Fishwhatcom.com
 
The Confluence Fly Shop Bellingham for Fish Whatcom Savage Spinners
Throwing flies in the salt - Fish Whatcom Forum

Fish Whatcom Forum

 


Author Topic: Throwing flies in the salt  (Read 4190 times)

Sheepdog

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 89
    • View Profile
Throwing flies in the salt
« on: August 03, 2014, 02:21:45 PM »
Hi All....looking for a little help or some pointers.  Thought I'd try fly fishing some of our local points & beaches but have no feel for the salt, whatsoever.  I checked through the archives and didn't see a whole lot on the subject so I figured I'd reach out to you seasoned salty dogs. 

First off,  aside from the obvious jumping, schooling fish, what should I be looking for in the water?  Large rocks?  Lots of floating kelp?  Some sort of subsurface structure? A cove or bay where the wave action is a little less?  And is the occasional sea grass on the hook a good thing?  Should I try to stay away from it or find more of it?.  Whatever you feel inclined to share would be appreciated.

For what it's worth, I went to a local point for this mornings tide change and didn't get a bump or see any signs of active fish.  Didn't feel so bad because I didn't see anyone else get any love either.  The reef netters were out so I'm guessing it's not too early in the season. 

I was throwing several varieties of a sand lance and did what I could think of to vary the retrieve and their position in the water column.  Is there a by catch to tell me I might be doing something right?  Like should I expect or hope for a small sole, flounder, land shark, or whatever to indicate I've got the right fly, retrieve, and depth?

yeah...I know...lots of questions.  I'm not after your hard earned secrets, just something to get me going in the right direction.

AP

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 426
    • View Profile
Re: Throwing flies in the salt
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2014, 10:30:55 AM »
Ignore the reef netters.  They are after sockeye that will likely never eat your fly. 

Silvers will be here very shortly and those can be worth your time if they are actually eating.  Look for signs of fish showing themselves.  I used to cast spoons to them from the shore and always did best near the high tide.  If you are willing to drive, head to Fort Casey or Bush Point on Whidbey in a few weeks.

Good luck.

Nick

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 890
    • View Profile
    • Fish Whatcom
Re: Throwing flies in the salt
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2014, 01:12:06 PM »
Every beach fishes differently too. So on some beaches moving current (from tides) is good, but at others it's not necessary to catch fish. Eel grass beds usually indicate baitfish, so are good places to look but can be difficult to reach from shore. If you have a small boat that can help.

I wouldn't look for bycatch to help out much as an indicator, unless you're catching searun cutthroat. In that case you're probably in a good spot, and they are fun to catch anyways!

This is probably early to be seeing silvers, but over the next few weeks they should start showing up.
-Nick

Sheepdog

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 89
    • View Profile
Re: Throwing flies in the salt
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2014, 09:51:05 PM »
Thanks for the replies....was thinking I might be a little early but it was such a beauty of day and I couldn't help myself.

Anyway, I do have a couple more questions for you all though  (my OCD is flaring up again)  First, what about resident coho?  Do we have many up here or are they mainly south of here? 

And what about access at Sandy Point?  Can non tribal members use the boat launch there? Or is it just less of headache to launch at Zuanich and run across the bay (even with a smaller boat?) And/or can non tribal's be on the beach?  When I lived out that way a lifetime ago there was some stuff going on about non members not being allowed above the high water mark.

And finally, how come no one seems to fish much outside the mouth of the Nooksack? I know one side is all tide flats,  but what about where the channel(s) come out on the southern side?  Is that tribal only or is it simply too shallow?

my bad...one more...regarding silver behavior.  Will they fan out over the flats at high tide? Or will they continue to follow the shore line/shallows and search for a channel?

Sorry running on with the questions again.  Can ya recommend a book or some good magazine articles and I'll stop peppering you all with questions like a first grader





« Last Edit: August 05, 2014, 08:50:42 AM by Sheepdog »

aaronk

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 170
    • View Profile
Re: Throwing flies in the salt
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2014, 10:39:16 PM »
As far as a book recommendation, I'd pick up Flyfishing for Pacific Salmon.  An excellent resource on the topic:

http://www.amazon.com/Fly-Fishing-Pacific-Salmon-Les-Johnson/dp/1571884343

The saltwater game can be tough, sometimes the bite is on and other times it's not.  I've not explored the beaches around Bellingham much, but the beaches on Whidbey can be productive.  Resident Coho I've heard are more abundant further south, the SRC fishing also seems better in the South Sound area as well. 

And if you end up fishing the beaches much, get yourself a stripping basket.  I was cheap and held off for a long time, but after using one I'd never go back to fishing the beaches without one.

Nick

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 890
    • View Profile
    • Fish Whatcom
Re: Throwing flies in the salt
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2014, 08:43:29 AM »
Hey Sheepdog,
Sorry I do my have much to add in response to your questions. Like Aaron said, they can be a finicky creature so finding them is only half the battle. I'm not sure about the sandy pt beaches, but I would think you'd be ok.
-Nick

Sheepdog

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 89
    • View Profile
Re: Throwing flies in the salt
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2014, 08:19:14 PM »
No worries about not having answers, it'll make it more of a challenge.   Haven't played around in the salt with my 14'er in several years.  Last time I went to check out the mouth of the Nooksack I almost ran aground not knowing the flats extended out so far.  Who knew.  Funny how one gets more cautious as they get older   ;)

and thanks for the book info, aaronk.  Got a copy waiting for me at the library.

« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 08:24:40 PM by Sheepdog »

ramatsu

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Throwing flies in the salt
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2015, 01:10:54 PM »
New to the forum, and have spent 10 years in B'ham not fishing much, but used to do quite a bit of beach fly fishing around Bainbridge and the peninsula.

As someone mentioned, every beach can be different, and it can really be hit and miss. To improve the odds, I like to fish on an incoming tide in an area that I know baitfish tend to get pushed toward shore. I've stood in thy-deep water and had coho jumping between me and the shore in those conditions, they can get up close and personal, and best of all, are actively feeding or they wouldn't be there.

I hope to start getting out and learning beaches around Whatcom this year, let me know if you are looking for a fishing buddy for that kind of stuff. My social circle doesn't include fisherfolk, which is probably why I never really got serious up here.

Oh, and I've done best on salmon (mostly coho) using mylar candlefish; red anything especially shrimp for cutts from the shore; and of course chum candy for those. (Maybe Keta Kandy now that they're showing up in the fish department?) Though I confess to going out last year to a beach lousy with active chum and scoring nada. They were leaping like crazy, which I came to believe was more egg-loosening hen behavior vs. any indication of feeding, to protect my ego at least.

Fish Whatcom Forum

Re: Throwing flies in the salt
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2015, 01:10:54 PM »

 

Copyright © Fish Whatcom Forum



Fish Whatcom Forum Register
savagespinners