After a successful opener I wanted to invite my friend Ching for a try at Lings on the fly. After a very unsuccessful last year fishing with him on my boat I told him that if we didn’t land a keeper sized fish that it would be it for him being a deckhand on the SS Hewes.
We didn’t leave Bellevue until 8 am as we both had to drop off our kids to school and or daycare. I had left the boat hitched up and ready to go and all we needed was food and drinks. I always check the marine forecast prior to fishing and there was a small advisory for the afternoon as the winds would pick up to 15-20 knots with 2-4′ wind waves. Not conducive to good Ling fishing at all. Lings like calmer water without a big tidal exchange and the weather could have been a slight factor.
We fished my usual haunts and a couple of known spots but we came up empty handed and scratching our heads. Luckily my friends were fishing location and already had 3 keeper sized fish aboard for 4 guys and had lost 5 others. Around 11 I decided to motor over to that spot which is new to me and I’ve not spent any time fishing. The move proved to be a good one as we were able to get 2 fish to cooperate and then we called it quits shortly thereafter.
At the launch we met WDFW enforcement and he had no reports of seeing anyone or himself having any luck. When we showed him out our cooler and licenses, he asked of we were using sand dab. I explained that we caught them on the fly and showed him my Cliffs Barn Bugger filled with my creations. He shook his head and was in disbelief and said ‘no, you gotta be BS’ing me’ and I said ‘no sir… I wouldn’t be caught fishing with bait when I can have this much fun on the fly. It was confirmation that my improved rod, line system, and flies are proven ling cod producers.
By the time I got home and the boat and gear cleaned up I was too beat to process the fish. I bled it out and packed it on ice to worry about the next day. Tonite we’ll enjoy Baja style Ling cod tacos with all the trimmings, looking forward to eating and living well in the pacific northwest! I’ve had many inquire about locations and details which I don’t like to divulge as more and more folks seem to be out there chasing after these tasty and toothy creatures.