Unopening day..... [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Unopening day.....

05-01-2005, 02:14 PM
Any last minute catches? I haven't been out recently other than trout fishing in some of the local lakes that are year round options.

Just curious as to how the final few days went on the remaining S Rivers.

Todd Ripley
05-02-2005, 12:05 AM
Two for three on the Skagit, plus a couple of dollies...and off the river by 11am.

By my personal measurement, that was a good ending to the season for me!

Opening day for the lowland lakes is one of my favorite days to steelhead fish, as so many folks are taking their kids to a local lake, and the rivers are pretty light on traffic.

Fish on...


05-02-2005, 10:17 AM
Did not get out steelhead fishing at end of season, just too much work to do on the sloop. But have enjoyed watching the SRC's in Pleasant Harbor on the Hood canal round up all those 2 inch Chum that wander into the harbor. Boy those salt water trout really take feeding serious. Often they end up coming totally out of the water and doing a complete 360. Being an old striper fisherman from back East I love watching bait panic and go from a tight circle to a frantic mess of scattered helpless little fish.

Saturday I noticed a lot of seals in the harbor, most likely because of the SRC's. In the early afternoon I looked out at the harbor entrance and the Orca pod that is enjoying it's stay on the canal was trying to get into the harbor entrance. I think they backed off at the last moment because of what looked like a minus tide. It is a pleasure to see such grand creatures as the Orcas in Hood Canal. In the last 3 years we have had two different Open ocean pods visit. One has to wonder how they know that there are many Sea lions and Seals to eat in the Canal, after all it is hundreds of miles from their home waters but somehow they know. Maybe there are a few Great Whites as well snooping around just looking for those that love to fly fish the Canal's SRC's and Chums in a float tube. Sinktip you be careful now.

Next week will be my first attempt at shrimping, the family is excited. I do not have a gas operated pot puller but I'm using block and tackle off my boom and deck. Tried it out yesterday at the dock in 60 feet of water and all I can say is I better hit that unused weight machine this week that sits covered with dust in our basement. Fishing Shrimp in 200 feet of water will be a work out.

05-02-2005, 11:53 AM
Shucks Todd, I have it on good authority that a couple of folks did that well on the Skagit/Sauk on Saturday and were off the river by 9:00. Oh and did I forget, they were swinging flies. :razz:

I of course didn't hook a single fish but I did stumble onto something odd. Walking up the riverbank and here was this nice fish and a CND rod just laying there in the shallows. I guess it must have been one of them there new disposable rods. That or the owner went back to town for his camera. I snapped a pic, unpinned the fish (keeping it in teh water of course) and then went on my way. The rod and reel are probably still there.

05-02-2005, 12:51 PM
Duggan -

You are living right my friend. Can't be any other explanation!

05-02-2005, 12:59 PM
I have no idea who caught that fish but I bet they just finished reading SS's new steelhead on a fly fishing book. It just came out and those who have read it say it's the one!

05-02-2005, 01:15 PM
Hmm that reel looks familiar. I only left for a second to hide the baitcaster and pink worm I had been using and was coming back for the fly shot.


Brian Simonseth
05-02-2005, 02:31 PM
Can't believe I left my spey rod, I'll have to go back up there and get. I had to get to Jimmy Green thing, I was running late.

Thanks, EX Chief of E.P.

05-02-2005, 02:35 PM
After I read Todd's report I suspected it might be his set-up and he was just in the bushes because he didn't want to be seen fishing a fly.

As for S.S., there was nothing pink nor small about that fly. :lildevl:

Not sure who wrote it but there was a message scratched in the sand saying the 15'2" Solstice was a pleasure to cast and to catch with. Maybe I will have to get one of those rods myself.

I thought it a very pretty reel even though the handle's on the wrong side. When I showed the picture to one of my Canadian friends though, he said that anyone with a reel like that must like other guys. :eek:

Todd Ripley
05-02-2005, 02:50 PM

As I was hiking into the river, there was this gentleman standing on a stump and pontificating to a family of oppossums about the genteel sport of flyfishing, and extolling the virtues of the various line types and leader lengths, all the while injecting necessary historical references to unfamiliar names who could only be the forefathers of the modern flyfishing pasttime.

The fact that the oppossums were busy grooming each other and not apparently keeping their full attention on him didn't slow the speech any...nor did one young rascally marsupial's attempts to sharpen his teeth on the rosewood handle of his rod...the gentleman in the main kept his eyes to the heavens as he spoke, so didn't notice the inattention or dental care expressed by the varmints.

I attempted conversation with the gentleman, but his heavenward gaze, combined with an earnest attempt to maintain his fake Scottish accent with no contribution from his suburban Seattle manner of speaking, rendered him oblivious to the world that existed below 6,000 feet above ground level (the approximate height of the cloud cover...point of clarification, he may have been gazing higher than that, but since that's as far as I could see, I'm assuming he wasn't gazing any higher; gear fishermen tend to only gaze as high as the cloud cover...perhaps flyfishermen gaze higher?).

When he didn't respond to my questions regarding whether or not he had already fished the immediate run or not, I figured he must have, or he wouldn't have been wasting so much time talking to oppossums, so I blundered on by and approached the river bank.

Apparently the sound of a splashing fish was all that was able to penetrate his rapturous pontifications, as my first fish of the morning sizzled across the pool with three fully airborne jumps...he showed his first signs of terrestrial life at that point, and not a little bit of hustle, too, as he sprinted down the bank and across the gravel bar. He didn't even notice as a random jagged end of a flood tossed sapling tore a six inch gash in his tweed patterned, custom tailored, breathable waders...nor did he notice that his tweed hat had taken on a very jaunty angle upon his cranium, or that his tweed neckerchief had been twisted fully 90 degrees around his neck when it was snagged by a wayward Devil's Club.

Upon noticing the state of my gear (9 1/2 foot casting rod, level wind, stocked with monofilament line), he did the "triple pull"..."pulled up" quickly, "pulled out" his flask of single malt, and took a "long pull"...and when the fish cleared the water for the fourth time, and he took note of the six inch pink worm firmly attached to the hinge of the jaw of the feisty hen, he quickly downed the rest of the flask.

"YOU RAPSCALLION!!" he bellowed, "How dare you defile this river and that noble beast with such brutal and untoward tackle!!"

(I've paraphrased, as the fake Scottish accent was peppered with his normal suburban Seattle accent, further confounded by his southern California stock broker accent, from whence he had come nigh six years ago...that and the injection of several shots of $180 Scoth made him virtually unintelligible...and the tweed neckerchief covering the half of his mouth that wasn't dribbling Scotch was a hindrance, not a help.)

He took three quick steps back from the river bank when I laid out the impending events had he not stepped back, not the least of which was to tie him with his tweed neckerchief, stuff him in the hatch of his Volvo station wagon, and knock him and his "Soccer Mom" conveyance into the river with my van.

He immediately began coaching me on the proper way to land the fish...but when I leaned over and picked up a rock the size of softball and said "Stuff it, MushMouth, or you'll be passing this stone, along with your hat, in about six hours", he sat down hard on the bank and attempted to light up a cigar...but his hands were shaking too much, so he tried to put it back into it's tweed patterned tube, and merely succeded in breaking it in half and losing the cap.

I landed the fish, and passed on his offer to take a picture of the beautiful 14 pound hen, as he requested that I unpin the worm so that it would not be in the picure...he also wanted me to spit out my chaw and smile, and he had put me in a decidely un-smiley mood.

He quickly put his $1700 Nikon SLR Digital Camera back in its tweed waterproof pack, and put it back into his tweed vest.

"You're welcome to fish through, if you'd like, MushMouth," I said, figuring that the run likely held a fish or two more, and that he needed all the help he could get.

He grunted something about the water being mussed, due to the leaping of the fish, and several other things, though I couldn't pick them all out...the Scotch was really kicking in now, the accents becoming more garbled, and while he had managed to remove the tweed neckerchief from his face, he had stuck the longer part of the broken cigar in its place. The shaking of his head was the most intelligible communication from him, so I re-rigged, stepped a few feet down, and began casting again.

By this time he had noticed the tear in his waders, and the corresponding tear in his fish belly white shin, and was trying to squeeze a few more drops out of the flask, apparently to pour on the wound to stave off infection. His pathetic whimpering was interfering with my concentration, but he was with the program now, so to speak...all I had to do was brandish the stone again, and he fell silent.

The second fish of the morning cooperated nicely...this one a buck, tearing pell mell down the run. While an exciting fighter, the fish was not so large as the hen, so was quickly returned to the body of the run, landed, and released.

MushMouth offered no coaching, or pictures, this time.

He accepted my offer to fish the rest of the run this time, and proceeded to unmercifully flail the water...I'm not sure if it was his casting technique, or the Scotch, but it wasn't the prettiest sight I had ever looked and sounded an awful lot like a float plane taking off and landing...repeatedly...only with no plane.

Noting that he was standing armpit deep in the run, approximately thirty feet from shore...a run he had just seen me hook two fish in a row out of three feet of water not fifteen feet from shore, I re-rigged with a spoon, and tossed it in directly behind him...and was greeted immediately with another hookup.

How that fish managed to stay hooked after ramming MushMouth's legs, knocking him over (sending the tweed hat to the tailout and into, and under, a log jam), I'll never know...but he did. Another buck, a mere six pounds, but an admirable fight in spite of his diminuitive size.

Upon landing this third fish from the run, MushMouth took on a very hangdog expression, and confided in me that his wife was not going to let him go fishing anymore if he did not provide photographic evidence that he could actually catch a fish, and that the gas, gear, and Scotch bills were reflective of money being well-spent.

He didn't seem like a bad sort...not that bright, and fairly silly looking, but not a bad person, so I agreed to let him lay his rod alongside the fish for a photo. From his casting, it was clear that keeping him on the river would not likely have any bad effects on either my success, or the health of the run.

He took a picture (or twenty...the automatic camera sounded like a hummingbird buzzing a Lilac tree), and I released the fish.

As he bent over to retrieve his rod, the oppossums had their final revenge for the early morning sermon he had inflicted upon them, as the freshly chewed reel seat gave out, and his gold plated antique reel fell off the rod into the river.

The last I saw of him, he was running into the woods where the oppossums were last in evidence...and had a fresh tear in the other leg of his tweed waders (and the corresponding shin, judging from the blood drops)...rod and unhooked reel laying on the beach, camera lying in the sand, hat under the log jam, flask and half a cigar near the rocks, and a neatly folded tweed neckerchief neslted in the Y of a branch leaned up against the rocks.

That picture posted above looks an awful lot like MushMouth's gear, and my fish...did you find any other of his belongings when you found his camera?

:razz: :razz: :razz: :razz: :razz: :razz:

Fish on...


05-02-2005, 02:59 PM

Nope, didn't find anything else except a blasting cap and the butt-end of a clove cigarette. I suppose in his depression and disgrace, he picked up some bad habits after you left him.


Todd Ripley
05-02-2005, 03:08 PM
Very nice, Sinktip, very nice!


05-02-2005, 03:54 PM
WOW!!!! It must be May 2nd.

Todd, that was a great story and I think you must have been smoking what they call #2 clove smokes in Indonesia. They provide a little more impact than the cloves and tobaco in the # 1's. :smokin:

Also you are much too humble because I bet that fish you so nicely let that guy have a picture of was 12 to 14 pounds. Let us say about 34 inches.

Any way you look at it your adventure was very well done in story line.

05-02-2005, 03:54 PM
And to you as well Todd. Your post wins my post of the year vote.

Todd Ripley
05-02-2005, 05:52 PM
Thank you, gentlemen...but the year is still young, and I suspect that there is some humor left in the membership of this fine fishing forum! Now that it's May, I'll be cutting back my fishing time from three days per week, to just one, since the Kalama is the only river worth fishing that is still open, and it's 2 1/2 hours away...that should give me some more time to work on writing informative posts like the above!

Sinktip, if you and JJ had called me, I would have rowed the boat for the two of ya's...but I'm not complaining, as the bank spots I hit had fish...and liked what I had to offer.

I also got to see three pairs of steelhead spawning when I walked some side channels hoping to see just that...and lots of redds, too. Very nice.

Fish on...


05-02-2005, 10:12 PM
Next week will be my first attempt at shrimping, the family is excited. I do not have a gas operated pot puller but I'm using block and tackle off my boom and deck. Tried it out yesterday at the dock in 60 feet of water and all I can say is I better hit that unused weight machine this week that sits covered with dust in our basement. Fishing Shrimp in 200 feet of water will be a work out.

Careful old man, your one step closer to the knitted beer can hat and the Bayliner. :hihi:

05-02-2005, 10:18 PM
Duggan, Did Todd let you go through first, you must of made lunch for him to guide you to such a grand fish.

I do like the set up though, of the left rod on the rocks, a real brother of the angle would never brag or promote his fishing prowness, unless he is wee in the middle. :lildevl:

05-03-2005, 09:00 AM
Thanks Rich, over the last two years of having our sloop down on the Hood Canal we have greatly enjoyed the study and observation of those who have called the canal their home from the day they were born. They are nice people and we have recieved two of those knit beer can hats, one blue and one pink, as gifts or welcome momentos. Yes they look at us two left wingers oddly but we have been excepted as the two crazies who sail their boat in winter snow storms and leave the dock for a sail at 11 PM and return when it gets light out. I think they think we are poachers and maybe that's why we are so excepted.

What a talented group we have here at this Steelhead site. All of you are the best and talented too. Things are not great in Steelhead land as we all know but you continue to fight hard for the fish and at the same time keep your humor up at a high level. And TODD FROM THE DARK SIDE, you are a welcome addition to the site, keep posting. :smile:

05-03-2005, 10:32 AM

a real brother of the angle would never brag or promote his fishing prowness, unless he is wee in the middle

I couldn't agree more. Interesting what a little search of the archives turns up is it not.

Now I know why they call you Shorty :lildevl:

Todd Ripley
05-03-2005, 11:28 AM

Come on know he's just holding that fish up (long armed, too) for the glory of the fish!

Fish on...


05-03-2005, 07:19 PM
Tough to be down south where they didn't close the rivers :lildevl:

05-04-2005, 01:29 AM
Hey, I told that guy in the tweed that I didn't want my picture taken, but he insisted and tempted me with the prospect of riches for my good fortune of the only steelhead I have ever caught. So I would say not wee, but thinking with larger cranium. :hihi:

BTW, I have to admit though, I have enjoyed that Cold Water Striper line chasing Coho. :wink: but still hoping that my fly may pass another bewildered steelhead in the future, may the brotherhood of the angle lay hands on me-except for OC, no telling where those hands have been :eek: :hihi:

05-04-2005, 06:28 AM
:hihi: The wit of the wily steelheader never wanes!

(Nothing as pretty as a bright wild fish before release!)

Todd Ripley
05-04-2005, 10:04 AM
I guess I should add this...

Rich, that might be one of the prettiest steelhead that any of us are ever going to see.

OK, back to the REAL discussion, about glory, manhood, tweed and oppossums.

Fish on...


05-04-2005, 10:22 AM

It wasn't that pretty till I photoshopped it :) Hey if Ralph W. can get away with it, why not? :D

All kidding aside, Rich's fish was a beauty and he certainly schooled me that day picking it out where he did.

Sinktip -- photographer for the stars

05-04-2005, 10:37 AM
All wee tweed aside don't you wish we could still walk into that spot like in the old days.

Todd Ripley
05-04-2005, 10:57 AM

Are you saying that there aren't walk in spots like that anymore, or that you just can't walk into them anymore?

Fish on...


05-04-2005, 11:09 AM
Is that a walk-in challenge Todd or are you saying I'm callenged? You aint that much younger than me buddy and it was only 25 years ago and 50 pounds less I was running 2 hr 20 minute marathons. :smokin:

Do you know where Rich's fish was caught?

Todd Ripley
05-04-2005, 11:13 AM
I don't know where he caught it, but I'm onto your "old school" attempt to get my young blood riled with your "challenge talk"...designed to get me to show you one of my zipperlip walk in spots!!

Fish on...


05-04-2005, 11:24 AM
Ya well talk about challenge, I challenge you to a walk in with a 7 wt fly rod for summer runs in July. It won't be a zipper lip because you know every dam inch of water on the West side. You better stop smoking those funny smelling cigs right now and get in training, only three months away.

Todd Ripley
05-04-2005, 11:48 AM
I'll take long legs and short breath over long breath and short legs any day, when it comes to crossing tailouts and stepping over windfalls on the walk in!

:hihi: :hihi: :hihi:

Fish on...