Hazy Days of August

Smoke from forest fires in British Columbia (over 100 at last count) have drifted south into Puget Sound over the last week. The air is now something seen as much as breathed due to the high particulate count (154 ppm this morning). Being outside has meant scratchy throats and irritated eyes.

But in spite of that weather it’s still a good time to go fly fishing. Or any kind of fishing as evidenced by the numbers of boats on the water this morning.

I went to Narrows park hoping to catch a coho or pink salmon – though admittedly the chance of the latter on the west side of the Narrows wasn’t great; the Nisqually pink salmon run may be shifting over to this side but that’s still subject to some speculation.

Along the way down to the beach I passed three small rabbits who seemed not to be bothered by me as long as I stayed on the path.

The tide had only begun to turn to the ebb as I reached the beach so back casting room was a bit limited. Still, there are places along the beach where a limited backcast is possible at the high tide mark.

I waded toward the Narrows bridge taking note of a number of boats drifting by with fishing lines over the side. There were also a few gear guys out bombing out their long casts. From what I could see no one was catching anything.

Deer had evidently used the beach earlier in the day.

Deer Tracks in Sand Tacoma Narrows

I did see a few Coho jumping – at least one looked to be a good size. But they were well off the beach – I guessed 150 – 175 feet, much farther than I could reach even when my double haul was near perfect.

I found good water on the far side of the bridge and after a bit of casting out to the middle, I cast more parallel to the beach. Then I caught my first searun cutthroat trout of the day. It was about ten inches long but still put a good pull on my line. I brought it in and released it off the hook. A few casts later I got a smaller six inches who slipped off the hook as I brought it close.

Then deciding to adopt April Vokey’s rule for wild steelhead (catch two and then go home) to wild searun cutthroat trout, I called it a day.

Walking back up the beach toward my car I enjoyed the day – haze and all.

Narrows Beach 2017

Author: Tom

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