the summeruns are coming [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: the summeruns are coming

06-20-2003, 05:10 PM
Fished the lower sky and hooked 2 fish in a couple hours fishing time. Both caught on the hang down and both were LDRed. That makes me 0-5 lifetime on fish hooked when the fly is directly below me. Never seem to get a great hookset.:confused:

Oh well it was nice to see a little steel and hopefully that means more are on the way.


06-20-2003, 05:26 PM

That would be the lower Skyaguamish right???? I wouldn't want you to be confusing people and getting there hopes up and feet headed to other rivers.

By the way, Atta Boy !

06-20-2003, 05:31 PM

thanks a lot man. I was going to spend a nice quiet evening fishing the best fly water I have never hooked a fish in this evening on an other river and now you have to go tell me that the Sky has some fish. Dang you. :)


06-20-2003, 05:40 PM
Dont do it...keep to your first plan!! ;)

Leland Miyawaki
06-20-2003, 06:44 PM

Were those footprints yours this morning? Damn.


Gotta work tomorrow (at Patrick's, so it's not real work), dollies in the salt sunday, then back to the . . . .

06-20-2003, 10:17 PM

Must be tough knowing that most of your fellow fly fishing salmon and steelheaders have to work while you are out playing on the river or saltchuck. I'll bet it doesn't even cause you a tinge of sympathy for us working stiffs.


It is high time you land one of these fish instead of having the LDR's.

06-21-2003, 11:04 PM
...the summer-runs are not coming!...they are HERE! :smokin:

btw-Flytyer's flies do catch fish! :)

06-21-2003, 11:40 PM
No size, but the first for the season. Waters still too high for reasonable fly fishing down here ... but soon, soon.

06-22-2003, 02:12 PM
Sean - thing tubes with smaller lightwire shortshank hooks. Landing percentage on hangdown takes really improves. ;)

JJ - don't worry! If you decide to go to the Sky the fish will have all moved on by the time you get there and the guys fishing that "other" river you originally intended to fish will post the next day boasting how great the fishing was! :devil: :razz:

Sinktip - never heard of that river. Is it a tributary of the Skagihomish?

NF16 - you know it's not the fly, it's the presentation., If you hooked one, they must really be in ~thick~! :D

Flytyer - you want sympathy?? Give Leland your cell # so he can call you from the riverbank the next time he hooks up! :hehe:

Fred - Smolt don't count! ;)

SERIOUSLY - congrats to all those who've hooked/landed fish. My truck is doing a good impression of a spawned out steelie right now (struggling and near death). Hopefully, a quick trip to the mechanic on Monday and I'll be back on the water gathering fodder for a good story (with pics) :cool:

Leave a few for me!


06-22-2003, 07:06 PM
There has been some digital roomer that the lower river is producing.
I canít image how they fished without a digital notebook live and ready to print.
Had a young lady raise on to yarn fly well doing a single Spey .


06-24-2003, 08:51 AM
Fished the lower this morning at 0330. Fourty two fly fishermen in both runs and I hooked 3. Let them go though!

Set land mines in woods and swamp on way out. Expect they have a 50/50 chance of becoming part of the " Roadkill for Inmates Food Program.":cool:

Former Director of Operations
Ban Hui Sai, Laos.

PS Those really may not be cow pies your stepping in.

06-24-2003, 09:04 AM

YOU RELEASED 3? :tsk_tsk: I thought that this year's regs strictly forbade the willful catch and release of flyfishermen - if you are going to catch them you must bonk them - then (as you did) clear off the river so as to allow others the same opportunity.

06-24-2003, 09:50 AM

Sorry about that but you know how excited I get when there is a strong run on the river.

Bonk all foreign FFer's at local runs. Release all wild FFers and their friends.

06-24-2003, 10:35 AM
I walked into my "secret" run this morning at 4:25. Through the mortar like stacato thump of diving beavers and the phosphorus like glow of the blinking LED headlight I trudged deeper into the jungle. The faint smell of burning hemp and the low squeal of Purple Haze playing in the darkness or is it just my imagination? When suddenly a sharp crack of a twig and then a shadow moves past on my left, or was it my right. I was so disoriented I could not tell. I turn quickly and there is OC painted to look like Col. Kurtz, a box of claymores in his hand and an evil smile belying his heart of darkness. And then he was gone. Or was he ever really there?

I manage to fish two runs but my mind is drawn to the surreal scene in the jungle. A 42' jet sled powers upriver by me, a lone waterskier behind it and Keith Richards most famous riff on the tape player. I can't take it anymore, I need to leave. As I reel in a lone ultralight swoops down over the treetops blaring Wagner.

I only wanted to fish and for my sins, I was allowed to. Will I ever want to fish again?

Lost in a roman wilderness of pain,
and all the children are insane... I'll never look into your eyes again, the end.

06-24-2003, 10:59 AM
Heed this warning all. The moon is deep into the wane, soon to be gone. The crack of the twig was intentional.
Steelhead fishing takes courage and deep conviction on local waters.

06-24-2003, 11:02 AM
that reminded me of y'all. "Are We Kinder and Gentler yet?" :hehe:

06-24-2003, 11:06 AM
Sinktip, uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu maybe you should quit eating those mushrooms

06-24-2003, 11:26 AM
Sweet Jesus look what I started.

Sounds like I am going to have to start posting my reports in MORSE code.

... --- ... ... --- ...

... - . . .-.. .... . .- -.. / .- .-. . / .. -. / - .... . / ... -.- -.-- --.- ..- .- .-.. -- .. .


06-24-2003, 11:45 AM
That morse code won't fool sinktip. not one bit.

Do like most of us and only report fishing reports when you don't hook or catch anything. That way we know when you are really catching and hooking. Now that's code!:smokin: :smokin: :whoa:

Mean Mr Mustard
06-24-2003, 11:55 AM
:chuckle: :cool: :chuckle:

Ever notice that in all my public appearances I am wearing camo gear? I'm a guerrilla flyfisher so watch your back.


06-24-2003, 11:59 AM
I'm a bit rusty on the morse as its been a long time and many miles since my time at the Farm but Sean, I would certainly remember that first line of code you posted. Not all those sharpened sticks at the bottom of the hill were placed by beavers. And then there is OC and his claymore habit. It is just not safe to fish anymore.

The Killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on, he took a face from the ancient gallery, and he walked on down the hill.

06-24-2003, 12:19 PM

Another good reason for my "Insertion Jet Raft". :devil:

In case of a shoreline ambush, beware :tsk_tsk: , though I may be from Canada - I do have guns! :smokin:

06-24-2003, 12:57 PM
Another good reason for my "Insertion Jet Raft"

Wow thanks for reminding me. I forgot to order the piano wire.:devil:

06-24-2003, 01:00 PM
Hey Kush,

Don't get toooo worried. Most of us consider you as insane as the rest of us and we don't consider you all that foriegn.

Insertion jet raft, eh? Call in the Seals, better yet McCales Navy, torpedo's away! We down here have more guns than you do anyway we like to think that.

Repeat after me, I know little of steelhead, I know even less about fly fishing for them and nothing, nothing at all about the rivers they swim in. Repeat Sean, repeat.

06-24-2003, 01:22 PM
OK OK I get it :). I will go back to reporting my success on Thornton Creek in Northgate. PM me for details :razz:

Wait, what are talking about? What exactly is a steelhead again?


06-24-2003, 01:44 PM
Let's see how well they perform vs. military surplus bottom-lying magnetic mines.
Now THAT would be a "good show".


06-24-2003, 01:54 PM
Welcome to the club. Even if you have to work and suport a young family.
In spirit you are now a true steelhead bum.

God, am I getting toooo kinder & gentler?:eek:

Mean Mr Mustard
06-24-2003, 03:24 PM
The answer, of course, is to Take-A-Number!

The state, through right of Imminent Domain, seizes access points to all the popular fishing spots and fences them in. At each area, assign a ticket taker/referee to collect fees and administer the rules and protocol. We get sole access, albeit for a limited time, and the state rakes in revenue for the general fund. They might even be able to afford a few more compliance officers to offset the damn poaching, etc. And civilized, we can keep this thing civlized.

Pass the face paint...


06-24-2003, 04:51 PM
MMM, Don't they have any pay to fish trout lakes over there? That is basically what you are describing. I sure hope I never see the day when I have to buy a rod on my local river.

Mean Mr Mustard
06-24-2003, 05:23 PM

Yes we have them and I would be hard pressed to afford two days a year of such fishing. The pay-to-fish system makes any equal access statements moot. Yet, if a fee range similar to camping fees was assessed, I might find it reasonable for prime water.

Any alternatives? With finite resources and an ever increasing crowd, something's got to give and I guess the quiet spot and civility are things of the past. Of course we all know that...

I do think it helps when we stop and look at the issue occasionally.


06-24-2003, 09:01 PM

You need to get yourself a 16 foot pole with a user actuated automatic winch mounted on it. The heavy braided line such an outfit uses would be ideal for catching jet sleds and hauling them to shore.


I can see the headlines now: CRAZED, WILD FLY FISHER GOES BERSERK ON THE SKYQUAMOOCHEE RIVER. Seems the poor bloke shot a fellow angler who was wearing camo and carrying claymores in addition to his bamboo fly rod. When questioned by authorities, the wild fly fisher said that he thougt a Sasquach was about since he saw many large foot prints in the sand and mud along the river and was sure he heard some strange grunting sounds in the woods on the trail to the river bank as well.

06-24-2003, 10:23 PM
We can visit this subject all anyone wants but I will never be in favor of charging fees to limit use of public water. In my opinion it goes against the principles this country was founded on.
I lived in Arizona for many years and the crowding on some of the waters there makes what you guys are seeing seem minor. This nearly drove me crazy until I changed the way I looked at things. When my water was crowded I went farther, more remote, changed targeted species. I do not think the days many of us remember from our childhoods are coming back so I just deal with it. I hear about "combat fishing" on the Clearwater but I have yet to see it. I've been fishing here continuously since 1971 and I've never wanted for a place to fish. I can't believe with all the water over there one can not find a place to fly fish when the rivers are crowded.
As for having the government collect fees and use the money to hire more enforcement officers I wouldn't hold my breath. As you have pointed out many times the beauracrates are not all that interested in enforcemnet. The powers that be will rub their hands in joy at the new slush fund created from river access fees. A few people that can afford it will be fishing and the rest of us will be waiting. Where our the people waiting going to fish while they are waiting for their turn on the river? My guess is on some other water. Forget the fees just go somewhere else now.

Mean Mr Mustard
06-25-2003, 02:23 AM

It's like grapefruits and lemons; both are citrus, both are spherical and yellow when ripe. They are not the same. Comparing Puget Sound's fishing population to the Clearwater area just doesn't work. Further, when these overcrowding problems are at their worse it is in part because of the limited fisheries available at that time (lakes heat up and go off, limited runs of anadromous fish in certain basins - others with NO runs to speak of, and trout/smolt identity problems). Are there differences in public holdings along these river systems, here and there? Each situation is different and should be handled as such, IMHO, with ALL parties having input; not just the biggest dog with the biggest bite. It will take reason and compromise to settle this, hopefully always being able to see the whole puzzle and all its components.

And I never said to limit all fishing by applying access restriction to the whole of the system, just the more popular and combative spots. Let those less inclined to boondoggle pay to fish and I will continue to beat the bush ahead of them.

As Sinktip drove home to me, and rightly so, you have to close ranks with others with similar needs if you wish to effect change in today's world of shrinking resourses and high end user demands. You also have to be flexible - Adapt or die comes to mind.

No, I don't like it but, there it is.


06-25-2003, 11:27 AM
MMM, I DID NOT compare the Clearwater to Puget Sound as to fishing pressure. I only mentioned the Clearwater because in a few months there will be posts on this board about how crowded it is over here just as I'm reading them now about your area. I merely pointed out that I stopped worrying about my favorite spots being crowded and found some other places to fish that have given me just as much pleasure. Your adage "to adapt or die" is exactly what I'm talking about. In an area as big and diverse fishing wise as the Puget Sound area I don't buy the theory that there is no other fly fishing (lakes heat up and go off, limited runs of anadromous fish in certain basins - others with NO runs to speak of, and trout/smolt identity problems) except for the steelhead rivers. I do agree the space on certain rivers is limited and the fishing population is increasing. I also agree that there are many things that can or should be done. However I am totally against limiting access to these river resources by using money as the deciding factor in who gets to fish. If a 10 mile stretch of whatever river has 1000 fisher persons and you limit that same 10 miles to 100 fisher persons, please tell me what happens to the other 900? For those less inclined to boondoggle there are already places to fish. I talked about them in my first post. For some reason when I envison this fee system that you have advocated the movie "Solent Green" keeps popping into my head. Take care, MJC

06-25-2003, 12:42 PM
I think in the future there will be in place some sort of "pay to play" or a lottery to limit the number of anglers vying for a spot on the river. We already see a lottery system of sorts for big game hunting. I see no reason why we won't see it in sport fishing. I even believe I will see it in my lifetime and my life is over half done.

06-25-2003, 01:28 PM
Kerry, You may very well be right. I've had a lot of experience with the lottery system for big game hunting while I lived in Arizona. While there were some things I did not like about that system it is a lot more fair then a fee system for limiting access and I could see and except it's use on certain rivers. It seems you must also embrace the idea of targeting other species when the rivers are crowded. Didn't you write something last week about choosing estuary fishing for SRCs instead of fighting the crowds on the rivers and having the area you fished pretty much to yourself?
Take care, MJC

06-25-2003, 01:31 PM
I keep hearing Charlton Heston shouting "the people are the food!" Nice reference MJC.

I have been following this latest twist in this thread but have hesitated to post yet. I see what both of you are saying and in ways I think you are arguing the same point. From my point of view, I also would hate to see it go pay for play. In some ways it already has.

Look at the price of licenses (ok not too bad), tackle (quality does not always mean cost but more often than not) access (bank access is still free but more and more I see people buying driftboats, pontoon boats, sleds, ...). The bottm line is it costs to play our sport. Like it or not, some have already been excluded and more will follow. To think that we would willingly switch from this indirect exclusion to a more direct one modeled on streams in Europe causes me to wince painfully. Intentionally pricing people off of rivers cannot be the best answer.

Which is not to say that we can't follow B.C.'s lead and look at something along the lines of reasonable classified waters fees to increase revenue and direct it to the resource. The problem in Washington at least is getting any revenue to where it needs to go. Currently, the general fund benefits most from the dollars we sportsmen pay.

my $.02

06-25-2003, 01:51 PM
Just look at the quality waters of BC like the Thompson and Skeena system (and accompanying lotteries for certain popular fisheries like the Dean).

Many US Steelhead fishers have accepted these to fish BC's waters.

And then you have Atlantic Salmon. Scotland (actually most of Europe), where choice beats have been the property of exclusive clubs for generations.

In each case, money talks.

I'm still hopeful that the increased crowds (and lousy returns) will drive some of the new Steelheading hoard away. The ones that typically exhibit bad behavior (low-holing, aggressive boating, etc) are the ones that feel they have to catch a fish at any cost.

With fewer and fewer fish, the frustration level has to rise. I'm guessing many will soon take up golf!:smokin:

With the more productive rivers, this obviously won't happen. Places like the Dean (and increasingly the Clearwater and some of our PS streams) will need a regulatory mechanism to limit traffic to preserve the quality of fishing for all. For me, the lottery would be the lesser of many evils.

The major challenge, as 'tip mentioned, would be how the funds from the lottery would be directed back to the river (hatcheries, DFW, river enhancement, etc). Hell, I can already hear the bickering starting up.

my .02,


06-25-2003, 02:26 PM
Yes MJC,

That was me that chose the estuary over the river for reasons of sanity. I also chose the salt the following weekend for the very same reasons only to find myself amoungst the mayhem of the last weekend of crabbing in Skagit Bay. My mistake for not knowing the other fisheries season. I had no idea that Skagit Bay could hold that many crab pots. I also was un-aware of how difficult it is for some to back a trailer down a launch.

At any rate I agree that a lottery system would be the most fair. I also see DS's point that the money needs to go to the right places. And ST's point about the cost of our sport and how some of us have gone as far as to purchased expensive boats to increase our odds of finding that spot no one has fished yet.

There are no simple answers. I am not exactly looking forward to the future of steelheading.

06-25-2003, 02:28 PM
Howdy Sinktip & Doublspey, I also think MMM and I are probably arguing the same point. We are just at opposite ends of the table. I can buy (no pun intended) into the classified waters license idea as long as I can fish whatever part of the river I choose (as long as the season is open) at whatever time I choose. What I do not want to see is the day I have to buy a day ticket to go and fish Poppy's riffle. If someone want to pay to have exceptional fishing you have my blessing to save your money, pack your bags and travel to Europe or Canada or anyplace else that has that type of fishing. I do not want to see that style of fishing come the USA because it will be out of reach of a lot of people. I always thought, in principle at least we had equal access to all no matter what one's financial status.
Take care, MJC

06-25-2003, 02:41 PM

I could not agree more. One thing we have going for us is the western US mindset regarding public land and public access rights. This is slowly changing though and I know there have been recent attempts to expand property rights in some states to include the river bottom.

I don't see streams going pay to fish anytime soon but who knows? If you would have told me 20 years ago that private lakes offering pig trout for $200 a day per rod would be a hit, I would have laughed at you.

If rivers do go that way, as much as I fish, I had better start to see if I can get some camo BDUs from MMM and some face-paint from OC.


06-25-2003, 03:11 PM
Originally posted by sinktip
If rivers do go that way, as much as I fish, I had better start to see if I can get some camo BDUs from MMM and some face-paint from OC.


The boondockers on the Skagit already dress like that. Some are camouflaging their boats.

06-25-2003, 03:18 PM
Don't worry I'll invite you to the club as a guest. I'll even give you my beat on the river from 10 AM till 2 pm, Sundays only. All I ask is that you carry a silver flask full of the very best hard wood and share it with your good friend.

All kidding aside I would rather see it go private and pay the big bucks to the club than pay the big bucks for all the expensive toys sinktip mentioned and find out evryone else bought a jet boat for the same reasons I did. To get to the runs first. Sinktip is right that's where we are headed for. "See you in the morning early and I'll raise you one."

Places that were secret 10 years ago are now crowded. "You can run but you can't hide." I tired of running years ago and if I have to eat cake because of I can't afford to be a chosen one then so be it . I'll go back to poaching like I did so well as a kid. Better yet I'll find the money for the club and be invited to join because I'm old and nasty like the rest of them. Let the buggers over on that Washington fly fishing internet site who are always spewing where to fish and the guide gods who spew their greatness over the their internet sites eat the dam cake and I hope they find it plain and stale. They are all so touchy feely at least over here we on the most part know the boundries and how easily a nice morning on the river can turn into a nightmare when it's tell all time.

Mean Mr Mustard
06-25-2003, 03:48 PM
Chill. Mean Mr Mustard is a cheap old SOB. He wouldn't pay it unless he had to.

Meaner Mrs Mustard:tsk_tsk:

06-25-2003, 04:15 PM
I love it when we get all up in arms because someone post on the internet a report of some damn hole everyone in 5 states knows about.

Of course we don't want give anyone an edge here. By god don't say anything about Fortson or C Post. Hell somebody might read the damn thing and think they can fish there.

Oh yeah and those damn guides touting their skills. Can't have that crap. One of them might actually think he can make a living at guiding.

Give me a break............................

06-25-2003, 04:33 PM
Geeeee Kerry,

I can see I'm not going to invite you to the club.

Know nothing about steelhead. Even less about fly fishing for them and nothing I repeat nothing at all about the rivers they swim in!
Your freind

06-25-2003, 04:53 PM
whoops, I hope I didn't sound to touchy feelly to get invited to the club.

Maybe a little mis-information here and there.

I mentioned on the "touchy feelly" board that there were a bunch of steelhead at a certain hole. Go by there tonight and you will probably find several people hucking store bought flies with cheap rods at the fish there. Maybe 1 or 2 of 'em will get lucky and hook a fish. Who cares? In the mean time I will be at a different hole and with any luck I will have it all to my self.

Now, I think most of those guys already know of that hole or will soon. My favorite little run is not unknown but mostly only by steelhead bums or folks that have taken some time to explore. Still again I don't mind sharing water someone that knows how to fish. I might learn something.

wet fly
06-25-2003, 07:10 PM
Kerry, I found your fly this morning hooked on a piece of barbed wire. It was olive colored and tied on your traditional "blue hook". A lot of barbed wire has been picked out "your" spot this summer. If the fish don't show up soon we will have the river all to ourselves. Would you rather have lot's of fish and a crowd or no fish. This morning it was lonesome out there on the river. Jerry

06-25-2003, 11:29 PM

Having spent 12 years living in the trout paradixe known as Montana before moving to Washington state, I would like to see our WDFW simply ban fishing from boats on our most crowded rivers like Montana does. Using a boat for transportation, like nearly all fly fishing and many spin fishing steelheaders do, would go far in solving the problem with boat hatches. Montana's Madison is one busy river that is about the size of the Sky and people have not been allowed to fish from a boat on it for 35 years. However, when you fish the Madison, it doesn't seem crowded because you must get out of the boat to fish. This would stop the very agrevating practice of some boondoggling guides on running through the water that you are working through wading. The really good guides will still get their clients into fish; however, the client will actually have to do some work and learn something to be able to get them instead of sitting back and relying on the skill of the guide placing the boat and rowing or motoring it just the right amount to slow it down for best lure action.

Limiting the size or number of fish allowed to be bonked from specific river sections is another thing I would like to see in Washington too. Setting these sections by using bridges or other geographic markers to delineate these sections would be very easy. WA already does this on some rivers as far as closures for C&R winter season. I would like to see this expanded to the rest of the year and include more rivers in this type of regulation.

Changing the regs to only allowing 1 fish to be kept per day would also go a long way toward improving the quality of the experience astream. This would also have the added benefit of preventing a single person in a boat (guide or client) from bonking 3, 4, 5, 6 fish when the others in the boat don't catch anything. Thus the resource gets spread out over more people and more time.

Before anyone asks, yes, I have made these proposals the WDFW for the third time now in 8 years.

I still like the 16 foot pole with user activated automatic winch for catching sleds though.

06-26-2003, 08:47 AM

The run I was talking about is not the famous run that you found the fly. I don't bother fishing that piece of water until very late because of the many tight lipped "steelhead bums" that show up there. It is way to crowded for me early in the day.

Ask Brian who tied that fly and where he got the "traditional" blue hooks. I use a fly like the one you found because I feel the fish probably have not seen anything like it that day. I suspect the fish have had every well known fly chucked at them all day long.


Mean Mr Mustard
06-26-2003, 04:22 PM
Yep, it's started and they have some size this year.


06-27-2003, 11:58 AM

Time to get that 16 foot pole with user operated automatic winch so that this wee one can get landed!

06-27-2003, 12:35 PM
Wonder if I could use that auto winch to pull up that 5/8's triple B chain attached to the anchor on my sloop. Boy is that hard work.
The 16 foot rod would help in keeping the teak toe rails in bristol condition too. Flytyer thanks for the advice.

06-28-2003, 01:53 AM
As to your 0/5 count, it may be bad luck and a string of short takers but it may come down to the hook set you're using. Are you lifting the rod to set the hook? No matter if you're using a slight or decided lift action, this is the wrong move as it typically results in a long distance release.

Such a movement actually pulls the leader and fly directly away from your quarry and clear out of their mouth. When you get a grab on the dangle, you've got two realistic options - let the force of the take hook the fish on its own accord, or lower your rod and sweep it sideways in either direction.

The latter movement creates a bit of slack and then uses it to pull the fly into the corner of the fish's mouth, which is a superior hook engagement. A very difficult place from which the fish can leverage the fly free. Give it a go and see if you can change your odds. Good luck, John :smokin:

06-30-2003, 11:04 AM

Glad to be of help.

Also, the wee one that MMM and I spoke of earlier has been spotted as far upriver as the HWY 9 bridge.

06-30-2003, 12:50 PM
This grey whale thinks it is a fin clip summer run. The state of Washington Fish & Game has decided to count pounds of returning fish instead of each fish returning. This will be a sucessful year on the Skagit. Fish on all you Skagit bums.