After the hour long journey back to the launch at Sammamish my thirst had not been quenched. Luckily, my plan B would be to fish Pine Lake. I had packed the oars, 5 wt rod, along with my sounder and anchors in the morning.
My pram is stored nearby on the trailer so I swung by to grab it and off I went up to Pine. After the un-successful outing on opening day with my family in tow I needed some redemption. I rigged up and rowed out from the launch and within 100 yards the rod with the sinking line starts bouncing and my first trout of the lowland season comes to hand.
In years past the better fishing was the far west end of the lake so I proceed to row over while trolling the integrated sink tip line. I found a black woolly bigger on the launch and tied it on figuring it would be a good searching pattern. While trolling I picked up a few more fish until my sounder started picking up more fish so I dropped anchor and set up my floating line with bobber.
I threw on a hares ear nymph under the bobber. As soon as it hit the water and the fly started sinking the line went tight and another feisty trout came to hand. Throat samples revealed daphnia and size 18 red ribbed chromers. While I had the floating line with chironomids suspended I started throwing my other rod with integrated tip. The fish were going nuts with the stripped fly. I was in the zone pulling 8 trout on 8 consecutive casts.
After the 20th or so fish the tippet have way and the woolly surrendered to the trout. I threw on another baitfish pattern similar to a Mickey Finn but with a red body and wire wrap abdomen. The trout went nuts over this and it resulted in many sore lips and broken hopes. What a day! I lost count as I was just having fun catching and releasing, hopefully giving these recent planters a little education to grow bigger and stronger for another day.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get better, a WDFW truck pulls up as I’m wrapping up for the day and drops another 1000 fish into the lake. Greedily I drop anchor and make a dozen or so casts without any luck. I think once they adjust to their new surroundings the folks fishing the docks will be pulling them in left and right. It was a good day to be on Pine lake and a bad day for the trout.
Another sunrise brought anticipation of pounding surf and the prospects of perch on the fly. Today I rigged up a chartreuse calf tail dropper tied on fluoro tippet to the eye of the pink marabou fly that worked well yesterday.
Even though I only fished an hour this morning it yielded a few willing takers. My parents were encouraging me to keep any perch if I were to catch anything. The fish were smaller than the previous day but I kept a few for the fry pan. I was surprised when a female when cut open showed a cavity filled with baby perch. I know my parents will especially enjoy breakfast this morning.
Spring break 2013 marked my fathers 70th birthday celebration. We needed some sunshine and warm weather as spring teased us in western WA. I’d be missing out on fishing Dry Falls one of my favorite stillwater lakes in WA but I tried to make the most of the family trip and decided to pack light by brining a reel with spare line, box of salt water flies, some tippet, and my 5 wt 6 piece travel rod. I didn’t know what to expect by bringing such a light trout rod but figured I’d be making a lot of casts searching so didn’t want to wear out my arm in doing so.
Sunrise was 6:26 and I couldn’t sleep as the boys were all settling down and irritable. Jonah had a fever and cried most of the night as we all tossed and turned. I had mapped out the rock jetty and figured that there might be something to nab if it was swimming.
I started on the North facing side of the Jetty with a deep 7 but quickly found it to be too aggressive and fast sinking. Luckly I brought the outbound short with 30′ integrated clear tip which I swapped out and re-tied my fly, a pink chenille marabou tail that I made for pink salmon fishing.
After about 20 casts and nothing to show for I switched directions and fished the south facing and more sun lit portion of the jetty. The high tide wasn’t until 10 am with a 4.7′ high but the crashing waves and surf spray gave caution to not get too close to the barnicle and mussel covered rocks below.
After my third cast and strip, the line went tight and a medium sized surf perch of 6-7″ came wobbling up. Just as I brought it up it wiggled free and dropped back into the surf. This was a good sign indeed! My first surf perch on the fly. I made another dozen casts and was able to coax another smaller fish up and this time snapped a quick pic and gave it back to the sea.
Even though I fished for an hour the sights, smells and experiences from the trip was good enough. The day prior we enjoyed some of the best Korean barbeque that I can recall. Kang Hodong Baekjong is the rave of the town and had a nice write up in the LA Times. The various cuts of plain and seasoned meat grilled up was magnificent and fit for royalty. Even though this is a family trip I was glad to connect with a few willing players. I’ll give it another try tomorrow morning with a chartreuse over white clouser.
I was in serious need of some downtime but was limited to just a few hours so what better option than to head out in search of some Beaver Lake triploids?
The weather had been on and off so today was no exception and the warm November sunshine and the crisp fall air was just what the doctor prescribed for an attitude adjustment. Since all my gear was scattered about the garage I decided to borrow my friends Livingston and electric trolling motor. I’d meet up with Jeff Hu. on the water and we decided to move to the far northeast end of the lake as reports had been good for fish that were rising and feeding on chironomids.
I didn’t have a sounder or anchor, but was able to borrow Jeff’s spare anchor and stay close to him to monitor the depths while catching up with him in good conversations. A few dark fish porpoised while we were anchored up but as usual wasn’t able to get them interested in a stripped fly. I rigged up a chironomid set up on my 5 wt. bloodworm/chromed set up. There were small grey adults flying around and saw a few large shucks on the surface, so knew the recent planters were already keyed in on the naturals.
This day was about getting some fresh air and relaxing and was glad to have borrowed my friends boat as the center section is a great platform to lay down and catch a few Zzzzzz’s. I sent a bloodworm down on the integrated sink line, stripped up a foot and wrapped the fly line around my arm and took a nice nap. I really value the peace and quiet especially after leaving a house full of screaming boys.
After a quick cat nap I decided it was time to focus. The sink line wasn’t giving me or Jeff any love, so rigged the floating line and indicator for a try along the lily pad shoal. After 10-20 minutes and making multiple casts retrieves I noticed out of the corner of my eye the indicator taking a nose dive and going into the depths. I set and was pleasantly greeted by some runs of the fly line and a nice chunky 17″ Beaver triploid. I quickly took a throat sample and released the fish. I found daphnia and what appeared to be an 16 legged beast about 1 cm long with two forked tail. Will have to look that one up as I’d never seen that before. Guess it’ll be another couple days before the fish are really keyed in on the naturals but it was good to get that one fish since it appeared to be slow for many of the other anglers today.
I didn’t care if I caught a fish or not, it was nice to get out and the calm sunny day even though for 3 hours was so worth the effort. Not sure when I’ll make it out again as its crunch time for the new office space and ongoing landscape and home improvement process. Once I get things settled out it would be nice to throw a couple crab pots out and spend a day trolling for Possession bar black mouth.
After a hectic week filled with work, recovering from being sick, and having to care for my 11 month old son as we had no daycare I was ready to hit the water. Since we had a poor outing the week prior at Hoodsport I told Jeff Hi. that we should consider a trip out to Chico as the reports had been positive from my sources with ‘many fish’ and ‘easy hookups’.
They must’ve put the word out to the chum as it was pretty devoid of fish upon our arrival which wasn’t the ideal time right at the peak high tide at 07:11. A few fish were jumping in both bays but the creek was also barren with maybe a few fish holding in the riffles. When it’s on that area is stuffed full of chum so not sure why it was different versus the reports.
On the water, met up with a regular who has been doing very well and said the last 10 days have been excellent with him hooking and releasing many nice chum. He was perplexed as well as to why the schooling fish were all together absent. We decided to wait it out for the outgoing tide to see if it would bring in more fish which it did but I maybe saw 5 fish total swim in as a result. We casted to those fish very methodically as did the other 3 fly fishermen, 2 gear guys and the group of 6 other gear guys that were waiting upstream. The fish were classic Chico lockjawed chum and I would have liked to stay but with the lack of numbers it was time to waive the white flag and call it quits.
The trip wasnt a full bust as I had a rod to be picked up at Sage and took the opportunity to take a tour of the factory. What a great operation and the tour reminded me why I love this company and it’s great products. Of note was the piles of warranty rods received from around the world as warranty repairs. I guessed around 700-800 rods that are processed with a turn around of 2 months. If you don’t want to wait and have the chance to drop off a rod for warrant my repair I would highly recommend asking for a tour.
With the rain in the forecast and ideal tides I wanted to test my theory out on these B run unclipped fish that we’ve been seeing on our marine estuary X. According to the WdFW they released 40,000 coho that we’re not marked for the purpose to study if clipping the adipose fin makes a difference in return rates. About 3 weeks prior I had noticed a marked increase in the adipose finned fish which caused concern. Even with a system and hatchery that’s been in operation for over a 100 years was there a run of ‘wild’ fish? I didn’t think so but good to check with the wdfw to make sure as we didn’t wan to disturb the wild fish even though the regs allow for retention of either clipped or unclipped fish.
It was slower but I was able to find a few players. I landed 7 fish from 16″ jacks to the largest 28″ chrome buck. I had enough fish in my freezer and gave my friends a combo of 5 fish and kept two for the smoker and the barbeque. This was truly our last run, I want to leave it on a good note. I’ll be counting down the time until next year but have other fish to fry, or rather Chum, winter crab and steelhead, resident Blackmouth and Matsutake mushrooms to complete the tour. I am glad that I’m not a hunter as I’d really be in a dizzy chasing ducks, deer and elk as well.
Tuesday the weather cleared enough to go on a road trip to explore historic downtown Poulsbo and drop off a wounded 8 wt. rod at Sage another casualty of the season, and take the ferry ride back home. Don’t miss Sluys bakery on front street especially the date and coconut macaroons which are gluten free but loaded with taste and especially wonderful. Man cannot live on fish alone, gotta have the veggies, fruit and local confectionaries as well.
This weekends full harvest moon brought some luck for my friends and I would pull the trigger on getting out to try our luck once again. I was skeptical but optimistic that I would pick up a big male Coho to use for Gravlax. I did get one nice fish of 29″ that weighed in at 11.7 lbs earlier in the run but wanted another shot as later in the run the fish tend to get larger as they spend more time in the salt feeding and fattening up.
In years past the run would be done by the end of September. Due to the lack of rain and good ocean conditions I believe that we still might have some decent fish returning in the next week or two if the rains stay away the fish should play. The short of the report was it was lights out fishing. I picked up a fish with a first cast, and was able to get a limit within 30 minutes. Fish steadily kept pushing through the tide change and we left fish with our limits in hand. The largest was 28″ which I’ve got curing along with a gallon of separated roe for Shoyu style Ikura which I recently discovered my son loves. I’ll be keeping all my roe from now on: partly to use as bait and partly for Ikura preparation.
I needed some fresh air so decided to take my youngest son out to the park and hit the high tide for a chance at some Silvers. I could see fish boiling just yards away, sometimes it’s nice keeping things simple. No waders, one box of flies, a spool of Maxima 10 lb tippett, a rod and reel with Rio Outbound and you’re set!
Just as I suspected, the incoming tide would bring the bait and fish would be on the move. The water clarity was excellent with little salad in the water and a rip forming at the point. Sometimes you don’t need a boat or too much gear to get it done, just a tide chart and a box of flies. I’ll be back tomorrow for another shot!
Had a wild hair and needed to get back out for some Coho action. We loaded up with my dad, Ching W. and Tom E. into his mini van to head out to the Oly-Penn for some nighttime fishing. We were hoping to find fish on the tide drop but the incoming tide was really when they were pouring in with consistent action an hour after the tide change.
It was a great way to ring in my birthday and to have some fresh silvers to hand out to my friends and family members. I reported my crab catch card but didn’t realize that I am just 5 fish away from being full. Coho season has indeed been excellent so far and hoping to hit it one more time before I convert to roaming the beaches or trolling for them with the boat.
Our beloved Chum are around the corner and some locations will start showing good numbers by the end of the month. Definitely going thin these days with the lack of sleep but I can grin and look back with great satisfaction that I was able to spend these days on the water, thankful!
Having a limited day dad and left after a hearty brunch at the Fort Worden Commons and set out at 10 am with the tide flats in mind. Hoping that it was going to be a repeat of yesterday we we just wanting to get in and out with our Coho, but we found out that it took a bit of work to locate and sift though the 1-2 fish and the 40-50 other anglers which showed up in force with the same intentions.
Since our time is precious, when it was evident that the fish wouldn’t make the run, we high tailed it out towards the bay to intercept them versus stand and wait for the possibility that they’d come. Tom E. made it out around 10 am and was already hiking out and I saw him and made the same plan to hike it downstream. The wind was blowing pretty hard and caused the water to get stirred up with silt. This put off a murkiness in the water, that coupled with the white caps made it more difficult to view the fish but I was able to pick off a few fish with one nice hen of 9 lbs.
Even with the tide change and incoming tide it was evident that it wasn’t going to happen so we packed up around 12:30 to make the hike and drive back up to Port Townsend to pick up my wife, boys and mom. We ended with 4 keeper Coho with 1 that was fouled an released. What a fantastic three days in the Olympic Pennisula with great food, wonderful sights of some decent fishing.
The drive back home was easy with a little bottle neck traffic in Tacoma but otherwise it was 60 mph all the way. A dinner pit stop in Federal Way’s Palace restaurant hit the spot with assorted grilled meats and side dishes, Korean style!
Rod: Sage RPLXi 9′ 8 wt
Line: Airflo multitip
Fly: Pink Hootchie Hooker