Expanding knowledge of South Sound Cutthroat

Here in the South Puget Sound, we are fortunate to live among a fishery than many of us hold dear to our hearts, Sea-Run Cutthroat. Although we fisherman may have a long history with these wild fish, from a scientific standpoint, there is still a lot that we don’t know. The number of research papers about Sea-Run Cutthroat pales in comparison to other salmonids.

This is a potential threat to the conservation of these fish and others in the south Puget Sound, because as we have learned all too well, what we don’t know CAN hurt them.

surveyA few members of SSFF have taken the initiative to help build the knowledge base. Jason Small and Ryan Haseman are working with WDFW to count cutthroat redds on various creeks in the south sound. After being trained on the survey protocol and redd identification, they have had some success in identifying new spawning areas.

They are also helping to develop the WDFW new record/survey methods using Smartphones and ODK survey. So far it has been a very useful tool.

Jason has also been busy working with the Nisqually Reach Nature Center, WDFW, DNR and Puget Sound Corps.  Recently he attended a training in beach sampling and forage fish egg identification. They are getting ready to start looking for beaches within the Nisqually reach aquatic zone that have spawning sand lance and surf smelt.





Mark your calendars!

September 14th - SSFF will be arranging a Deschutes river clean-up.

October 12th – SSFF will be arranging a Nisqually river clean-up.

Fly of the Month April 2013: Mega GF

mega GF

Tube: Eumer medium tube

Wing: Finn Raccoon

Belly: Ice Wing Fiber, UV & Pearl Minnow Mix

Hackle: Long Saddle Hackle

Head: Eumer Monster Cone

So much to do, so many places to fish! That’s what I love about the Northwest. Not only do our lakes and streams start to warm, the South Sound really kicks into gear. But wait, there’s more! Let’s not forget about the coast. Just about an hour’s drive west of here we open up another option to pursue more great game species. Specifically, I’m talking about rockfish and lingcod.

I recently was invited to an outing on the coast targeting these species and had a blast. I don’t pretend to be an expert at this sort of fishing what so ever, I would however like to share with you the fly that I found successful. I call it the Mega GF.

I have written about the “guide fly” before, as I regularly use it in the sound for cutthroat. The unique feature on these flies is the monster cone on the front that creates turbulence and wiggles the fur strip behind it.

When I tie these for the South Sound, I generally keep these flies around 1.5 to 2 inches long and use rabbit zonker strips which are much thinner than Finn Raccoon. Also, the original GF doesn’t have any underbelly.

My Mega GF is tied with an underbelly and Finnish Raccoon. This helps bulk up the profile without adding a ton of material. The Finn Raccoon fibers are so long you can tie a 5 inch fly with only a 1 inch piece of hide. I think 5 inches is probably the max length for the medium sized monster cone, any larger and it may be too small.

I fished this with an outbound type 8 sinking line with a count down and retrieve strategy. Tie these in a variety of colors. I had great luck with a white wing and red hackle.

April 2013 Newsletter

Here is the April Garden Hackle (click the image)

2013 GH logo







Enjoy and hope to see you at this months meeting