It's been a mixed bag coastal cutthroat season for me this year. I started the season out with a nice 17" from the upper Nehalem then went on to hook a few nice ones on the Nestucca later in the summer. The Trask, Kilchis and Wilson were not very good this year. The Necanicum was so-so however seeing huge thirty pound plus chinook salmon plowing through the shallow riffles was amazing!
The Trask was a real bust as a lot of the structure that cutthroat like in the lower river was washed out by high water last winter.
A few weeks ago I hooked a very nice cutthroat on BAIT in the Trask tidewater and was just sick about it. I've gotten to the point that I hate bait fishing and was only doing it this time to help out a friend who is trying to put a fishing DVD together in order to sell his jigs. I cannot stand the mess of those gooey eggs and the whole "bait" mentality that prevails in Tillamook county this time of year. I swear that you could use salmon eggs as currency this time of year down there. Using bait for coastal cutthroat trout should be banned! I recently read where the owner of a certain popular NW fishing forum was using bait to hook these fish and immediately fired off an email to her asking her to please quit doing it. Was I out of line doing this? I don't think so! I will strive to get the use of bait for these fish banned.
Anyway last Friday I decided to give one last shot at some coastal cutthroat. I hooked nothing on both the Miami and Trask rivers and being somewhat discouraged about the lack of both water and fish I tried the Wilson on the way home. To make a long story short I did not find any cutts on the Wilson but did find this guy.
What a rush on a four weight bamboo fly rod and 5X tippet! He did all the usual steelhead antics and made me smile all the way home.
Fly fishing is a sport of mystery in a lot of ways and you just never know what you'll encounter.
I've had many trips where the actual fishing was not all that good but I might have seen a family of otters or maybe a bald eagle or an elk and so that makes the trip a success.