Several customers have contacted the Shop or called me directly, asking for my recommendations regarding tackle and flies to fish for sea-run cutthroat. I’m drafting this blog post to cover the highlights of my thoughts.
In the good old days:
Back in the 1960s and 1970s, I considered 6 and 7 wt glass rods of 8 & 9 ft about right for SRC. I fished from a 12 ft Avon Raft with Wayne Doughton in the long slow pools just above tidewater on rivers like the Alsea, Nestucca, and Siletz.
My recommendations for SRC tackle are quite different today. Where fast action graphite rods are concerned, I consider 3 wt and 4 wt rods about perfect when I fish for SRC, and I don’t worry about the occasional silver or summer steelhead I may hook on these light rods. Bring ‘em on.
This is how I would summarize my suggestions:
Rods (Single hand) 3-5 wt rods; 8-9 ft
Each of the rods listed here will serve you well: my personal favorite is the Radian.
Echo 3 Freshwater
Echo Carbon XL
Sage Foundation 4 wt.
Reels: Should be capable of holding fly line plus at lease 50 yards of 20 lb. backing in case you hook summer steelhead or coho. Of these reels, my favorites are the hatch and the Hardy.
Lamson Guru 2
Nautilus X Series XM 4/5
Hatch 4 Plus Gold
Hardy Marquis LWT
Leader: I prefer a tapered leader with tippet in the 4-8 lb. class; all of these leaders and tippets listed below are goo options.
Airflo Trout Polyleader
Rio Powerflex Plus Tapered Leader
Airflo Fluorocarbon G5
Rio Powerflex Plus Tippet
Fly lines: full floating fly lines and clear/camo intermediate or slow-sink tips are the norm for the SRC angler. I recommend fishing a slightly to moderately heavier fly line than specified for your rod, to facilitate efficient run-and-gun casting with maximum time fishing and minimum time casting. I have fished all of the following lines and all served me well.
Rio In Touch Midge Tip Long
Rio In touch Hover
Rio Camolux Lake Series
Airflo Camo Ridge
Cortland 444 floating line
Cortland Denny Rickards (available at Shop)
Cortland Small Game Intermediate
SA Sonar Stillwater
SA Sonar Stillwater Clear Midge Tip
I hope you find this useful – you may contact me or anyone at the Caddis Fly Shop if you would like further information.
Jay Nicholas, September 2017