Some notes on Puget Sound blackmouth/chinook - Fly Fishing Forum
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Old 07-06-2004, 05:17 PM
Leland Miyawaki Leland Miyawaki is offline
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Some notes on Puget Sound blackmouth/chinook

It looks like this years salmon season in Puget Sound is going to better than last. I have seen a lot of bait in the water and for the first time, I saw schools of candlefish at the beach.

I fished the Narrows this past weekend, July 3,4 & 5. As many of you know, I fish my poppers almost exclusively. On Saturday, I fished it on a 6wt. Sage 9' SP. I had 10 blackmouth come up and take down the popper. I say take down because I have found that blackmouth do not take the popper the same as coho or searuns. They do not rush the cripple from behind nor do they slash at it or are they willing to chase it down. In fact, you never know they're on it, they simply tip up from behind, like a trout on a trico. Consequently, my strip is not the same as what I might do for coho. I let the tide swing my fly very slowly. I even make small uptide mends. I had one fish suck it down and when I didn't feel it's weight, I held up on the set. He rolled on it three times before he hooked himself.

Now here's the sad part. I wasn't able to get the metal into the jaw with the 6wt. It didn't have the backbone to do a heavy strip set. The next day, I came out with my 8'8" 8wt Scott Arc. Interestingly, I had forgotten that I had entered into my journal a few years back that this was a problem (it just goes to show you that not only should you keep a journal, you should read it). The first fish, I flat out missed in a backeddy. I hooked and landed the second fish that came. It was a 4-5 pound shaker. Now here's the sad part. There were far fewer fish Sunday than the day before and the next day, I only boiled two fish.

I don't know what kind of strip to make down deep that will excite chinook but I'm fairly certain that a very slow twitched retrieve on a popper (a true crippled baitfish) is the ticket on the surface.

Leland.
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Old 07-06-2004, 05:29 PM
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juro juro is offline
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Leland that was an awesome account of your outings. Please keep the reports coming as things continue to heat up through the season and into the fall.

On a related note...

Remember the contest on Lake Washington where the prize was $10,000 for the one who found the best sockeye technique? The winner was either the U20 flatfish or the bare hooks behind the dodger on a 8oz mooching weight with 80 pulls - I can't quite remember the exact numbers. But anyway the contest led to a general understanding of how to approach an enigmatic problem - the ocean chinook on a fly.

I wonder if we could hold such a contest for fishing chinook in the salt... the criteria would have to include consistency as well as size of fish. Not too big on the contest part but the findings could be eye-opening.
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Old 07-06-2004, 05:36 PM
Leland Miyawaki Leland Miyawaki is offline
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I wanted to post my notes because I recall talking to Kush and Dana about the problems fishing to chinook down deep with flies. I'm thinking that maybe we strip to fast and that a slow twitchy retrieve is best think cut plugs. Anyway, I've got to get out on a boat and try this over feeding kings that are only 20-30 feet down. But as they say, I've only scratched the surface.

Leland.
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Old 07-06-2004, 05:41 PM
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tips

Leland

Your making me jealous........I spent many a day on the same stretch, mostly north of the bridge on the west bank. I used to use my Sage 6100 and a Teeny 200 along with my candlefish fly. I would love to try Bob Meiser`s 11' 7" 6/7 there. I had it on the Descuthes trying it out for Trout and thought the beaches along the sound would be a perfect spot for it. I never had a problem striking the fish. Most were so aggressive they hooked themselves.

Skilly
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Old 07-06-2004, 05:49 PM
Leland Miyawaki Leland Miyawaki is offline
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Yes, you're right when it comes to coho and searuns, they do hook themselves. But on the surface, with my popper, I have been surprised at how gentle and subtle the blackmouth takes are. I wonder what a deep sunk fly off the Queen Charlottes would do if it were tied on a "crooked" hook that wobbled like a cut plug herring.

Leland.
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Old 07-06-2004, 06:04 PM
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Poppers

Leland

If I get up there to visit my son I will have to get a hold of you maybe we can wet a line. I never tied a popper for them, they just grabbed the sunk flies like the Silvers.
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Old 07-06-2004, 08:03 PM
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North Island North Island is offline
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Quote:
I don't know what kind of strip to make down deep that will excite chinook but I'm fairly certain that a very slow twitched retrieve

My success in this area has been with t6 full sink lines around kelp. When stripping I like to change up the rhythm. With long slow pulls and short 6" pulls in rapid sucsession. Quite often the problem I find is getting the fly to the target species and not intercepted by Sea Bass, Cabazon or Coho. Although Coho is generally a good thing.

I know several anglers in my area that will be giving "Chinook on the fly" alot of effort this year.

Cheers N I
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Old 07-06-2004, 08:05 PM
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loophitech loophitech is offline
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Leland,

I fish the Purdy Spit on a regular basis and usually on an outgoing tide. Looking at my journals, I notice that I had barely hooked a fish if at all past a 12'oclock low tide. Now, my journal records are far and few between, so I am not saying my info is 100%. It seems that the fish, IMO, whether sea runs, kings or cohos bite agressively before that noon low tide and again, a few if at all after 12.

Here at the spit, for me, I dead drift with my spey rod and usually get most of my strikes 3/4 through the drift with no strip at all. I know fishing from a boat is quite different but the above is what I have found. Drop me a line if you want to fish this area, if you haven't already.

I have not tried poppers yet, maybe that will be determining factor???

LoopHiTech
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Old 07-06-2004, 09:35 PM
Leland Miyawaki Leland Miyawaki is offline
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Yes, I've fished Purdy. It's one of my favorite winter searun spots. I vary my retrieves from very slow to very fast as well as herky-jerky and smooth and steady until I find what works for the day. The tidal movement putting a belly in the dryline is also a determining factor in the speed of my strip. A fast moving tide only needs a couple twitches every so often with the line hand.

See you at Purdy sometime,
Leland.
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