My friend David Nash, whom I met on a Puget Sound beach a couple of weeks ago, had a nice sea-run cutthroat fishing report to share. By the way, a 16-inch-long sea-run cutthroat trout is a very, very nice fish. Beach fishing in Puget Sound is hot right now. A lot of anglers - including David - are hooking resident coho salmon. No salmon season is open on Marine Area 13 beaches right now, so you have to release the coho right away. Use barbless hooks, and the fish should be fine. You can keep salmon starting March 1. The limit is one fish. If we're lucky, those resident coho - they're mostly hatchery fish - will stick around through the summer, and they'll be a lot bigger. All cutthroat trout caught in saltwater must be released.
I wanted to let you know 10 minutes after you left last Thursday I caught a nice 12-inch-long cutthroat. I went out today, Sunday the 11th, and fished the outgoing tide. I had my best day ever on the water. I caught five fish - one silver and three cuts on the Muddler Minnow you gave me. The first was a hog, a good 16 inches and it was thick. The action died down for about 15 minutes, so I tied on a Clouser Minnow for a good 20 casts and got no hits. I put that fly back in the box and tied on a nice 2.5-inch sculpin pattern fly I picked up at Fishy Business and caught my last two cutthroats. I called it quits around 3 o'clock. I was soaked, but it was a beautiful day, I saw three rainbows come and go with the rain. Overall, I had my chances to catch 10 fish today, but I'm well pleased with five.
Talk to you later,
Henry Govert wrote in to share a wild story from Maui ...
We enjoy your column, and especially the reader responses you publish on Sunday morning. Here is our Maui story:
We flew directly to Maui from Seattle, and after renting a car and spending our first night on the northwest coast, the next day we drove the fabled Road to Hana. It was a mixed experience. While the highway was interesting, and had some beautiful views of the ocean, we were disappointed both by the lack of waterfalls we had expected (it hadn't rained recently), and the number of wrecked and burned-out cars which littered the road in places. Because we didn't have much reason to stop along the way, we reached the town before noon. The proprietress of the cabins where we had a reservation said that the people were not yet out, but offered to let us stay in a house they owned up in town on the highway. It was quite a nice house, well-appointed, with a beautiful view of the ocean, and we looked forward to a beautiful night. Because we were early, we had time to drive around the southwest corner and the southern coast, and here we found some of the waterfalls we had expected. It was a truly beautiful time.
After a romantic picnic dinner down at the beach state park, we went to bed and to sleep, only to be awakened at 11:30 by a loud party in the neighborhood. By the sound of the raucous laughter and the obvious consumption of much alcohol, it was soon apparent that it was going to go on all night, so at 1:00 we decided to lock up the house and drive back to the Kahului airport area to find a place to spend the rest of the night. What we had forgotten were the signs which had warned us that the road would be totally closed for repair between 11 p.m. and 5 am. When we discovered the reality of that at the town limit, we turned around to look for other accommodations back in Hana, but the only thing we could find was a very pricey resort. We thought about asking the local police about possible places to stay, but the police station closed down at
8 p.m. We noticed lights in the fire station, and saw a couple of guys watching TV, and also noticed a large parking area in the rear of the station. The firemen didn't know of any other places to bunk in the town, but said we could sleep in our car in the back parking lot, as long as we left the area clear for possible fire truck passage.
After talking with them a while longer, one of them offered to let us sleep on the couches in their living area, which was fine with us. This was a new firehouse, with new furniture, and the couches were quite comfortable. They went upstairs to their beds, and we soon fell asleep. I awoke only twice the rest of the night - once at 3 a.m. to the sound of an absolute deluge striking the house, and about an hour later when I felt someone putting a blanket over me. We got up before them, about 6 a.m, and slipped out of the firehouse to our car. This time the drive was tremendous. The deluge of the night had produced wonderful amounts of water coming down the side of the hills, and we stopped often to wonder at the beauty of the falls. When we got back to Olympia, we sent them a large box of made-in-Washington stuff as a thank you for their generosity, but we have never heard from them again. The whole experience, both good and bad, was like a dream.
Henry Govert, Olympia