieve. I think the sun and the warmer temps probably have a little to do with it, as I know I was in the zone fly wise. I noticed that once I got on, it was easier to spot groups of fish, cruising just 2-3 feet below the surface, once noon hit, it put them down a little more, but I could make out their shapes swimming through. They didn’t seem to mind that I was anchored up and weren’t afraid of my casting arm or line and or shadow over them. It was just that odd fish that for whatever reason had to have their reckoning with the little pink fly. It probably irritated them just enough to warrant a chase down.

Some of the best fishing was stripping my little fly back until the clear intermediate tip was in the first guide and then watching as a mouth inhaled the fly just next to the boat.

I lost count on how many fish were hooked as I stopped counting after 20. So, for all of you that haven’t landed a fish yet, now is the time to gather your gear, grab your flies and high tail it to your favorite beach. I’ve heard that the south sound fish are sooner to arrive, and have positive reports from Marine area 10 on good numbers showing up here as well. I’ haven’t decided whether to go back tomorrow to the same location or to start fishing the beginning of a new area. But dad wants to get out and nail a few so I may just bank on a good thing and venture back, it doesn’t take much to twist my arm with fishing this good. Until the next report…tight lines!

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Everything is coming up Pink! 8/18/2009

Another day, another shot at those blasted slimers. I guess most guys would be getting bored, but ah contrare on my part. This run only happens once every two years and the fact that is big and the fact that I love a pull, no matter if its Dorado, Mako, King or Pink its a pull. The best part of fishing for these guys is the anticipation that everything I prepared: rod, reel, line, leader, fly, casting, location, depth, retrieve all comes together and works. Many might think its a piece of cake, but for me its like unlocking a puzzle that would make the difference between having a 2 fish day versus a 20 fish day. Well, today was the 20 fish day. Previously, I couldn’t get past landing 5 or 6 Pinks. I’ve had days in the past where I hooked into the 30’s and it got boring. Each situation and location is different and what really helped me this morning was the big swing of tide, which was -2.3 on the low at 9:48 am. Also, a tool that was invaluable was using my stillwater pram. I had brought the old Sears 10′ last Friday, but the poor tide change and lack of schools came up with no fish to hand.

I met up with Jeff H. and his friend Jim of Bainbridge Island at 7 am. They’d arrived on the water at first light, parked aways away and walked in to our favorite location. Jeff had reported good fishing and as I was wheeling out the pram on the dolly, saw that he was in fight with a Pink. As I prepared my gear to launch I saw that there were rolling fish near and afar. I wanted to give a bit of distance between the two so that it wouldn’t scare or crowd the fish away. That didn’t seem to matter much, as I rowed out a few hundred feet, Jeff yelled out, that they were in close and to anchor up next to him. After of few fruitless casts, I pulled anchor and moved inshore. Once I anchored up, I found a pocket of 10 ‘ water in a depression that I saw several fish swirling. Upon my first cast, hookup! Bonk, bled, and put on the stringer, recast…. Fish on, bonk, bled, repeat… this happened a couple more times and I was grinning from ear to ear. I could have limited out within 30 minutes, but I was on a roll and wanted to fish more for a few more tugs. I was thinking that it was kind of waste of bring the pram out, until the tide started coming in.

Once the tide started coming in the fish started rolling a bit further out, just outside of the range of Jeff and Jim, but I was in the ‘zone’. The Pink Zone…. Three casts… three more fish to hand. Fish after fish, it was hot. I yelled out, ‘they’re just 10 yards from the boat’ and no sooner than I completed this, boom! Fish on. I gotta tell you, my forearms, and wrists are a bit sore from all the fighting. Pinks are a wonderful fish on lighter tackle (6wt. Cross Current GLX).

I was supposed to head out again tomorrow morning, but turns out that I have an early meeting that won’t allow me to make it out. Its supposed to be an even bigger tide variance, and I’ll be thinking of the grabs I had today and remembering the photos and video of the experience.

Jeff forwarded some pics from today and last week when his friends from CA visited, along with the short video I uploaded from today. I didn’t bring my tripod today, and dropped the camera a couple of times while trying to film landing a Pink. I had it recording, while I was fighting the fish and balancing the camera on my knee. Jeff’s friend Julie even got into a Pink, first time on the fly! She was all grins and will cherish those memories Im sure for many years to come.

I guess, I’ll be back out either tomorrow evening or plan to investigate another beach closer to home as I hear they showed up today from my contacts. Until the next report…. tight lines!

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Pretty in Pink… 8/12/2009

I should be burnt out of slimer fishing but I can’t seem to get enough of that pull, or even the anticipation of getting a tug at the end of the line. I was optimistic that today would be really good day after Jeff H.’s report from the day prior. He fished for a few hours and released 12-15 fish as they seemed to really be on the move with the tide change. Jeff said he quit since his rotator was acting up, after all, its not like we haven’t been fishing for the last week and half since the run got started. Im still hopeful that the big concentrations of fish are yet to come but we all know its a timing thing and its just a matter of being at the right place at the right time. I was hoping that last nights rain and this mornings overcast skies would have pushed another freshet of fish, but it was sunny and few fish to be seen or caught. The first batch didn’t want anything to do with the flies we presented. Two hours after the low is our witching hour, we decided to wait it out, have a drink and cigar and then hopefully intercept some fish.

Our break paid off, as the fish were on the move again with the tide, porposing and jumping, showing themselves. Our consecutive casts induced the Pinks to bite. It wasn’t knock down, but I brought 4 to hand, Jeff aslso had a handful, and Dov Y. finally picked up his first Pink of the season. He’d been fishing Picnic Point a few times without any success. I was glad to see the bend to his flyrod and the smile on his face as he landed the chrome beauty.

I didn’t bother changing up flies as the Pink Turd seemed to entice them all the same. I however was using my Cross Current GLX 6 wt. It was stiffer than my Classic GLX, but I do like the action of the Classic and the extra length really helps add a few more feet to my casts. Im still happy with the Airflo line, and glad I switched over when I heard Jeff mumble about how he dislikes the Outbound. We’ve heard good reports from the Skokomish, so that might be the next stop on Friday in search of some big Kings to fill up the freezer. Until then, I got a more few pinks to the brine and the smoker tomorrow.

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Marine Area 11: 8/10/2009

I’d been fishing for the past 5 days on this beach, I guess I can’t seem to get enough of those Pink salmon. Great fun on the 6 wt. and small flies. Tom H., Gaelyn H. Sean H. and Jeff H. joined us for the fun. I even met up with a couple other fellow fly fisherman, Andy W. and Vern J. I guess the news is out and the fellow fisherman are out in search for Pinks. Today I wanted to try a different line as I havent been too crazy about the Rio Outbound. It seems to tangle and knot up especially well, so today I decided to try out my Airflo full intermediate Striper line with clear tip. What a world of difference that the Airflo makes. It was much easier to cast, strip and handle.

I had to get some revenge on those fish, as my previous outing on Saturday was a bust, I hooked fish, but I wasn’t able to bring a single fish to hand. They were swimming, at times just a few feet away to add insult to injury. I found that if I calm down and work on my presentation it tends to work much better than a hastened strip. I used the same fly today, but I really think the Airflo line had much to do with my success. Within arriving at the beach, and throwing my 3rd or 4th cast, I was into my first fish, then it was hot and heavy for the next 30 minutes with waves of fish on the move. It did start to rain a bit, and I think that its a good sign of things to come for the rest of the run that has to make its way south.

Sean H. was able to connect, but lost a nice Pink within 10 seconds, but he was successful with his Bullhead that went for the pink hoochie Gammy jig. Tom H. hooked a couple but was able to land one of them, Jeff H. picked up a few fish and was still on the beach by the time we left, around 6 pm. Vern also got into a few and Andy finally hooked up while fishing from his kayak way out of our casting range. Here is some video I shot while on the beach of Andy and another fly fisherman with a double hook up. You can see in the right corner a couple of fish jumping while they are playing their fish.

It was good to get out tonite, but I wonder if the rain will drive more in, I guess you’ll have to stay tuned and find out, or better yet, go out and find some fish.

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Pink Salmon Fishing: Marine area 11, August 5th, 2009

Jeff H. and I decided to hit the water today with the Tiderunner in tow to see if we could explore some new water, and hopefully intercept some Pink Salmon. Jeff had been doing fairly well from the beach, but felt that it was just a morning bite, so I had to see for myself and hopefully encounter the wandering schools of fish from the boat. I was a bit concerned about the fishing, since it was a full moon today, but the cooler weather and the cloud cover was a blessing, as I feel it doesn’t spook the fish and drive them down.

The morning high tide was at 04:35 am, and the low was at 11:25 am, with a little over 10′ of change, which I like to see, because it draws in bait, and bait drives in feeding fish. I am unsure if these Pinks are in the feeding mode or just taking the flies out of aggression, as they are becoming territorial and swimming in large schools. One thing that has changed is that they are starting to show themselves versus just pushing through. Jeff would have hookups when no visible action was occuring on the surface, breaking, slashing, jumping. Yesterday we could predict the hook up as we saw one or two fish break the water and then was able to cast in that direction, pause, strip and would generally result in a hookup.

Flies that worked were Pink Turds, Pink Clousers, Pink Marabous. One fly that I had a difficult time with was my Pink over white bucktail. I believe the buoyancy of the bucktail caused this fly to be out of the strike zone, even though I was using a clear intermediate tip Rio Outbound fly line. Many of the strikes would occur when we threw the fly and the fly sank, within the first or second strip would the solid hook up occur. I feel its important to not use too much weight to lodge into the eel grass, but just enough weight to cause the jigging action of the fly. I’ll be back on the tying desk making up some new patterns to replenish my box.

I used my GLX 10′ 6 wt., which was light, easy to cast, accurate and throws that Outbound line very well. Its important to be accurate just as much as it is to be able to throw 50+ feet of line or more. This is no time to be un doing wind knots or learning how to double haul. If you can’t throw a solid length of fly line, you’d better be out at the practice fields learning to do it repeatedly and effectively. I’ve been fishing with gera lately and it really put a damper on my casting arm. It took a few hours to hammer out my tailing loops and in the afternoon I was confident about my casts.

I did see two big Kings in the 17-20 range swimming at the bottom of the beach in search of the weary baitfish. I was amazed to see them in such shallow water and how closely they were to the boat. No Coho were seen or caught, it was just a Pink fest. Many of the Pinks were the cookie cutter size, 2-3 lbs, but some larger males pushed 5 lbs. Still fun to hook, and play on the 6 wt rod. I was using a short leader down to 6 lb test, but you could go up to 10 lb Maxima with good success. I felt that the afternoon tide was the best, it was 3 hours post low that we had the best action. The largest schools and the most consistant action. We tried to unhook those caught fish as quickly as possible to re-engage another one. One other key to the success was to anchor and pull anchor to chase, hold and cast to the lead fish. At one bay, I couldn’t see the bottom of the sea floor as there was a thick density of Pinks lining and swimming in a rhythmic style. There were several double hook ups which resulted with us having to pass rods around each other, fight on opposite sides of the boat, keeping the lines away from the anchor line, the propellers and in the boat. I only had a big salmon knotted landing net, and it was buried under the gear in the cuddy, so we boated, and bled the Pinks on board, which turned my boat into a bloody mess. The good thing about the launch we used was that they have a fresh water cleanout, so if you’re able to get out, don’t forget your mufflers, bailer, and brush to clean up afterwards. A word of advice: the marine environment is rough on the gear, make sure to throughly soak, and rinse it out, including your clothing. It was especially hard on my fingers while I was stripping in line. I’ll need to find a stripping glove or use duct tape and superglue to repair the tips before the next outing.

I was supposed to get out again tomorrow, but just found out that my fishing partner cancelled on me. Its ok, there is weeding to do, laundry to put away and chores to finish up… maybe I can finish it in a few hours and make it out for the incoming afternoon tide???

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Blake Island Camping Trip: August 2nd, 2009

Blake Island State Park is a 475-acre marine camping park with five miles of saltwater beach shoreline providing magnificent views of the Olympic Mountains and the Seattle skyline. The park is only reachable by tour boat or private boat. Indian-style salmon dinners and demonstrations of Northwest Indian dancing are offered at Tillicum Village, a concession on the island.

A group of us decided to make an overnight camping trip to Blake Island, which is a 20 minute boat ride from Don Armeni boat ramp in West Seattle. Since YuJeong, Dad and I had visited the island about a month ago and enjoy the scenery, we thought it’d be a good reason to pay a visit in the future. On this trip Thao T. Brent and Eva C. Tom and his sister Brit from Belgium all joined together to enjoy a bit of the outdoors.

We found wind on the way over and alot of salad, which made for some wet shirts and green decoration on the hulls, windshields and in the cockpits of our boats. As we made our way into the harbor, we found no moorage available, so decide to make our way to the Northwest part of the island, where there was deep water moorage. We found some boats on the beach and decided to shuttle our camping gear to the very last spot on the island, lucky! Especially since it was a Saturday evening at 6pm when we arrived. Thao and Brent retrieved some fresh Dungees that were grilled and boiled. I prepared some Neah Bay Coho for dinner and we all enjoyed the gorgeous sunset and scenery. The next day YuJeong, Maddy and I took the hike around the island, which was by my estimates around 4 miles. With nice views, wooded forests, and big Madrona trees, it was a great close getaway. I would highly recommend trying this one out for those boaters and outdoor lovers. Nearby is the Manchester troll, which I hear many winter blackmouth can be taken.

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