As we get ready to wrap up May and head into June new fishing opportunities are coming up. For a quick preview of what June has in store:
- Sea run Dolly Varden and cutthroat fishing off the beaches will continue for the first half of the month.
- Somewhere around summer solstice, the Dollies will leave the saltwater and head into the rivers in anticipation of the upcoming salmon runs. Cowee Creek is a prime early freshwater Dolly system.
- Kings! The season opens June 15 and the DIPAC forecast is the biggest it has been in years.
- Windfall Creek will open to sockeye fishing on Wednesdays and Saturdays just for the month of June. The run usually is slow to start and really gets going mid month.
- Typically pink salmon start showing up in Echo Cove around solstice as well. The prediction is for a very small run this year but we'll see what turns up.
That is a lot of fishing variety for one month! Jumping back to what is going on at the moment, we have seen the annual slow down of the steelhead run as they finish their spawning run and return to the ocean for another year. Although steelhead fishing was challenging we can take solace in the fact that the fish likely found plenty of water to spawn and hopefully this will help keep the runs strong in years to come.
The channel continued to have hot spots (Sheep Creek for the afternoon low, Salmon Creek about 2 hours after low, and the beach by the Whale Statue) and not-so-hot-spots. On a related note, DIPAC released their king salmon smolt last week so if you have a fat little 6" fish attack your streamer in the channel Mr. Baby King is likely the culprit. There is an absolute abundance of feed in the water for Dollies so getting one to eat your fly can be a challenge. And for some reason the low tide in the early part of the day has not been very productive while the late afternoon or evening low has been much better (?) We are not sure what is up with that, but if you can hit the later tide you may have better catch results. And keep your eye out for big fish in the channel. We have had three reports of king salmon adults in the channel already. It isn't legal to keep one yet, but it is cool to see them!
Good Dolly flies have continued to be Olive & White in a variety of sizes such as Epoxy Mini Minnows, AK Clousers, Stinger Clousers and Fryolators. And every year as the season progresses Dollies start attacking AK Clousers in Hot Pink/White , Fuschia/Light Pink and Cerise/Orange. It happened this past week where a few anglers went from not catching to catching after switching to one of these bright flies. Make sure to have a few in your fly box as these hot colored flies are always good in late May and June.
The Grab & Go Fly Selections continue to be popular and an easy way for you to get a handful of flies that are fishing well this week. You'll notice we have refreshed the Grab & Go category by removing the Steelhead Selection and accessories and we are now including more hot-colored Dolly flies in each selection. We'll keep updating the section all season as new fisheries begin and others end.
Now for a little shop news, in case you didn't hear, this past Friday we reopened the shop to walk in traffic. It has been great to see everyone in person again. And a big THANK YOU to all our customers for being careful and wearing a mask and using the hand sanitizer in the shop. We've got the windows open to create cross ventilation, a Hepa-filter running and we're wiping down surfaces regularly. We will continue to try to be as safe as possible as we go forward. If you'd prefer to not come in and do curbside pick up that is just fine! Order online as you see fit and we are happy to walk it out to your car. Whatever works for you is good with us.
Keep sending fishing photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. We love seeing them and always need photos for the fish report. And they don't have to be hero shots. Scenic photos or any other shot that captures a fly fishing moment is great.
See you on the water!