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Living the Thompson Legacy

2021 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  juro
<i>[from the upcoming article, images may take a minute to load...]</i>

I once thought that rivers became legendary because of the great men who fished them. I now know that some rivers are in themselves legendary, and it's the men who fish them that keep them so. The Thompson is one such river.

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Brother Tyler with a solid Thompson Buck</font><!--1--></center>

Thanks to Tyler and Brian, Bill and I got to sample the Thompson's Legacy. The experience was incredible.

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Brother Bill with his first fly-caught steelhead</font><!--1--></center>

I am currently working on an article worthy of this epic trip... please check back as I progress on it.

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An elated author</font><!--1--></center>

Heck I just got back yesterday... and I'm still smiling. I probably will be for a long time... until I return.

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Now thats Fishin.I have to get up there one of these days.
I am going to the Salmon river in november,but it just is not the same.

Great pics of some great fishermen and some outstanding fish. I'm really looking forward to the article. Sorry we didn't get a chance to hook up on Sunday. Sounds like you had a great pilgramage west though.

Tight lines --
Very nice, Juro - You got the fish and kept your head (in the pic, i mean). Beautiful shots, all.

BTW, did my little Cow hen turn out?


Brian (aka DoubleSpey)
Brian -

Got some great shots from that morning, including a classic one of the fish w-a-a-a-y down the pool on it's tail slapping runs. I didn't even get thru one roll on the scanner last night, I was falling asleep at the terminal as it was.

I would have loved to capture that image of you on the Y-pool on the "T" with that fresh arrival at the head of the pool pounding the rapids like someone throwing cinder blocks into the water... your rod doubled over to the side as I watched from 100 yards away. I need a waterproof camera with telephoto lens!

Thanks for the inspiration to make the pilgrimage to the Thompson. Come on out to the Cape next year and we'll take care of you like last year!

Aaahhhhh - don't sweat it with the pics- I'm just jealous 'cause you guys got some of the best shots of Thompson steelies I've seen!

I think I can speak for Tyler when I say it was a real treat sharing a place very special to us both with you and Bill.

I read another email from a "Tom" - member of the Washington [email protected] - who was on the Thompson the same weekend without a hookup. He was complaining about the pressure from all the Totems flyclub, etc.

I guess it's a combination of great company, good luck, and a generous river! It's certainly a trip I'll remember for a long time.

tight lines!

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As I said, I'm glad you could make it out and that the fish co-operated! Like Brian said its way cool to be able to share a special place...

I got my pictures back today, now if I could figure out how to post them I could show you a totally focussed guy stumbling over the greasy boulders at the Spur Bar chasing his first Thompson Steelhead. You looked great!

Well I need to get back to planning for this weekend's pilgrimmage back to the "T".

Tight lines - tyler.
Tyler, "T" river god! Simple thank you's won't do for sharing the wonders of your stomping grounds with us. When I showed up with my carbide studs and freshly gnawed beaver wading staff, I thought I was rigged for bear. As we rigged up I didn't take your guffaw seriously but graciously accepted the use of a "real" wading staff anyway. When I got to the river I thought to myself... "where did they get all this butter?". My gluts got a workout while my legs were trying to hold onto the angled boulder tops by the arches of my boots with the current slapping me around. I always tried to look like I was in control but spent most of my wading hours on the edge of a major tumble and swim.

The diversity was part of the thrill, and the largeness of everything in the valley was only matched by the steelhead and the spirits of the people who pursued them. Although only a day and a half, it was an epic visit to one of the incredible places this planet has to offer and I hope I can return the favor to you someday.

Meanwhile, I will sit here at work JEALOUS as hell! I look forward to the next rabid steelheader's convention with great anticipation.

Brian - you were right, the place haunts those who fish it.


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Awesome is the only word I can use to describe those beautiful pics and fish. Ya know, I have gotten bit by the Steelhead bug......a few years back, a friend took me to the Salmon River for Steelhead. Obviously, a very different situation than West Coast stuff,,,,,,,I hooked 3 Steelies on 4 casts !! I only landed one but it was a nice fish in the 12 lb. range. I am planning to be in the Syracuse area in November with Steve Fish to try again......

I recently read some articles on California Steelhead and Oregon Steelies and they really have me jazzed up to make the trek......My business will probably take me to Oregon and California in the next year and I was wondering if anyone has had experience in either of these fisheries ?

Thanks for any suggestions !
John -

The big difference between great lakes and west coast is topwater. Even when not using a skater or dry, the call is for dry lines. In other words, we move fish to the fly, instead of moving the fly in the fish's face. Of course this is due to the summer run, which G/L guys know as "Skamania". That's actually the name of a county in Washington State along the Columbia river, and the name given to a strain of hardy summer runs introduced to withstand the non-glacial NY river temps / conditions. I am sure you could move NY summer runs to a fly in Sept/Oct - but the profusion of salmon would make it harder.

I'll refrain from passing judgement on using flygear to cast the weight of slinkies or lead, straight running lines to meet local regulations in select river stretches, stationary pounding of one spot (no progression through the pool), and other Great Lakes techniques. Having caught both, I will say the ones that go to sea are much stronger fighters. I guess I would too if I had gone several thousand miles of tidewater running from orca, sea lions, and birds of prey. But I said I wouldn't pass judgement

CA's North Coast has some steelhead fishing, once great but I am not certain of current status. These rivers include the Smith River, Trinity River, Mad River, Klamath River, Eel River and the Russian River. All rivers of great lore. I exchanged email with someone a long time ago, I'll dig up his address and see what he has to say.

Eric Bigler is a Deschutes River regular and if you're thinking about OR steelhead it's a must to chat with him. If you read the posts of others on this board you'll see there are some true steelhead schauzers all of whom can provide sage advice on the ever-elusive yet incredibly satisfying summer steelhead.

CA is not nearly the opportunity that OR, WA or better yet BC is. There are a couple rivers north of the Bay area with steelhead and salmon, but you're lowering the odds significantly playing here. It's sad to think that once steelhead were found as far south as Mexico. Then again there was a king salmon commercial fishery on the shores of downtown seattle where 50 pound fish were common... this fishery did not involve any boats! Glory days are gone... but as long as there are wild steelhead I have faith that things can be right in the world.

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Thanks for the the way, since when do you refrain from anything !! Really, I refuse to use the running lines and slinky's........I stick with a straight floating line (7 and 8 wts) and will use nymphs and marabou streamers etc just because of my feeling towards the other methods (although some swear by it) Down the road, I would love to get to Washington and BC. Those pics easily compare to a Tunoid blitz at your feet on a Rhody Beach !!

Thanks again !

Wow guys, nice going. Beautiful fish, fresh and bright and BIG. You started to tell us the story but tell us all of the next level of details that make up a trip like that. We have to commit to a 'clave some year and get Gregg and John and Nate and ourselves out to the steelie rivers. That would be a 'clave !

Hey, Juro, fantastic! Can't wait for the full review of your exploits on the Thompson. Great pictures; beautiful fish -- proud and happy anglers


November 29th... still smilin'!
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