Sea-run Cutthroat Trout on Tenkara

by Jeffry Gottfried
(Portland, Oregon)

Educational Recreational Adventures guided more than 15 anglers this fall on tenkara fly fishing trips for cutthroat trout. We fished both the Nehalem and Trask rivers. Every angler, including children as young as 7 caught at least two fish on their outings. Some caught as many as 8. We landed many fish over 12," the largest of which was 17."

As expected, many different fly pattens brought strikes including reverse-hackle kebari, mini muddler minnows soft hackles and October caddis dry flies. Aside from fly pattens, our ability of swim/skitter the flies both on and below the surface seemed to be the ticket to success. At times, we used repeated small upward movements of the rod tip to produce action in the fly; at times we used repeated small upstream rod pulses parallel to the water's surface.

The cutthroat smashed the flies, jumped repeatedly and put up a great fight. On many days, they were caught in and amongst 20-40 lb Chinook salmon, with whom they were migrating upstream. Cutthroat eat salmon eggs, alevins, fry and the flesh of dead adult salmon. The lack of available carcasses is cited as one reason why our Oregon Cutthroat are not as large as they were in the past.

Trout fishing in most of Western Oregon ends this month. ERA will be guiding/fishing the Crooked River in sunny Central Oregon throughout the winter starting in November.

Starting this fall, ERA will be offering tenkara safaris, trips to multiple rivers and creeks from the Oregon coast East to the Willamette Valley, Cascade Mountains, Central and Eastern Oregon, including the Jake Place Ranch where we have access to miles of private water containing desert red band rainbows. You're invited! Whether you fish with us or not, feel free to contact us for advice. Also, please "Like" Educational Recreational Adventures on Facebook where you can see lots of photos.

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