Sea Run Cutthroat, Coho and Blackmouth in Puget Sound, Washington
Puget Sound Photo Journal
Finding the Sound movie
Many, but not all visitors to the Seattle and Tacoma areas believe Puget Sound to be the open ocean when in fact it is a huge maze of bays and inlets reaching from Bellingham to Olympia. While the Sound is affected by tides and is saltwater, it remains a very different watershed from the coastal ocean. One of the primary differences is the protection from the Olympic Peninsula which forms a barrier between the coastal ocean and the Sound. This barrier offers fly anglers a rich haven for casting flies to sea run cutthroat trout and all species of salmon without the crashing surf found on the coast.
state of Washington has nearly 3,000 miles of saltwater shorelines,
much of which are within close proximity to the Seattle area. Rivers
and creeks flow into the Sound from the mainland and from most of
the islands and peninsulas located nearby. These
freshwater resources are spawning grounds for a large population
of cutthroat trout that move into the saltwater during the spring
and stay into the fall, creating a tremendous fishery with very
an hour of Seattle or less, you can be fly-fishing to sea-run cutthroats that have been super-charged by their stay in the saltwater. Most
of this takes place on various beaches and points located up and
down Puget Sound. As the tide is coming in or going out, many of
the trout, and often times Coho salmon and other species, use structure
near these beaches like rocks in a river. The
structure can come in many forms, with rocks, points, logs, and
kelp beds being the most common. While the structure gives them
a place to rest against the tidal current, they chase baitfish close
to shore creating a feeding frenzy right in front of you.
of the time, you will be casting baitfish patterns to rising trout
just ahead of you, more often however, you will cast over structure
where the trout are likely to be holding. As
you cast to these native trout, you twitch and strip your fly awaiting their aggressive strike. These native trout average about 10-12 inches,
with some slightly smaller and many others much larger. With a little
persistence, one can hook into a 20-inch or larger trout.
And thank you for your informative, educational, entertaining and pleasurable day. I am pretty impressed. I can easily say that was the finest day I have ever had on the salt. Wow! Thank you for the incredible photos – definitely represents how the day was – top quality.
Look forward to the pics as well as many years of enjoying the cutts now.
the months of August through October however, the most popular fish
to chase is the Coho or "silver" salmon. These fish, while
still in the saltwater, ranging from 18 inches to 15 pounds, at
times feel unlandable. Absolutely one of the best game fish in the
Many locals are firm believers that this is a 7-8 month a year fishery, with most of the cutthroat heading into spawing waters for the winter. This is simply not the case. As you fish the winter months of November through February, you will find fish that have obviously not been in fresh water for a long time. Covered in sea lice, girthy and strong, these fish are just waiting for anything resembling food to come by. The winter months can actually be some of the most productive SRC fishing available and even fewer anglers are tackling the beaches this time of year.
is a walk and wade trip limited to two persons per guide. Because
of the proximity of many of these estuaries, this makes a great
half-day trip for the business traveler who is on a more stringent
time schedule but wants to get away from the hotel and see some
of the beautiful surroundings Seattle has to offer.
We also work very closely with Capt. Keith Robbins of Spot Tail Salmon Guide to offer chartered fly fishing trips in the Sound as well.
Rods: 4-6 wt. rods, floating or intermediate lines
Flies: West's Smelt, West's Herring, Southworth Special, Herring Popper, Reverse Spiders, Morrish's Small Fry, Rolled Muddler, Silly Leg Spider and Euphasid patterns, Saltwater deer hair dry flies, Chernobyl ants/hoppers, Miyawaki's Popper, Bonefish Puffs, Crazy Charlies, Clousers, Bend Backs, Deceivers, Foul Free Herring, Shock and Awe
Sizes: 6-12 on most patterns
Other: Stripping Basket
Thanks for a great day on the Sound. The cutts were great, along with the eagles, sea lions, starfish, dungees, and the rest of the wildlife. Your patience in my getting the casting down was also greatly appreciated. I look forward to coming back out there at some point in the future and doing some more fly fishing with you guys.
Please shoot me an email with the pictures…a lot of folks are anxious to see them.
Bay Area, CA
Additional photos from Puget Sound
Puget Sound aquatic food photos
Menu options for full day trips -- Lunch
Clothing and equipment checklist -- Summer, Winter
||Full day walk and wade trip for 1 or 2 anglers
||Half day walk and wade trip for 1 or 2 anglers
|Tax Not Included
safe demo gear is available for these trips
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