What to do? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: What to do?

05-03-2002, 03:14 PM
I need something else to do and read. The sled topic, although interesting is getting old.

Rivers closed. No steelhead fishing for at least a month. Tried trout fishing at a fly only lake. Fun but, they definitely are not steelhead. Was going to fish the humpy/chum hatch in the lower river for searuns but, was told by the searun experts all the cutts were flushed out of the river during the last high water. Searun cutts arenít steelhead but, are a lot more enjoyable than planted trouts in a lake.

Where does a steelheader go this time of year?

05-03-2002, 03:35 PM
Kerry tell me about it. All I can think of is steelhead. Trout just don't hold my attention like they used to. Maybe because I am not a good trout fisherman anymore. I like the feel of moving water not really lakes.

What can we do to fill this month
1) Tie flies who cares if you already have enough
2) Read books. Any one have any suggestions a good steelhead read out there. I just finished Mist on the River it was OK.
3) Sulk like the kid who is grounded for a month.

I don't know what do to do with myself. Oh well always remember June 1 ain't that far away. And you could always sneak down to SW Washington if you really need a steelhead fix.


05-03-2002, 03:48 PM
May is always fun for eastside lakes. Nothing like a 7-8 pound trout on a 4-5wt. Westside lakes do not have the size of the fish on the other side of the mountains. As long as youmatch your tackle to the fish it can still be fun.

Sure they aint steelhead but a nice diversion before the summer really starts up.

Much better than sulking:rolleyes: .


05-03-2002, 04:16 PM
Definitely head down to the Columbia tribs IMHO! Plenty of fish, open rivers, springers, and enough steelhead to make it interesting. There are few fish hotter than a May summer run. Go for springer chinook on a fly! I have done it, it's hard but well worth it.

There is a May opener at Sekiu for blackmouth and halibut most years. You might not get a tyee but you're definitely going to have a good chance to hook some blackmouth if you really try and there will be plenty of rockfish to make a heck of a fish fry back at the lodge (off-season rates).

If you are really bored, how about a squawfish clave? At the bounty rates they're paying you should be able to pay for the hotel, gas tank, food and lodging and maybe even a little cash for the pocket as well.

If you have frequent flyer miles think about popping out to the northeast to sample some stripers, we've earned the start of our season thru a long winter.

Great time of year to visit the Florida Keys for tarpon, bones, etc.

05-03-2002, 04:56 PM
Did not mention the sw columbia tribs cause I knew Juro would:D .

The cowlitz always has steelhead in it and while they are not native they make up for it in sheer numbers. Plan to spend a lot of time fishing it this summer once the flows come down.


05-03-2002, 05:29 PM
As you know Sean there are actually a few nates and a fair number of streamborns in the Cow from tribs like the Newaukum (sp?) and from the numerous redds you can find in the mainstem and it's branches in late winter / early spring. A mere drip in the bucket compared to the hatchery numbers, but they are there.

I once caught a huge buck down below the I-5 stretch that looked like it came from Trey Combs book. Every fin perfect, deep body shape, adipose as big as my thumb. I had a notion where that fish was born and it's a right turn tens of miles below Blue Creek.

East Fork of the Lewis is another sweet spring river, as is the Kalama. North Fork has a lot of springers in it but nothing compared to the Oregon side.

On that topic, there is a little shindig called THE SPEY CLAVE that one might get interested in... including me! I am really close to pulling this off, believe it or not :smokin:

There is a whole world out there beyond the Skagit, Sauk, Skykomish and Stilly - right there for the taking!

05-03-2002, 05:58 PM
Remember when alot of these rivers were year around open??? I've pretty much tuned myself to the one month closure. I only fish a few rivers religously. I don't stray much. It's better to know, and fish, a few streams effeciently then to know a little about alot of them. I can wait a month. Gives me time to actually get some yard work done, fix the cars, do some home improvements, yada yada yada. Once fishing season starts again, any free time I have is for fishing. :D

I haven't fished the Cow or tribs down there in quite awhile. Don't like fishing down that way. Been meaning to fish the Lewis, but just never made it there lately. But I digress. Would rather pursue fish on the Chehalis system, and the West side OlyPen once they open. That's my forte.

05-03-2002, 11:38 PM
SSHHHHHH No fish down south :devil:

05-03-2002, 11:43 PM
Boy do you guys got it bad. Here you have a chance to have a month off and rest up, chase women or your wife, play with kids, do all those chores like paint the kitchen or mow the weeds that have been growing at an alarming rate for the last 2.5 months. Sorry I said rest up, fishing or not there never seems like there is time to rest. For me the month off is a good time to visit friends I ignore all winter because of steelhead. Funny thing our winter season is over as it is now May but you wouldn't know it by the weather, it's still like January out there this weekend.
And I confess, I really don't know what to do with myself this weekend without steelhead fishing. Hope we can figure it out

05-04-2002, 12:00 AM
Don't some of the north of the border
rivers convert to fly only starting the month of
may??? I don't know for sure but I think
I heard that river like the vedder are open for
fly fishing only right know. It might be worth
looking into, especially since you are north to
begin with.


05-04-2002, 08:04 AM
Ahhh the Vedder when I was fly fishing there in winter 1986 for todays I did not see another fly fisher for winter steelhead. I was the only one which was surprising.

There were the Silex outfits and bait casting guys drifting their roe, corkies, and pink plastic worms. The pink worms surprised me almost thought they were bass fishing and I was on the wrong river.

It was a nice little river though and I could see good fly fishing water in many locations, particularly upstream towards the hatchery.

Never been back though, I was there on business for a couple of weeks then and packed the steelhead gear. Actually wanted to go over to the Stamp River on the island, but I did not have enough time.

05-04-2002, 09:24 AM
Pink worms in 1986???

old man
05-04-2002, 11:42 AM
I was up on the N/fork of the Sky about 10 years ago and I saw a guy using them and I asked him what he was doing and he told me that is how they catch steelhead in Canada. Pink worm and bobber. It's the HONEST truth. Jim

05-04-2002, 12:38 PM
The first pink worms I saw on the Vedder had to be in the mid to late 70's (maybe RLN could be more exact). Nevertheless, they have been an accepted and deadly lure here in BC for way longer than our cross-border cousins believe. I remember lamenting not having any while fishing on the Squamish where I "substituted" a then new fly pattern - the General Practitioner under my float! As I recall, it was indeed a deadly worm fly!

As for the Vedder, it becomes fly only on May 1, from the Vedder Crossing down. The problem becomes the run-off. Most years you get a few days then it goes out. Last year with the Puget Sound rivers closed, I fished it a little in April. While dodging the hordes of bubbas and their rubber worms and guts et al, we did manage to catch a few wild fish. We were looking forward to the fly only season. While it didn't go out, the water levels rose 3-4 feet and the fish became very hard to find - it is likely they moved up river into the closed section. We hit a couple of more times and gave up. Then the innevitable happened - at last for me - the lure of interior trout took over.

Is it worth a trip north for you guys? It depends on how bad your "Jones" is. The river is open, there is a chance for fish - but it is something of a crap shoot. It would make more sense if the fly season were to start a little earlier - even April 15 - it would make a huge difference. IMHO making a trip up to the Vedder during the height of the run and general open season would provide a less than acceptable experience for most flyfishermen. It is a shame, but the bubbas need to fish somewhere.

05-04-2002, 12:49 PM
Yes I could not beleive my eyes when I saw the Pink Worms in 1986. Never seen them since. Not used here, but I think some of the spinning guys are starting to use jig heads with rubber tails on the end, etc... I never see the Bubbas I am on the fly only water most of the time with my types, you know guys like you all. :smokin: :smokin:

05-04-2002, 05:55 PM
I have seen them alive and well (and catching fish) on the Skagit this spring. In March at the take-out at Faber's I talked to a Bubba who got 6 that day - and all he used was the pink rubber worm! I also found one on the beach on the Sauk - be careful where you step - they might slime you!

I'm almost ashamed to admit that the next day I busted out a 6" hot pink GP for awhile - to no avail, then it was back to my customary blacks and purples.

05-04-2002, 07:37 PM
6 in one day, I would be throwing large pink flies also.

Why not develop a steelhead San Juan worm type fly in pink or cerise ?

It is the tantalizing wiggle of those worms in their face that makes them strike, heck if they wiggled one in our faces we would grap for it also, it must be very aggravating to Mr. and Mrs.
Steelhead. Have to think about this concept for our summer run skammanias, they love slamming pink spoons and even bass type spinner rigs.

Yep I am going to develop something in additon to my big marabou speys.

Thanks for the thought.

05-04-2002, 10:15 PM
Originally posted by pmflyfisher
Why not develop a steelhead San Juan worm type fly in pink or cerise ?

It has been done!!! :devil: ;)

05-04-2002, 11:04 PM
but before I became a 'total fly guy' (and for the springers I'll still use a 10-6 Lammie) I ...SOB! used the big pink worm up in Washington. Hate to admit, but on the Pilchuck it was the 'bait' of choice.

Now .... an occational pink 'bunnie' on a fly hook. Got to admit I've not hooked anything on these but not too much time on the end of the sinktip. Now that the sprinings are starting to show... why not give them another try.

Nothern Oregonians think the 'bunnie' patterns are the cats meow for salmon. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

05-04-2002, 11:29 PM
Originally posted by fredaevans
Hate to admit, but on the Pilchuck it was the 'bait' of choice.

The 'Pilly', eh??? What a cool little river that sadly is over run with a horrible poaching problem.

Guess what I did after work (flyshop employee) this evening??? Dug sandshrimp for a springer trip this week to Forks. :devil: :devil: :devil:

05-04-2002, 11:44 PM
The first pink worms on the vedder would have been either 75 or 76 -- at that time we used Creme natural colored worms ("white-tails") for steelhead particularly in the squamish system.. one of the local stores (Rumble's?) received a case (24 packs of 3 worms?) of pink ones by mistake, someone else bought a pack and tried them on the vedder.. caught a bunch of fish and started a mini-goldrush for the remaining packs..


05-05-2002, 08:22 AM
See I was not dreaming seeing the pink worms on the Vedder in 1986, I just thought I was. :chuckle: :chuckle:

Fred, now you are coming out of the closet, but please does one have to be so desparate to hook steel that they revert to pink worms ?:confused: :confused:

I have fly fished only for them since 1981. In 1980 I did try spawn and live wiggler may fly nymphs but that was my first year of steelhead fishing and I was desparate to catch one. Did hook a couple in 1980. In 1981 went all fly and caught my first on a fly that year. I have not looked at bait or lures since. I was a trout spinner specialist in my younger days, you know Mepps, CP Swinger, Phoebe, Abu Reflex, but those days are over. Used 2 lb ultra light Mitchell 308 for stream trout back then. Wonder if there are guys doing that now ? Must be.

05-05-2002, 12:47 PM
Pink bunny leeches have been one of my staples for slightly stained rivers for about 10 years now. Usually I'll tie in a trailer hook. Normally I tie them large (about the ONLY fly I tie with that big of a profile). Normally, I'll slightly weigh it with lead wraps just to get it down and dead drift it on a floating line. I won't use it on a sinktip. Has worked wonders. I can usually tell when I get a hit, won't be a subtle stop of the line, will normally get yanked under. But I must say, it's a high water fly for me/stained water. Won't use it if conditions are perfect for a more compact style fly. LOL, my bunny worms are normally about 3 inches long. They're my go to on some of the rivers I fish.

Yeah, pink worms have been around awhile. I know my uncle came back from a trip up in BC back in mid/late 70's and brought some news about these "pink bass worms", so the 77' time frame was about right. We tried them a couple years later (thought he was full of you know what). Been a staple to have ever since. Don't use them all the time, but we like to change up what we use. It seems what's hot one year isn't the next.

05-05-2002, 04:37 PM
Pink (cherise) and black combination is a very good for colored water conditions. Have some cool hex nymphs in those colors for such conditions.

05-06-2002, 01:27 PM
The original pink worms were made by "Creme" and back popular on the Vedder in the early 70's. The locals in the "know" purchased all the stock of the good bubblegum pink color and then the home poured worms became popular. Now of course there are many home poured and manufactured worms in a mutitude of colors available. Bubblegum pink zonker strips of rabbit should be a good fly but I don't think anybody can dye rabbit the right "bazooka joe" color. Also with the recent cold weather here the vedder should have some good late season fly fishing.

05-06-2002, 04:17 PM
I also thought that a bright pink zonker style or big leech style fly would be worth a swing in the vedder. I've seen lots of fish come out with gear guys using pink worms. So as I am tying up a couple of big pink things one evening, my 5 yr. old daughter wanders in and decides they look like something for her Barbie dolls. In our house, pink flies of any style are now know as "Barbies". :chuckle:

I lost all three in the rocks, and have not tied more, black flies seemed to be most suitable on the days I went out.

The vedder as of yesterday, (May 5'th), is a little high with spring runoff, and about 2' of vis.


05-06-2002, 07:38 PM
My theory about fishing the Vedder - when I have to is not to fish pink or orange - they see so much of it that "offbeat" stuff like black or purple is such a change that they take it! It's my explanation for why I've managed to take the occassional fish in the Vedder in the midst of the gear/bait chuckers - "a change is as good as a rest".