Summer Run Catches Outpace Winter Runs [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Summer Run Catches Outpace Winter Runs

07-11-2001, 08:29 PM
An article in Salmon/Trout/Steelheader says that summer run catches far outpaced winter run catches last year on the Sky and the Snoqualmie. Interesting since everything I have read says the Snoqualmie is a "marginal" summer fishery. More rods in the water? Folks too "soft" to fish in the winter? Result of "put and take" fisheries management? Anybody have any ideas?

07-11-2001, 08:41 PM
Phil -

I fished the Snoqualmie a lot and had outstanding success for summer runs. Compared to other rivers, it was a ghost town. My best day was one short evening when I hooked four, landing three including what Dr.Conroy (who was walking his chocolate brown retriever along the river) and I thought to be a Raging River native buck. I didn't get to the river until after work and these four fish were hooked before darkness fell.

My best summer fish was a chrome 17 pound buck hooked in the fast water above the Tokul confluence. I lost another one day that was bigger, straightened an Alec Jackson Spey hook after an amazing battle.

There were a couple of local spoon guys that I became well acquainted with, some days we would take turns hitting nice fish in the same pool, fly vs. hardware.

I have seen them on redds in late spring between the falls and the cable hole, and they reproduce naturally in Raging, Tokul, Tolt and in the mainstem.

It was one of my favorites for years!

07-12-2001, 12:12 AM
I don't doubt your love of this river, or its productivity for you and others who know what they're doing. I unfortunately don't seem to know, but I'm going to figure it out :-) The writers of various books and articles have based the marginal rating, best as I can tell, entirely on the number of hatchery fish released when compared to other rivers in the area. "Put and take" mentality again. If it gets 10 percent of the plant that others do, why fish it? Less pressure equals less of a harvest, smaller harvest numbers equals a confirmation of the initial rating which was based on the small plant. Self fulfilling prophecy in action. And a "sleeper" of a river for folks who don't necessarily believe everything they read...

07-12-2001, 07:08 AM
Didn't mean to come across in any way, I just loved typing out the memoir. Thanks for giving me a reason to take that stroll.

Yes, you're 100% right it definitely doesn't get any respect - nor does the Green. The Green still has a very strong native population, which has been isolated into a late spring run like many others around the state. It was once one of the top producing rivers in the state, until hatcheries, over-fishing, and habitat loss did away with that status. The year they left the lower Green open until Easter those of us who fished it had some of the best native spring steelhead action anywhere right there on our doorstep. We are talking hens exceeding 16 pounds and bucks in the twenty plus pound class. In fact a plunker got a 27# down below the golf course. I had a run of 11 fish of which only one was a spawned out rag and the rest were bright, fat nates... all between Flaming Geyser and Auburn!

They have never open that part of the season since and I had never seen it open before that year in the late 80's. I always used to drive the river road after the closure and you could see the huge nates swimming over the shoals upriver. Another total sleeper, the Green.

You make me ponder another possibility - maybe these two rivers are just so-so but since I lived so close and spent so much time fishing them they appeared good to me. Perhaps if I spent equal time on a 'highly rated' river I would have done better?

Who knows. Good discussion though.

07-12-2001, 10:00 AM
I live very close to the Sno and love to fish it but my success rate over the last three years has been one fish hooked and 2 other good takes. I fish it more because I like the water then anything else and I feel like I am away from the city even mor then the sky.

As for not being crowded. I tend to hit it after work and I can tell you there are a lot of people that are fly fishing the upper section. On tuesday the last time I was out there were 4 fly guys and one gear guy in about a 1 mile stretch of river. Plus you have to deal with the kayakers and the swimmers. I love the river and probably don't spend enough time on it to be really successful.

All this doesn't mean I won't fish it. Summer runs up here are a different experience as I am used to fishing the North Umpqua which I have 3 weeks until I get my week down there.