Consistent Rivers in PNW [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Consistent Rivers in PNW


skip_scratch
01-26-2006, 06:51 PM
Hi

I would like to think of some trips to the PNW but i'm at the stage were I still do want to catch fish every day I'm on the trip. It might take a few years to get over that buts its a fact for me right now.

So given that desire what are some of the rivers to go to? Although not quite a coastal state I've heard that the Clearwater in Idaho might be a good place to consider.

Can anyone comment on the Clearwater or other places I might be happy with.

ChrisC
01-27-2006, 12:53 AM
I'm assuming that you are not aiming to target steelhead, where there in consistency in the lack of consistency. For trout, you are probably better off in Idaho or Oregon than Washington as there are more fertile streams with higher fish densities.

skip_scratch
01-27-2006, 06:48 AM
The big trout - Steelhead only

fredaevans
01-27-2006, 06:59 AM
Skip, just based upon the ongoing size of the fish runs I'd suggest you look at the Rogue River here in Southern Oregon (as a start point). Approx. 10 months of the year there is a run of Salmon or Steelhead going on at one end of the river or the other.

As an example, on the upper end (where I'm at) we're still fishing for Summer run steelhead; on the bottom end of the river (152'ish miles long from mouth to Warm Springs dam) the target fish is winter steelhead. The winter fish actually won't show up 'here' until mid- Feb through April.

As the winter runs are winding down on the upper river the spring king run is kicking into gear on the lower river.

Using Medford, Oregon as a 'start point,' within a two hour drive you've got something like 6 or 7 major river systems. Add another hour and you're up to 10 or 12 that have runs of salmon, steelhead and/or trout fishing access at some point(s) of the year.

http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish_counts/goldray_fish_count.html

The link above is the (only) fish counting station on the upper Roge at Gold Rae dam just north of Medford. Fish through the counter are entering just the top 30 miles of river. As such, any runs heading for the Applegate, Illinois, etc., and etc., don't show up in the above.

The same site also has the counts for the North Umpqua (2 hours north up I-5 from Medford) which may be of interest.
Fred

andre
01-28-2006, 11:07 AM
Skip, define what you are looking for a little more, what time of year is a big one. Do you want to fish big water / small water, dry/skater/sunken fly. That will give people a little more info.

skip_scratch
01-28-2006, 01:25 PM
Big or medium sized water, like sunk fly, skagit casting, anytime of year as long as its not colder than -3c

sean
01-28-2006, 02:34 PM
Are you planning on being guided? As a first timer on those waters it will be tough to get fish without knowing the rivers. By yourself a fish in a week would be a good bet.

-sean

SteelheadKid
01-28-2006, 06:02 PM
Want to catch steelhead? Hire Dennis Dickson <link edited>

Set up a trip on the Olympic penninsula. You'll catch fish. If there is one person I could pick to put you into a one-on-one battle with a big pissed off steelhead, he is the man.

Although with steelheading, you should never look for somewhere that you will catch fish every day. You will end up dissappointed. I have been skunked many times on the best rivers here in the northwest in the prime time of the year fishing side-by-side with some of the best steelhead fly fishermen I know while watching steelhead roll all around us! :Eyecrazy:

juro
01-28-2006, 07:13 PM
Just a reminder... please do not promote non-sponsors with a direct link as you agreed to this when you registered.

thanks

Eric
01-28-2006, 11:02 PM
skip_scaratch:

I think the message is getting through. If you're new to PNW and really want to hook a steelhead in the shortest possible time, hire a guide. Fish with him/her a day or two, and you'll know enough to stumble around on your own.

If I had never fished for steelhead and wanted the best quality experience I could buy, I'd book a trip for a week on the Dean.

Beyond that, there a few other things you need to tell us: do you intend to drive and walk in to your fishing; or do want to drift a river, far from roads, camp out and do battle in wilderness isolation? Both opportunities abound.

To ensure the best chance for a steelhead-period (never mind race or time) plan to come in the very late summer-fall. The Clearwater will fish best then, Fred Evans' Rogue is well stocked with fish, and the BC streams are alive.

Keep firing the parameters at us, and we will try to point you in the best direction.

Cheers,

Eric

ChrisC
01-29-2006, 12:56 AM
From talking to guides who work the Great Lakes, there is such a thing as consistency, where some will refund a trip if fish are not hooked during certain times of the year. I don't think any fly guide will offer that in the PNW.

On second thought, terminal fisheries such as the Cowlitz at Blue Creek are probably the closest thing to offering some degree of consistency. If you want numbers, then those might be the places to target but the experience would be less than what I personally would aim for.

fredaevans
01-29-2006, 02:42 PM
First no thread highjacking intended here (sorry Skip) but Chris mentioned Blue Creek on the Cow. Haven't been there since the early 1980's ... a lot of folks there then (even with unbeliveably bad access). Now?

SteelheadKid
01-29-2006, 03:52 PM
Just a reminder... please do not promote non-sponsors with a direct link as you agreed to this when you registered.

thanks

I am not promoting anybody. I am not affiliated with Dennis in any way.

If I post a request for some suggestions on good fly hooks to use, and somebody posted a website, would you edit that too? Isn't this forum about helping people? Or is it about making you money? I am not sure, so please tell me so I know in the future. :confused:

ChrisC
01-29-2006, 04:20 PM
First no thread highjacking intended here (sorry Skip) but Chris mentioned Blue Creek on the Cow. Haven't been there since the early 1980's ... a lot of folks there then (even with unbeliveably bad access). Now?

Yes, Blue Creek is often talked of in the same context as Reiter ponds (lots of people) but there is more room to spread out. Perhaps because of that, a fair number of fly guys hit it.

ChrisC
01-29-2006, 04:26 PM
If I post a request for some suggestions on good fly hooks to use, and somebody posted a website, would you edit that too? Isn't this forum about helping people? Or is it about making you money? I am not sure, so please tell me so I know in the future. :confused:

This is standard practice across many forums, especially if you look at their user agreements. No one sets up a forum or moderates one for the money as sponsor's links are there to pay the bills for hosting and development. As you might guess, forums such as this don't come for free.

People who set up these forums are passionate about their topic of interest and it is indeed a privilege to join in.

andre
01-30-2006, 09:48 PM
I am not promoting anybody. I am not affiliated with Dennis in any way.

If I post a request for some suggestions on good fly hooks to use, and somebody posted a website, would you edit that too? Isn't this forum about helping people? Or is it about making you money? I am not sure, so please tell me so I know in the future. :confused:

Yes, if you post a link to a non sponsor it will get edited. You can help someone by providing a name but if someone would like their link posted they can become a sponsor, its very reasonable. Well someone has to keep the lights on and that would be the sponsors, bandwidth, storage, programming etc isn't free.

thanks

andre

juro
01-30-2006, 10:25 PM
I am not promoting anybody. I am not affiliated with Dennis in any way.

If I post a request for some suggestions on good fly hooks to use, and somebody posted a website, would you edit that too? Isn't this forum about helping people? Or is it about making you money? I am not sure, so please tell me so I know in the future. :confused:

The site is run not-for-profit, and I (with the help of others) have been running it for over five years without pay. The sponsors let us provide to guys (like you) for free. We honor the sponsors by not providing direct hyperlinks to non-sponsors. That's about the only rule other than decency.

Unless you can come up with a better alternative for keeping the site running, that's the policy around here. I hear many complaints, but I've yet to hear even one suggestion!

Eric
01-30-2006, 10:45 PM
Skip:

Another area you might want to consider is the upper Skeena tributaries as accessed from Smithers, British Columbia. There are many excellent guides around, you can drive and hike to a lot of excellent fishing, once you learn the "where.", and chances are excellent you'll catch some memorable fish. Mid-September-on would be good timing.

One caveat: if your goal is to catch steelhead every day out, you might consider the quality of the experience you're after. Probably the most consist steelhead-producing river in the lower United States is the Salmon River at Pulaski, western New York. I'm not going to knock the ambience there, but, easy steelhead do draw big crowds. Try to balance the desire to catch lots of steelhead with the aesthetic of angling for this wonderful fish. Fish the home waters of the Pacific Northwest, because this is the Mecca of steelheading, but don't expect to catch fish every day.

Eric

SSPey
01-31-2006, 12:38 AM
I've lived here and there, and steelhead fishing in the PNW just doesn't provide the consistent action of NY waters. If fish numbers are the criterion, then you are likely to be disappointed in the PNW. The catching is vastly overblown by those who stand to make a buck from it (media, tackle, etc...), and glossy beautiful photos only reinforce the notion of a fishing shangri-la. I happen to think the reputation is well earned, but not for the catching.

juro
01-31-2006, 06:45 AM
I like my steelhead real, and 'hard-to-get' - and my surroundings shangri-la like. The PNW provides just enough action for me, I guess I am beyond the catching being the main thing. I like to walk in ancient rain forests and swing my fly in glacial waters among snow covered peaks with the hope, even the pipedream that a 40 inch native behemoth might take my swung fly.

If you go, and come back disappointed with the numbers despite the incredible places you get to wet a line, then please tell all of your friends how bad of a time you had :lildevl:

Cphatts
02-01-2006, 11:03 PM
I've lived back East and can honestly say that you can find any type of experience you would like here in the PNW. If you strictly want numbers, yes, there are many rivers with hatcheries that during certain years in certain places I could pretty much guarantee you at least a fish per day, if not multiples on the SWING. BUT, as mentioned above, you would likely not enjoy the experience as much.

One thing that is often overlooked in comparing catch rates between the PNW with the East is that a higher percentage of folks in the East use "chuck and duck"methods for steelies and nymph with lead. More folks here are purists and are out for the experience to catch a fish on the swing or on a dry. I can tell you that if all you care about are numbers, there are many folks here in the PNW who nymph on rivers with high amounts of hatchery plants and clean up on the steelies just like back East. But, is that what steelhead fishing is all about?

If I were you I would focus on rivers where you may not catch as many fish in a week but you will have a much richer experience and get to do things you would never get to back East; fish in a beautiful glacial river with classic steelhead runs 1/4 mile long, fish in the high desert, skate a dry with a reasonable chance of hooking up, etc. If I were you, I would plan a trip to the Deschutes, Rougue, or Grande Ronde in early October and you will have a wonderful experience. On either of these rivers you will have a decent chance at some good numbers and will get a quality classic western steelhead experience. If you go, I would hire a guide for the first day or two as mentioned above. Western water is much bigger than what you are accustomed to and you will want some help learning the prime holding areas of each river.

Just do it!

Mark Vegwert
02-03-2006, 04:21 PM
Want to catch steelhead? Hire Dennis Dickson

Oh PLease! Send me three Cop Cars and 1/4oz. of what you are smokin.

With all due respect son, I think your opinion will change when you get a few miles under your belt.

Skip: The Clearwater is not the place to try this time of year. October & early November is best. The fish are boots or the boots are fish, this time of year.

" i'm at the stage were I still do want to catch fish every day I'm on the trip. It might take a few years to get over that buts its a fact for me right now"

Well you don't every really get over it, but it is kind of like sleeping with supermodels, after a while you kind of figure out that it is not very realistic.

Good luck.

OC
02-03-2006, 06:05 PM
Steelhead every day, super models every night. AHHHH I can't handle it anymore. I wonder how the DD and Clay do it? Mark you are right it is just not realistic. I'm lucky if I get one of them a year.:smokin:

Mark Vegwert
02-03-2006, 07:32 PM
Christy Brinkley every day can get booring. But wild metalheads to the fly, thats a tougher nut to crack.

SteelheadKid
02-04-2006, 04:20 PM
Oh PLease! Send me three Cop Cars and 1/4oz. of what you are smokin.

With all due respect son, I think your opinion will change when you get a few miles under your belt.

Do I smell envy? :roll:

Don't be a [deleted] buddy. The guide consistantly puts customers into fish. The thread starter was looking to hook into fish consistantly.

Eric
02-04-2006, 05:18 PM
Both of you guys please calm down. I think Mark was a bit patronizing, and SteelheadKid overreacted. I was tempted to delete both posts, but I'm leaving them in -- in the interest of lively discussion.

Let's try to respect other posters and keep it civil.

Thanks,

Eric

Feiger
02-04-2006, 09:46 PM
You don't want this site to degenerate to the level of that "other" forum the great Evergreen State hosts??? :hihi:

Come on - you were just enjoying the laughs!!!! Why else would you not pull these ones..... admit it, it is kinda funny......:biggrin:

Dude, and I just got called out for having FOUR smilicon's in my message! My God, what is this world/forum coming to??!!:smokin:

juro
02-05-2006, 07:06 AM
I think what matters here is not man's contexts, in fact man's contexts are the problem.

What matters is that nature's contexts are not violated.

.02

fredaevans
02-05-2006, 01:43 PM
You don't want this site to degenerate to the level of that "other" forum the great Evergreen State hosts??? :hihi:
:smokin:

The above is 'childs play,' I'll give you a web address for a UK fly board that a suit of armor is well recommended. To the point that a significant number of the board's frequent posters 'pulled out' and formed another board.

Major difference between the postings is one board has a single Mod with a very hands off way of doing business. The other has several Mod's and 'flaming,' mud slinging, et. al. is quickly brought under control ... and on occation the posts are removed with an explination of why inserted.

Another PNB board that's well Moderated (as is this one) is steelheader. net. I'm sure there are others.

juro
02-05-2006, 02:16 PM
Dude, and I just got called out for having FOUR smilicon's in my message! My God, what is this world/forum coming to??!!:smokin:

Nope,

That's a four image limit setting in the software somewhere that came in with the recent upgrade I had to install because of some security hole. I haven't been able to find where to loosen that limit.

It's not a smiley limit but a limit for any image you attach - I guess smileys are counted that way.

I will go digging for that server setting when I get a chance but first I have to renew the license which is up in a couple of days. That is a much higher priority.

BTW - thanks to all who have helped with the sponsorships lately it could not have come at a better time.

Mark Vegwert
02-07-2006, 04:07 PM
Do I smell envy? .

No, no envy. I am fortunate enough to have fished with several of the top guides in the Pacific NW and BC, and while Dennis is a good guide, he is not of their caliber. But in all fairness, many guides aren't. What many object to is Dennis's marketing techniques where he pontificates that he fishes secret water (Chosen River-I'll be polite enough to not disclose it here), with secret flies (cop cars-minnow imitations), with revolutionary lines (Yancy-shooting heads).

Every guide has water that they like to fish with certain flies and certain lines with certain presentations, but most don't market them as secret or revolutionary because they aren't.

Guys have fished with shooting heads with mono shooting line since at least the 40's and used white flies on the Skagit & Sauk for almost as long, and I would bet that at least 1/2 of the guys on this forum that live within 500 miles of the OP have fished the "Chosen".

I overreacted. My apologies.