Recent Posts

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

5 Tips on Fishing the Beach for Sea-Run Cutthroat

I live within city limits!

1. Strip Fast

Sea Run Cutthroat, or SRC’s as they are frequently abbreviated, are super aggressive. That’s part of the reason that we love them. They’re designed to chase fast-moving baitfish such as sandlance, herring and salmon smolt. If your strip is slow and short, you’re probably missing fish. A sign you might be moving too slow: A bullhead eats your fly. Speed it up, and think about lengthening the strip to the approximate length of the lunge of a fleeing baitfish.

If you see these horns, it's time to speed up and get your fly off the bottom

2. Use an intermediate sinking line

An intermediate sinking line offers a huge advantage on the beach. We all know the beach can be a very windy place, and that wind often kicks up waves that will wreak havoc on an full floating line. If you do get a strike on a full floater and the waves have created slack, you might just miss the fish. An intermediate line tends to cut through the surface chop and create a direct connection to your quarry. Our favorite "I" lines are the Scientific Angler Streamer Express line in 150gr or 200gr (that’s a 5 or 6 weight for $69.95), the Rio Outbound in 210gr or 240gr (that's a 5 or 6 weight for $79.95) or the Airflo Ridge Clear Delta Intermediate in a 5 or a 6 ($79.99).

New Stripping Basket (includes belt) - In Stock!  $50.00

3. Use a stripping basket

If you follow tip #2, you’re going to roll right into tip #3. Intermediate lines (and even floating lines sometimes) pick up the smallest piece of seaweed floating nearby and create instant tangles. Using a stripping basket keeps your line out of the salad that accumulates in the Sound during incoming tides or constant, on-shore winds, and it also helps you manage line to cover water consistently. We carry several soft stripping baskets that will do the trick, but if you can find a hard-bottomed basket with cones (such as the Linecurv stripping basket in this photo, in stock now), those are the best.

4. Choose flies carefully, and fish them confidently

One of the charms about fishing for SRC’s is that they’re not horribly picky. Certainly, there are situations where a color change and especially a profile change will result in a fish. But day in, day out, the best characteristic of a fly, by far, is confidence. If you don’t choose your flies carefully, it’s hard to feel really good about fishing them. The best advice – tie your own patterns. If time is a factor, see our previous post on flies for SRC’s for a few suggestions. And if you like to tie, check out some upcoming classes on saltwater patterns and Puget Sound Flatwings.

5. Dial in your casting and learn more about the beach

Chasing SRC’s off the beach doesn’t mean you have to be Lefty Kreh. Mostly they’re pretty tucked in, eating food itms in the short section of beach that is exposed at low tide and covered at high tide. However, you have to be prepared to cover this section of beach consistently, in the wind, sometimes with very little backcast room. Work on shooting line, not carrying it. It’s going to make a difference. We offer hourly casting instruction and classes based on FFF instruction. And if you're interested in learning more about fishing the beach for local species, check out our upcoming Puget Sound Fly Fishing class.