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Washington Bluewater Report

1642 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  skyrise
Okay, so it's not steelhead fishing, but I think I finally O.D.'d on my local rivers (at least temporarily) and needed a break. A buddy invited me to go out into Big Blue off Westport, and even though I'm a land-lubbing river addict, I agreed with 8-weight in hand and a stomach full of dramamine. We ended up having to go 27 miles offshore to find fish, but jeez, once we found 'em, it was nuts. Started with gear, but after awhile, the fish were so thick I broke out the fly rod. And what do you know--the silvers love chartreuse clousers. I just cast upwind, let it sink, then stripped it in as fast as possible. Pretty cool--you could actually watch 'em chase it in. I can see this could be addictive, too. Anyway, on one cast, I was retrieving the fly and an enormous shadow appeared behind it. At a distance, I thought "Big King," but then it kept getting bigger and I started to get worried. As the fly drew closer to the boat, I could see dorsal and tail above water, and finally got a good look at a six foot blue shark, homing in on the little clouser. I paused the retrieve, and in clear view, the shark rolled on his side and sucked it in. I set the hook, and he continued to swim at a very leisurely pace, so I reeled up my extra line, and put a little heat on him. What a joke. The instant he felt the pressure, there was a giant explosion and he took off, half out of the water, for the horizon. What a run--when I could see the spool, all I could do was grab the spool, point the rod and say goodbye. Great take though, and a pretty cool experience. Well, that's this steelheader's report from way out there in the big water. I'm ready to do it again as soon as my knees recover--it was a pretty rough ride in over the bar. Lots of fun.
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Boy now that sounds like fun! The open ocean has so many treats for those who go to see the sea. Wish you had my 12# rod and Billy Pate reel with you. It just sits in my basement collecting dust. Blue sharks have become a big flyfishing treat back in the Cape Cod Bay area from what I hear with guide trips just for the fly rodder in mind. No dought it could catch on here as well.

Man, on an 8wt??? WOW, puts my horsehead seal episode to shame }>

I've fished the Wesport area, particularly later in the year when the Satsop silvers are running the north channel on the incoming tide rips. At that point we're talking high teens with a couple twenties!

These predators must be focused on candlefish to take a chartruese clouser. I'll tie a few long-shank deep eels and mail them out for all you saltchuckers to test... better yet I'll hand carry them.
When are you going to be out this way?
Sinktip and me would love to show you our new mode of river transportation!
I'm not sure yet but this fall I have several things to juggle...

Boneclave, PNW clave, Carolina Clave, Rhodyfest, Outerlimits, etc. Since I do mostly east coast SWFF (because I live here) I will probably focus on other regions with the few vacation days I have.

Boneclave is a sure thing, PNW is for the soul, Carolina has been long-awaited, Rhody is awesome and we missed the outerlimits last year (and this year we have more 4x4 passes).

I'll have to sort all this out.
October Caddis (07-11-2001 12:10 p.m.):
When are you going to be out this way?
Sinktip and me would love to show you our new mode of river transportation!
I hope that does not mean that you and Duggan invested in a sled and our now going to be freedrifting eggs and corking all of us bank maggots...

Ryan -

There is a spot on a COlumbia trib where we would hit fish at three times during the day - first light, dusk, and 10am - just after the sled traffic got out of control as people shifted locations by buzzing by this one run. The fish that were stationed in the deep channel would come over to our side when the sled traffic got heavy and we would hit them in bright sunshine or rain. The sledders would always see us hooked up of course, and over time the "fly guys" gained some respect from being hooked up while the boats were off coming their morning drifts. Kinda funny of you think about it, the sleds made that late morning action possible!

My .02 on sleds - great on some rivers, wrong on others. Some of the ire you hear on the banks is a little misplaced IMHO.
Nice to know you may come out this Fall. Hope our season is not shut down due to what looks like a very dry Summer and that means low water and high river temps.
You are one busy person, between your family, job, website and conclaves do you ever get a chance just to sit on your couch and watch a Red Soxs game? Checking out the saltwater site and reading about all your activities gets me so tired I have to leave work and go fishing.

Yes Sunktip and myself went and purchased a used sled. We got it over on the Snake River from the tour guide service. The Jet boat is 47 feet long has 800 HP jet engine and has a hard top canopy to cast from. We plan on using it on the Sky to compensate for those new jet sleds that some Redmond WA guide service are using, they got to be 30 feet long and don't belong on the Sky. Sinktip has already installed a 6 foot long stainless steel Steelhead out over the bow for extra ram power. Once we have taken care of the job mentioned above we plan on using it for tow-in surfing along the Sky and Skagit. The boat has a 3 to 4 foot wake, that's Hawaiian 3 to 4 foot and should provide for hours of fun for all. This wake will provide for surf fishing from shore just like they have on the outer Cape beaches.
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That spot really can't be talked about anymore in public. It is getting a lot of pressure due to the web. I drove up yesterday morning, 5:30 2 cars at the "point", 5 guys in the cobble(top to bottom including alders), and 1 in the "hot slot". All these guys were ffer's, from what I have been told someone has been spouting off on the web whenever a fish is caught or a grab is felt.
Andre -

5 in the cobble on a weekday??? That's sad, but I guess it was inevitable. I'll be cautious about mentioning it for sure, just in case.

The irony is that it's only beginning to be understood by flyguys. There is an infinite number of possibilities there that are never tested. I sampled more than the average, and in those days there were never many others fishing it, but I feel that I touched less than .01% of the good flywater there.

It's too bad people are like lemmings. The best part of fishing is discovery, and exploration leads to it. There are few if any crowds off the beaten path and if lucky plenty of fish.

Maybe it's time to start visiting the "other" spot an hour closer to you. I'm sure there are chromers laying in the run as we speak. Give me a rainy day and a purple fly and I'll put some money on the barrellhead between now (down there near the bridge) and late October (upriver).

You would not believe the new water I found last weekend. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Similar situation - used to be a honey-hole, got too crowded due to tourists, recon mode... B-I-N-G-O! Striped bass in saltwater but same concept.

Man I miss being there to find some new water with you guys!
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Very sad that now days if you want to do some exploring on foot on the Sky or Stilly, you better watch out for the no tresspassing signs. The parking spot at Proctor creek now is full of them. And for a while some one tried to put up a fence to block the trail. Seems like alot of my old walk in areas are not so friendly any more. People buy river front property and then they think that means ownership of the whole river. Until theres a flood then its "bail me out".
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