Yep, it seems early to be catching plump sea runs in May, but they are here already. Whether these fish have been in the ocean for the 90 days that science says they “should” vs. whether they have been feeding in the saline reaches of the Nestucca – I can’t say. What I can tell you is that these are shiny bright and plump Cutthroat that do not look like kelts.
When caught in deeper holes they have blue backs, but when caught over pale sandy bottoms they tend to be all silvery with pale green backs.
I fished an ECHO GLASS Switch rod, the 3 and 4 wt – with RIO INTouch Camolux Intermediate lines. My reel was a Hatch Finatic 5. The WF5 and WF6 fished well on these two rods. The long rods allowed me to make Loooooooong casts into the wind and these feisty fish from 12 – 16″ put a big bend in the glass rod. This is a new line for me to fish, and I really liked it. Virtually zero stretch and I am convinced that this line increased my hook-up percentage with this fly line. Very sensitive and allowed me to feel a fish breathe on my fly. Of course this is marketing hype and not possible, but is fun to say. Honestly, I do like the line, it sinks not too fast and not too slow, and the virtual zero stretch did indeed help hook fish I could not see on the grab.
Flies fished included #6 & #8 Clousers in a variety of colors, brown and orange craft fur mini clousers, and Alley’s Shrimp. The fish tended to be down 3 or 4 ft deep and concentrated in pods.
These fine anadromous fish are in virtually all of our estuaries along the Oregon Coast and will be here all summer long both in the tidal and upriver reaches. Time to get out there and have fun, follow the regulations, and I encourage people to release these fish so we have more to fish over, but some retention is permitted, so check the book before slathering bacon in the fry pan.
Best to you all, may you have great times on the water very soon.
Jay Nicholas, May 2015