Thursday, May 14, 2015

Oregon Coastal Saltwater Fly Fishing Time With the Family

I was just out at the coast with my wife, mother-in-law, and father-in-law. We did a bunch of fishing along with other coastal activities. Out of the group, I am the one who fly fishes in the saltwater of Oregon, and everyone else throws spinning gear. We had all sorts of conditions ranging from calm to windy, and fishing times ranged from dead as a doornail, to moderate, to off the hook. The more I fish out there, the more I can say there is no rhyme or reason to when it will be good out there. People typically say that the two hours before high tide is the time to go. Other people say around the slack tides is the time to go. Many people say night time is the best, but I fished at night and it was good at times and sterile at times.
Calmer conditions are a must for successful Oregon coast fly fishing off the rocks
The one thing I see over and over again, is that it is all about the currents. Converging currents, and foam lines seem to be more about the success. The other issue is the current speeds, and by that I mean that fish are very fickle in what current speed they seem to be able to be caught in, or what current speed makes them want to bite. Whatever that part of the equation is, it seems to have correlation likely with feeding desire, and how hard the fish are working to be comfortable in their environment. Big currents and washy conditions seem to make the fishing shut down, while foam lines, and foam blankets on the surface, slow current speeds, converging currents, current breaks, and other features that provide cover, comfort, ambushing ability etc, seem to be the times when I am catching fish consistently.
A nice Pacific Black Rockfish that was on a converging current boundary
When I am out there, the conditions are ever changing and the features I just mentioned change dynamically. One moment you are fishing a foamy giant eddy, and getting fish on about every cast, and then you get a hard current pushing straight along the bank, and your line seems to be getting slacker and slacker with a subtle current pushing straight into where you are fishing from. Minutes later is settles down, and gets a soft chop slow mellow current and you are roping into a fish on every third cast for 10 minutes. It keeps on changing, and also depending on where you are standing matters too. Sometimes 50 yard to your right has a perfect setup, and you are in a fast current that feels unproductive. Walking down that 50 yards could be the difference of success for that 20 minute period, but then you may have to find another spot that fits the what you are looking for.
This Lingcod was caught near dead low tide as it was starting to slacken out.
It is ever changing as the tides are always moving higher or lower. The winds influence the currents and the tides also. Swells are another variable, and then the direction and interval of the swell also plays a big role in how the fishing pans out. The one thing I have come to realize is that you cannot tell how the fishing will be unless you simply go out try it. Only then can you know if the fish are biting. Tight lines!!!
Nice grill on this Ling
The Helios2 Saltwater 6wt is a fun lightweight rockfish rod (typically 7wt or 8wt). It also handled the Ling very nicely (lings are a 8-10wt fish).
Nikki eclipsing the sunset while casting for rockfish......
Not a bad view to check out while fishing......
Getting ready for a cast.....
These jellyfish were all over the beaches
A little kite flying time.....
A Quillback Rockfish that fell to a swim bait
Blacktail deer strolling on the beach in the early morning
A Pacific Loon patrolling for baitfish....

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