Point No Point Salmon
Battle the crowds on the for Steelhead or fish the beach for Salmon with poppers?? A tough choice, but I decided to go for the Beach as weekend fishing can be brutal on the Sky.
We got to the water on Sunday morning about 9:30 - a cloudy windy cool morning that really made casting tough. We were fishing poppers - small foam-head baitfish imitations - and were hoping to see some action on bait. We didn't see much at first, but the occasional smolt or cutt would attack the poppers with abandon to keep us on our toes.
Then the funny stuff began - a guy just up the beach from us was fishing clousers and started hitting flounder one after the other. These were -big- flounder, too!! Probably 18-20" long, they looked like they'd easily cover a dinner plate with space t spare. He landed over 10 of these beasties just while we were watching!!
We continued to fish and I hooked and landed a very active (4 jumps, line-peeling runs) 18" salmon that turned out to be an immature Blackmouth. A few minutes later, I landed his younger brother (about 14") and my friend Leland had a larger salmon take his jumbo popper before regaining it's freedom.
As we worked our way back toward the parking lot after low tide, we watched the surface for activity. Leland spotted some disturbed water, so we jumped back in and started casting. I had a tremendous boil (bathtub sized) at my popper that got my blood pumping. About 3 casts later, the water boiled again and I was fast to a much larger salmon (somewhere in the 4-5lb range) that cartwheeled up and down the beach, eventually popping my Lamson into freespool as my backing disappeared. The fish finally threw the hook with over 1/2 my backing gone! Moments after this, I look down at Leland and hear and anguished cry as I see the big spashy take, bent rod, and sudden slack line.
Sounds like a great time, wish I were there. I always enjoyed the saltchuck salmon FF opportunities when I lived there and look forward to doing it again.
Brian, it seems like the interest is rising for SWFF in the pacific northwest. Would you agree?
We've gone to the straits and Neah Bay and have been the only ones with flyrods when I lived out there. It seems we could find a few more nowadays?
Absolutely, Juro. Just as there is a loosely knit band of North Puget Sound Steelhead flyfishers, so to is there a growing group of Puget Sound beach flyfishers.
There are the guides and more experienced anglers who have been the innovators of many of the techniques being used -they've been at it for the past 10-20 years. Then there are the growing # of new converts that are just discovering the enjoyment of walking the Sound's many beaches searching for feeding fish. I'm one of the "new" group - just learning the nuances of high/low tides, the varying retrieves of the floating and subsurface flies, and the various organisms (candlefish, sand eels, euphasids, herring) I'm attempting to imitate.
SW/Puget Sound flyfishing is definitely addictive, as is the ability to fish effectively with a floating fly even into the winter months! The times I've been out lately, there have been 5-6 other beach flyfishers working the tide change with us. The nice part of this equation is that, unlike steelheading, there is no "hot" run so angling pressure is dispersed and I'm not as depressed seeing other fishermen already on the water when I arrive!
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