When most people think of the salt fly, they fish in the tropical climate and fish such as tarpon and pigfish. While the Pacific Northwest lacks hot weather and typical saltwater fish, it more than makes up for its extraordinary fly fishing and spectacular scenery.
I spend some time fishing in warmer climates, but I always want to go back to Washington state. Whether it's the Hood Canal beaches for the seagrass or fighting the swells and currents that cast flies for coho salmon in the Pacific, I can't get enough of the seawater fishing opportunities available here.
I spend a large part of the summer fishing in the Pacific on salmon and fish. Bottom fishing targets fish like fish and seafood. This is fishing right near the bumpy rocks and shores that line the north coast of Washington. Fishing is often fast and fierce. Once you find the schools of black oysters, you will catch them one by one. They are aggressive and can sometimes get caught on poppers. As you hunt along the coast, you will see sea lions, seals, tons of birds and possibly whales.
Another primary objective of fishing for saltwater flies in the Pacific Ocean is coho salmon. The Gulf of Neaf is located in the perfect location to intercept millions of salmon as they return to the rivers from Oregon, British Columbia and Washington. Strong currents concentrate fish while feeding on fish and shrimp. This is amazing fly fishing, with a possible 10-30 fishing days. Most coho salmon range between 4 and 6 pounds, but fish in the high teens are disposed of every year. Casting bait patterns on submerged lines is a basic way of catching salmon, but surface fishing is becoming increasingly popular. Pink salmon is also available every other year and just adds to the fun.
Offshore fishing requires a solid boat and some experience, but Washington State also offers great underwater fishing right around the Seattle metro area. Stretching from Bellingham to Olympia, Puget Sound is a large protected water body. Discharging into Puget Sound there are numerous rivers and streams. These watersheds annually produce coho, pink and pastry salmon, which are available not only to anglers but also to be caught offshore. In addition to salmon, Puget Sound and Hood Canal offer outstanding habitat for sea trout and trout. This native trout migrates to saltwater to feed. Casting flies along the beaches are popular fishing for these trout.
Cruisers are like ghosts as they cruise the beaches. The beaches I like to hunt are usually rocky or have large amounts of oysters. This habitat supports foods such as shells, baits and shrimp that cuttings like to eat. Fishing surface patterns such as Gurglers are becoming increasingly popular, and are a great way to search for fish. The bat is often shown to boil dry, and switching to a subsurface bait pattern will result in a tight junction.
If you are traveling across the Pacific Northwest, you may want to remember that there is saltwater fishing where there is saltwater.