Tillamook cutthroat?

M
McClane
My sister-in-law has a place on the Trask River and I will be coming out that way to fish this summer, she says she lives about 14 miles from where her river empties into the Tillamook Bay. I have a couple of questions: what time's the best time in the summer to fish for cutthroat trout? And, how far do the sea-run variety run up the river? Will I be able to fish for these fish or do they tend to stay more in the brackish water and, instead, should I target resident fish? Also, will I be able to catch sea-run fish on the dry fly, or is it all streamer-type fishing? Thank you.
 
troutdude
troutdude
SRC’s run upstream in late summer / early fall. The best fly is the legendary Borden Special. Otherwise you’ll want to target the resident population; in slower pools, Eddie’s, and undercut banks. They don’t need more oxygenated / faster water like rainbows do.
 
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M
McClane
troutdude said:
SRC’s run upstream in late summer / early fall. The best fly is the legendary Borden Special. Otherwise you’ll want to target the resident population; in slower pools, Eddie’s, and undercut banks. They don’t need more oxygenated / faster water like rainbows do.
Just curious, do you think I'll find any SRCs about 15 miles upstream from Tillamook Bay?
 
C_Run
C_Run
I target searuns in tidewater in June and July.
 
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troutdude
troutdude
McClane said:
Just curious, do you think I'll find any SRCs about 15 miles upstream from Tillamook Bay?
Depends on when you’re going to be there
 
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S
SparkyofSoCal
I would not count on it, slightly possible, but highly improbable.
 
M
McClane
troutdude said:
Depends on when you’re going to be there
July or August. . .I haven't booked it yet. I recently retired so I'm open to any time, but I'm hoping to run into the sea-run fish.
 
M
McClane
SparkyofSoCal said:
I would not count on it, slightly possible, but highly improbable.
Is that because it's unusual to find sea-run fish that far up, at anytime?
 
S
SparkyofSoCal
That is my belief. I have fished that watershed some as it is local and I target trout and never seen one that far up. Other trout families but not the Sea Run family you are targeting.
 
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McClane
SparkyofSoCal said:
That is my belief. I have fished that watershed some as it is local and I target trout and never seen one that far up. Other trout families but not the Sea Run family you are targeting.
Ah, okay then. Since it'll be my first-time fly fishing the West Coast and, I know very little about sea-run cutthroats, would you recommend I fish at my sister-in-law's house (because she claims she's 14 miles up from the Tillamook Bay on the Trask River) and I will do well enough with local, non-migratory fish, then I can simply go north to give the Wilson a shot, as I understand they have a decent run of summer steelhead? I live in NY and I've fly-fished for trout, steelhead, Landlocked Atlantics, and Pacific Salmon (in the Lake Ontario Tributaries) for 40+ years, so I basically have an idea of what I'm doing, I just want to be able to optimize my time while I'm there and since she recently retired herself, and recently sold her home in Portland and moved to her cottage on the Trask full time, I have some real opportunities to fish the area in the future.
 
Casting Call
Casting Call
Caught a lot of SRC when in season at the Kelchis County Park 10 miles upriver. Tony
 
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olshiftybiscuits
Woof there’s a lot of misinformation in this thread so far.

Sea run cutthroat are semi anadromous, which means they don’t migrate every year. Their migration is driven by food, not reproductive cycles. You will find large sea run cutthroat that have residentialized throughout the entire length of the Trask and its forks from the day trout season opens in late May through the end of it on October 31. The nicest sea run I’ve ever caught was a dozen miles upstream in June. All techniques that catch sea runs work on residents, too, so there’s no need to target one or the other.

While these fish certainly do like Borden’s Specials, it’s one of the two most popular sea run flies sold in the state along with the Reverse Spider. Tying your own variations of classic flies with the hackle collar reversed will be more effective. Be ready to fish traditional methods too, like nymphs or a dry dropper set up. They like them leggy and gaudy.

From September on, it’s an October Caddis game and you should be fishing big bushy dries dead drifted or lightly skated on the surface.

Finally, while sea runs do tend to live in slower, deeper water and undercuts down in the estuary sections, they live in more traditional trout water as you go upstream. You will encounter far more of these fish in pockets and riffles than in deep pools or eddies.

Long story short, yes you will find sea runs well upstream in July and August. You’ll find more after the first rains arrive, but you’ll also have to share space with a lot more anglers. It’s a wash, IMO. You’ll have a great time either way.
 
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olshiftybiscuits
SparkyofSoCal said:
That is my belief. I have fished that watershed some as it is local and I target trout and never seen one that far up. Other trout families but not the Sea Run family you are targeting.
They go all the way up to the headwaters my man.
 
S
SparkyofSoCal
Never said they didn’t. Saying they didn’t came from between your ears. I very clearly said I hadn’t seen one.
 
O
olshiftybiscuits
SparkyofSoCal said:
Never said they didn’t. Saying they didn’t came from between your ears. I very clearly said I hadn’t seen one.

I’m not trying to offend you, I’m trying to give the original poster accurate advice so that he can have a good time fishing.
 
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C_Run
C_Run
They used to spawn on our place in Coos County in January per the fish checker who noted them there, big'uns. The creek is but a trickle in the summer with a few dinky residents. Downstream neighbor has impervious beaver dams now so they can't make it up there now. :mad:
 
C
cchinook
McClane said:
My sister-in-law has a place on the Trask River and I will be coming out that way to fish this summer, she says she lives about 14 miles from where her river empties into the Tillamook Bay. I have a couple of questions: what time's the best time in the summer to fish for cutthroat trout? And, how far do the sea-run variety run up the river? Will I be able to fish for these fish or do they tend to stay more in the brackish water and, instead, should I target resident fish? Also, will I be able to catch sea-run fish on the dry fly, or is it all streamer-type fishing? Thank you.
You could run into coho , steelhead and chinook also.
 
B
brokencoastal
The Trask is an amazing river. I recommend never venturing too far from the car as it gets pretty remote, and I've seen some sketchy stuff while out in that area. I enjoy exploring the North Fork of the Trask, some big cutthroat. I am no expert, but I purchased a handful of Borden Specials but ended up fishing more traditional flies.
 
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Casting Call
Casting Call
FYI the tillamook confluance of the three rivers drops in this order. Because of the gradient: Kilches first, second, the Wilson, and last the Trask. Trask being the last and slowest has calmer pools for SRC also has a hatchery to which the SRC fallow the food trails as the for mentioned. STAY on the Trask! Tony
 
M
McClane
olshiftybiscuits said:
Woof there’s a lot of misinformation in this thread so far.

Sea run cutthroat are semi anadromous, which means they don’t migrate every year. Their migration is driven by food, not reproductive cycles. You will find large sea run cutthroat that have residentialized throughout the entire length of the Trask and its forks from the day trout season opens in late May through the end of it on October 31. The nicest sea run I’ve ever caught was a dozen miles upstream in June. All techniques that catch sea runs work on residents, too, so there’s no need to target one or the other.

While these fish certainly do like Borden’s Specials, it’s one of the two most popular sea run flies sold in the state along with the Reverse Spider. Tying your own variations of classic flies with the hackle collar reversed will be more effective. Be ready to fish traditional methods too, like nymphs or a dry dropper set up. They like them leggy and gaudy.

From September on, it’s an October Caddis game and you should be fishing big bushy dries dead drifted or lightly skated on the surface.

Finally, while sea runs do tend to live in slower, deeper water and undercuts down in the estuary sections, they live in more traditional trout water as you go upstream. You will encounter far more of these fish in pockets and riffles than in deep pools or eddies.

Long story short, yes you will find sea runs well upstream in July and August. You’ll find more after the first rains arrive, but you’ll also have to share space with a lot more anglers. It’s a wash, IMO. You’ll have a great time either way.
Thank you. You were quite informative.
 

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