Tag Archives: tidal currents

The Best Tide Levels for Catching Searun Cutthroat Trout

Tide levels can play an important role in determining whether or not an angler will be successful in catching searun cutthroat trout on a given day or not.

A swift incoming or outgoing tide is often crucial to success when fishing for searun cutthroat. A moving tide tends to move baitfish and shrimp, and provide opportunistic feeders like the searun cutthroat with the perfect opportunity for a meal.

When reading a tide table, choose a day to fish when the low or high tide coincides with the early morning or late evening. Generally speaking, large tide swings are good because it gets the current flowing and helps move food around.

Even when in the saltwater, searun cutthroat like to hide around structure and obstacles and ambush prey as the tide brings it by them. An early morning on an overcast day an hour after high tide may be the perfect opportunity to cast for searuns.

If fishing an estuary area, or where the river flows into the salt, an incoming tide can help bring searun cutthroat into the estuary mouth to feed on crustaceans and baitfish. These can be great times to stalk bluebacks across the sand flats and around structure at river mouths.

Washington State Searun Cutthroat Fly Fishing

Washington state has opportunities for searun cutthroat fishing that are limited only by the amount of coastline available. That being said, huge amounts of areas within Puget Sound, the Olympic Peninsula, and south to the Columbia river have prime sea run cutthroat habitat. Any estuary area from full blown rivers down to small streams have the capability of harboring searun trout.

Searun Cutthroat Puget Sound beach

Searun Cutthroat Puget Sound beach

Puget Sound Cutthroat
From the southern part of Puget Sound near Tacoma and Seattle all the way up to Bellingham near the Canadian border, fishing opportunities for searuns are excellent. Puget sound is ripe with opportunities for anglers to chase searun cutts both in the saltwater and freshwater. With large areas of prime saltwater accessible to boat anglers and beach going anglers, Puget sound is a haven for searun cutthroat enthusiasts.

When fishing the salt, look for areas that provide cover and the chance for tidal rips or currents to move food around. Kelp beds, rocks, logs, estuary mud flats and more all provide premium habitat for saltwater searun cutthroat.

From small streams to full blown rivers, the Puget sound area is rich with freshwater opportunities. Pretty much any coastal stream has, or at one point had, runs of sea run cutthroat. In the late summer and fall when the searuns begin to move into the rivers, look for these seagoing trout in slow moving water around logjams, steep rocky embankments, undercut banks, and other hideouts.

River Searun Cutthroat fly fishing

River Searun Cutthroat fly fishing

Fishing the Olympic Peninsula
The Olympic coastal strip near Forks, Washington has many rivers and streams that provide excellent angling. Aside from the world class Steelheading, another draw to the area could be to chase the smaller, but equally spirited searun cutthroat.

From Neah bay all the way down to Queets, there are opportunities to catch searun cutthroat in the creek mouths, off the beaches, and in the rivers. A hike down any of the ample public beaches just might be rewarded with the opportunity to catch searun cutthroat off the beach and in the estuaries of any of the numerous creeks and rivers.

Searun cutthroat in Washingtons rivers
The rest of Washington state offers plenty of rivers and streams that searuns use for spawning and rearing. Google maps can be a valuable asset in finding small creeks and tributaries off major rivers. Anywhere where public access can be found to the mouths of such creeks and rivers can most likely be productive at times.