: The BIG Hookup
06-05-2001, 01:58 PM
Hit the Sky this morning at the break of dawn for a couple hours before work. I had just started down into one of my favorite runs when I saw a beaver come out of the woods about 75 yds below me. He slipped into the water and started to slowly make his way upriver keeping 3-4' off the bank.
I watched as he got within about 15' of me and then I decided to snap a picture of him as he swam by. As soon as I reached for my camera, his head went up, he did a slow circle and then he bolted for open water.
Of course, this entire time I had 70' of flyline dangling downriver. As the beaver approached it at full speed, I desperately tried to mend over his head. Too little, too late. In quick succession, the rod slams down, the beaver dives and my Teton starts singing. BEAVER ON!
Knowing there was only one way for this to end, I quickly pointed the rod at him and broke him off. Twenty or so seconds later, my friend popped to the service and resumed swimming: downriver this time and away from the cruel man with the big stick.
I tell this story for two reasons. First, I hooked him on a 1/0 Black Scampi. This is the same fly that I included in the fly swap and that I caught a native summerrun on this past Friday. I defy anyone to produce a pattern that works better for both Steelhead and Beaver. Secondly, if by chance anyone happens to land a beaver on the lower Sky, I want my fly back!
06-05-2001, 02:50 PM
Reminds me of a great story told to me on the banks of the Sauk's Native Hole several years ago.
Seems our good speycaster had a tremendous take midway thru the pool. Line was screaming downriver, and he stumbled along after what he was sure was a HUGH Steelhead on that foggy April morning when, with a tremendous pull, the line went slack.
Since the line was still snagged, he followed it downstream until . . . it took a right-angle detour up the bank and into the trees!!!
Seems this was one of those "Darwin" Steelhead - the ones with legs!!
So Duggan - do you think this C&R Beaver Snagging will catch on?? I've heard they flycast for rats in the alleys of New York - maybe this is what the PNW speycasters will be left with after the Piscatorial Apocalypse??!!
JUST KIDDING (about the PA) - that's why I belong to the WSC!
And Thanks for a great story - were you really low on the Sky?? I remember one brown furry friend that announced his arrival with several resounding tail-slaps on an April evening 2 years ago that effectively ended my evening's fishing! If you sagged him, I say BRAVO!
NOW I know why you kept trying to tell me that Beaver on the Vedder was a steelhead and kept covering it - you were actually trying to follow your passion without clueing me in to this hot new and as it seems exclusive sport! Well too bad - the cat, or should I say the beaver is out of the bag!
06-05-2001, 10:30 PM
Snagger!!...you might as well just be fishing a treble hook dipped in lead. :D
Great story!! :)
06-05-2001, 11:10 PM
Your kidding... you catch beaver out there on fly rods too?? Great story.. One day I'll tell you a story about hooking a seal. Got to get out there someday.
Once saw a guy hook a sea turtle, it cleaned out his reel. He thought it was a huge fish until it came up to the top. No way he could stop it, too bad about all that line and the hook hanging from the reptiles mouth but I'm sure it would have been worse if it came to the jetty.
At Langara Lodge where I guide we had a couple of guys come in who wanted to cast Buzz Bombs. They actually had good success by finding bait balls and firing their jigs into the maelstrom. However, they eventually got more than they bargained for. It seems this one guy was firing his jig to a good bait ball when one of the giant Humpback whales that frequent the area decided that the same ball would be a nice light snack - Buzz Bomb and all! Our sport (after picking his jaw up off the deck) proceeded to break the behemoth off before all his line left the reel! We think he also needed to change his shorts. Now THAT is sport!
Tight lines - tyler.
06-06-2001, 06:32 PM
I haven't even admitted to myself that I'm into speycasting for beaver yet. I'm still in the closet on this one. Can you imagine -responding to Aya as to how my fishing went . . .
"Well, I managed to snag a little Beaver this morning - but then when I realized what I'd done I broke it off quick!"
Not only that, can you imagine trying to explain that you snapped your rod tip in the pussy willows when you released the beaver!
You should be lucky you hooked beaver - not bear!
By the way anybody have seen bear during fishing?
Do they swim?
I'll bet that mother bear in the willows has a big... oh never mind, this is a family program
06-07-2001, 09:15 AM
When I lived in White Rock (BC) we used to tie pieces of bacon on the end of tippet and fly seagull kites.
Down here in Oregon you might beat the Ducks but you can't lick the .. as Juro said this is a family show.
On the other front life is busy. I'm wondering if I made a mistake? I bought a car, yes a car four small tires. My thoughts, I can always change with Susan for extended trips and off road adventures.
Still getting the Alaska/QC Island trip together thanks for all the help Kush.
Drove up to BC on the Cow talk about low, I walked the bank the river is already mossing up.
I got my first report of a Deschutes summer fish up near the powerlines.
Juro, how is the Striper fishing your way right now I scheduled to got to NYC around the 20-23rd (hoping to cancel)
Have you walked the island? Did the winter flows sculpt the inside bend or is it flat like last year? I miss those days of several big summer runs in a single small run!
Striper fishing is phenomenal, get yer' butt up to Cape Cod!!!
06-07-2001, 03:19 PM
There were a couple of spinner tossers in the cobble area below the alders. I jumped in high but pulled yout after a couple. I walked/waded to the island, it fishes the same/similar with the run below the slot now fishable on the far side. Whiloe I only played smolt hunter with one "real" bump, I did see a couple of scanky old sweater heads unbder the alders.
Word is the river will see a lot of bank pressure this season due to last years returns and the low water making sled traffic difficult if not unhealthy. additionally, I spoke with a FFer from Tacoma, appearently one of the FF clubs up there has been spouting off about the fishery. This will be too bad as the last couple of years O-dark thirty put you second or third in line. Personally I'm drawing the line at leaving the house a three am for a morning of fishing before work. Not to mention the 140 miles RT.
I didn't fish the upper slot where you hooked that tail walking spastic hen. But I think that must be fishing well at these levels now just a couple months as the hatchery counts have the fish returning later the past couple of years more a July beyond.
I'll let you knwo about NYC gonna visit Elvis on Mon-Wed.
Ahhh.... thanks for the reminder. She was a nice fish indeed.
Another thing people ignore or forget is that the stretch below B/D stacks with summer fish. Hope I am not spoutin' but if you are there when they open the gates at 4am and skate a sedge muddler (or similar fly) letting it swing almost touching the shore below you as you work down to the launch and past the launch if there is no sled parade you should get torpedoed. In any case they lay very close to shore in the morning and evening and they don't like sinking lines in their face.
On the far side (need to row over) the inside seam on the corner and the boulder garden past the oxbow holds a ton of summer fish during low water. Again floating line is the key.
I've fished this spot with Roy, a hardcore logger who was an expert with drift gear but wanted a new challenge so went to fly gear. He used a level line, single diam leader and a black and silver ribbed wet fly he didn't have a name for. I was shellshocked at the fish he landed. I hate to think what he could do with good gear.
Another thing to remember is the stretches around I5 Bridge, mouth of the Toutle, and Newaukum Creek (where there is a wild population of steelhead).
Mouth of the Toutle has (had) a delta from the outflow that pushed the current to one side. The fish on that delta were aggressive and were in shallow water.
There were many more fish on the downstream side of the chute, and in the evening they would put on a surface show in the rocks along the far side (away from I5). This is fished with a dry line and prawn, caddis, or gnarly pattern. You get a lot of squawfish down there but you also get some of the spankinest chromer summer fish that far down.
I5 has a cow pasture on the downriver side with a gravel shoal with nice rocks breaking the current. About chest deep where the fly hangs down. I caught a 15# buck there one year.
The current eases up above the bridge between the bridge and the sandbar / side channel and a lot of summer fish are landed by people floating bobbers and jigs over the broken bottom structure here. Seems just right for the fly.
Each year it's different but the bar structure below Massey Bar (down river from BC) is always worth a look. With thousands of summer fish passing through it's a great spot. I have had success there on steelhead and salmon, and have seen tons of fish caught by plunkers while I stopped by on the way home from BC just to take a look.
The bar across from Massey looks (looked) a lot like some of the good water on the Skagit.
I love the big time destinations but I miss my old run-of-the-mill local spots too. I'll have to alternate between bigtime trips and homewater trips each year.