Don't get hit by the snow. [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Don't get hit by the snow.

12-12-2010, 09:30 PM
Fishin report.
Yesterday morning Tracy and I headed down to the river to fish in a blizzard. Aluminum trash can lid size snow flakes were falling at an alarming speed. (slight over statement) I wasn't sure if we went to fish or just be out in the big white stuff seeing that it has rained about 1/2 inch to one inch each day for 6 days now. We knew the river would be up and up a lot. Tracy was concerned about the glacier letting go like it did 6 years ago and leaving school bus size rocks as far as 11 miles down river and 12 to 18 feet of sand on the sides of the river. I wasn't worried yet as the snow was a good sign and I knew that soon it would turn to rain again in what they call the Pine Apple Express. With the PAE in full tare then it would be no time to be anywhere near the river. River warnings were about to go into effect but we had time to fish. Let me get over the suspense we did not catch any fish nor did we die an ugly wet death or death at all. We had a great time in heavy falling snow, I even had close to an inch of snow on the brim of my ball cap, looked really funny in the rear view mirror as I backed the 4 wheel out of the snow bank and up the dirt road as we left the river. When we got to the end of the dirt road and out to the main road where the bridge is there were many cars parked with all types of roof racks on top. Kayakers, they were everywhere getting into wet suits, dragging kayaks over snow and down to the rising river. When the warning goes out for dangerous river conditions these brave/crazed men and women come out by the droves. Sort of like the Maui I remember when I was younger, dangerous surf conditions were posted none of us went to work, we surfed instead. Well it's one day later and the rains are very hard with more than 3 inches already today and 3 more predicted tonight, freezing level all the way up to 9500 feet. If we step out side the house listen closely we are starting to hear the smaller of the big boulders rumble their migration down river and we live almost a mile from the river. New river to fish when all this bad weather is over. Yes it's a lousy night out but at least the house is warm and I don't have to go out in the rain again tonight for anything as far as I know.

12-13-2010, 11:50 AM
And it rained ,and it rained, and it rained!;)

12-14-2010, 08:03 AM
A couple of pics of the Skagit and Sauk. These were taken a number of hours before the crest. Sauk raised another 6 feet after pic of Goverment Bridge was taken. Last pic is of Day Creek. Notice smoke coming out of chimney. They were caught completely off guard.

12-14-2010, 09:56 AM
Just an average "Lane Changer" here on the OP! The Queets and Hoh will be in their same Valleys and will be accessible by mostly the same roads but nothing else will be the same thats a certainity. New Water to search out and enjoy is the staple of life here on the OP.
Seasons Greetings to one and all.

12-14-2010, 11:30 AM
That's a lot of chocolate milk!

Well put Moonlight - In over 10 yrs of living there I've had a share of vanished "Valhalla" spots and still lament over short-lived honey holes here on the striper coast.

They rarely last, and it's tough to see them go but as you say there's always another one to be discovered... kind of like life itself...

Happy holidays

12-14-2010, 12:25 PM
Yes everything does change here in the PNW. Hope you are warm and dry Kerry.
Tracy and I drove down to the river where the dam was taken out this year. Engineers had to rebuild river over a 200 yard distance and I would say a 35 foot drop in elevation. They put in hundreds of large size boulders, a lot of them as big as cars so that the river would run kind of natural. I know one guy who caught the first steelhead in that new water a couple of weeks ago. Well that 200 yards no longer looks like it did when he caught that fish. We watched in amazement these giant boulders rolling down river until they made it to the place where the river was back to its natural self again and there they piled up on the natural river boulders. The rapids were 10 to fifteen feet high at that spot as muddy water just pushed over the top of the stuck boulders. The sound of the boulders going down river sounded like underwater canon fire and the surrounding bank shook like being in an earthquake. There was an engineer there and he told me that they rebuilt that section for the 2 year flood, DAH! I think before the season is over we will have an ugly canyon 35 feet deep for that 200 yards.
Life goes on and I'm sure the smart steelhead headed back to the Columbia River until things get cooled off here later this week. Expecting snow from tonight till Saturday.

12-14-2010, 04:38 PM
Yes everything does change here in the PNW. Hope you are warm and dry Kerry.


Thanks for the concern. I live on top of a hill way above the river. I used to live on the valley floor but during the '03 flood I watched them evacuating people from the other side of the road I lived on. The experts said that was the flood of all floods. However, I don't believe them for some reason and choose to move to higher ground. I don't think they really know how bad the Skagit could flood.

If the '03 event would have repeated this past weekend with the sonw pack we had I believe the entrie Skagit Valley from Sedro Woolley to La Conner would have been under water. Of course I am not an expert so what do I know.

12-15-2010, 11:19 AM
I remember when I was a bit more than a "Toddler" taking a Sunday Drive with Mom n Dad out east of Port Angeles to Morse Creek. I t was one of those sights that stuck in my head like a video clip that never dims from memory. The huge Dairy Farm Barn of Doc Hayes had been torn in two by the placid little stream that for the most part sat silently 400 feet away, a safe distance for several decades.
The rain swollen creek during a "Chinook wind" with a bigger than average December snow pack had created a "Lane Changing flood" that carved out thousnads of yards of gravel and cut the massive concrete foundation of the barn in half and floated the other wooden half right of its foundation and deposited it on the beach in the Strait of Juan de Fuca over a mile away.
I think you had a good plan moving up on the Hill Kerry:cool:
By the way I caught my first Steelhead in Morse creek a few years later by riding my bike out there. Oh yeah and now there are two large housing developments in that valleys flood plain. Of course those types of flood probably won't happen again for a "Hundred Years"!!!!

12-15-2010, 08:45 PM
Great barn story. Are all the big barns now gone in the P.A. area? I remember the big one as you came into town and it had a great man made pond next door. Always wanted to own that property but the house migration was headed that way. Doc Hayes Barn was the first sub division in PA, that's after the river sub divided his barn, but who would of guessed a lot of old people wanted to retire there. Thanks Moonlight for the story, we need more stories here at flytalk.