A Sea Run Cutthroat Fly Fishing Guide Service - Seattle, Washington


Puget Sound fishing reports from Sound Fly Fishing guides.

Published on 04/14/2019

As we enter our 12th year guiding Puget Sound, we must say that every year gets more exciting with new fishing locations and clientele. We can’t thank you all enough.
We are in the same slip at the marina as last year. Boat is running great; gear is polish and flies have been tied. Let the guide season begin!
Spring fishing typically starts off slow’ish during April and builds throughout the summer. Yes, there are chum smolt around but that’s mostly a Hood Canal show. Look for both pre and post spawn cutthroat to be moving around their home streams feeding to build metabolism for the year.
We fish mostly eel grass beds and they have begun to bloom for the warmer months. Fish are low lying in the grass so be sure to keep your eyes on the skinniest of water. A cutthroat WILL be there.
April is all booked up. We have some dates in May and June that are wide open. Summer is going fast but as of now we do have availability.

Thanks, and we look forward to fishing with you.
Captain Ben

Published on 07/24/2018

Wow. Summer has been fantastic. Other then a week of extreme low tides the fish have been feeding and success has been had on 2-inch baitfish patterns. This time of year, we fish mostly eel grass beds, knocking on doors for hungry cutthroat. Poling over these beds in medium to skinny water is our favorite. With the high temps the sun is usually putting fish down into darker structure. We target this structure with a combination of push pole and anchor fishing. Working drop off’s during the peak sun prove to be most effective.

We are all booked up for July but have a few dates left in August. September is coming, probably the best month out of the year to fish for cutthroat. Open dates are available in the second half of the month.

Thanks to you all for making it a great year.

Capt. Ben

Published on 02/23/2018

As I sit here contemplating why it’s 27 degrees with snow on the ground in February, my mind drifts to short sleeves and bare feet on boats decks. Spring will be here soon and it’s time for salty cutthroat.

March is maintenance month for us. Motors get tuned up, gear gets organized and hundred of files get tied. The new slip at the marina is secured and the anticipation is somewhat unbearable. April 1st is the beginning of the “busy season” and dates are filling fast. May has a few days left and June is going quick.
This summer is going to be crazy, with the popularity of sea run cutthroat fishing increasing what seems like daily around Puget Sound. This is a wild trout fishery that is well maintained and thriving. Let’s keep it that way.

April – Temps can range from cold to warm with rain present most days. This is spawn time for cutthroat. It’s a mixed bag of pre/post spawn fish that are caught. April is a “hunting” month with lots of push polling around. It’s a good time to be on the water as most anglers still have steelhead on the brain. It is not uncommon to have Puget Sound to ourselves.

May – Temps start to increase, and the rain dissipates to showers. The eel grass starts to bloom, and we find fish resting on these growing beds. Fish acclimate to being back in saltwater and feed with a vengeance. Salmon smolt can be abundant for the cutthroat to munch.

June – Temps stabilize and rain in limited. Fish are feeding, and the bottom structure is present that we need to find fish. June is one of my favorite months to be out. Fish will move into the skinny water to feed more on the increasing amount of baitfish.

There you have it, a small and redundant breakdown of the spring months. Please do not ever hesitate to call or email us with questions. As always, we are looking forward to fishing with old friends and can’t wait to show new friends how productive and fun Puget Sound fishing can be.

A few thank you’s are in order for keeping this fishing-boating-guiding-picture taking-admin-website machine rolling:
Paul, thanks for the new logo
Peter, thanks for the baffling web work
Neil, thanks for keeping everything afloat and moving
Jesse, thanks for your support and gear
Two thumbs to Sage & Simms

Happy hooking,
Captain Ben Zander

Published on 06/24/2017

Summer fishing is off to a great start this year. Although the wind has been a major factor, we are still finding fish in non typical locations. This is something all anglers should explore. Move away from the same old spots and try something new. You could be rewarded.

Per usual orange color over white baitfish patterns have been producing the best results. With the presence of anchovy, herring and non-descript baitfish there are tons of options for cutthroat to feed on.

As of late the fish have been hanging out on shelves more so than eel grass feeding. Find these drop off’s and get to work.

Summer is going to fly by and it is such an exciting time of year to be chasing cutthroat.

We have been at this for 10 years and continue to pursue, protect and explore.

We have a few open dates for July; keep a day open and come fish August or September with us. The best time of year to fish!
The push pole technique is by far the best way to pursue and hunt cutthroat. We are very excited to show you how productive this is.

Published on 12/14/2016

Happy Holidays from Sound Fly Fishing. We are currently running a promotion for Gift certificates. Now through Jan 2nd buy a full day boat trip Gift cert and receive $100 bucks off! It’s simple. Click here, fill out the form, we will invoice you and send over the electronic gift cert. This gift cert can be redeemed anytime, just email us some dates and we will get you on the books. If you would like the email sent to a special person, please leave that email and name in the comment box.

Regular Price $500

Holiday Special $400

Winter fishing is in full swing. There are cutthroat out there, mostly in the South Sound, that are willing to eat just about anything you throw at them. Orange over white patterns are best this time of year through March. During calm days try a top water fly as the hungry trout will leap at the opportunity.

Happy Holidays and I look forward to fishing with you all this upcoming year.

Capt. Ben

Published on 11/02/2016

We are ten years old. It’s cool to look back on all the people we have guided and how much we have learned in that amount of time. It’s you, the client or fellow fishing friend who has kept us going. As a thank you we will be running a promotion over the holidays. Stay tuned!

We have kept it secret for a while now but its time you all know. We have incorporated a push pole into our game. This is hands down the most effective way to fish for cutthroat in the salt. With zero sound and the ability to maneuver around grass and other structure we can get to the fish in a more efficient way than ever before. As of right now we are the only guide service offering this experience, it’s going to catch on though because it’s a lot of fun!

As for the fishing, its bonkers when the weather cooperates. It’s been a rainy October and looks as if we are going to have a wet winter. South Sound is best. For ten years, we have been preaching ORANGE baitfish patterns. If you have not tried this yet get one here or tie something up yourself.

If you are fishing this winter, we would like to challenge you to fish over both grass and rocks. Take note of your success and look at the numbers you found vs the two.

Lingcod on the fly is something every Puget Sound angler should try during the season (May 1 – June 15). We do not run full lingcod days on the sound, rather a few hours in the morning and afternoon. If you are interested in chucking a 10 weight this year, please inquire now as we pre-book the season.

Again, look for some cool stuff out of us this winter including the big promotions to be released around Thanksgiving.

Capt. Ben

Published on 06/28/2016

Pushing through the early summer high tides we are now in full cutthroat swing. Fishing has been great as has the weather. As we enter the bright days, always keep “dark structure” in mind while fishing. The cutthroat will be on the move more as the sun is up and bright. We have seen tons and tons of bait this summer already. Herring, sandlance and a massive perch hatch, that has us baffled for a few days, have all been on the move.  A non hatch specific fly to try is the Deception in orange. Most of our fish this early summer have been caught on orange.

Fishing will only improve over the summer with August and September being prime time.

We are filling up quick for summer per usual so please if possible book as early as you can to ensure a date.

Capt. Ben Zander

Published on 04/14/2016

Spring fishing is in full swing. There are tons of baitfish around and the cutthroat are keying in on them. Don’t always think you have to throw a chum pattern at them.  The tides are great right now and the weather is right! Spring really marks the start of our busy season. Fishing will only continue to get better all the way through summer and into October.

New for 2016, we are very proud to offer boat trips out of our 2005 Boston Whaler Montauk 170. I am now a USCG OUPV captain and went through the rigorous and painfully long process to achieve this. Stoked!  Boat trips will offer more to everyone. I am really excited about this opportunity.

Capt. Ben Zander

Published on 07/15/2015

A slow spring, which lead to a slower than usual beginning of summer has given way to outstanding fishing as of late. We are seeing the numbers and size fish we are used to in May. Tons of baitfish are present for the cutthroat to be munching on right now and fish crashing bait balls on top water is one of the coolest things you can see in Puget Sound, although we are a bit biased. One thing to keep in mind is shade. Cutthroat love darkness and we are always hunting for the most vegetation filled depressions we can find. It’s sunny out so keep looking for dark structure in the water.

We are gearing up for a pretty epic pink salmon year. We usually run salmon trips as part of a cutthroat day. However, if you are interested in just salmon fishing let us know. Getting on the water EARLY is key. While pink salmon are a ton of fun to catch and numbers can be high, coho are our favorite salmon in Puget Sound to chase. The jumps, leaps, pulls, and head shakes are hard to forget. Coho will enter any day now and be around in the salt until early October. We will see what happens to our salmon run this year as the rivers are incredibly low right now. We may have an 13 week coho season in the sound. Please keep in mind that we are strictly catch and release on all fish. If you are looking to take fish home or fish out of a boat we can point you in the right direction with an excellent charter boat.

Our July is booked with a few spots remaining in August. It’s a good idea to book early knowing that the salmon are on the way. 

Published on 05/30/2015

After a long spring the cutthroat have finally come into Puget Sound in bigger numbers. We are still seeing smaller than average fish right now but the big guys are soon to be had.  The ever popular chum salmon hatch was per usual and cutthroat were feeding on a variety of patterns. We are still loving the Tak’s Mini Minnow.

Looking forward, June provides excellent cutthroat fishing. It is the major start of massive feeding for the returning fish. Look for fish of all sizes to be around on most beaches. The north sound will be the last area to get the numbers.

June-September is hands down the best time to be chasing cutthroat. June is almost fully booked with some dates left through August.

We know that there are many different ways to fish for Puget Sound cutthroat and we all have our favorite gear to do so. We cannot stress the importance of fly line selection. If you have not tried a full intermediate sinking line such as the Scientific Anglers Streamer Express Clear Tip or the Rio Outbound Short, do yourself a favor and pick one up. We have plenty of lines from a variety of companies for you all to use/demo when you come out with us. You can make your own decision on what line works best for you.

Thank you to all for the support this summer and we look forward to meeting the new anglers. 

Ben Zander

Published on 04/03/2015

Spring has started off pretty slow in Puget Sound. Scratching my head and wondering what was going on, I called a fish and game dude. The bulk of cutthroat spawning tends of occur in April, not all fish do this, but most. This year with warmer water temps and such the fish did their deed in March. This is fantastic for April. Things have picked up considerably and we are happy. Chum salmon smolts are still hanging around but not in the numbers that we are used to seeing. Success has been had on orange/white, pink/white and general baitfish patterns.

Central and South Puget Sound have been putting out decent numbers of cutthroat in the last week. The North Sound has turned on and I am getting more great reports on excellent bull trout/dolly fishing. This is just the beginning. So pumped for the summer!

For those of you new to cutthroat fishing on Puget Sound keep in mind that now is the time to be out. April-November is absolutely your best months to be out on the water. This is also what we call our guide season. We get extremely busy, so if you are planning on booking a trip give us a call and let’s get it on the books. April and May are booked and August is almost full.

We appreciate all of our loyal customers and are looking forward to meeting the new clients that have yet to experience what this cool cutthroat fishery is all about.

Published on 01/07/2015

Whoa, it seems as if fall has lasted about 2 months longer then it should. Yeah, we have had some cold snaps but overall the air and water temps have been much warmer creating some awesome fishing. The central sound to south sound have been consistent in producing multiple fish days and even some really banner days. As of today (January 7th) the fishing remains good. Go!

Our favorite flies this time of year range from orange over white, chartreuse and white. All baitfish patterns in the 1-3 inch range.  We have really been diggin the mini seducer in orange, this thing is deadly.  

A couple things news worthy and fun:  We have come up with what we think is the best Puget Sound beach fly line. Working with Rio Products to design this new line was a blast and we have fished the prototype for a few weeks now and cannot find a thing wrong with it. Think – easy distance with accuracy for any angler. We will let you know when the line is available and where to buy it.

Over the years we have developed a large appetite for tarpon. Key West to Mexico the Gulf of Mexico has been a new home away from home. Working with the great people at Fly Water Travel and Pacific Fly Fishers, we will be offering a few tarpon trips a year to those of you interested. Although the hook set and fight is much more aggressive than cutthroat (obviously) your Puget Sound skills will transfer over nicely to tarpon. There will be much more info on our website shortly. 

Spring fishing dates are starting to go. If you have interest in spring fishing the chum salmon smolt hatch let us know. It usually is bonkers out there and a lot of fun to be a part of. As usual summer is booking fast and August is almost full.

2014 products we fell in love with this past year:

Simms Oceantek boot

 Simms Slick Jacket

 Winston B3-SX fly rods

Once again 2014 was our best year yet. We could not live out our dream without you all who have chosen us to guide you on the beautiful waters Puget Sound. Thank you!


Published on 10/07/2014

Wow! What an amazing summer on Puget Sound. Some very big fish were caught and we had awesome clients. Here is what to look for in the next few months:

Although we do not guide for Coho salmon they are in and you should take full advantage of this short but fun opportunity. Chartreuse flies in size 4-2 work wonders and do herring patterns in the same sizes. Keep your strip on the faster side of things and hold on. We have seen some Coho in central Puget Sound but most of the activity is still in the north sound.

Cutthroat fishing remains great this time of you. October presents larger fish that will take just about anything you throw at them. We have some great new flies tied up that we are experimenting with.  As I have said for the last few years, fall is THE time to be out for coastal cutthroat.  We have a few dates left in October, contact us for details.

North Sound: Cutthroat are moving up towards the Stillaguamish this time of year, so keep moving and beach hopping to find fish. Patterns in grey, silver and chartreuse will work best.

Central Sound: This is where we are guiding and cutthroat fishing will be bonkers for the next few weeks, especially with this weather we are having. Grey and sliver baitfish patterns in a saltwater size 8 (smaller than normal) and a slow strip have been getting it done for us lately. I usually like to error on the faster side of retrieving but the fish have been wanting it slow…

South Sound: We went waaaaay south a few weeks ago and found good numbers of cutthroat on some new beaches for us. Top water action at its finest on a sunny day. The South Sound can be very calm as far as currents and we had a great day on top.


The fly of the summer was Tak’s Mini Minnow in olive – From Umpqua


Have a great fall,


Published on 06/09/2014

Summer 2014

Summer is upon us and the fishing is great. We spend most of the summer in the middle Sound and have had some great success on bigger cutthroat so far. We typically see the bigger fish in the late summer but for whatever reason we are seeing them now. Can’t complain about that, right? One thing of note is the amount of eel grass this summer. Places that have had sparse beds in the past are much fuller this year with cutthroat lying on top or in the grass.

June and most of July are booked. As we have stated in the past our absolute favorite time of year to be out is end of August – middle of October. This time frame is filling up fast but we do still have room.

We are pleased to be R.L. Winston Pro Staff and have tons of B3 SX rods for you to throw. Super excited about how well these rods work for our type of fishing/casting.

As always, don’t hesitate to email or call with inquiries and questions.


Ben Zander

Published on 04/10/2013

Spring is upon us. The winds are dying down, the weather is a little better, chum salmon smolt are moving around and we are catching fish. Spring is a good time of year to be in Puget Sound as the fishing starts to be a numbers game as opposed to the hunting for big fish in the winter. Fish will average in the 10-16 inch rage with bigger fish present. Remember that these fish are post spawn and will be a bit on the skinny side until they have had a chance to feast on some prey.

Seaplane trips are going strong this spring. We are once again fully booked for summer. We are now booking for September. Speaking of September, the fall months are by far our favorite time to be out with Kenmore Air. September – October fill up fast and for good reason, the fishing is bonkers.

We are headed to Bozeman Montana again this year to attend the Simms Ice Out guide event. We will be representing the northwest saltwater and are looking forward very much to hanging with the cool folks at Simms.

Full and half day walk wade trips are available this summer and we encourage you to experience the Puget Sound and its fishery. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to give us a call.

Ben Zander

Owner + Guide

Published on 10/10/2012

Fall is finally here! The rains are coming and we are all gearing up for the best fishing Washington has to offer.  There are so many options to explore but the hidden cutthroat fishery continues to be fantastic.

North Sound: Coastal Cutthroat will start heading up the rivers in the north sound making it a bit tougher to have multiple fish days but the fish you do catch will lean towards the larger side. Fishing close to river mouths/estuaries will prove to be the most productive.

Key Flies: Chartreuse Clouser, Pin Head, B.H. Raccoon

Middle Sound: The Seattle area fishes well this time of year. You get a mix of fish heading up streams and fish that hang out in the sound longer. Cover beaches and lots of them.

Key Flies: Mini Gurgler, Baitfish Minnow Shad, Crazy Charlie White

South Sound: The South Sound is where you will find the most productive fishing thought the fall and winter months. Fish spend more time in the salt here and feed like crazy before heading up smaller streams to spawn in the early spring. Eel grass is dying off and is providing less structure for cutthroat to hide in. So, look for structure, depressions and anything where are fish may hide.

We are currently guiding the south sound and will continue to do so through May. Hands down there are more fish and they tend to be larger due to their aggressive feeding nature.

Key Flies: Baitfish Minnow, Orange Bastard, Orange Fly Wings

We want to thank everyone for the best summer we have ever had. The fish were cooperating and the company was great.

Seaplane trips are in full swing. Last Friday was an epic day with a local fly club. 20 fish were caught and the fireball was flowing. Thanks guys.

Ben Zander

Owner+Head Guide

Published on 08/06/2012


This is hands down the best summer for coastal cutthroat fishing I have ever been a part of. The fish are big and aggressive. We mainly target the south sound but have fished a bit more in the north sound and done well. Camano is fantastic if you hit the right tide. We like to use more bait fish patterns then attractor but lately anything in chartreuse has been the ticket. The fish are on the move so keep your flies moving fast and fish multiple beaches throughout the day.

Thank you to all of the great customers who have made this our best and lucrative summer so far. We really appreciate it. August is completely booked and September is filling up fast.

Don’t forget about seaplane trips in the fall. I have a great feeling that September/October is going to be off the hook.  Some of you may have noticed that the seaplane trips went up in price 75 bucks, apparently gas for airplanes is expensive. Can you even imagine how much gas Kenmore Air must go through? Crazy!!!

We are using facebook more and more and are posting quick reports there. Sorry for the lack of reports on the website. So, join us on facebook.

Thanks and enjoy the rest of your summer,

Ben Zander

Owner+Head Guide

Published on 05/16/2012

May fishing is in full swing. There are plenty of chum smolts left out there and the cutthroat are feeding like mad on them.  We have also had great success on a variety of other baitfish patterns. Another fly we will be giving a chuck is the Broke Back Minnow in olive/white from Spirit River you can pick them up at Pacific Fly Fishers. Pretty excited about this fly.

Eel grass is starting to grow and show up more and will continue to grow through summer. This provides cutthroat protection and an environment to rest and feed. A great example of eel grass being nonexistent to full fledge garden is Camano Island State Park, fun place to fish and learn the north end.

The south sound as always is best right now. Fishing is good and the tides are calming down.  We have talked to a few guys who have been out in hood Canal and have been crushing it. We don’t do much over there but would love to hear your reports.

Summer trips are filling up quick and seaplane trips with Kenmore Air are now full. Thank you to all who are participating with us in this cool adventure. September seaplane trips are booking fast as well, don’t miss out!

We will have a newsletter going out 6 times a year or so and you can stay updated on all we are doing by signing up on our website.

Happy hooking,

Ben Zander

Published on 03/09/2012

March for Sound Fly Fishing signifies two important things. First, it the launch of our cool new website. Peter, who works with us at Pacific Fly Fishers, is a web guru. We hope you like the new lay out as much as we do. We find it very important to keep a fresh look and always try to provide a site that is easy to navigate allows you to explore our services and pictures.

The second item of note is the outward migration of salmon smolt, beginning now. Pink salmon smolt are heading out of the streams and rivers, which means the lingering cutthroat in Puget Sound will be picking up a few of these small fish. As we get closer to spring, the chum salmon smolt will work their way out of the rivers and the cutthroat that are currently upstream will follow them out and mow them down.

We really like this time of year. The weather is a bit unpredictable, and there may not be as many fish in the Sound, but the ones you catch will be on the bigger side. It’s more about covering lots of water and hunting for fish. We find it extremely enjoyable.

Seaplane trip booking is in full swing and summer is filling up fast again, as is September. Please give us a shout if you have any questions and we look forward to seeing you on the water this year.

Ben Zander

Published on 02/29/2012

Tides look great this weekend. Going to head out and do a solo day. Have not done that for years! I will give you all lies when I get back.

Published on 12/13/2011

Cutthroat are moving in closer to the beach this time of year. Look for depressions and get your fly down. We are offering gift certificates for xmas this year. info@soundflyfishing.com

Published on 11/26/2011

Cutt fishing is still going strong in the south sound. We have been doing well on orange over white patterns as well as sculpin flies. December is filling up quick.