In this day and age, more and more people seem to be finding their way into fly fishing and, in many ways, this is a good thing. As these people explore the world of angling, the internet is littered with ideas and opinions on what fish to pursue, where, when, and why, conservation messages and so on. This abundance of data has motivated some to find new fisheries that break the mainstream mold in one way or another, whether that be in remoteness, species or tactics. This, too, is a good thing ... enter Puget Sound.
By no means should Puget Sound be considered a new fishery. Over 2 million people live within 20 minutes of its shoreline, in what is already a region of the U.S. heavily laden with well versed fly anglers. That said, most enter the sport of fly fishing through the conduit of freshwater streams and lakes. Puget Sound is 100% saltwater and therefore is dynamically different from freshwater fisheries. With new food forms, fish species, equipment, methods of reading water, other differing tactics and one hell of a lot of water to cover (over 1300 miles of shoreline), Puget Sound demands knowledge and persistence, both of which will come if an angler is dedicated to the Sound.
Puget Sound is a wade accessible fishery stretching from roughly Olympia to the northern most border of Washington and Canada and it is by foot that I believe one should be introduced to the Sound. Learning the nuances of the water as tides come and go, being witness to the various species of baitfish and other food forms being assaulted within 20 feet of you by your primary target: the Coastal Cutthroat -- or sea run cutthroat (SRC) as referred to by locals -- welcome to the Sound.
Dave McCoy is a professional fly fishing guide, avid photographer and owner of Seattle, Washington's Emerald Water Anglers. Originally from Eugene, OR, Dave has fished the waters of the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain West for more than two decades and has pursued fish all over the globe in locations such as Central America, Caribbean, India, Tierra del Fuego, Mongolia and the South Pacific. He is a Patagonia Ambassador, pro staff member for Airflo, Winston Fly Rods, Bauer Reels, Filson, Loon Outdoors, Oakley, Koffler Boats and is a GreenFish ambassador. Learn more about Dave at Emerald Water Anglers.