Thanks to everyone that attended our September 25th Fish A Long for Coastal Sea Run Cutthroat. This was an “exploratory” trip for our club, meaning most of us had only a vague idea of where to go or how to fish for Sea Run Cutthroat Trout. However, by the end of day we had a much better handle on what to do to be successful as you’ll see.
My day started early, waking up at 4am to finish packing and pick up George in Sherwood for the drive to the coast. We arrived in Tillamook just as it was getting light but had no idea where to start, so we drove around for about 45 minutes checking out various fishing access points along the lower Trask River. We eventually settled on the OFC #2/Burdick location a few miles above tidewater. There we were soon joined by Rich and his son. Since Rich actually knows how to catch Sea Runs, having him arrive at the same place as us was a confidence booster.
Rich and his son went downstream and George and I went upstream. We saw a few salmon rolling and a few guide boats pulling their way thru the super shallow riffles. The water was very low at only 74 cfs, gin clear and probably in the mid 60’s. After the warm summer the rocks were super slippery too so you had to move slow while wading. We saw a few cutthroat jumping in the deeper water close to the bank, but being new to the game couldn’t get into casting range without spooking them. We later learned from Rich it’s important to do your wading on the shallow side, then be stealthy as you cast to the far bank on the deep side then strip your fly back pretty fast; and keep moving! I walked upstream on what felt like a slip & slide and found a pool that allowed me to fish the correct way and connected with a small feisty Cutthroat. Downstream Rich got two nice Cutthroats in the 16-18 inch range. Around mid morning we decided to go to the Sollie Smith Bridge area on the lower Wilson and it was pretty much a repeat of our Trask experience: Rich got a couple nice ones and the rest of us got a small resident trout or two.
As I mentioned earlier, this was an “exploratory” Fish A Long. I received a few texts from people wondering where to go, but as I said earlier I didn’t really know where to go thus couldn’t really offer any advice better than “somewhere along the lower river would probably be best.” Sorry for my lack of knowledge, but our club made big strides on this fishery and next year will be better!
This fish a long was well attended and over a dozen of us met at the Wilson River Footbridge Trailhead. Our club has a new sign that Ken generously helped design so people can find us when we are out in the boonies chasing fish. It was fun to trade fish stories from the day and nearly everyone got fish, but to be unusually honest for a fisherman not all were Sea Run Cutts! But, it was a very nice day and good times were had by all. Thanks again to everyone that helped make this fish a long a success. I’m sure we will do it again next year!