Today we decided to go to North fork Skykomish. I never had been there. I took two guys who are learning how to flyfishing and how to catch trout. We didn't find any good trout water and river looks almost dead (no little smolts -> no big fish). But when we drove back to Seattle I decided to stop at the bridge in Index and try "Teeny approach" i.e. look to the water from high point. And what I've seen was VERY exciting.... Big dark fishes lying on the bottom... 1,2,3
7 of them! Looks like 4-6lbs steelhead but they was Dollies!
(or bull trout). Bright white glow around lower fins and little white spots over the dark body. Are they abundant in N.Fork? (I know they are endangered almost everywhere ). How far they can travel upstream?
W-A-A-A-A-Y up. If you spend the time to poke around the North Fork, you'll find there are plenty of fish heading up way past the campground. It's not the best water to flyfish and most are native so it's best to focus on the beautiful pools on the mainstem if you were to ask me.
Is the Tolt open this summer? I wouldn't encourage keeping anything but I've always done well in the Tolt for summer run. Similar situation but perfect for an 8wt single hand rod during the off hours.
08-05-2001, 11:01 AM
The North Fork supports about 90% of the Snohomish basin "Dollies". The population is bouncing back nicely since the 1980s. Most of the fish end up on the very end of the North Fork. The river is closed to fishing upstream of Bear Creek Falls to Deer Falls (just above Goblin Creek) to protect these neat fish while they are waiting to spawn later in the fall. An addition bonus to the closure is the protection of the North Fork's native summer steelhead.
Thanks for that insight on the North Fork, 90% is pretty amazing statistic. Boy they know clean water when they see it I guess, and I get a great feeling knowing that there is such a beautiful, bright tributary for them to perpetuate their species.
For anyone in other regions who have not yet seen the Skykomish River system, it's a crisp glacial system running free from the "American Alps", the North Cascade Mountain range. Meltwater from blue glaciers and snow pack tumbles down through mossy forests, sluicing the dust of stones ground by the last ice age - perhaps millions of years old. This dust colors the water a magical turquiose where native trout, steelhead, salmon fin like mirages in the clear summer flows. They fight to find a way to avoid extinction despite all that civilization tries to do to wipe them out. The air fills the lungs with a cleanliness that only the jet stream over the vast pacific can create, and the trees reach high into the northwest sky where bald eagles still thrive.
That this brightwater mountain stream should sustain most of the river system's dolly varden trout speaks volumes to how important conservation is. Many such rivers have been destroyed without any knowledge or concern for it's inhabitants. The impact of a chemical spill, dairy farm, logging operation, or dam could render the majority of this population on the brink of existence.
I can't wait to visit the North Cascades again.
I never been in Tolt and not sure is there enough public access around the river
I heard Weyerheyser access permit need to fish there, is it true?