2013 North of Falcon

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by DimeBrite, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. On Friday we find out how many salmon may or may not be entering Puget Sound this summer. The accuracy of these forecasts is not great, but it always makes for an interesting conversation in winter. There could be swarms of pinks again, but will the silvers show up big? At the very least we know that the resident coho fishing will be average this year, with some bigger than normal fish available.

    2013 North of Falcon Public Meeting Schedule March 1
    2013 Salmon Forecasts and Fishing Opportunities:​
    • 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E. Olympia.
    • WDFW presents Puget Sound, coastal Washington and Columbia River salmon abundance forecasts. Fishery management objectives and preliminary fishing opportunities for 2013 are discussed.
  2. I'm getting so pumped for salmon this summer! It's about time to start tying clousers. Can't wait!
  3. Tim,
    Thanks for the info.
    I think silver fishing should be pretty good this summer.
    While last year offered great coho numbers, I didn't see a lot of big fish hit the beach.
    Based on what I've observed over the past dozen years or so the coho are larger in size on the odd years. I'd love to see a repeat of 2001.
  4. Good point, Brian. Thinking back on it, I guess I never did see too many big fish come to the beach in my neck of the woods. I heard of a 15 lb fish landed by a gear guy, and an 11-12 lb fish taken by a fly gal, but that was pretty much it for over 10 lb fish that I heard about. Would love to tie into one of those big fish on the beach some day. Those 5-8 lb fish are a blast, I can only imagine what a 12lb + fish would do.
  5. I was just thinking the same thing the other day. Figure I'll get all my tying done now so I don't have to scramble at 11 pm trying to tie flies before I wake up at 5 am to hit the beach!

    So stoked for this summer! Can't wait to see you all out there.

    Bradley Miller and Nick Clayton like this.
  6. Just make sure you have some plan "B" beaches for this summer. Some of the more usual popular haunts will be jammed pack with people.
    They won't be very flyfishing friendly with a couple hundred people packed onto the beach.
  7. As far as tying up clousers for summer salmon here, what size and colors are good??
  8. Probably the most popular go to, from what I've seen, is a chartreuse over pink clouser minnow, tied with a stinger hook, around 3 inches long.

    I started adding a couple strips of peacock herl down each side, and after about a month of catching no fish on the peacock-less version, I got five fish to hand in about 7 or 8 days of fishing. I'm not necessarily saying that the peacock had anything to do with it, but after hooking a fish my first time out with that tie, it certainly boosted my confidence.

    Another thing I've noticed that I think is pretty cool is that everyone seems to have their own take on that basic pattern. Kind of interesting to see how people get creative with it.

  9. As Jason noted, chartreuse over pink works well. Other combos that I've found effective are chartreuse, pink, orange or olive over white or light gray.
    I also like solid colors, pink, orange, chartreuse and white.
    2' -3' long depending on the bait. Make sure to tie some with stingers since that will help with short bites.
    Good luck,
  10. Oh yeah, the stinger clousers are very important on those days when the silvers are nipping at the fly. I like chartreuse over white clousers, but the chartreuse over hot pink clouser is a champ too. Pink over white clouser is very productive and keeps the humpies happy. Brian is a master of clouser colors.

    Some beaches will be crowded (due to the pink run) but you can take advantage of that sometimes. It's a good idea to fish very close to friendly buzz bombers when the salmon are out of fly casting range, so you can pick off some of the fish following their buzz bombs into the beach.

    It should be a fun season.
    Flyfishing Dad likes this.
  11. When is this run expected? I need to plan for an extended backcountry expedition.:D
    Stonefish likes this.
  12. Just drive by the parking lots. If they are overflowing and you see eight people piling out of a mini van with yellow rods (aka yeller poles), it is game on!
    Flyfishing Dad and constructeur like this.
  13. Thanks for the run timing prediction, SF. Perhaps I can find a link to some relevant satellite parking lot fill-rate analysis data on these here interwebz. Otherwise, the Sound is too far for drive-by look-sees.
    No worry. I'll be too busy right here in my local corner of the pond chasing Kings, SRCs, surf, and bottom-fish. That's if I'm not up somewhere in the back country with a 3 wt.
  14. The 2013 projected silver numbers (in bold) as reported by The Outdoor Line from the North of Falcon Meeting (sorry for the formatting issue):

    The Silver Story! 2012 Preseason Adult Coho Forecasts (in thousands of fish)

    Stock 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
    Straits Wild 20.5 8.5 12.3 12.3 14.8
    Straits Hatch 7.0 7.8 12.7 18.6 15.4
    Nook/Sam W 7.0 9.6 29.5 25.2 45.4
    Nook/Sam H 25.5 36.0 45.7 62.8 49.2
    Skagit Wild 33.4 95.9 138.1 48.3 137.2
    Skagit Hatch 11.7 9.5 16.2 14.9 16.3
    Stilly Wild 13.4 25.9 66.5 45.5 33.1
    Stilly hatch 0.0 5.4 0.6 4.1 3.1
    Snohomish W 67.0 99.4 180.0 109.0 163.8
    Snohomish H 53.6 24.5 8.4 8.5 109.0
    S Sound W 53.6 25.3 98.9 43.1 36.0
    S Sound H 188.8 186.4 173.3 162.9 150.9
    Hood Wild 48.6 33.2 77.5 73.4 36.8
    Hood Hatch 52.0 51.2 72.1 62.6 68.6

    Key stocks Total 338,600 320,800 916,000 628,600 623,300

    For those of us who fish MA-9 beaches it is very encouraging to see the high projected returns for wild Skagit coho and both hatchery & wild Snohomish coho. Wild Skagit silvers pull hard!

    Let's hope reality is close to these numbers if not better.
  15. Dimebrite,

    Thanks for posting that. Really interesting to see the change year to year.

    Does anyone have a sense of how accurate these predictions are, on average? Just curious.

  16. For those of us who maybe weren't fly fishing in 2001, I'd love to hear a quick recap of why you are hoping for a repeat of that year, SF.

  17. Jason,
    2001 was a big fish year. The state salt and freshwater coho records were both set that year plus there were tons of fish. Both fish were over 25 lbs.
    Multiple hook-up with some days going into double digits which is stellar beach coho fishing in my book.

    I can remember one day standing on the beach watching coho swimming by up current in the chop not far offshore. They'd go on the attack and chase sandlance right up to the beach. It got to the point the sandlance were spraying out of the water with some landing on the beach trying to avoid multiple coho chasing them. This went on most of the day. I've seen this before, but never with the number of good size fish right on the beach with their backs out of the water when feeding. I've seen a lot of stuff on the sound, but the intensity and length of time of the feeding frenzy was pretty amazing.

    As far as the forecast numbers, they are paper fish until they show up. Last years number seemed like it was way off to me based on the excellent fishing. We'll just need to get out there this summer and see what shows up.

  18. 2001 was a special year with lots of very large coho, 12 and 14# fish were common and a surprising numbers of fish in the high teens and low 20s. Several clipped hatchery fish were checked at Everett that exceeded. In addition to the large coho there were into the sound early. The combination of an early run of fish that were both large and abundant resulted in some amazing fishing.

    While the wild coho returned at above expected levels last year the excellent fishing here in the sound as aided in no small part due to the fact for whatever reason the fish were feeding well into the fall. Most years it is rare to find bait fish in the stomachs of PS fish after early September it was the norm in 2012 through most of the month. Actively feeding fish are always more aggressive.

    2012 in Puget Sound was a good salmon year and with another huge pink run, and increased coho and Chinook numbers expected in 2013 do we dare hope that survival conditions are improving and we are looking at a new "norm" and are we all going automatically become better fishers? Let's hope so.

  19. Thanks for the info and history lesson guys.

    Hopefully I've started my salmon fishing days at the right time!

    What is it, about 4 or 5 months until the days of waking up at 4:30 am begin? Can't wait.

  20. 2001 was indeed incredible. I only wish I was fly fishing the salt at that point. We made several trips to Sekiu that year. After our first day it became obvious that it was not a typical year. Where we would usually catch our limit of 5-8lb fish, 10+ pound fish were the norm. I landed one that went 17 1/2 lbs on a light baitcasting rig out in the salt. That was a hoot.

    Thanks for posting those numbers, Dime. I'm getting so excited to be back at it this summer.

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