I'm off for ten days or so on a scouting expedition to Prince of Wales Island. There may be estuaries that I can fling flies in, who knows.
When I return, I'll post some stuff. Hopefully it will show some fish and scenery. At least, I'm confident about the scenery.
Looks like peak for salmon... is this a repeat or first time?
08-21-2006, 03:43 PM
Juro, you are right that it should be great timing for the salmon. I've been on the island 9 times, all in spring time. Bright and Dark Steel. Never been there for the salmon, but the silvers are legendary. Eric, Please report back.
I just re-read Eric's article on flats fishing for various salmon species... of all the types of angling I've done for salmon I've never sight fished them on tidal flats and hope to find some suitable ocean flats to do it someday. Closest I ever came was Hoodsport for chum :Eyecrazy:
Sight fished for them on shoals of krill on Swiftsure and along the kelp beds on the straits, the beginner hole on the Kalama etc - but not pushing wakes on the flats with their backs out of the water. Sounds like fun.
I'll bet Willapa Bay has some real good spots, maybe some of the tidal Gray's Harbor areas etc. I think many of the deltas near civilization have been converted to shipping ports.
Got to the ferry at Prince Rupert and all the talk was about the total absence of silvers from Rupert on north. Found that the situation extended all the way to Prince of Wales, where anglers and lodges were going nuts over the lack of their bread-and-butter fish.
The first day I was on the Island, I fished the Klawok, a nice-sized stream not far from the towns of Craig and Klawok. No silvers were in evidence in the pool we fished (Lagoon, near the hatchery), but the river was swarming with Pinks, and, although the fish we slightly on the dusky side, they bit well (on Kalsin Crazy Charlies) and gave a fair account of themselves when hooked.
Following our foray on the Klawok, we headed north to my friends' new cabin near the town of Whale Pass on the northeast corner of the Island. Many attractive streams in the vicinity: Neck Lake outlet, 108 Creek, Snoose Creek, with others an easy drive from Whale Pass. Altogether we explored the junction pool of Alder and Flicker creeks, a notorious venue at low tide; Big Creek and Red Lake Creek, both emptying into Red Bay, and several others. There are a host of steelhead streams on the Island, not that any steelhead were running at the time, but they were obviously waters with real potential.
Our silver exploration was a bust, pretty much.
Pinks were homing in a large numbers on practically all the streams we visited. The north end of the bay at Whale Pass had schools of these fish rippling along just under the surface, and I had a very pleasant evening casting into these schools from the beach, albeit without success (except for the occasional staghorn sculpin). I couldn't figure those Pinks out, and finally gave up near dark when the No-See-Ums had done more for reducing my avoirdopois than Atkins ever did.
Over night, we had some serious rain. Silver-enticing rain, I hoped. I went up to the Bridge Pool on 108 Creek and had three days of hot fishing for chrome bright Pinks, the occasional bright Silver, and the odd Chum. The rain continued and the fish continued to arrive bright and fresh. Over the period, 108 yielded Chums, Pinks, Silvers and one befuddled Sockeye. Quite the productive little stream.
We returned to Craig, and my friend and I fished the Klawok, again. The river was up and the Silvers were in, although not in the numbers that were typical of previous years. We got to the stream late in the day, as there was a real storm hammering the area from dark through dawn through until afternoon, and, conditions being what they were, we were less than enthusiastic about going out into the blast. When things let up, late in the afternoon, we got in a couple of hours good fishing before dark. I hooked several bright, very active Silvers, again in the Lagoon Pool, but lost them all.
Best flies were purple/cerise Egg-Sucking Leech (big surprise), Kalsin Crazy Charlie, General Practioner (red). On the Pinks, anything would work.
We got to POW by driving to Prince Rupert, taking the ferry to Ketchikan, and then another ferry to Hollis on POW. From my home in Waldport, it was about 1350 miles to Rupert one-way.
Some pics will follw. I need to reformat.
Here are some shots. Big Fly Rod is from Houston, BC.
Cabin from the water, Whale Pass
Bridge Pool, Low Tide
Typical 108 Pink
Chum coming to hand
That cabin looks like something out of a dream.
Bridge Pool on 108 Creek at high tide.
Sunset at Whale Pass
Neck Lake Outlet Falls