estuary [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: estuary

05-27-2003, 04:20 PM
Saturday morning I put my small aluminum boat in at the WDFW launch on Fir Island and started downstream towards the salt. I had an out going tide which made the going easy. It was a beautiful morning. The sun was just coming up. The estuary is full of life at this time of day. The creatures of night heading for their daytime hideouts and the creatures of the day heading out to find their first meal.

The river was gaining some color turning almost fluorescent green and gaining some height as the beginnings of the spring melt were finding its way to the ocean. I hoped this would push the remaining cutthroat out to the estuary. As I started into that area that is neither salt nor fresh water I looked for signs of my quarry. I could see no rises or sign of the sea going trout so I stopped at what looked like a likely place for sea runs to lay in wait of food.

I watched but could see no activity of any sort. Neither my quarry nor of their food. I decided to try some surface flies. After searching for about a half hour the first cutt of the day hit my small black fly. A nice fish of about 16 inches with a blue-green back and silvery sides. Under its gill plates the familiar orange slashes from which its name came were starting to gain back their brilliance. Several more casts resulted in 3 more fish with largest about 18 inches. I fished this area for quite some time until the bite seemed to be off. I moved further down into the estuary looking for some eel grass or other cover.

I came to a spot where there is about an acre of eel grass and a nice drop off. I have caught fish here before. Switching my fly to a small bait fish pattern I started working the edges of the eel grass. As I moved along I caught several fish. Once again the fish averaged around 16 inches with an occasional fish going 18 inches. I fished until the tide started its inward flow.

I let the incoming tide push me back up the fork of the river and fished along the way. During the morning I had managed to land about a dozen or so sea run cutthroat and 2 dollies. The dollies were a special treat. They fight so much harder in the estuary then upriver. I had seen several birds of prey (I need to learn more about the different birds), eagles, hawks and one osprey. I watched countless shore birds and a number of herons plying their trade in the shallows. I saw otters, a seal and what looked like a dolphin out a little further in the deeper water.

What I didnít see might be the best part of my short fishing trip. I saw no other people the whole time I was out there. No one. No traffic noise, no tv, no radio, no nothing. The estuary, its creatures and I were the only things there. At times I felt as if I had stepped back in time a 100 years. I was sad when the tide had pushed my boat back up the fork of the river almost to the launch. I did not want to leave such an enchanted place. I will return.

05-27-2003, 09:08 PM
AWESOME. In all the years I spent in Washington state, I never really focused on the estuary zones outside of salmon season. I regret that actually! Thanks and keep them coming.

wet fly
05-28-2003, 12:39 PM
Kerry, I try to spend a couple of days a year down there. I also like Hat slough. The high tide early morning or late evening puts one in touch with nature especially when in the quiet of a small boat. In the fall the salmon are all over the young ducks have not yet been blasted and the seals have that smile on there face. The smooth flowing water "upstream" is a tranquil setting. The good fishing you had is just a bonus. Jerry

05-28-2003, 12:48 PM
Sounds like a dream morning on the water. Great report :cool: