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Could An Excellent Winter-Run Season Await Us???

1401 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  sinktip
Well, I heard of a winter-run caught out of a Skykomish tributary today and for the past two weeks, they are in the daily catch of the guides on Quinault and Salmon Rivers. And rumor has it a couple have been pulled out of the Bogachiel.

It is not uncommon to see 1 or 2 brats caught around Halloween but to have this many, is unusual and very very encouraging. Some people might contend that they could be late summer-runs but these fish are mint bright and Ive seen a couple pictures of them and they have that shorter caudual pedunctle (sp?) that is an easily determining factor between summers and winters.

Are you planning on making a trip out this way this Spring?
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Shhhhh.... don't tell my better half }>

Yes, I sure hope so. I hope the Skagit/Sauk is open for C&R.

I recall a mint bright, scales falling off, sea lice holding winter hatchery hen that went nuts when hooked on November 6th on the Snoqualmie one morning on a black bunny rat. I hooked and lost another before moving on. I've got a picture I'll have to dig up, it also looked like it had a netmark on it's shoulder from squirming through a gill net. I'll post the pictures.

I stated earlier rumor has it there will be a spring c&r season on the Skagit/Suak. I have heard that the biologist has recommended there be a season. It is now up to the powers that be to follow through with the recommendation. I heard some of the specifics but, forget them now. There will be some differences from past seasons. Less water open to fish is what I do remember but, I can't say specifically what that means.

Keep your fingers crossed. Maybe someone else has heard more than I.

There's an early winter run on the the Tillamook streams (Miami, Kilchis) that comes in with the chums. There aren't very many, but they are definitely there. What's really weird in that they'll lie right in the middle of a school of chums -- you'll be hooking chums and all of a sudden, lightning will strike. Just when you're thinking what great battlers chums are (and they are), an ocean-bright, gleaming screaming winter-run will show you what it's really all about.

Wow. I'm getting all excited just sitting here thinking about it. Better get back to test reports.

Well guys thoes with nearby wild fish can take joy in a good winter return. Here is Southwest Washington our rivers will be full of the worst steelhead on the planet well ok second worst. After all no steelhead is worse that the Skumania stock summer runs.
Our hatchery winter runs come in the East lewis and Washougal in late November in small numbers then peak between Christmas and mid Jan. They are all cookie cutter 6-8lbs with no agressive tendencies at all. Though it's a great time to be out with a spey rod 90 days in the past 3 winters has not yet yielded a single strike.
I hope other hatchery winter stocks make better sport with a fly than our mutants. Guess i'll be driving to the penninsula more this year. I really hope for a season on the Skagit also, as long as the Sauk is open from Darrington to the mouth.
I am hearing a possible Sauk/Skagit season as well. Also hearing that nothing definitive will be announced until after the WDFW Commission hears public testimony on statewide C & R. I am quite sure that Gibbons, et. al., are savvy enough to know they don't want to stoke the fires before the testimony.

Have also heard a rumor that mis-information about a possible Skagit season was put out just to placate the C&R crowd and keep the numbers down at the testimony. Come December 9th, we then hear that "escapements were not met....yada yada yada" Sounds like a conspiracy theory but hey, in the name of harvest??????

Keeping my fingers crossed.

Come the middle of March, I know where I will be. Parked on the OP. Having our local rivers closed during the C&R season is very tough on me just because I do not have time to get away. I work all weekend and go to school all week.

But my $.02 on the Skagit/Sauk season may irritate a few of you because I think that if the Sky and the NF Stilly are closed what kind of pressure will that put on the Skagit and the Sauk? It may be in our best interest to have everthing closed to prevent what would be a large influx of people onto that river system.

But at the same time though, during last spring, the OP was not overrun with fisherman as we thought would happen. In fact is a very typical year, pressure wise. So maybe the same thing will happen with the Skagit and Sauk. People who normally dont fish that system still will not, even if they do not have the Sky and the Stilly to fish.

I am still undecided if I would or would not fish the Skagit and Sauk if the Sky and the NF Stilly were closed. I guess I would have to wait to hear reports on the pressure the rivers are recieving. Not because I am trying to put myself on a higher moral ground (i.e. adding to the pressure) but because I just do not think I could handle fishing amongst so many other people.

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Ryan, Ryan, Ryan,

How could you not go back up to the Sauk? After all, you had such a memorable trip last time. (I won't go there though) :)

Hey, interesting input on the OP pressure and what did and didn't materialize. My guess is that there will be many NF and Sky regulars that will go north given the chance. Heck, I will be one of them.

Don't apologize for taking the high ground, it shows maturity of thought. Personally, I think that new 9140 is calling out for a Sauk trip. Of course you better get it broke in on a Sky chum or two first.

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