: Newbie says hello
01-03-2002, 06:27 PM
I've been lurking about this board for awhile and thought it would be proper to finally introduce myself. My name is Dan Eerkes and I live on Willapa Bay on the SW Washington Coast. I'll come clean right off the bat....I'm an indicator junkie (hence the moniker...it comes from many close encounters). Not by choice, but by neccesity due to the river environments where I live. I have to travel some to get to where I can actually swing a fly and, since time seems to be at a premium, I usually stick close to home (except for summers which I spend in Alaska). I'm starting to get into the longer rods since it lends itself nicely to the nymphing technique which is about the only way to effectively fish my home rivers. I'd like to eventually pick up actual spey casting and the posts here are very intriguing. I recognize a few names from another salmon/steelie board and have enjoyed reading the posts. Look forward to conversing with everyone.
01-03-2002, 07:27 PM
It'll be interesting to have a perdon from that part of the state as an active member of this board.. I don't think there are any others. I for one never get down that way but I would like to hear about the rivers you fish and the fishing you do.
I am sure we'd all especially love to hear about wild fish...
welcome to the board
01-03-2002, 07:43 PM
Ditto to Rob's comments; been far toooo many years since I've fish in your part of Washington. Info!! Info!!
01-03-2002, 08:09 PM
Welcome Dan, and yes we have to use the chuck and duck method also at times on our mid west rivers to get the fly down into the zone. Short lines of drift and deep runs particularly.
01-03-2002, 10:19 PM
Good to hear from you. Ditto to all the others, and it is always good to hear these other places. I - like you chuck and duck. But I am not as lucky snagged my hand once, and boy do those big flies hurt. Even barblessssss still go in deep when you are chucking them that hard. Stay posted and keep us informed!
01-03-2002, 11:09 PM
A quick overview of the rivers here. Definately small stream fishing. Except for the salmon and hatchery steelies, the fish (nates) are a sporadic lot. We seem to get healthy runs most years (now, I'm speaking from only 6 years of experience in this region), and most of the pressure drops off the rivers in Feb. and March. The catch and kill mentality is very evident in this area during salmon season and December when the hatchery fish show. Once the bulk of the brats slides by, 90% of the fishermen dissapear, which is fine by me. During the salmon and brat runs we do see quite a few anglers from the I-5 corridor in the area.
There are a few summer runs that sneak in, but again, very sporadic and not in any type of volume. I usually encounter them when fishing cutts on light gear in the tidewater. It's usually secluded (after the holidays), and quiet. Like most on this board, I presume, enjoy the solitude and personal atmosphere brought on by the small stream situations. Catching is just an added bonus to the expereince.
We have some individuals in the region who are very dedicated to the preservation and rebuilding of the wild steelie runs. Thanks to thier efforts, the catch and kill mentality is starting to come under scrutiny by an increased number of area anglers. As I see it, these sustems are too small to sustain a ton of fishing pressure, much less the exploitation of the native stocks.
I grew up on Whidbey Island and have enjoyed looking at the threads on beach fishing for salmon and steelies. As a kid, we spent countless hours on the North end of Whidbey chasing sea-run cutts and dollies. Wish I had been into fly fishing then.
Spent five years living in Southcentral Idaho in the late 80's and early 90's and cut my teeth on flyfishing the freestone streams and spring creeks of the area. Fished my first steelhead on a fly on the Salmon above Stanley, Id. Nice to see some members from that region also. I miss the Rockies!
01-03-2002, 11:59 PM
I've spent some time out in your neighborhood. I try to get out there at least once a year to stuff myself at one of the many oyster farms. As I'm sure you know, the bay to the north of you, Grey's Harbor, has some of the most ecologically intact estuaries in the state feeding it from the south. Acres and acres of channeled eelgrass. I've fished for SRC's in a couple of those streams, but what I have always been curious of is the chum fishing in the estuaries. Any stories to tell?
01-04-2002, 11:33 PM
Tidewater chums are awesome. However, seems like everyone from Olympia to Longview know when they are entering the lower reaches of tidewater. One thing I've taken to doing is putting my Watermaster in on some of the rivers just up from the bay on the last of the ebb, finding a shale or gravel bar, and swinging flies over the bar until the tide slows. It is pretty effective and gets you away from the crowds. Ride the tide back up the creek!
You are a lucky guy! I've fished your area a few times, the Nasselle, Willapa, Elochomin, etc. Elochomin up by Beaver Crk(?) hatchery was a kick, but like you say lots of pressure. Nasselle only once and it wasn't in great shape but WOW what a little hidden secret of a river, I wish I lived closer to see all of it's seasons of steelhead. Nice BIG nates in late winter too. Willapa chinook are amazing, and in such shallow water. I have always thought that Willapa Bay is the best place to spend time researching chinook on a fly. No excuses of deep water there, most 40# fall kings are in 20 feet of water.
And not far at all is Westport, where an ocean flyfisher can absolutely clean house on those big Satsop and Elk river coho in late August & September. I would imagine that if you played the tides right you could fish the rocks off the breakwater on the outer edge of the boat basin and have yourself a dream day on big 10-15 pound hooknoses on a good tide. We sure did well on the fish inside the boat basin, and out in a boat on the north channel on the incoming with coho approaching 20# with 15-17# common.
A drive up to the Humptulips or the Queets and Quinault is easy for you compared to where I was on the other side of Puget Sound but that didn't stop me from coming over, I love the peninsula.
You are in a great area of WA! Looking forward to hearing your reports through the season, WELCOME ABOARD!