Sea Run Cutthroat, or Bluebacks as the old timers round these parts call 'em, are some of the most elusive and heralded fish I've come across in my angling career. I've chased these guys in coastal Oregon streams with mixed results, but I've never really understood their mystique. That is, until a recent trip in the Puget Sound with some Trout Unlimited grassroots leaders.
For starters, the Bainbridge Ferry is a real treat and offers some spectacular views of the Seattle skyline along with some time to reflect on whatever might be occupying one's thoughts. A mere thirty minute ride seemingly puts a whole world between the hustle and bustle of Seattle and the laid back, Patchouli doused culture of Bainbridge Island.
A late launch to hit the incoming tide put us on the water around 11am, and fishing by noon. Intermediate sink tips and super-sparse clousers were the order of the day. And the fishing? Just maybe the best three hours I've ever spent with a fly rod in my hands. Numbers and sizes aside, these fish are just plain cool and their mystique makes perfect sense. Seemingly an overlooked sub-species that not a whole lot of people target and very little known about their life histories, Bluebacks earned my respect.