In early August I had a few days to see family in the Portland area and obviously brought a few rods to play around with on my Sunday afternoon once free time could be had. My buddy Ben was in town and I wanted to reconnect with him and a fellow fish fanatic out on the coast. We combined forces to meet out near the coast and took a lazy start to the day. Ben and I took the 1 hour drive from Portland to meet at Maria’s Taqueria in Tillamook for a delicious late lunch.
Once there Justin showed up with a great surprise of his partner Ashley in the passenger seat. Now with a crew of 4 and tacos in our bellies, we headed to the Trask river to scout out some Sea-Run cutthroats. The sea-runs play in the estuaries and feeder streams near the coast and are an aggressive bunch – storming flies on the surface and chasing streamers.
Once we got to our designated spot we pulled out our rods and quickly got ready with the First-Cast rods, we only had 3 for the 4 of us and Justin rigged up a traditional rod with a few more minutes of fuss. In front of was a nice small stream that we hit at about 3pm. It’s definitely not the optimal time to start, but we casted to get used to the water and Ben who had never fly fished before got a streamside lesson. We worked our way upstream to a known slot canyon that offered deeper runs and structure for shade.
As we inched closer to the optimal stretch in the river a few of us got some 4”-6” fish who were taking stimulators and caddis on the surface, beautiful fish but we had our hearts set on something a bit meatier.
Turning the corner a bit we were blessed with a receding sun and deeper water. I did not yet sight a fish, but I threw out my floating morsel near a rock that provided protection – and BAM. Hooked a beautiful 12” fish. He put up a nice fight and after capturing the moment below we set him back to his pool and were all happy to have broken into the double digits in size.
Ashley then hooked into another similar sized fish just in a bit further, and Ben even got his first fish on the fly by swinging a soft hackle. Spirits were high and we still had most of the run ahead of us.
Justin now was ahead of the pack and was drifting a stimulator through the deepest section. As we were chatting across the river after a few passes of the fly, he got an aggressive take! For sure the biggest fish on for the day, it took drag immediately and went for a run downstream followed by two bouts of aerial acrobatics. It then came for another run downstream, turned around a big rock for cover and shook the hook… arg! She was strong 18” or so fish and off before we could get a good shot, but the excitement was high and was a fun fight for us all to experience.
After the highlight, we caught a few more 6” beauties and made it through the best fishable stretch where we were. It was still plenty hot out, so we all took a swim upstream and strolled back to the car. A great day on the water with friends fish oh, and maybe another taco for dinner…