OP report.... [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: OP report....

12-09-2005, 09:55 AM
From a fishing standpoint it doesn't get any better than this. The low flows of the rivers here on the OP are as Fly friendly as I suspect we will ever see. But holy cow are the fish scarce or did some higher power skunk up my fly boxes?
There are a few "Hot spots" mostly gear mob events clustered around hatchery runs at terminal and tidepool areas, but even though you can find well rested water with no boat traffic and no bootprints in the snow (other than your own) there seems to be a alot of vacant water re steelheads.
It is early in the season but it is late enough for the early fish to be sitting in there pools far from the maddening crowds. I am getting the imperssion that they might be hard too find this season.
Still afew Late Coho around to get a fellow all excited with a big yank on the end of the line but even thiough they are worthy fish there just ain't no explosion like the one I'm after. :confused:

12-09-2005, 12:01 PM
This just can't be right. After all, the good Mayor and others on the Forks City Council were adamant about the abundance of steelhead in the west end OP rivers. The fish must just be hiding in the deep holes or waiting for the proper moon phase. I mean the Forks City Council and all those good old boy sportsfishers from around the state who jumped on the commission over the wild steelhead retention moratorium just couldn't be wrong about the abundance of steelhead in those rivers could they?

12-12-2005, 11:17 PM
oh mr. moonlight, i would have to disagree. :lildevl:

12-13-2005, 07:57 AM
Guys, I am starting a project with UW and the prospect of regular travel for business is starting to look promising. Especialy when issues get too complicated for email and phone conferences. Funny how I am hoping for a really snarly project all of a sudden!

Of course along with my work duties I will volunteer to do a C&R study during personal hours. :cool:

12-13-2005, 10:57 AM
Will this project coincidentally last thru the notorious Boston Winter?? :D

I'll warn the Steelies next time I'm out~ :lildevl:

12-13-2005, 12:01 PM
I sure hope so! Right up until the end of April ideally :smokin:

As far as warning the steelhead... after a ten year run of success since my relocation I am afraid such a warning will only get a laugh out of them - I think all my dance cards are used up with the big hens and the bucks had my number pretty much throughout 2005.

12-13-2005, 05:49 PM
As long as you bring a modest amount of rain with you, both the Steelies and your angling bro's will welcome you!! It's D-R-Y over here! :D :smokin:

12-14-2005, 12:15 PM
Holy smoke stacks Spark my Rank was Captain refering to me as Mr. is a hurtful and derogatory expression I am crushed! :D
I just checked the WDFW web site and I see by my calculations that there have been a total of 9 steelheads caught since the start of December by 441 anglers for an average of.02 fish per angler. Unless you count Hathery fish it looks (and feels) pretty slow to me but then as you know I am a crankyy old fart that doesn't like people and hatchery fish in that order :chuckle:
I don't know why other than I actually am an optimist but I am going back out to my camp for a few days of morning Ice and afternoon sunshine later in the week.
I used to live in a Rain Forest

12-14-2005, 12:35 PM
News today said that the F&G made a deal with tribe to split the surplus 600 fish on the Hoh. This would allow the sport season to continue for the entire season.
Those 600 wild fish would have been nice on the spawning beds instead of septic fertilizer in back woods communitties around the state.

Better ice than more global warming floods. Moonlight your camp has heat and always a large supply of warm liquid refreshment. :hihi:

12-14-2005, 04:03 PM

The outdoors column in the Skagit Valley Herald last Thursday written by Denny Church said there was excellent fishing on the Bogey for steelhead because 35% of the folks who went fishing reported hooking (notice not landing) at least one fish. Of course, this same fellow reported very good steelhead fishing on the Cascade River because 20% of the folks fishing had taken a fish. I guess his idea of good fishing and mine are very different. But you can be sure to expect more fisherfolk out your way as a result of his "report".

It amazes me the scribes are telling folks how great the fishing is over your way when it doesn't appear to me like there is anything other than a poor return going on this year.


Does this mean the Hoh Tribe has agreed to quit fishing once 300 fish are caught in the nets, or that the tribe will only be fishing 3 days/week instead of 5?

Although it is good news to hear that a deal has been struck with the tribe, it seems to me that Bolt ought to trump the Hoh's ability to take more than half of the roughly 600 surplus wild fish. Perhaps the tribe is reticent to have this tested in the courts.

12-15-2005, 09:44 AM

I read Denny's article and do not see anything like the precentages that you claim he wrote.

Denny wrote the folowing about the Bogey;

"On the Olympic Peninsula, 109 anglers boated 82 hatchery steelhead on the Bogachiel-Quillayute System, while another 57 anglers were checked with 22 steelhead on the lower Hoh."

Not sure how the above equates to 35%. Perhaps you can show me.

On the Cascade Denny wrote;

"The first steelhead limit was reported in the Cascade last week on an afternoon when a total of six fish were caught. Expect crowded fishing conditions, especially on weekends. "

Six fish caught by how many angelrs? He doesn't say. So how did you arrive at the 20% catch rate?

Come on Russ lets get real here.

12-15-2005, 01:44 PM

OK. Here's real percentages (as reported by Denny Church) for all the folks looking a place to get a steelhead at this time here in Puget Sound or on the Olympic Peninsula.

The Bogey is producing lots of fish with its 76% catch rate for fishers in boats. The Hoh is also pretty hot because 38% of the anlgers in the lower Hoh have caught fish. And don't forget the Cascade, since it produced it first limit of 2 steelhead/angler one afternoon 2 weeks ago and a total of 6 steelhead were landed that same afternoon from this little river in the area near the hatchery; therefore, it is also a good bet for those looking for a fish to take home, besides, it is a lot closer to Bellingham, Everett, and Seattle than the Bogey and Hoh.

These rivers seem to be pretty hot right now, so go out and fish them while the fishing is good.

12-15-2005, 02:02 PM
I have been fishing the Skagit and honestly the fishing has been good. This isn't the Cascade but the fish in the Skagit are more then likely heading for the Cascade and besides there really isn't much room on the Cascade to swing a big ass spey rod around. Tends to piss the locals off. You would know that if you ever fished up there. Try fishing once in awhile and maybe you will know a little more about what river is putting out fish.

Denny is a friend of mine so if you want to bad mouth him about his column then get your facts lined up Russ, other wise keep you comments to yourself.

12-15-2005, 05:12 PM

I fish the Cascade with a 2-hander and have never had a problem with locals. I've even had local gear guys stop and talk to me and had some very pleasant conversations with them, even shared runs with them. By the way, I also fish the Cascade upriver 15 miles from Rockport with a 2-hander.

In the spirit of honesty, being real, and getting my acts straight, there was a new fishing report written by Mr. Church in today's newspaper, which says that the Skagit continues to produce mixed reports. Fly rodders and float fishermen have been doing well on chum above Rockport on purple, pink, and black color combinations. It was also reported that the guides who have been working the Skagit below the Cascade have been hooking steelhead on a regular basis since December 1st. And on occassion they even limit out their clients on both steelhead and coho.

But the extremely low and clear water conditions on the Cascade River have slowed the success rate on it. The anglers see the steelhead and the steelhead see the anglers; but only a small number of interactions are being reported. And don't forget that most hatchery steelhead enter the Skagit during the first significant rains after December 12th.

Hope folks reading the board find this information helpful if they are looking for a place to hook fish in Puget Sound. I'd sure head up to the Skagit between Marblemount and Rockport, since that is where the limits have been gotten.

12-15-2005, 10:38 PM
Kerry and Russ, will you two join me and my entire company, 116 employees for the Christmas week fly fishing on the Skagit? After the glowing reports on skagit fishing that we are getting from you two who by the way must be best of friends, we have decided to extend our holiday party. We will bring the booze, herbs, fruits, vegitables and the flies, you guys bring the pie. :smokin:

Hope you two have a great holiday with your families, and maybe we will see you up your way in January.

12-15-2005, 11:53 PM

Pie is good since I just realized how much I need to eat some. The herbs, fruits, vegies, and booze you speak of having on the river whilst steelheading would be to provide for the medicinal and nourishment of the folks at the party. However, I do have one small request and that is for some animal protein to go with the other items mentioned.

12-16-2005, 08:54 AM

I have arranged for the rental of 2 18 foot barges to pull behind my sled which hopefully will accommodate most of your 116 fellow employees. It may be a bit crowded but I am counting on some last minute cancellations. My other concerns will be my sled’s ability to get everything up on plane. As you probably know there are a few spots in the Skagit above Rockport where we could encounter some shallow water. I will be issuing paddles to some of the more athletic individuals from your group to help bring the sled and both barges up on step in an attempt to navigate some of the trickier water. I am also looking to enlist the aid of a famous northwest steelhead guide who has considerable experience teaching groups of novice anglers how to catch steelhead. I am sure he will be able to get some of your group into fish. I am negotiating for some special flies tied by the aforementioned famous guide usually reserved only for special clients as “door prizes”.

I hope the above preparations meet with your approval. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

Merry Christmas,

12-16-2005, 09:13 AM
You know you guys are great! So much for local hard guys. Both of you have become so metrosexual over the years and it's good to have you in our camp!
Kerry can we get the barges all the way up to the Cascade? I figure that would be a good place for the second or third day BBQ. I figure we could shoot a Moose along the way to make Russ's requirement for protein complete. Don't you think that having that famous guide on the river at the same time might make it crowded. Will we be going by Mean Mr Mustard's farm? I really miss that guy and I bet he would donate some root vegitables for the cause.

Kerry the office girls are going out today and buy you a coonskin cap because they think you are the greatest. Don't tell them I told you. Russ some of the younger gals in the office would like to fly fish with you. You don't have to teach them a thing about it I already have.

It's going to be a great Christmas on the Skagit this year thanks all. Maybe next year we will hold the office Christmas week party out on the OP. Moonlight are you still there? :eek:

12-16-2005, 10:44 AM
Howdy my friend. Now I see why you didn't have time to come over to the Snake and chow down on a slab of beef at Bojacks. You have been to busy partying with the girls at the office. :whoa:

All this time tip and I thought you were busy working on "the boat".

12-16-2005, 11:02 AM
Howdy Mike good to hear from you say hi to the family for us. Hell Mike I can't afford to eat beef anymore unless it's Moose. Yesterday I got two estimates, one for a total overhaul of mast, boom and rigging for 23K and one for pulling old engine and relpacing it with new Yanmar for 21K. Teach you all to go buy a boat.

Mike I wish I had more time to party and to fish but my time is spent learning to navigate and to speak french so I can better find my way around those native girls in the Society Islands. Kind of funny I'm learning French I can barely read or write English.

Give us a fishing report from your neck of the woods if you dare.

Happy Christmas.

Steve, Tracy and Nolan.

12-16-2005, 02:58 PM
Hell Mike I can't afford to eat beef anymore unless it's Moose. Yesterday I got two estimates, one for a total overhaul of mast, boom and rigging for 23K and one for pulling old engine and relpacing it with new Yanmar for 21K.

And who was it did you tell me held a gun to your head on that boat deal? :lildevl:

There is a rumor going around that you are worse then a kid at Christmas when it concerns "the boat".

Please tell Tracy and Nolan that Linda and I send Holiday best wishes to you all.

12-16-2005, 03:57 PM

I'm not worse than a kid, I'm just a kid. Hey and I wasn't boasting about the estimates but I will tell you we are still way ahead of the game when talking about boats that can take you to bonefish flats never fished before.

Still this thread is a fishing report where is yours!

12-16-2005, 05:29 PM
Clearwater Report

the river is flowing low and clear the weather has been cold and drear

Poppy is lazy he stays by the stove hoping a hapless angler in sight will hove

the last time he went fishing was on Turkey day the sun was out so he went out to play

he went to his "honey hole" and started to cast this a small "secret spot" in a river so vast

he used a floating line and a small marabou black with blue trim he had an extra stuck on his hat brim

a little while later he made another cast one after another in this river so vast

while he was lost in his pleasure at a very fine day all of a sudden the line slid away

even old Poppy whose slower then dead managed to stick that fly in that fishes head

after the battle he brought the fish to shore a little wild buck maybe 10# and no more

his ghillie was Tracy who let the fish go and Poppy was headed to dinner with a nice happy glow

it was starting to get nippy so we decided to abort and that is my last Clearwater report

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!!!

Copyright Michael Joe Cummins 2005

12-16-2005, 05:36 PM
If you are meaning my OP report, I don't think fishing has been to good out there as I can truthfully say I haven't seen one fish landed there all season.

I didn't think you were boasting, Hell I thought you were complaining :lildevl:

12-16-2005, 05:44 PM
Mike I wish everyone would give such a great report.

Do you sing and dance too?

12-16-2005, 05:48 PM
Do you sing and dance too?

I'm afraid not. Some very ragged prose from my diesel infected brain is all I can manage :whoa: :whoa:

12-17-2005, 05:33 PM
Mike that was wonderful I greatly appreciate your prose.
OC Your Office party would be most welcome I might suggest a Suite of rooms at the Red Lion Inn (Port Angeles) and the Elwha would be readily available for those silly enough to bother with fishing. We could establish a hospitality suite for teaching the others the fine art of fishing and other activities.
I went out to camp and found the trailer had gone through a 100# propane bottle in record time apperantley it has not been above freezing there at any time during the last several weeks. It is supposed to warm up this next week and I hope the freeze did not do permanet damage to the pipes in the Twinky what will be will be.
I have never scene the Hoh this low or any of the other rivers for that matter the flows right now would be a bit on the low side for good Summer Run fishing Water temps are in the mid 30's and people are really scarce.
Most netting is taking place in the estuaries by drifting and using a jet sled to chase the school into the nets. Interesting rumor from a Forks fellow who claims to have witnessed a fellow using gallon jugs of chlorine to flush fish out of holding water chasing them down stream into his gillnets. I sure hope that is truly just a rumor I am not in any way saying that it actually happened and I repeat it is a "rumor"
Talked to the ONP fisheries Bio and he told me that the number of Summer Steelheads is alarmingly small. They have started doinf Snorkel surveys and find very few wild steelheads and way too many stray hatchery fish up high in the park in drainages that in some cases never been planted with Summer stock.
I will try and get a written report when one comes available and post more firm numbers.

12-17-2005, 09:35 PM
Here is the word on the street...

Here is the essence of the WDFW/Hoh Tribe Hoh River 2005/06 winter wild steelhead fishing plan.

The pre-season run prediction is reduced for conservation reasons by the co-managers to 3040 fish. This compares with pre-season forecasts of 5,310 for 02/03 (actual total run was 3,568), 4710 for 03/04 (actual total run was 4,053) and 4221 for 04/05 (actual total run was 2,540). The co-managers have responded to the overestimates and low run sizes of the past three years to develop this years forecast. With an escapement goal of 2,400 fish, the amount available for harvest based on MSH planning is about 600 fish.

The state will also be putting extra survey effort into getting a better account of the spawnner escapement this season.

The agreement, now signed by both the tribe and the state, allows the following fishery for the tribes:

Fishing 3 days per week in December, two days per week during the first two weeks of January and one day a week from mid January through February 20. The nets will come out February 21.

The states sport fishery will be:

Our standard harvest fishery to the end of February, and then catch and release during March, closing March 31.

This scenerio compares with the 3-year default agreement of everyone closing mid-February. The state gave up 4% of the run of their allocation to accomplish this agreement and gained one and a half months exta fishing time.

The Hoh run missed escapement by 774 spawners in 02/03, 132 spawners in 03/04, and 920 spawners last season due to high pre-run predictions. Further, the run missed escapements in 8 out of the last 14 years. Hopefully this more conservative fishery planning will set a new trend of meeting and exceeding escapements and start rebuilding the run to levels we saw in the 1990's.

12-18-2005, 01:44 PM
I hope this more conservative approach is a trend of the future, and influences other rivers outside the Hoh, and not just on the OP. While certainly not perfect, especially given the information, et al. expressed on other posts regading the Hoh, it's a step in the right direction.

12-18-2005, 03:22 PM

Thanks for the reporting the exact changes. The Hoh's have agreed to greatly reduce their fishing effort and that will be good for the long-term health of the winter steelhead. Now if sportsmen will limit their kill by not taking the 1 wild fish/year that is allowed to be harvested out of the Hoh, it will be even better. It really is very good to see the Hoh Tribe agree to cut back on the harvest. I would much prefer to see the state mandate C&R for sportsfishers through an emergency rule change on the Hoh for the non-tribal allocation though.