Impromptu Clave [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Impromptu Clave

12-22-2000, 10:42 AM
Well, it sounds like Jeff and Tyler (visiting from BC) are out on the Sky today. Sinktip is probably out there too. I'm stuck in class today, but will hopefully be out tomorrow.

Any other tales of Forum members out freezing their #%#es off in the cold winter waters this holiday weekend?

October Caddis
12-22-2000, 11:01 AM
Don't envy Tyler and Sinktip this morning. That is one heavy cold and blowing rain this morning at 1st light.
I'l be hitting the Sky tomorrow if river is not blown out and the Elwha on Christmas Morning 1st light for an hour or two.
Got to find my 1st winter fish for the year.
Happy Holidays to all.

12-22-2000, 12:05 PM

Sounds like the Macallan is flowing on the shores of the Sky this morning. We're getting snow, cold, and a thick hanging gray sky right now. It seems to have been colder this winter in the PNW; but when those crocuses start pushing that rich volcanic soil up around February in the cascade valleys I was always reminded of how generous the weather is to the fisherman in Western WA.

Steve -

I never did get to apologize for our inability to hook up on your visit. Timing was such that we were all paying for the wild season that had really ended prior. I look forward to meeting when I come back out, when you are able to get back out here - or better yet BOTH!

Wishing you all shoulder-dislocating pulls from chrome 40 inch winter beast bucks,


12-22-2000, 12:58 PM
I'll probably see you out there tomorrow, OC!! With enough of the right fuel (see Macallan, or even Yukon Jack in these brutal conditions<G>) things will be warm enuf.

I remember several years ago, getting a small hatchery hen in the Two Bit Riffle on the Sky in January. The fish took the orange prawn fly on the hangdown and (1) woke me up (2) broke the ice from my guides and (3) restored my faith in the possibility of getting hatchery winter steelhead to hit flies in sub-zero weather. Ice had formed on my neoprenes, too, which made getting back to the bank a snapping crackling affair!

Have fun on the Elwah - I've heard recent reports there are good #s of fish being caught there. I love that river and will try to get there in January for a couple days.

And Juro's not kidding - he's just *sick* enough to wish he was out there right now!!

Good Luck!! May the Steelhead Gods send you a nice Chrome gift for Christmas!

tight lines and warm fingers,


12-22-2000, 10:00 PM
Just back from a wet and frigid day on the Sky. Hooked up briefly with Tyler and Jeff this morning at Sultan. We were putting in and they were headed upriver to hit a couple runs before Tyler had to get back to his basketball duties. I'm hoping they got an early Christmas gift or two.

As for myself, I got the pleasure of watching my friend Carl hook his first steelhead. He's been fishing off and on with me since last year and today everything finally fell into place. We were smelling of skunk until we hit a certain run across from a more famous run often associated with April 15th. You all know where I'm talking about. I was working the tailout when I heard him holler.

It was really great to look upriver and see his rod bent over under the strain on a bright metalhead. He played it skillfully but after 4-5 minutes it came unbuttoned. He was not in the least upset, just stood there looking like he had won the lottery. We toasted a wee bit of single malt and smoked a cigar in honor of the occasion.

Other than that no fish action but there were eagles a plenty and that is worth the float for me.

Good luck Brian and Steve. I'm resting up in the morning but will be back out Sunday for an hour or two.

Happy Holidays All!

October Caddis
12-26-2000, 10:48 AM
Holiday fishing did not produce any fish but Christmas day on the Elwha was just wonderful.
Fished the Sky at 1st light on Saturday. Got to the run a half hour before light so I could be the 1st through the run but within 10 minutes I had 3 bait guys walk in just in front of me and I was done for the day. They were younger and bigger than me and it wasn't worth any hassel they knew what they were doing and words weren't worth what would have followed.

The Elwha on Christmas morning found me at the hatchery parking lot at first light and not knowing much about the river I asked a bait guy what were some good runs. He was friendly and in a good Christmas spirit and gave me directions to some good runs down river. He had a bike and got down river before me. By the time I got down to the runs he was just landing a nice buck that had a bit of color. The run had many fish in it as they continuously rolled along the far bank. Even though I could get my fly in a direct line with the fish I knew I was not getting a swing in front of them. By the time my sink tip was down the river current had moved it out from the far bank a few feet no matter how well I mended up stream on the cast. It was good to practice making the big mend up stream on the cast before my line hit the water. Don't use that much on the Sky because I only fish runs that I know hold fish close in and where one can get a slow drift in front of fish.
Didn't touch a fish but the Elwha is beautiful and it was so nice to see many fresh fish that had just come into the river that night on the tide.
Anyone else touch a fish over the holidays? Hope all you New England bass fisherman got fly gear for Christmas instead of Lawn mowers and pruning shears.

12-26-2000, 11:07 AM
Hey how'd you know about the mower and shears?

We're about in the deep of things now as you know. Wind chill is something like 20 below now. It's not suitable for man nor beast out there for more than a few minutes.

Boy, I sure miss those Elwha days. From the salmon hatchery down, I would usually find fish in the long pool after crossing the branch stream, the braid at the bottom of it, or from the far bank toward the cut bank if water levels allowed it.

Then from there it was smaller step pools above the orchard, then the orchard itself (a favorite). Frankly, it fishes spectacularly all the way to the mouth when the levels are low enough to let you make the hike/wade.

I can't wait until the upper end is open to these fish!

01-02-2001, 05:47 PM
Fished the Skagit three days this past week with one hookup of a bright winter run at Cape Horn. A two foot jump released it. A hatchery spawner at Grandy Creek brought to hand and photographed. Several dollies. One drift the dollies were so thick we couldn't keep them off our flies. Or so it seemed.

I don't know for sure but, there seems to be a lot of fish in the Skagit. I wonder if the biologists know what they are doing? Every run of fish this season has been good. The kings, the silvers, the chums, even the searun cuts, all were good size runs. I feel the spring steelhead are going to be there. Lots of them. To bad.


01-02-2001, 06:22 PM
That's great news Kerry! Glad you had the reel screaming. Those Skagit fish are something else.

It's unfortunate that those of us who care so much about these magnificent fish pay the price for decades of mismanagement by others. I certainly hope we can get to catch and release regulations for all wild fish soon so that kill methods won't impact the native runs the way they do now. They'll still be faced with habitat, incidental tribal and commercial harvest, juvenile predation, ocean temperature variations and their effect, etc. It's never an easy battle but at least we can make their homeward journey free of recreational kill.

Thanks for reporting on your success, I look forward to hearing more.

happy new year,