Fly and image by @pugetsoundsrcflies
Well normally this time of year, our Seattle fly fishing reports would encompass quite a diverse palette of watershed. Puget Sound steelhead rivers, Yakima River and Puget Sound among them.
However, at this point, with the amount of snow still along the banks of the Yakima at the moment on the upper reaches and the closure of all the Puget Sound rivers for low returning numbers of wild steelhead this report is mostly going to be on what is about to take place in Puget Sound.
As we enter mid February, many of us hold our breath and walk gingerly along the banks looking for the initial arrival of Chum Fry, the baby version of the Chum Salmon that creates a smorgasbord of protein for the Sea Run Cutthroat we so enjoy pursuing. In other words, it is going to happen any day and you should be ready for it.
Think about places where Chum are known to spawn and focus your attention in those areas. They will be the first to show signs of the outward migration of the fry and beaches in close proximity will be alive with predating SRC's waiting for them.
These fry are small at first so flies should be not really much longer than inches in length for now and should have parr markings along their sides. Any fly with a narrow profile, dark back and light belly with a grizzly hackle or squirrel tail full length should do fine.
We highly recommend small hooks for SRC's. These fish can often have eyes larger than their stomach will make attempts to eat very large flies, even the small SRC's will do so. Large gape hooks can fatally hook smaller ones so stick with #6-12 sized hooks.
As always, questions, please call. We are your resource for all things fly fishing in Washington and beyond.