Have not actually got out and spent a day fishing in over a month so I took some time yesterday to fish the Stilly. The last few times I have been up there I have gotten caught up in the termainl fishery that is Fortson. Easy to do with how many steelhead are loaded up in there.
Fished for a few hours and realized I was bored. I began thinking about why I even bother steelhead fishing and left. Driving back I saw the exit for C post and a little voice in my head said to give it a try. So I walked upstream and on my first cast hit a 25inch+ Dollie. Yeah it was only a Dollie but still a pretty fish and I needed a fish regardless of what it was.
After that I realized I was killing my love for the sport at Fortson when what I really like about the Stealhead fishing is the explorating part and actually "moving" through a run. All it took was a Dollie to remind me of that and after I hooked that fish I felt refreshed and I cannot wait to go out again. However I will be skipping the terminal fisheries for now on....
08-04-2002, 01:34 PM
Agree, I gave up those terminal fisherey pools years ago, rather go fishless down stream then have to put up with the crowds and all that goes along with it. Although this past June I took a friday off for summer runs and hit the dam runs and pools on one of the good steelhead rivers. Got to the parking lot at mid day and not a car to be seen. Walked down to river and not a fisherman to be seen! Had not had that happened on this river in twenty years since the day I fished it on Christmas eve when the temperature was like 20 degrees.
This time it was 90+ degrees. Hit two summer runs on the spey with black bunny leeches in the oxygenated runs below the dam, could not hold them though. Actually had these runs to my self for about 3 hours, hard to beleive on this river.
I am sure this will not happen again for another 20 years on that river.
Anyway I look for some reasonable water to fish and solitude these days.
08-04-2002, 01:52 PM
Hal,how was your trip to South Dakota. Did you do much fishing.
08-04-2002, 03:00 PM
We fished the last 3 days of the trip, some beautiful creeks (not rivers for sure) and trout ponds. If you like small spring creek and pond trout fishing the Black Hills has it and many other things to see and do especially out door activiities. I would not go there though just for the trout fishing, better places to go like Yellowstone.
Definitely would recommend to any outdoor oriented family as a destination for western style out door activities and also wanted to do some trout fishing. This area has everything but white water rafting/canoeing. Everything else though, hiking in wilderness areas, wild life watching, rock climbing, mountain biking, horse back riding, historical sites, sioux indian reservations, old west mining towns, (Lead, Deadwood, Custer, Spear Fish, Hill City, Hot Springs, Keystone ) national & state parks (Custer, Black Elk & Norbeck Wilderness, Black Hills, Bad Lands, Buffalo National Grass lands, Wind & Jewel Cave National Parks) and of course Mt Rushmore. I think I forgot a couple there but there is a lot to see in the 100 mile area from Custer State Park which is where we were located. Where the buffalo roam !
Oh yes not many fisherman, mostly families sightseeing . Seemed to be more into hiking the many trails through various parks. When I get my pictures developed this week will post up a few.
We hiked to top of the two highest peaks in the area Harney and Little Devil's Pyramid Peaks in the Black Elk Wilderness. My legs are still recovering from those and I thought I was in shape.
There is a difference from flat land shape to mountain hiking shape for sure. 7,000 ft up also made a difference.
Whats amazing when you drive through the U.S. is the amount of open land we still have virtually untouched in many areas.
God bless america !
08-04-2002, 10:34 PM
Was that a Dolly Varden Char, or a Bull Trout (Char)??
Not sure if it was a bull or dollie. Guess you gotta count scales to figure that out. They look like the fish we would call dollies in AK when I was growing up so I just lump em in with those.
I like a lot of guys are probably at fault when we only think of bull trout as being inland river creatures when they are in some cases andranomous <sp>.
08-05-2002, 08:45 PM
In the Puget Sound region of western Washington all the anadromous native char are bull trout (based on genetic sampling). The only known Dolly Varden in the area are isolated headwater populations. It is interesting in that only in western Washington (Puget Sound and the Olympic Penisula) is the bull trout anadromous.
Having said that nearly everyone still calls them Dolly Vardens, especially with a fly rod in hand.