As you dear readers know I have a passion for coastal cutthroat trout, Oncorhynchus clarki clarki for those of you that are dying to know what their scientific name is.
So yesterday I ventured out in pursuit of these coastal beauties.
My first stop on the Wilson yielded a few hesitant biters and one hook up but nothing to write home about and the next stop yielded not even that. So off to destination number two and that is the Trask river just south of Tillamook. There I was rewarded with a nice fifteen inch sea run beauty pictured below and I never had to even lift him out of the water to snap the picture.
So off to destination number three namely the Kilchis river which is just north of Tillamook. I tried casting my spider under all the obvious cutthroat holding spots with no luck and was actually thinking of heading back over the hill. I let me fly dangle right off the part of the run where the riffle drops into a deeper hole when my dream coastal cutthroat trout hit! He was at least eighteen inches and possibly more. The great thing was I could actually see his efforts to spit the fly because the water was very clear so I had a front row view of the whole battle. He never broke water once and his fight was reminiscent of a small chinook in that he was constantly shaking his head. As I slid him up into the shallows to remove the fly he came unhooked and swam casually off into the deep none the worse for wear. A perfect release and a truly memorable fish that I will never forget.
I try to get my fish in as soon as possible so as not to overly tax them and therefore hurt them. I wish more people would do this along with not lifting the fish out of the water whenever possible. I know by doing this that I can assure that fishes survivability.
So with the sun quickly setting on the coast I made a few more casts but no takers. It was a great day and a great week for me and the trout I love so much.
Why there are those that insist on pursuing cutthroat trout by using bait is beyond me! These fish, to a fault, are very aggressive and there is never a need to use bait. I think those that would have to resort to the use of bait for a "zero" retention fishery are soulless egomaniacs that don't understand the big picture in wild fish conservation.