Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fall is Time For Cutthroats on the Coastal Rivers

Coastal Cutthroat Taken on a Turk's Tarantula
Fall is starting on the 23rd of September, and that means it is time for cutthroat fishing on Oregon's coastal streams. The north coast streams received the first small fall freshet, and that signifies time to go for sea run cutthroat trout. It also mean that some fresh salmon should have squeaked into some of the systems also. The cutty's are elusive and the biggest challenge is finding them. You can be in a spot one day and they can be all over the place, and then they are devoid the very next day.
Fall can off lot of cutthroats like this one on Oregon's coastal streams.....
Fishing for sea run cutts also can be challenging because sometimes they are in fast riffle water that is broken with boulders and other times they are in the foamy slow "frog water" that has a one inch foam line above it. Some days they want dead drifted dries, and other times they want the fly stripped back like a mini bass popper. Subsurface streamers work very well for them, and sometimes the Spruce fly is all you need, and other times it will not take a fish no matter how hard you work it through the likely spots.

Fishing for sea runs is very fun, and can be super rewarding when you time it right. The only way that you can experience the thrill of a fresh sea run cutthroat is to get out there. Take a trip to a coastal river, and see if you can lock into a mini chromer. When you get into a sea run cutthroat that is 14 inches or larger; you will be hooked on angling for them. A sea run on a 4-6 weight fly rod is a very fun game fish to feel on the end of your line, and you will be one of the few people out there fishing for them. Enjoy the wonderful fishing opportunities that we have in Oregon!


  1. Brian, great posting. I've been hitting up the coast for a few weeks now. Haven't landed anything bigger than 12" - but the fishing has been really fun. Last outing was great - had overcast skies, a light drizzle, and got some fish on a dry fly.

    Haven't seen any GOOD hatches come off the few times I was out, a scattering of midges here and there - but the fish weren't keying on midges, they were eating swung wet flies (soft hackle wets, and miniature versions of steelhead patterns I tie up), or they'd just as happily eat a #14-18 dry fly of any pattern off the top.

    I was having trouble deciding where to fish tomorrow, but now you've got me leaning toward the north coast again. I think I'll just take my new switch rod out and see what I can get. Light enough for trout, heavy enough for summer steel. Should be loads of fun!

  2. Brian, thanks again for the prompt to get out and hit the coastal rivers. In addition to a bunch of pretty cutthroat - I landed my first steelhead in a decade yesterday, on a 5X tippet and #12 black woolly bugger of all things. I was using my Echo 4 wt Switch Rod, which made it easier. Was a fun fight for sure! Great time to get out and fish the coast.