It's That Time

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by miyawaki, May 8, 2013.

  1. Interesting indeed. All the old timers my pop fished with referred to sandlance as candlefish back in the day. I guess we know better now that they are two different species.
    I know the Columbia river smelt populations have been down for awhile now, but seem to have rebounded a bit this year.
    I can remember filling up a 5 gallon bucket with two scoops of the net back in the day on the Cowlitz.
    Floured, seasoned and fried up in butter, those those smelt were delicious.
  2. Ever tried this pattern for Cony Island Whitefish (CIW)? They show up (CIW) at some parties...
    Jack Devlin likes this.
  3. To my knowledge, CR (freshwater) smelt and saltwater smelt are completely different species.

    Back in the day, we called the ones from the Columbia "river smelt" and the ones in the Sound "silver smelt". I've eaten both but wasn't too fond of the river smelt as they seemed soft and mushy.

    I grew up on southern PS and spent my life working in the sport-fishing industry. 50 years ago the old-timers called PS smelt "candlefish" and I always thought that these fish were the same as "eulachons" but I'm certainly no biologist so perhaps I'm mistaken.
  4. AKA Long Island White Eels.:)
    David Dalan likes this.
  5. This is a good pattern for those of you who like to fish at night. DSC01345.jpeg
  6. Jack -
    Hardly an "expert" on smelt or baitfish in general but my understanding is that 5 species of smelt are found in Washington waters. Those species are: surf smelt, Eulachon (Columbia River smelt), longfin smelt, white bait smelt, and night smelt.

    The surf smelt is the one most of us are familiar with here in the sound. They are a marine species that spawns on the small gravel beaches through out Puget Sound (typically during the summer and early fall) at a evening high tide on either side of the high.

    The eulachon and longfin smelt are anadromous fish that typically spawn in the lower portions of larger rivers (the Nooksack has a late fall/early fall and the Skagit sometimes has early spring run). At least on population of longfin smelt (Lake Washington) is non-anadromous spending their entire life in freshwater.

    The white bait and night smelt are similar to the surf smelt in both general appearance and behaviors. Don't know much about this two species though those "dipped" on the coast may be night smelt.

    An interesting group of fish and a major forage fish for a wide array of predators. Where ever our cutthroat and one of the smelt (including Lake Washington) over lap the smelt become "cutthroat candy".

    Stonefish and Jack Devlin like this.
  7. Thanks Curt for spelling it out for us.
    Now we just have to convince Leland that a Sand eel/lance is neither a Candlefish nor a smelt.;)
  8. Excuse me,but I have to ask. :D How do you keep that thing lit while casting it?
  9. Waterproof matches.
    Gary Knowels likes this.
  10. I don't know if these will help any. They were found washed up on the ocean beach just north of Twin Harbors St Pk (WA coast, for those from out of state) back in early Feb. My pocket knife is 4 3/8" long. IMGP1593.jpg IMGP1594.jpg

    Attached Files:

    Jack Devlin likes this.
  11. Jim, thanks for posting the photos of the ______________ , the _________________, and the _______________________.
    They are most definitely NOT Sand eels/lance.
    The last one looks like a surf smelt to me. All could be any of the five Smalma mentioned.
    Wish I could I could id them. WFF needs to have a smelt expert on retainer.
  12. Yeah, the larger one looks like it could be a eulachon. The last one maybe a surf smelt. It looks a little bluer thant the bigger one.
    The smaller one almost looks different, but maybe it was just a runt. I notice that it's eye seems relatively larger than the eyes on the other two.
    They all look like some kind of smelt. Its hard to tell from my pics, but the fins were all similar and in the same places on each fish.
  13. That photo of the sand lance was taken in September (2005). Any sand lance patterns you use now should be considerably smaller??

  14. For us newbies to SRC, what flies do you recommend for a sand lance pattern? Closures? Leland's popper?
  15. Fishermen are seeing sandlance as long as 3-4 inches here in the Admiralty Inlet and Hood Canal areas. One friend who was Halibut fishing found 4 to 6 inch sandlance, spilling out of the Halibut's mouth.
  16. Well that's good to hear, Bob. I like to fish sand lance patterns - the longer ones.
  17. Jack Devlin likes this.
  18. James,
    Thanks for the photo and link. The sand lance is a lot longer than I thought they would be at this time of year.
  19. Great photo's James, thanks for posting them. Years ago when I was inspecting them at the beach I noticed the violet hue on the sides of the sand lance, it even shows up in the picture, I doubt it makes any difference but I usually add a strip or two of violet KF on the sides of my sand lance patterns, who might help.

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