Neah Bay: 7/8/18

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Cedar River: 6/21/18

It’s been a few months since I’d picked up a fly rod and a trip to our local river was long overdue. I called JR S. and he planned a day off midweek to come out and join me for a day on the Cedar.

The Cedar is open from the Saturday previous to Memorial weekend through August 31st. It is essentially a catch and release river, all cutthroat and wild Rainbow trout must be released.  We met up in Bellevue at 09:15 and the short drive as compared to the long runs to get to Neah Bay and or BC is like going to the grocery store.

I forgot how nice it was to be able to carry all your tackle inside a fanny pack and not be weighed down with heavy offshore rods and reels and pipe jigs that weigh 4# each! The simplistic and minimalist essence of flyfishing was a nice welcome from the last couple of months making the offshore runs for Halibut, and lingcod.

You can see how beautiful even an urban fishery can be with this right in our backyard!

While I left JR to have the nice run in the photo above, I turned the corner to find a nice riffle that looked very fishy to me. My suspicions were correct and after a few drifts into that run the indicator popped and I had a feisty rainbow on that leaped three times and even made the drag run.

This one fish made the effort worth it and I was reminded why I love dead drift nymphing all over again. After all, I grew up doing this and hearing moving water and feeling it calm my soul and revive the senses was a nice break from the saltwater adventures.

I didn’t have time to go through all my flies, but ended up grabbing my stillwater boxes and inside were some balance leeches that I tied up. This hungry trout gulped down a brown micro leech marabou beadhead. Not exactly match the hatch type fare as all I could see were some Callibaetis adults flying around and caddis casings on the rocks below.

Streamers Inc. at the finest with the backdrop of the graffiti laden concrete supports.

More graffiti, but some nice looking water. We both enjoy raising fish to our caddis adult dry flies.

While Dov didn’t fish with us, he has been doing VERY well for some nice Lake WA trout. Here are a few photos of fish up to 19″ that he’s been fishing in the last couple of weeks.

Looks at this awesome cutty! Beautiful!!!

Amazing colors and spots!

I’ve been studying up on Euro nymphing and will hopefully spend some more time probing this backyard gem in search of some of these larger trout.

Neah Bay offshore halibut: 6/9/18

Phil K. had been working on his boat through the Spring to prep it for this. We tried to make it outside a month or so ago when we fished Sekiu, however the boat wasn’t running very well due to some suspected fuel injection issues. Once that was resolved along with ironing out some kinks we had our sights set to make a run offshore for some deep water lingcod and halibut.

Our hope was the fish both the Thursday and Saturday, but the conditions weren’t ideal for an offshore run on the Thursday so we decided to get a delayed start and fish the inshore sea bass and lingcod on Friday the 8th.

We caught our fish, but it didn’t satisfy our hunger for the big white meat. Saturday was our ‘go day’ as the weather laid down nicely and the conditions couldn’t have been more ideal. Below is a photo of us rounding the inside jetty wall at Neah Bay with the green marker on the right. Clouds are breaking and the sunrise is happening.

Tatoosh Island is visible through the front windshield as we prepared to poke our nose outside to see how our run would be for the next 1.5 hours.

Heres the view looking back to Sail Rock as it was pretty nice heading out towards Tattosh.

Looking great! You can see Tatoosh behind us with Cape Flattery to the right.

While Chris M. and I kicked back in the beanbags, the ride was pleasant and no issues as the 225 Yamaha was running excellent. We reached the halibut grounds and we wasted no time to get the gear set up and rigs down deep in search of our quarry. Within short order rods were bent and that familiar sound of the electric reels were sounding with ‘fish on’!

A couple of nice halibut in the 45# class

All smiles here, The tug is that drug!

With a stuffed and full fish box worth of 3 halibut, and 6 ling cod we were happy and done by 10:30 am.  It was time to have a quick siesta, get fueled up on snacks and beverages and off to find some rockfish back in shore.

We made quick work with the P-line 1 oz. white flutter jigs and the rockfish were plentiful and on the chew.  We got back to the docks by 12:30 and loaded the boat on the trailer and pushed off by 13:30. What an exhilarating trip and rewarding adventure with more white meat for the deep freezer.

Turn and burn, Neah Bay 5/25/18

I had barely recovered from the Spot Prawn day a couple of days prior, but the call was too much as Jason T. had two open seats for Neah Bay Halibut and deep water Lingcod. I called my good buddy Chris M. and invited him to join me for a ‘turn and burn’ 24 hours of madness that would ensue.

I left my house at 7 pm hoping to catch the 8:30 ferry out of Edmonds, which was delayed due to an inoperable train gate courtesy of the BNSF railroad. As a result the traffic back up wound its way up the hill to the turn off towards the waterfront. Bummer.

I still had to get in, gather the tackle, make lunch and try to take a quick snooze for a few hours having to wake up at 01:00 for a 01:30 push off west towards Neah Bay. Both Chris and I were full of adrenaline and our thoughts were going back and forth thinking of how the day and water would unfold.

We arrived at 04:45 and rolled the ice into Jason’s boat, un-packed the gear and settled in loading the rocket launchers with the electric reels and prepping for our skippers arrival. Just at 05:15 Hung N. and Jason T. appear as we gathered the rest of the gear and pushed off the dock by 05:30 heading even further west as Chris and I settled into the E-Sea rider bean bags for the 2 hour run towards the South West corner.

The ride was pretty smooth and no surprises, thank God. Joe H. and crew weren’t far behind as they settled into fishing a spot south of us and quickly started getting into the halibut and ling cod. We however would have a tougher time coaxing the halibut to bite. Ling cod weren’t an issue, but with time ticking away and the Northwesterly picking up we were anxious.

I’ve never jigged so much and hard, we tried various baits, plastics, rigging, etc.. but finally at 16:00 I got my first Halibut. I think the moon phase or tide bite was a factor and while we were fishing in known halibut locations, getting them to feed was tough.

We had herring, squid, and tuna belly aboard, but believe the addition of the tuna belly could have helped saved the day. I ended up hooking 3 of the 4 halibut for the boat limit, so was elated we all got a fish to take home, but tired from the long day on the water.

Take a look at Jason’s monster Ling Cod, probably pushed over 40# easily!

Back at the cleaning station, we quickly un-loaded, and wrapped up with rinsing down the hatches and loaded up the van for the 3+ hour drive back to Hansville.

Well deserved beer and campfire for the Capt. back at the Cape where we met up with Joe H. and crew for a quick greeting and then good bye for Chris and myself.

Back at the ranch I made work of the fillet and had friends and family over for a nice bbq of spot prawns and freshly grilled halibut.