Journal notes from quality destinations across the country...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cold & Happy on Puget Sound in October

Mid-October and the sun is shining...  Sure, the mornings are cold and when the sun goes down in the evening, you are immediately reminded that it's not September any longer.  That said, cool temperatures with sunny days and calm waters make the south Puget Sound something special to experience.  And I was out chasing Sea-Run Cutthroat for three solid days which, in my book, is icing on the cake...

One night I went scouting with David, looking for a likely spot or two.  No wind, still waters, and a brilliant sunset blew us away. 

Then the stars aligned yesterday while I was out by myself...  Okay, the stars didn't align.  I just finally did what I was supposed to do: check the tide, be there when the water starts moving, and throw a minnow pattern into shallow water off a sharp point.  Easy, right?  Somehow I regularly find ways to screw up that formula.  But not yesterday...  One hour after slack tide, I cast into calm water behind a rip line and saw that much anticipated flash in shallow water.  My line went tight and began to pulse. 

This was a nicer-than-usual Cuttie...  He ran for deep water and then decided he liked the dark water under my boat. It took a little bit to get him out from under but I eventually leaned over the gunwhale and lifted a sixteen-inch Cutthroat from the water. I slipped the barbless hook out and slipped him back into the quiet water.  He slowly finned away and out of sight.

For just a little more than an hour, the action was steady.  Then the little cove behind me filled with the incoming tide to the point that the water was no longer moving past the point.  And that was that.  The fish were gone.

When I turned the boat back toward the marina, I had a smile on my face for the seven fish landed, all between eight and eighteen inches.  I couldn't believe the size of the fish or the size of their fight.  It had been a good afternoon on the water.