"Pilots are Frisky and Hungry" 1/25/19

Now is the time. The pilot peak strain are in full swing ready for their spawn period. Dozens of trophy fish are being caught each day. This time of year the large fish will frequent the shallows feeding on midges, nymphs and tui chubs in the flats. The bright coloration distinguishes the pre spawn and spawning cutthroat. Beautiful reds, oranges and golds can be seen on these fish. 

Connor Wagner from San Diego with his trophy Pilot. Photo: Capt Rob

Connor Wagner from San Diego with his trophy Pilot. Photo: Capt Rob

With the year classes going up it’s more and more common to see fish in the 8-12 pound range. We have had numerous days this year with 5-12 or more fish over the 10 pound mark. If there was ever a time to make a trip for the “big fish hunters” you should of been out already. But you’re not too late it’s only getting better. 

PFC Guide Morgan Kane getting in on the fun

PFC Guide Morgan Kane getting in on the fun

It’s safe to say this year has surpassed prior years on the amount of quality fish being caught. And again, it just keeps getting better.  We have been dialing in flies and techniques to target these large fish and we would love to share or knowledge with you. We still have open days for guide trips and clinics but they are filling fast. 

Autumn Harry @numu_wanderer with her first 10 lb Cutthroat. The smile says it all    Photo: PFC President Casey Anderson

Autumn Harry @numu_wanderer with her first 10 lb Cutthroat. The smile says it all

Photo: PFC President Casey Anderson

Now for some tactics.  With the cold water we have been sizing down and slowing down the action of flies. Just because the fish don’t want to use as much energy through the day doesn’t mean they won’t put up a fight in the cold weather.  These fish are fired up right now and willing to give you a real battle. Don’t come under gunned. 7 and 8wt rods should be used fighting these fish whether it’s sinking or floating line.  We have been seeing a few more fish come on indicator rather than the strip. Both will catch but the fact that fishing an indicator will leave you in the strike zone longer is a big key in winter. When a school of large fish come in it could be quick but well worth the wait.  

PFC Guide Morgan Kane tested out a new midge pattern. I’d say it worked.

PFC Guide Morgan Kane tested out a new midge pattern. I’d say it worked.

David from New York fishing with Pyramid Fly Co got his midge game on ! Photo: Outside TV

David from New York fishing with Pyramid Fly Co got his midge game on ! Photo: Outside TV

Midges and nymphs in red, wine or black with other variations are working great. Balanced leeches and baitfish in white, olive and black are also great color choices. The depth will vary per beach so play around until desired depth is found. Stripping will be popcorn beetles or boobies paired with buggers, or streamers. Changing cadence until the proper speed is found. If you have thought about coming out, now’s the time to pull the trigger. 

Give us a call and we will get you dialed in your journey to the 30 pound club,

Need we say more ? PFC Guide Chris Nicola with a fired up Cutthroat

Need we say more ? PFC Guide Chris Nicola with a fired up Cutthroat

Tight lines, 

Casey Anderson 

President/Head Guide