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Top 5 fall flies for Sea Run Cutthroat-From Guest Captain Cole Leishman

Recently we were featured on Cole Leishman's, owner of Rain City Outfitters, blog. Cole is an all-around great guy that we have had the pleasure of knowing for several years. He owns his own outfitter and guides locally here in Western WA, specializing in everything our state has to offer. We were beyond thrilled to see so many Spawn products getting put to work for Sea Run Cutthroat! We hope you love this blog and that it adds to your Puget Sound arsenal of fantastic flies! For more from Cole, be sure to head over to his website to see fishing reports from his guided trips as well as many other great blogs and resources!


"I don’t pride myself on being a ‘pretty fly’ tyer but more like functional guide fly tyer. For Puget Sound, if a fly takes me more than 6 minutes to to tie, it is not worth it to me. These fish are so aggressive that it doesn’t often matter what you are fishing with as long as they see it and it looks somewhat similar to what they naturally eat. That being said, here are my top 5 flies for Puget Sound this Fall in order of effectiveness on my boat:

Rio’s Precious Metal

This fly is the complete sea run cutthroat slayer. It has it all: good profile, durability, and tons of flash. Rio did a great job with this fly and this is hands down my favorite fly in Puget Sound. Additionally, it takes under four minutes to tie.

Here’s my recipe:


Simi Seal Shrimp

This pattern seems to work for everything in Puget Sound during the fall and winter months. I like to use it with a medium speed retrieve with a lot of quick jerking motions. When the fish are a little more tentative, like on glassy calm and sunny days, this fly gets the job done for Sea Run Cutthroat, Resident Coho, and Blackmouth.



Simple Sculpin

Sculpins are present year round in Puget Sound but it seems like they are much more effective in the fall months. Maybe the fish are just extra hungry this time of year or maybe there’s less preferable forage available. Either way, it seems that sculpins are a great choice for this time of year and here is a very simple guide fly that has seen a lot of success recently.



Rio’s Just Keep Swimming

This is the staple baitfish pattern in my box that works well in a variety of colors and sizes. Like the first fly in this list, it is very simple to tie but a bit more realistic. This fly is fairly durable but cheap and easy to tie. I like the peacock over white colorway the best. Tie is sparse for a Sandlance imitation or thick for for a herring fly.


Simple Gurgler

The token topwater fly on my list goes to this simple fly that gets the job done. No reason to get fancy here, the cutthroat absolutely love these simple little gurglers. Better yet, you can tie them in just a matter of a few minutes. I like a steady stripped presentation with a subtle v-wake behind the fly. Make sure you keep stripping until the line goes tight, the cutthroat often miss your fly multiple times before hooking up. Add shrimp eyes and change the colors to imitate other sea critters.


  • Hook: Gamakatsu SS15 - sz 8

- Cole Leishman

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