A trip down the Skykomish
The latest from the Sky . . . .
4 of us (Tyler from BC, Jeff Johnson, & Jeff's friend Jim) hit the Sky in search of Steelhead on Sunday for a full-day float between Sultan and Lewis Street. The forecast was for nice and warm, but the reality was F*%*ing Cold and Windy. Water temp was around 38 degrees, and when I accidentally dunked my hand it actually felt *warmer* than the air.
We put in at Sultan around 8am. The lot was packed with jetboat trailers and the Cracker Bar lined with guys chucking corkies & bait. We threaded our way thru and floated past 3 more driftboats and about 6-7 more bank anglers before getting to Taylor Flats. Not a driftboat in sight, but the Two Bit riffle (our first stop) had 5 jetboats and several driftrigs plying it when we arrived.
We decided to fish it anyway and spread out thru the riffle. Tyler took the tail of the riffle and was soon booming out casts into the center of the river. Some jetboaters anchored on the far side (plug plunking) were enjoying watching the show when Tyler lets out a "Fish ON". Sure enuf . . . rod tip's wiggling and there's definitely life on the other end. He drags in a nice "Golden Native" (sucker) hooked in the back. Then, to top it off, he catches another about 5 minutes later Hooked in the Mouth!
Tyler offered to share his spot with the rest of us, but we declined and proceeded downriver.
All the next runs were occupied, so we continued on to Thunderbird. Water was clear and low and nobody touched anything there, so off to the Island pools.
Here's where we experienced the highlight of our trip - Jeff's BBQ. Our intrepid "guide" Jeff Johnson has decided he's going to break out the Coleman stove and grill up some steaks and potatoes for lunch. This was quite a hit with the "clients" and certainly the highlight of our trip. No fish in the Island, so off to IRS.
I decided to explore and left the main pool to Jeff and his friend(& virgin steelheader) Jim. I'd hiked above and was fishing some nice water when I heard a familiar sound and looked up to see Bob Schmelzle motoring upriver (the familiar sound was my old MercJet powering his rig). He'd fished the lower runs w/o a touch - I think we both got the feeling this wasn't going to be a terribly productive day.
We passed Hershey (Bob had motored downriver and snagged it first) and finished in Buck Island. The head and tail were still good, but the slack area in the middle of this run was useless, especially in this low water (it was about 2300cfs when we floated). We floated out at dusk and ended up dragging the boat out of the Lewis Street launch in full darkness.
We did hear from 1 guy chucking corkies who'd released a small native up near Two-Bit that morning, but that was the only action we'd heard of all day. There must have been a recent push of hatchery fish, tho, 'cause I've never seen that much pressure on the river in mid February!