First native steelhead on a fly contest... [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: First native steelhead on a fly contest...

01-09-2002, 03:51 PM
Is officially underway!


- it must be caught in accordance to all regulations PLUS on an unweighted single barbless fly with no additional weights on the line, no scent, no flotation devices on the line

- it must be at least 32" long

- it must be recorded in an image that demonstrates that it is a native fish and released unharmed

- the date/time and general region must be given, although specific location information is not required

- enforcement of the rules beyond anything we (the community) can tell by looking at the image is left to your own *honor* as an angler and a sportsman


A Spey line of your choice of up to $125 retail value.


01-09-2002, 04:20 PM
Dang wish i'd have had my camera !!! I caught one on the 3rd!

01-09-2002, 06:19 PM
Wouldn't count as "caught." :D

Darn Fish-head, sounds like you and I are going to have to start tieing on heavier hooks.


01-09-2002, 10:20 PM
I guess I'll have to start carrying a camera with me. :D

I've already heard of a good number of natives caught on the fly on both the Sky and the Stilly. I think the winning fish will be caught much sooner then normal.

01-09-2002, 10:49 PM
Well lets see if the PNW gets a lot of rain keeping those rivers high for the next 1-2 months I could have a shot here in the Midwest.

Of course my hindrance is that I probably have to do it with a 6 or 4 pound test leader which gives low odds of landing a 32 inch plus steelhead in most of our waters. A matter of fact that has been my down fall over the years when ever the big 15lb+ Alpha steelies were hooked. There were a couple that just smoked that 4 lb test leader. But that is what you have go to many times to even get hits in the very clear water and smaller mid west rivers we have compared to the PNW.

Plus there are only a handful of rivers which have wild fish, but all in the PM are wild.

Would have to put my money on the PNW guys on this one.

Good Luck !

01-09-2002, 11:22 PM
A fish that large on the upper Rogue would have it belly full of lead shot.

Nate Bailey
01-09-2002, 11:29 PM
wow, thats a big fish here, fred we have to hit the umpquia, either that or follow fishhead around.....Nate

01-10-2002, 06:23 AM
From what I know the PNW steelhead are sleeker and lighter than the Great Lakes steelhead in general. Even our smaller fish under 28 inches tend to be like footballs. Oh well I would say my chance is slim and none of meeting those speficifications. Plus i usually do not carry a camera with me.

Already have enough stuff in the dam vest :smokin: :smokin:

01-10-2002, 09:20 AM
OK, let's make it 30" since 20" is the minimum legal length and it's gonna take something over minimum to warrant the prize on our shoestring budget. Also it must be a winter / spring fish although I highly doubt we'll make it that far with the returns this year. One last thing: it must be caught by a registered Forum member, of course.

01-10-2002, 04:42 PM
It could be done . But that is an awesome size limit , what about a 30" and above ? :eyecrazy:

01-10-2002, 06:12 PM
Spend a bit of time in Washington and "bring home the bacon."

Pinch down those barb's fish-head!:devil:

01-10-2002, 07:43 PM
Hmm Washington does sound like the best place. Have to check the business schedule, sure have enough frequent flyer tickets and vacation time to burn. :devil:

01-10-2002, 09:53 PM
You are all wrong, Mr. Evans. We need to direct this Midwesterner to the fabled and storied and still very productive waters of Oregon.

The last thing us Washingtonians need is another fisherman on our rivers. :devil:

Ofcourse I am just kidding...and in fact, if you ever out this way PMFlyfisher, shoot me a hollar and we'll spend a day fishing for 'real' steelhead. ;)

01-10-2002, 10:21 PM
Oh, yes the NF Stilly is on the to do list for sure.

That and the Skagit/Sauk.

Probably have to borrow that 18 foot spey rod from Fred for the Skagit.


Scott K
01-11-2002, 01:46 AM
Juro, Question...

How can you tell if the Steelhead you have caught is native or not? Are you supposed to do a scale sample and take an operculum punch to identify that this Steelhead is from this rivers (the river you're fishings) race of fish and has resisted all attempts from other races of Steelhead at introgression?

Sure you don't mean WILD Steelhead?


01-11-2002, 04:34 AM
The Big Boy Toy would be appropriate for the Skagit and Sauk, but may be over kill for the North Fk of the Stilly.

NF16: One of the 'beauties' (unless you're trying to travel somewhere) is Medford is 'stuck exactly half way between 'too far to go' and 'no-where.' Major reason we don't see a lot of "out of area" fishermen/women.

(Excepting Grants Pass 30 miles north on I-5) the next "population center" (Roseburg) is a two hour drive at highway speed; Portland is almost 6 hours. Equal time to drive south to the "Bay area" in Calif.

Perhaps this is why many of the 'locals' have kind of an 'in-bred' look about them? Just kidding. Since Joan and I've been here I can only think of. perhaps, 2 or three people whom we would not want as personal friends. When we had the vineyards all connected to that industry are still close even today. Life is pretty good around here.

01-11-2002, 06:26 AM
Yes I see Medford has only a population of 60,000 and there is nothing around it for quite a ways. Just mountains, woods, rivers, animals, etc.. No wonder you have it all to yourself, relatively. Thats my type of place even if I did not catch a fish, just need the solitude and beauty of the area, and chance to pursue the iron heads on the fly.

Have to book that trip

:smokin: :smokin:

01-11-2002, 09:30 AM
Any such judgement would be based on anecdotal evidence and laymen's gut feel... doesn't that SUCK? By this I mena that the very fact that it is not completely determinable in and of itself is a shameful reminder of our (mis)management of steelhead. Anyway (off soapbox)...

We can assume with a margin of error that a sailfin 20 pound Skagit fish mint bright in April is "native" within reason, but not exactly as you point out - whereas we can assume that a 6 pound "unclipped" Cowlitz fish in December is streamborn, but not exactly as there are still trace populations with some connection to the original Cowlitz strain that get to lay eggs in the river or the Nehalem, Green / Toutle systems, etc.

You raise a very powerful point. It's not possible to truly distinguish between a streamborn steelhead of Chambers Creek descent and a true native fish for the purposes of this contest, so I guess it boils down to what the contestant would present to the community as being the fish worthy of the prize, putting his or her honor on the line in this annual tradition. Personally I would wait for that fish whom just to look upon would conjure the notion, the essence of native steelhead in the hearts and souls of any steelheader before trying to claim the prize, but that's me. :devil:

The fact that we can not make this distinction, aside from any contest, is deeply disturbing to me.

Good point Scott!

Originally posted by Scott K
Juro, Question...

How can you tell if the Steelhead you have caught is native or not? Are you supposed to do a scale sample and take an operculum punch to identify that this Steelhead is from this rivers (the river you're fishings) race of fish and has resisted all attempts from other races of Steelhead at introgression?

Sure you don't mean WILD Steelhead?


01-11-2002, 11:30 AM
Not quite that bad but (a couple of places excepted) it's fairly typical to only see two or three other fishermen on a days trip. A few places will attract a 'small crowd' but usually the case that they can park in an asphalt parking lot and don't have to walk more than 30 yards from their car door (usually in sight of their car). Will pick a rock, stand on it and don't move until it's time to go home.

Years ago Joan and I were talking to a Canadian Park Ranger and he made an observation that I've found to be 100% true regardless of where you are. When it came to hiking, fishing, etc., 95% of the people WILL NOT wander more than 15 minutes from their car door. Walk 20 minutes and you've got it all to yourself. Ditto with fishing. It's a 'go figure' situation, but it sure works for me.:smokin:

Scott K
01-11-2002, 01:01 PM
Just another point up here that I find quite disturbing, well, for myself anyways relating to the topic at hand. I a am a member of the STeelhead Society of BC btw.

Up here in BC, transplants of Steelhead are few and far between (I only know of two transplants that have gone on, both with Summer Steelhead stocks, one didn't work, and one did work quite well and has supported a fishery quite well locally),
so when we catch a wild Steelhead in a hatchery system, or even a hatchery Steelhead for that mater, we can say that we know it is a native of that system as it still has the survival habits it has developed over the millions of years of evolution it has resided in that system.

It really picks my ass when I read STS magazine and I see things like them saying that they (the various Washington/Oregon hatchery programs) consider what we consider hatchery fish up here, a wild fish(down in your territory). If you don't already know, it is the policy of our river systems hatchery programs up here for Steelhead to only take Wild Fish for broodstock and only use the rivers (that we will be planting the offspring in) Wild fish for hatchery programs, and that's what we consider a hatchery fish (we clip all our Steelhead as well). So as an example, we have broodstock anglers on the Vedder, Our Chehalis, Stave, catching wild Steelhead from these rivers, and when the offspring are planted, they are planted back in their respective systems. All Steelhead are live spawned as well, and if they survive the stresses of the hatchery process being live spawned which many of them can, they also get released back into their own river. They are also released in the Lower River as full Smolts so that they have little impact in their downward migration in taking up the food base from Wild Smolts. This also leaves room for a better hatchery take home fishery because the lower rivers of systems are often the most accessbile and fish return to their release point (usually) so hopefully they will get bonked (the hatchery fish).

I find it really disturbing that someone would want to kill a Wild Steelhead down in your terrirotory, especially on systems that have huge numbers of hatchery fish, many of which probably come from other stocks that we don't want breeding in these rivers?. The reason I say this is because there is a good chance it (the wild fish) is a Native. I say this because when you look at the damaged habitat you guys have on your rivers with the various dams and what not (we have some up here, don't worry, we're not perfect either), people want to destroy something that still has the surivival instinct which it has developed over millions of years in that system to actually survive in these systems with damaged habitat? I would think you would want to leave as many wild fish in the system, because they have probably developed survival instincts that have helped them cope with the damaged habitat as well.
I would also think they would want to then take the Native Steelhead for broodstock for the hatchery programs as well so you have better returns for less smolt production becasue the fish already have the genetics required to adapt to the river and what not and if they do spawn, it's not going to be a super bad thing.

Also, If you look at the various Survival methods Steelhead have used, size and age at return and different size are one of them. For instance on the Bulkley River Steelhead return from 4 pounds to 40 pounds. Ths is a survival tactic IE returning at different ages and different sizes. The Smaller fish may be able to spawn in smaller tributaries. The Older fish may be able to push past a certain falls or certain barrier, all are an important part of the River and it's race of STeelhead's surivival, so again, how do you tell if a fish is a native fish? Another Skeena Tributary, the Copper River (Zymoetz) has Steelhead that have 17 different life histories. I would imagne that the Skagit system still has native Steelhead in a good range of size as well would they not??
I'm sure there is now a size range you can pick this up, or a study may have been done pointing out the average sizes of this or that, but still...


01-11-2002, 02:04 PM
Your post belongs in the Conservation thread, very good points indeed. I wish hatcheries were more discriminating about brood stock; but I must disagree with one point - I don't think native fish should be used for hatchery stock; IMHO they should be left alone es on rivers with a native fish population worth saving and any hatcheries on these systems shut down to manage the river for native high quality fisheries. But that's just my .02

Back to the contest!

01-11-2002, 02:11 PM
Hey Scott,

I have to agree - many of the policies in place in BC are (or should be) and example for others. Sadly, there are also many that are not.

Bait on the Thompson, for example. Why would anyone who's planning on releasing a wild steelhead want to use bait and thereby increase the potential mortality of their encounter?? Or why would the government allow commercial salmon harvests that have a devestating impact on the early returns of wild steelhead to the Skeena and Fraser systems?

And the original Wild Steelhead release policies were not recieved (as I understand it) without a lot of controversy in BC. Just as here in the US, i'm guessing there were/are many people who would like to harvest a wild steelhead if given the opportunity.

I can only hope that the Hatchery Reform that's been in the works for several years here in Washington will incorporate some of the lessons learned by our BC neighbors and that Statewide Wild Steelhead Release will be passed by the WDFW in February.

We all have a long way to go!

Scott K
01-11-2002, 02:56 PM
The reason you use Native stock for broodstock is for a few reasons.

There is always some escapement with hatchery fish. Hatchery fish should be created for a kill fishery. YOu can not expect every hatchey fish to be killed, it's just not realistic, so if the hatchery fish do spawn, and they are taken from native wild parents, they can then perpetuate and help the stock where as hatchery fish that are taken from non native parents won't have the life history or survival mechanisms that the native stock has built and adapted to in order to survive all that well.

The second reason is that relating to my above point, as I mentioned above, you will get more bang for your buck with a hatchery by using native fish because they will or already have the life history survival in them of the river to return to that river in greater numbers.

From my understanding, introgression is when non native fish spawn with native fish. It is said that when they do this, they lose both rivers survival mechanisms when they spawn together and they resulting offspring will not survive as well as having just native offspring, or strictly non native offspring.

I also think that if you want to then revert back to wild fish only, which with a lot of the habitat restoration and better stances from various authories such as Hydro, cities, etc, having native fish, both hatchery, and wild, in the river is the safest way to go because they can then perpetuate the species with the rivers life history adaptions.

You implyed that you should not take native fish out of the river to make hatchery fish, because I'm assuming, you think the native fish should be used to propogate in the wild only.

Another thing which you aren't considering though Juro is that when you guys release your non native Smolts into the various rivers, they will immediately and directly compete and outcompete with the wild native smolts and take up the food base. So I would think it would be safer to have native smolts in this scenario as well, at least if there is some competition occuring, you could at least have the results being only native whether it is hatchery or wild.

You don't see a huge amount of production up here on our hatchery Steelhead Rivers. The Maximum Hatchery steelhead plants are 125,000 smolts on the Vedder River and that is by far the most out of all hatchery programs in BC. Most hatchery programs goals up here are to one have the mandate of minimizing competition between hatchery fish and wild fish, as well as having a ratio of no more than 50/50 hatchery fish to wild fish adult returns. AT the same time we still get pretty good bang for our hatchery bucks with hatchery returns because we are using native WILD broodstock for our hatchery returns.

To sum up what I have said, I think that hatcheries should be primarily for kill fisheries and only a secondary option for rebuilding runs, hatcheries should only take from native wild broodstock, and hatchery releases should be done in lower rivers to minimize competition with wild smolts as well as residualization which also takes up the food base from wild smolts.


01-11-2002, 03:06 PM
Scott -

I will move these posts into a new thread... they are too good to "hide" in a contest announcement!

(moving messages)

Scott K
01-11-2002, 03:08 PM
About Bait and Catch and Relese. I am a broodstock bait fisherman myself (I spey fish just about everything else) for a local rivers hatchery program and I can tell you what I can prove.

I can prove to you that bait catches more fish, and the resulting increased hookups results in more mortality, but I can't prove that bait, per fish (IE a fish caught on bait to one caught on a spoon to one caught on the fly) has more mortality, unless you guys down south have done a study on this?

I am of the personal opinion that bait should not be allowed on Wild STeelhead fisheries, especially, the Thompson where the pressure on such a small but special race of fish has an impact on them. By having a bait ban, you are spreading the catch of fish accross more anglers.

I rest my case.
If you want to fire the bait argument up, check out past arguments from threads 1100 to about now at


01-15-2002, 11:33 AM
Since I have chimed in elsewhere with my bait thoughts, I will just say that I really need a new line for my 10150-4 so will be missing a few mornings at work in the coming days in hopes of unseating Dylan and reclaiming my first native king role.;)


01-15-2002, 06:11 PM

I in no way want to fire up the Bait War with you:) - in fact I agree that if you're drift or float fishing the difference between bait and fly mortality might be insignificant. Most fish I've seen have been hooked either in the roof of the mouth (floats) or in the corner of the jaw (drifting).

But what about plunking and bait divers?? I don't know how prevalent they are north of the border, but they're certainly popular down here. In both these cases, the fish are much more likely to ingest the bait and mortality increases greatly. I know of at least one guide who won't run divers anymore because it's practically impossible to release fish caught this way.

It's not just the fault of bait - I'm sure you'd get higher mortality with artificials fished the same way - but these techniques almost always include bait because the fish has more time to investigate the offering and it contributes to their effectiveness.

I'm just curious as to your thoughts on this since you seem to be conversant on the debate issues.


Scott K
01-15-2002, 07:50 PM
If you read my last post, reread these two paragraphes and try not to read in between the lines:

"I can prove to you that bait catches more fish, and the resulting increased hookups results in more mortality, but I can't prove that bait, per fish (IE a fish caught on bait to one caught on a spoon to one caught on the fly) has more mortality, unless you guys down south have done a study on this?"

If you note, I also noted underneath this that I was of the personal opinion that there should be a bait ban on Wild Steelhead fisheries, which in most cases in BC are C and R and some of the more popular ones see quite a bit of pressure.

In this paragraph, I was appealing for more fire, to support my opinion. The two things that go against bait, if you want to compare mortality of one "method" against another is that it catches the most fish (if you go by the Thompson River Creel Survey, it has 4 times the effectiveness to artificials). This means that more fish are handled, more fish caught again, and the resulting stress from lactic acid buidup can be significant in more mortalities.

The second thing going against it are many people seem to believe that the fish will ingest it more times than not. If you use the Fraser Plunking coho fishing study as your marker (only to prove that fish ingesting bait to fish not ingesting bait and that ingested bait causes more mortality) you will learn that ingested bait causes significantly more mortality (at least in Coho). But do Steelhead ingest bait more than artificials? Well I don't know, a study has not been done on this. Relating to this question, does bait then, cause more mortality, per fish? If there could be a study that was done on this, I could then have more "firepower" to fall back on when I am iterating my position on bait bans to certain people in certain organizations who say that it doesn't cause more mortality.

Regarding Plunking, this is another reason I am against bait on Wild STeelhead fisheries, for the reasons you mentioned.

At the same time, while I have compiled this opinion over my time fishing, and I do fish bait fish for a hatchery rivers broodstock program (and I can say from my personal opinion that Steelhead don't usually ingest bait fished drifted and/or under a float) for about half of my STeelhead fishing, and I do spey fish whenever I'm not broodstock fishing, I am really trying to get away from this bait argument because quite frankly, it's not constructive at all. Nothing gets accomplished because anglers in general are pigheaded (like myself) and opinioated and fishing is very personal. When you insult someones fishing, you are insulting them. The one commonality between everyone here is that bait anglers, spoon anglers, and fly anglers like to catch Steelhead. Steelhead are one of the most gorgeous fish on the planet. They are mysterious and no two Steelhed are alike. They are aggressive, good fighters, and most of all, they are a symbol of a healthy watershed when they aren't produced bya hatchery. Nothing makes you feel more in touch with nature, then catching a Steelhead, a symbol, a product if you will, of the ecosystem, which nature has let you set foot in while you weld your fishing rod for countless hours of casting, for those one or two takes a day, if you're lucky....

There are many many more factors out there that are affecting the STeelhead than ourselves, but the one we know the most about is mortalities that we inflict. The best thing we can do, and I read everything, is become more and more educated, and learn and learn and learn, and we can then start finding the real problems facing our watersheds from producing healthy Steelhead and Salmon runs. We also have to organize ourselves, and get on the same page and then we can start correcting mistakes....Get involved, join an organization, and seperate the fish, from the fish-ing every so often and you will learn even more...and it will really give you a truer passion for the sport, and the fish which fuel it....

Scott K

01-16-2002, 07:30 PM
Spent a beautiful afternoon on the river today and was thinking I mint end up with a new line to boot. Hiked in to a favorite run that is little fished to see the river in fine shape.

Just as I come to the water's edge I see two friends there. They'd floated downstream in a canoe. There goes my first water.

Told me They'd already landed three fish so to take the run. Managed to land a beautiful cutthroat of 16". Then hooked and landed a smaller steelhead of about 28".

All in all a wonderful afternoon.

Guess I'll have to go sooner tomorrow. ;)


01-24-2002, 01:00 PM
Some people have all the luck! Finally had the big grab and it stuck, a nice 31" native Buck. The 22nd day of January at 0800hrs. My partner couldn't make the camera work so I will not be claiming the line just yet. The rains have thr rivers on the rampage again so it will be more fly tying and honeydo's for a few days again.

01-26-2002, 03:14 PM
I swam a big one this morning but the fish gods didn't bless me with a landing. Not sure it even was a wild fish but it was BIG. We did the give and take dance for over ten minutes as it held above me in the fast water and it never even acted like it knew it was hooked. The first time it came up and tail slapped I almost messed myself as that tail was huge and silver. Even with it holding above and out from me and me really leaning into it and applying side to side pressure, I couldn't turn it. It just slowly swam in and out, up and back until finally it came unbuttoned. I said a really loud bad word and waded ashore and waited for the shakes to pass.

01-26-2002, 10:09 PM
Stories of fish lost can be so wonderful yet so frustrating...

I would of loved to have been able to see a picture of that fish! :)

Oh well...that is how things go know one of these days I would love to see a thread whose topic had to do with those fish that got away as those seem to be the ones that stick with you over the years. I've got a few...but dont we all?? ;)

01-26-2002, 10:43 PM

I hear you. I almost didn't even post on this morning because I am always leary of the "size of the one that got away" stories. I have hooked and lost some big fish before or at least ones I suspected of being big. This one was special though as for the over ten minutes that I was attached to it, he (or she) completely had its way with me.

There was never one instant that I felt in control. It knew it was hooked and just didn't care. I have had hot fish before that I couldn't turn as they ran mach 6 downstream. This bad boy slowly (and I do mean slowly) just meandered upriver despite my best efforts to turn it. Usually this upriver hold will tire a fish quickly but from what I could tell, had the hook held, this fight would not been been over soon.

For all I know it was a 10 lb. hatchery fish but if so, he had heart. I will never know but I would like to think it was a big early returning wild fish that will pass on his genes to the next generation.

As an aside, my son and I have a routine before he goes to bed every night where we share are favorite and worst parts of the day. Tonight, little surprise, my favorite part was hooking that fish. I surprised myself though when my worst part wasn't losing it but rather the hour or two I felt sorry for myself for losing it. Just having those ten or so minutes was enough. Anything more is just selfish.

Of course, I did want that new line :)


01-27-2002, 12:38 AM
Thanks for sharing!!! :)

And how bad of word was it...? You can tell I lost a fish I wanted really really bad when it is not one, two or even three potty words but actually 4 that spew from my mouth followed by the rod being tossed into the water... ;)

01-27-2002, 01:48 AM
Ryan you ain't old enuf to cuss proper like. yuus gotta no things like " bleepin bleep" , " bleepin bleep of a bleep" and I am agonna bleep that bleeping bleep of a bleepin bleepidy bleep!
you better just stick with darn and dag nabit for now. :O)

01-27-2002, 01:59 AM
How 'bout this Rob...lets go spend a day on a river together?? I will proceed to hook a big chrome steelie and then he will pop off. I can guarantee you will hear words you never knew existed!! :devil: ;)

01-27-2002, 04:30 PM
Very true, Ryan . . . and thanks for the great story Sinktip!

I certainly remember the memorable battles I lost :eyecrazy: far longer because they remind me what Steelhead are capable of.

October before last I got my Hardy handed to me by an unseen steelie that got into some fast water and emptied my reel of it's almost 200yds of backing and flyline in less than 10 seconds. The hook came away with only several turns of backing left on the reel. I'd never heard a Hardy make the sounds I heard that day.

I remember staring downstream numbly, wondering what that funny red-colored line was that was trailing downstream out into the current. It took a few seconds to become aware of my bruised fingers, and it took almost a year before I got back to the same river system to avenge my bruised ego! :smokin:

But I like Sinktip's story even more because there's nothing like a slow deliberate upstream stroll to make you feel totally helpless. Like the fish knows he's hooked and -just-doesn't-care!!:devil:

As for my own vocabulary at moments like these?? I usually choose one simple word/phrase and utter it at different volumes until I feel better :chuckle: Juro and Ryan probably remember one such moment on the Elwah last summer.

The battles continue . . . .


01-27-2002, 05:20 PM
Is the pole still in the water? Let me know where! I have a few golf clubs we could trade locations for!

01-27-2002, 07:52 PM
I generally do what I can to retrieve my rod but I will tell you it has been hucked many times into the Fortson hole and also at Deer Creek.

For another potty-mouthed rod throwing story read on..

An ex-coworker, his bestfreind and I were fishing the famed Fortson hole one June day a couple years back. We will call the ex-coworker 'Squirrel.' Squirrel has just recieved a brand new Lamson Lightspeed 3.5 and had it on his #7 11'6" GLX. For anyone that has seen the insides of a Litespeed they are very simple but since he had to reverse the reel he had to spin off the plastic drag disc and then spin it back on (to get at the needle bearing). Well Squirrel did not completly tighten down the disc...

Anyways he hooks this fish at the point and like many of those fresh June 3-salt Skamania hatchery fish with lots of room to run, this fish took off. On its initial blistering run towards the tail-out, the spool pops off the frame of the Litespeed-because the disc was not completely tight, it spun with the spool and I guess the the spool was going "Lefty Loosie."

So Squirrel's budy and I are standing back laughing our asses off. The fish then does a total 180 and heads upstream as fast as it did downstream.

At this point, the spool is laying on the riverbed with flyline going everywhere and a big tangled mess. Squirrel manages to get control of this and is about ready to get the spool back on the frame when the chromer clears the water and spits the hook.

Squirrel proceaded to let out more then a few cuss words and huck his rod with the spool-less frame half way across the Fortson hole.

That was one of the funniest things I have ever seen...and to this day, I still snicker when I think about it. :devil: :hehe: :hehe:

01-27-2002, 07:55 PM
Is it better to have loved and lost then to have never loved at all!?!?!

:hehe: :hehe:

01-28-2002, 10:30 PM
Wish I was posting this to claim the prize myself but alas I was only the witness. The lucky guy, Rich Simms or Doublehaul as he is sometimes known on here will be logging in as soon as he remembers his password.

The fish was a bright wild buck and was landed at about 1:45 today on the Skykomish. He taped in at 33" by 17.5 which using (4/3*L*G*G/1000) comes out to 13.4 lbs.

Good work Rich and a beautiful fish!

Scott K
01-29-2002, 01:22 AM
Not to sound like a nitpick, but are you sure that fish isn't a doe?

Nice shoulders on the sucker BTW, must have been a blast on the single hander!

01-29-2002, 01:58 AM
Hot Damn! Beautiful fish. I was thinking about a fish like that all day at...WORK .

Great fish and way to get one for the single handers among us.

You are going to make me call in sick tomorrow:hehe: .


01-29-2002, 02:16 AM
Nice fish, Rich! Beautiful and thick--I love those early football hens--and that's a really gorgeous one. Now, we just have to figure out what lines to get. Yeah, I still haven't made my request from a year ago, so I will be interested to see what you ask for. Anyway, just wanted to say congrats, good job, and nice work. GREAT FISH.


01-29-2002, 06:07 AM

Man that is a beautiful hen! No doubt about it Rich, it's a winner and what a photo!

Skookum, thanks for kicking off this annual tradition in style with that MONSTER last spring. I will put each year's fish and your stories into a new pacific northwest destinations page we are working on.

Let me know which lines I should order, and once again congratulations!

Hmm... where'd I put those airline tickets again?

01-29-2002, 06:13 AM
I am not surprised that Rich managed to get in on this and win it...Rich is a great steelheader with the bugrod!!!

Anyways, what was it caught on?? egg-suckingl leach??? :devil: :hehe:

01-29-2002, 03:22 PM
. . . don't see 'em like that everyday. Congratulations Doublhaul!

01-29-2002, 05:27 PM
That fish is so bright it looks almost transparent. Hooking and catching it must have been great fun, but it also must have been a thrill to watch that silver shape blend back into the river.

01-29-2002, 05:58 PM
Baby Got Back! That nasty girl has got serious shoulders! Nice work


01-29-2002, 10:09 PM
bee-u-tee ful...

01-30-2002, 01:53 AM
DAWGGONNIT...thats it! I'm skipping classes in Olympia on Thurs. and running the local hawg trough. I've been itching to go for almost two weeks but hell (school) and high water have halted that. That fish just makes me salivate to get on the water. What a beautifull fish!

Well, good thing I didn't win anyhow since I'd have to buy another rod and reel to fit the line. I had been dragging the editor of NW Flyfishing away from his workload for professional camera work and credibility just in case I stumbled into a big, dumb one (they have to be dull witted to inhale one of my creations). Now that the pressure is off I can go back to enjoying the scenery and a couple of Foster's oil cans on the float. Thanks for posting the pic!

01-31-2002, 01:28 AM
Thanks everyone, gosh, I feel like I'm accepting an award. Looks like I got lucky. Thanks Duggan for submitting the pic for me (since I never seem to remember my password)and doing the rowing). And Sparkey to answer your question, yes.
It was a nice fish, but than again they all are.

01-31-2002, 12:20 PM
Congratulations, nice hen and on a single hander too.

What fly was did the job ?

01-31-2002, 01:47 PM
Rich if that pic had a hit counter on it, the numbers would be tumblin' from the number of times I look at it to get psyched for my annual trip. As if I even need the motivation in the first place!

Hope we can hook up then! (literally)

02-01-2002, 12:59 AM
pmfly, I would like to say it was one of Sink Tip's nice flies, but I admit it was one of my ol' boring egg suckn' leeches.

Juro, Look forward to meeting you sometime when your out, I think there will be good swingn' for you on the rivers. I have to admit though after sampling some striper fishing off Monomoy last June, I'm kinda of envious of the fishing you have back there. That fishery is quite the success story, maybe the same will happen for our wild steelhead.