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· Steelhead-a-holic
595 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, Tyler and I decided to give the Sauk and Skagit a full day of effort to see if the runs were beginning to show as rumors had suggested.

We fished the Sauk below the Suiattle bridge, the Chapel Run, and the Mixer. Tyler had a fish grab in the Sauk and I had something nipping at my black GP out in the main current in the tailout of the same pool, but that was it. The depressing news is that, even though there are a few more fish in the systems, this year was a real bust for the spring natives. Guys will tell you, "Yeah, I caught a fish . . . last month".

One regular at Howard Miller was happy that he got one For The Season! The way it's going, that seems to be the criteria for success. That's scary to me - good years anglers average a fish every couple days and at least a hookup very day when water conditions are good.

Most of the people I know that have spent serious time on the water have averaged 5 fish "on" and caught 1 or 2 for the season. As Sinktip mentioned, this is tough fishing. I can only hope that the rest of the natives show up in May and spawn unmolested. I'm really past caring if I get a chance to swing a fly over them now - I just want them to spawn!

A few more seasons like this one and we might be looking at an Endangered Species listing for our favorite Spring gamefish.

Hey Luis - how much is a ticket to South America???

· Registered
1,115 Posts
I was hopeful that you and Tyler would strike gold up north. I too had heard the rumors and thought, well, maybe they are just late. I really hope so and I second your sentiment on spawning. I guess we will know in 2-3 years. Might be time to start saving for that bonefish trip I always wanted. Bones in 2003, here I come.

For what its worth, the Sky has been no better. Stole out twice this week before work (ok, ok, yeah, so I went in a couple hours late) and not even a bump to show for it. I even tried enticing them with the venerable Bunny Rat but no takers. Will give it one last shot on Sunday but hope is fading.

Heres hoping for some summer runs!
(but for all the good they did me, I should change my nick to Floater)

· Premium Member
19,140 Posts
In the scope of things, that encounter I enjoyed with a bright Skagit fish now means even more than it did that day. At first it was a much-wanted photo op. I savored the thought as it's nickel bright flanks flashed in the pool. Then as I continued to hang on as it ran around the pool, I felt a deep feeling of continuity in that I have yet to return to the PNW without at least hooking a steelhead. On some fall trips I landed several. Then, like the notion of plentiful native runs, it was gone; an indellible icon of the mystery and defiance of the species in my memory forever.

Although I am honored to have had the encounter under such circumstances, it would be much better to have been skunked when the runs are in good health.

So -

Who is monitoring the returns? What means of measurement do they use (redd counts, etc?) Any information on-line?

· Registered
206 Posts
>Hey Luis - how much is a ticket to South America???

Hi Doublespey:
Sorry to hear about the declines you mentioned. Seems like runs of wild steelhead and atlantic salmon are both headed the wrong way; almost like we've gone through the point of no return. I hope mother nature has a few good surprises in store for us yet.

I know it was a rhetorical question, but <g>... flights to Buenos Aires range from U$S700 to U$S1,500 return. Then you need a local flight to the real south (Patagonia) for a further U$S400/500 return.
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