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Old 01-26-2006, 09:59 AM
harley harley is offline
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Information for the Nooksack River WA.

Good Day:
Would someone be willing to part with a little information about Fly Fishing on the Nooksack River WA.-I live In Abbotsford BC and thought that it would be nice to see some new scenery but I do not know anything about the area-is there some where that I could request maps that would show access points-I have been told that there are 3 fish hatcheries on the different arms of the river and that also would be nice to visit- I am only interested in catch and release angling. Thank You in advance for any information that you are willing to part with.
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Old 01-26-2006, 03:08 PM
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SteelheadKid SteelheadKid is offline
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Location: Skagit River
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Give me a call. 360-913-0233 if you want someone to show you around the river. I was just up there today doing looking around at the changes after the high water. I will be up there Saturday morning.

Although all species of Salmon migrate the Nooksack river (including river spawning sockeye) these are where you want to focus for specific species.

For winter steelhead (native and hatchery) you want to focus on the North Fork or Main stem but can be found in every creek and fork in the river system.

For summer run steelhead you want to focus on the south fork, but they can be found in every creek in every fork on the river.

For chinook you want to focus on the mainstem in fall for legal fishing, however the North Fork has recently had phenominal returns of springers, but currently the natives are FEDERALLY protected and targeting them even for catch and release can land you a hefty fine possibly jail time. However, I have caught my share of them in early summer fishing for summer-run and rebright native spring steelhead. These fish are mostly 5-year fish averaging 25-30lbs and the water is VERY swift even in low summer currents, so there is no fooling a fish and game officer walking down to the river with a 10wt rod and 25lb leader claiming to be targeting steelhead :P

Hatchery coho are fished for well in the main stem and south fork but natives run up every single fork and creek that feeds the Nooksack system.

As far as finding fishing spots, good luck, wading half a dozen old dead channels and hiking miles at a time just to get to fishable water is normal, spend some time or find someone who fishes it often. The river is lined with properties owned by angry old men. Buy a map and start at the bridges, there is plenty of good wadable water with some of the most picture perfect holes and seams near the Mosquito Lake Road bridge over the north fork. This same road goes over the middle and south forks and is only about 5 miles long. A great way to see all 3 forks.

There is good water at the walk-in at the North Fork hatchery, a few pullouts on the 542 hwy for the NF, and some good pullouts at the South fork on hwy 9.

The main stem has good wadable water from the North/South fork confluence down, but a pontoon boat is the ticket in this area.

Good luck if you ever come down to fish it. The river changes itself often, and sometimes can rearrange itself drastically up to a dozen times a year. It's a blast to fly fish and is my favorite steelhead and salmon river I have EVER fished. It blows out when all other rivers are running clear and clears up when other rivers are blown out and blows out when all other rivers blow out and confuses me to this day when it will be fishable. The North/Middle/South fork never run the same clarity and the North/South forks are usually running the exact opposite as far as visibility.

I won't disclose any secret holes on this board, but i'll show you a few good spots not on the map if you are ever in the area.

Have fun!
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