Early summers [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Early summers

06-06-2006, 07:03 AM
I am thinking of making an early summer trip this year to relive some of the lazy hazy early summer steelheading I used to do each year as a resident. Sure it makes more sense to come out in fall, or April to fish with legends for legendary native fish - but there's something about the balmy summer opener that I miss after all these years.

For all but maybe one year I landed at least one hot summer chromer on Father's Day weekend, and these were the hottest of the hot. With it coming up I couldn't help but dream of those days again.

I lived a very short distance from the Green, which is among the most under-rated rivers in King Co and perhaps that a good thing. Anyway by the opener it always had summer fish in it and by late summer they are stacked pretty well up thru the gorge in certain pools.

(BTW there is a huge effort underway to build a by-pass for the fish to get past Howard Hanson Dam! Anyone know about it? I saw it with my own eyes last fall)

The Cowlitz was a sure thing, she's probably the most maligned of the bunch despite being a jewel. The Cow might have a tattoed hard lived raising kids out of wedlock in a trailer park kind of reputation, but inside she is a real gem and if not for human influences this river would be the Dean of the lower 48.

The Kalama is a fly anglers' dream - trout sized river with fish the size of your leg. Less of a big swing river, this stream lets one apply presentation techniques in a much more precise manner than the big broad rivers do and the fish are red hot when hooked.

The Skykomish, the Snoqualmie are suburban retreats and the easy access makes it ever-harder to get your turn through the pools, but what a luxury to have summer steel so close to home or work.

By June the OP rivers are hiding chrome, in fact I could get lost for the entire month out there exploring the various flowing jewels with the towering peaks as a backdrop and the sweet smells of lush forest in the air.

And that's just a scratch on the surface... man do I miss the arrival of shirt-sleeve steelhead!

06-06-2006, 09:40 AM
Shirt-sleeve and you forgot cane rods!:)

06-06-2006, 09:43 AM

The time is close,,, almost,,, but nada fish here right now. Been beating the water to a froth, but no takers. Time to slip on downstream farther to the mouth of the T thinks me.


06-06-2006, 09:57 AM
Among my most successful strategies was the straight shot from work (often a touch early) to camp out by the riverside. This let me beat the weekend crowd Friday well past dusk and hit the pools pre-dawn on Sat AM. The fish would be much more cooperative after 5pm and before 8am than not, although rises in water would make them crazy at noon some years.

My wife would think I was crazy camping at Palmer Kanasket when we lived so close, but being the last one out of Horseshoe and the first one into adjacent pools made my success rate for mid-summer fish very high. I could get home, put on a pot of coffee and crank up the lawn mower early enough to be granted full pardon by my better half on Sat AM. It almost didn't count as a fishing day taken and boy those summer fish wake up after the ranger kicks everyone out of the park except for us campers. :D

They are also pushed to the head of the pools and very antsy as the sun comes over the horizon and they would torpedo dries at that time willingly. Then they back down to the holding seams as the lights come on, even before the general access gates are open to the public.

06-12-2006, 10:21 AM
Hey Juro,

No early chrome for me yet but I skipped work last tuesday and managed to fool a pretty red-sided late wild buck. He slammed a big red GP on the hang-down in shallow water.