Hood Canal - Summer Sea-Run Cutthroat and Coho

June 29, 2016

Anglers looking to wet a line this summer, should look no further than Hood Canal.  Options include Sea-Run Cutthroat and a Coho Salmon fishery.  SRC = year round, and the Coho in Hood Canal will open up in the middle of August.

Well, the Sea-Run's are always here patrolling our local waters.  This is open year round for catch and release fishing.  Single barbless hooks, and no bait are the norm - no changes here.  Luckily, even with the looming salmon shut down this summer, WDFW recognized what a quality fishery our Puget Sound and Hood Canal Sea-Run Cutthroat are and the plan was to keep the fishery rolling year round.  
Fjord Fly Fishing and Red's Fly Shop

Sea-Run Cutthroat are on the move, some days you find them and some days you don't.  June is a month that the SRC's can scatter and at times can be harder to locate.  The key to a successful day is fishing many different locations in search of these beautiful fish.  Sand lance are making a showing, so patterns that resemble this baitfish are always a good bet.  Of course, don't forget staple patterns like sculpins (sculpzilla's work great) and clouser's.  

Chasing Sea-Run's is always a good adventure which makes up half the fun of fly fishing adventure in my opinion.  Clients recently have some great days and other days have been slower, but's that's fishing.   As summer progresses the days are warmer and the weather brings more consistent weather patterns, which all make for 
a more enjoyable time on the water.   These are motorized, boat style fly fishing adventures where anglers get to experience the uniqueness of Hood Canal, it's Sea-Run Cutthroat, and wildlife surrounding this beautiful area. 

SRC and Coho Tackle:

Go with a 9' 5 weight rod in medium-fast range.  My two primary guide rods include a Sage Salt 590, and a Sage Motive 690.  Both super nice rods, but if I had to go with one it would be the Sage Salt 590.  Of course, I do live only 20 minutes away from Sage, so those broken rods have a quick turn around time.  The Salt 590 is fast action, and literally built to be a Sea-Run Cutthroat bomb.  It even has a really cool little fighting but, just enough to take some stress off your wrists when fighting a nice fish.  Load either of these rods with RIO Outbound intermediate lines and you have a great set up ready to go.  Hook into a nice Coho salmon on the 590 Salt, as I did last summer, and you are in for a heck of a fight.  I actually preferred using the 590 Salt for Coho over other heavier rods.  This rod is light, powerful and had plenty of power to land our 3-7 pound Coho salmon that Hood Canal is known for. 
Fjord Fly Fishing and Red's Fly Shop

Research is just starting to get under way for Sea-Run Cutthroat in the South Puget Sound. Led by the Coastal Cutthroat Coalition, research is finally taking shape with generous donations from anglers and businesses.  Research will be focused on migration habits, health and abundance of different stocks etc.  Check it out if you haven't had a chance.

Sea-Run Cutthroat and Coho salmon fishing will continue to improve as the summer and fall progresses.  Give Red's a call to inquire about this adventure, or you may also email Capt. Chad for questions.

Capt. Chad Gillespie
Fjord Fly Fishing


  1. Hi Chd, I would like some information on your guided trips. I have been a fly fisherman for over 40 yrs, trout and steelhead primarily. Have not done much SRC fishing however. I do nave a nice 13 ft. Livingston boat and several kayaks for transportation. Where on Hood Canal do you guide out of and what is your charge for guiding. Thank You, Tom
  2. Hi Thomas, I guide central and northern Hood Canal areas. Launches are spread few and far between, so I will run some miles sometimes prior to fishing. You can check out my website www.fjordflyfishing.com, email me chad@fjordflyfishing.com, or call me 509-591-2029 for more details. I would be happy to have a conversation with you. Thanks