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Ocean Flyfishing for Salmon Perhaps the most under-rated fishery in the world

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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-21-2005 04:30 AM
cannon Moonlight:alot of rivers and creeks with hatcheries do Pinks here on the E.C.V.I.most of the hatcheries are made up of volunteers.Here's a perfect example;Nile Creek in Qualicum Bay was extinct of it's Pink run,basically one man turned the whole thing around.There is a run of Pinks every year that provide a great beach fisheryand people all over the world come to fish it.I bought a piece a property on the creek 20 years ago and there was at that time a few sea-run Cutties,Dollies,and Coho.On the east coast and north Island the big run of Pinks is the even years.On the off year,the systems with no hatcheries there is only but a handful of fish that return.
10-20-2005 07:41 AM
Coho Slow

Spent the last few weeks on Vancouver Island fishing the rivers and tubing off the east coast at various places from Comox to the Campbell. Stinky pinks were everywhere in the rivers and there were a few coho making an run. Chinook seemed to be in good number and last few days the chum started to make an appearance.

One of the main reasons for the trip was tales of coho caught in the sea. I blanked when tubing for coho, a few of my friends caught one or two nice coho over the two weeks, but everyone I spoke to was complaining about the lack of fish. Most suggesting that the water was still quite warm and hold the fish off shore.

Still it was a good trip with losts of fish caught.
10-17-2005 09:17 PM
Moonlight Hey Cannon, just curious about the "Pinks" being plentiful in the streams with "Hatcheries", is the DFo (sic) raising "Pinks" in Hatcheries on Van Isle?
10-17-2005 08:00 PM
cannon Flyfishing for salmon on Vancouver Island depends on the specie.So far this year the Pinks came back in fair numbers on the rivers with hatcheries.This is the off year for Pinks,the big run is in even years,opposite the big Frazer run.As far as I've heard the Spring numbers were down.Anglers did well at the Stamp River on the West coast of the Island.The Coho fishing on the East coast so far has been very slow,but we still have another few weeks yet.The fish up here are about 2-3 weeks late on all the runs.Supposedly there have been alot of Coho out off the banks on the west coast.The local river I fish for Chums just picked up this past week but the fish are being finnicky.This run is also 2-3 weeks late.Had a pretty August for Sea-run Cutties.The population I fish for is declining due to a couple of seals that have taken residence in the harbour were the Cutties spend most of thier time.Last winter was the worst year I had for fishing the Cutties in the harbour.I do have some theories on why.I joined this forum in the summer and I am too somewhat disappointed.
09-24-2005 04:11 PM
juro Chris -

Very sorry to hear about the end of your tenure as a true Neah Bay flyfishing guide. It's our loss really, thanks for holding the torch as long as you could.

Frightening to hear about the state of affairs out there, having spent many summers in absolutely ridiculous fishing conditions from Swiftsure to Greenbank and inland to Port Angeles in the 80's and 90's.

Heck Dalco and Pt Defiance were on fire most years in the lower sound too.

Please let's make it a point to 'get even' in 2006 by having a barn-burner ocean clave out there.
09-24-2005 02:57 PM
topwater i can only comment up until august 9th, when my season came to a sputtering (damn Merc) stop.

before the first week of august, there was some bait and the fishing for coho was fair (not great for neah bay, but good by most other standards). we were seeing bait, but not the numbers of salmon one would expect considering the bait.

the first week of august was just plain shocking. that week started with a skunk and didn't really improve that much. we found some pinks and coho fishing areas i rarely ever fish (sw of tatoosh). the fish were scattered, except for the one day we found some pinks feeding very selectively on a large area of krill.

in late july, i did witness a brief glimpse of the past glory on swiftsure. in a thick fog we came upon a wonderful sight. large numbers of coho boiling on the surface, feasting on krill. i hadn't seen this since 2003 (2004 offered poor fishing on swiftsure, but the inside fishing more than made up for it), and not only was it a great sight, but the fishing was that frantic, red-hot fishing that neah bay is known for. unfortunetely, the fishing lasted only a short time (15-30 minutes) and the fish and krill were gone. i feel very fortunate that i was able to get one last glimpse of this feeding activity (especially now) even if only for a short time.

this summer was very odd. the salmon season started with warmer than average temperatures (56 degrees at swiftsure in july) and then things just switched, with 46 degree water southwest of tatoosh (where it is typically warmer than the strait). my last trip was a search for blue sharks, and we ran about 25 miles sw of tatoosh to the juan de fuca canyon, and the water temp barely made 56 degrees (normally it would be 58-60).

whatever happened in the ocean this summer is beyond my explantion. the big blue is an amazing thing and the only thing i know is when i think i have it figured out at all... 2005 happens.

of course, the tough fishing was okay, but dealing with the anti-sportfishing feel from the makah tribe was the most troubling aspect of 2005... although i imagine i have just been ignoring it for years. my passion for the fishing blinded me to what has happened to the sportfishing community that used to call neah bay home. the rampant increase in poaching this summer was another unfortunate byproduct of tribal businesses forcing long term tenants out of the marina. people with no stake don't really care about the fishery or imo the community.

hopefully 2005 was a slight blip in the radar and 2006 is another amazing year at neah bay.

i will miss the fishing,

09-22-2005 06:39 PM
Smalma Think there is little doubt that salmon returns throughout western Washington are down from expectations.

Looks like most Puget Sound chinook returns were 50 to70% of expectations. Pink returns with the exception of South Sound were below expectations - and who knows how many would have come back to the south Sound if conditions would have been better.

The Puget Sound resident coho to my eye looked to have been above average while the ocean fish have been well below expectations. Again pointing to a ocean problem. Started seeing maturing ocean coho in central Sound the first week of August with all signs indicating the run timing was more or less normal. The early returning ocean fish were smaller than those of the few years (3 to 7#) while some the later fish have been very niced sized and well conditioned (same for the later ocean chinook) indicating the at least part of the problem has pointed out by others was feeding conditions. Suspect that the coho returns will be more disappointing than the chinook.

Who knows about how the chums will be?

The lack of "shakers" (either coho or chinook) and coho Jacks is worrisome for next year.

Ah - the Mariners - they are as unfathonable as the salmon runs. Looks that will win about 10% more games than last year - a decent improvement - the same next season they will be a .500 club. Saxon has been all they could have hoped for. The injury to Dan Wilson was very costly and probably limited their chances to become a .500 club this year. With Felix the starting pitching may be adequate next season (assuming that Moyer can continue and Meche can achieve some consitency) though there looks to be major holes in the bull pen - Hopefully Nelson is gone and not sure which Guardado we'll see next year. However as with our fishing come spring we'll likely be optomistic that 2006 will be better than 2005.

Regarding the estuary fish - cutts and Dollies. The cuttrhoat fishing in North Sound has been pretty good with consistent catches some really nice sized fish. My catch rates have been about 2/3 of what they were a decade ago but suspect that has less to do with the numbers of the fish and more with the number of anglers who are sharing the fishing. It will be interesting to see what the folks from around the coast have to say about cutthroat abundances at the coastal cutthroat symposium at Port Townsend next week.

The bull trout/Dolly adult returns appear to be on parr with recent years (even up some with a strong year class of first time spawners) with continued numbers of exceptional sized fish. A little troublesome for the Skagit system appears to the decreased numbers of sub-adult Dollies - impacts from the 2003 floods?

Tight lines
09-20-2005 12:20 AM
Leland Miyawaki The inactivity of this board is definitely attributable to the poor salmon/coho fishing this season. All my usual haunts: Whidbey, Point No Point, Narrows, Lincoln, Meadow Point etc. have been at best, slow. Damned dreary and disappointing.

Thank god for the occassional steelhead.

09-19-2005 09:26 PM
Originally Posted by Eric
Hey, what's the story at Neah Bay and the Swiftsure bank regarding salmonids other than Coho? Were the Pink, Chum and Chinook runs at normal levels, or were they as far off as the Coho? Is there any bait?
I spent 2x5-day trips out there at Neah this year. Would have spent more. We saw 1 herring ball in a total of at least a couple hundred miles of running around. Normally that would be several herring balls PER DAY. Seemed like there was very little bait. Odd. No bird action to lead us to fish.

As for humpies, my wife hooked 1 humpy on a clouser when we were fishing bottom fish off Tatoosh. One. A single humpy. 2 years ago the humpy action out there was crazy. Seriously. We'd leave piles of humpies to find silvers just because we could, and because we'd already hooked so many of those hard fighters. Piles of biting humpies. Great fun.

Chris Bellows, if he is still kicking around this site, is a much better source of info about the year out there compared to previous. He's fished it hard for a good while.

Sexson with his 3rd Grand Slam of the year. Usually when I say good things about one of the M's it is like a snake bite... just don't let him near 3rd base or the curse might infect him.

09-19-2005 08:43 PM
juro I suspect this one has to be attributed to anomalies in the ocean currents... its seems impossible that an entire year class could be this lost, about the only force of nature with that much wide-scale influence would be ocean currents leading the biomass astray? One can only hope.

BTW - I just tuned in just one minute ago, literally - just in time to watch Richie Sexon blast a first pitch, 9th inning grand slam to all but seal the deal for the M's in Toronto. Please Seattle, keep him in the grand plan for the team of the future, add some more ace pitching, hone the defense and we'll see what the rookies can do down the road.
09-19-2005 07:48 PM
Eric Hey, what's the story at Neah Bay and the Swiftsure bank regarding salmonids other than Coho? Were the Pink, Chum and Chinook runs at normal levels, or were they as far off as the Coho? Is there any bait? Is the fishery poor just at Neah Bay or does the poor fishing extend to Vancouver Island (east and west) as well? How about Sequim environs?

Down here, the fish have been sporadically coming in to the Alsea. Run (Chinook) seems small and late. There is no bait to speak of, particularly when compared to last year, when the Bay was full of Northern Anchovies. The Silver (Coho) run has not started for the adults, but there are a few jacks around, visible mainly at low tide as they arc out into our Indian Summer air.

Sea Run Cutthroat are very hard to find, although I've heard reports that nearby creeks have had good numbers of fish entering.

One more question: does this sub Forum include estuary fishing for salmon, steelhead, and trout or does this topic belong in another forum? Seems odd to lump the estuary fishing for snook in with cutthroats.

Seems like a poor year all around though. I'm leaving for Kodiak Island next week and hope to find things better there, although weir counts have been dismal.

Petri heil,

09-19-2005 03:17 PM
Originally Posted by juro
Whats the opinion on Sexon? Everytime I tune into the highlights he's swatting one out.
I think that Sexson has done more for the M's than they had any right to expect. Especially coming off a prolonged injury. He should give us around 40 HRs and 120 RBI this season. I think that the M's were optimistically looking for about 25-30HR & 100RBI.

As for 3rd base though, the curse lives on. Beltre is performing almost exactly on par with his career average if you exclude 2004 but he cost the M's ($11.4million this year) as much as a player who should always put up numbers like his anomolous 2004 season .

At least Cirillo is off the books. 2 more years and Spezio will be too. Woohoo!

09-19-2005 02:02 PM
juro Whats the opinion on Sexon? Everytime I tune into the highlights he's swatting one out.
09-19-2005 12:38 PM
Originally Posted by Moonlight
But Betnacourt is a jewel that will be great to watch for many years to come if Felix is to be King then Betnacourt must be the Prince.
Franklin & Meche can be the court jesters.

While it is now the time to give up on the Coho run, it is not the time to give up on Felix. In his short time up, he has pitched among the best several games of the M's season. His recovery the other day, when he got in early trouble, was pretty impressive. Tough day for him in Texas though. Hard to sneak a fastball past a team that has 7 jokers with 20+ long balls on the season.

09-19-2005 11:22 AM
Moonlight In all fairness to the kid the ump made several really key mistakes on 3 strikes and Beltre while not making an error did not make a routine play on a ground ball both situations extended three and out of a jam that got the rally extended into scoring.
But Betnacourt is a jewel that will be great to watch for many years to come if Felix is to be King then Betnacourt must be the Prince.
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