We got into some nice fish and were lucky to keep a couple chromers! Couldn’t have asked for better weather and very few people around us was a bonus. Fall fishing should only get better.
Today I went down to the Oregon coast to seek out some bright Coho, and Chinook Salmon. I found a bunch of them. We fished the Trask river, just this side of Tillamook, and the fishing was great for the fly rod. I went with my buddy Steve, and again I had to show him how it was done. Steve spotted the first fish of the day, on a quick stop along the side of the road to pee, he looked down and saw two nice Chinook. We got our gear together and went in for the slaughter. It took abit of time to get things in order and to start getting into the rhythm needed to successfully fish. After about 15 minutes worth of warm up time, we started hooking up. I got into four fish in the first hour, and Steve hit into two. That was the last I heard from Steve almost the rest of the day, but I had just begun. We headed up river, and found another location, where we could see fish. We got the gear out again, and now it was really time to start hooking up. In the next five hours, I hooked approximately 20 fish or more, landed about 11, and Steve touched one, and got another one to the bank. Tough day on the Steve man!!!. It was a great day, and the best was the 35 pound Chinook on the 8 weight fly rod and 10 pound test. Here are the pics from today. Steve is holding the one that he was able to bring to the beach, the rest are the ones I talked into giving up. We did not retain any of these fish, for they were all natives.
Good luck out there!!
Well as many of you know, the limits and river access on the Situk have been cut back, due to a lack of Sockeye over the weir. The kings are thick in the river now, but still no sign of them opening the river for kings. Today though I flew out from Yakutat Lodge to the Akwe river. The kings are arriving there in good numbers, and the Sockeye’s and the Dolly Varden are thick. Matt and I guided six gentlemen to the Akwe today, and the fishing and the catching were non stop. Although only two large kings were landed, there were others hooked and lost. There were five Sockeye’s caught, without even fishing for them. The guys were also able to land around 100 Dolly Varden. Here is a pic of the 30 pounder, and a pic of the rest.
Not a bad 5 hours.
The wind is blowing, the snow is falling, and my partner and I are heading down to the boat launch for the first time of the year from the Yakutat Lodge. You may think the boat is full of fishing gear and clients. You couldn’t be more mistaken. In the boat today is materials for fixing the tent camp, which is a small wood frame cabin about 5 miles down the river. The cabin is used by fisherman every season to utilize as much of the river for fishing as possible. Most who use the cabin will float and fish the top five miles, then stay in the cabin for the night. In the morning they will then float and fish the remainder of the river. Doing this enables an angler to really fish the entire river without having to hurry down. The cabin is mainly used for Steelhead season. We have extra sleeping bags, coleman stove and lanterns, batteries for the electric starter on the kerosene stove, and of course all the staples for camping, including salt, pepper, coffee, butter, and pots, pans, and silverware. Though these things are certainly important for the clients using the tent camp, you have to be able to get to the tent camp. This is where the wood eaters come into play. Along for the ride is a Stihl 026, and a Stihl 066 chainsaw. Without these companions along for the journey, you wouldn’t make it very far. As we make the first turn down stream I am waiting to see the first of many obstructions left behind by the violent winter storms that sweep through the area on a regular basis. Every thing looks good, and I think maybe this year it will be clear and I won’t have to cut my way through. Now we have made it through some of the worst area’s and I am feeling confident. We make it to the tent camp without a hitch. With the tent camp cleaned up and ready for the first guests of the year, we head down to the area of one of the worst log jams on the river. I am praying that it washed out over the winter, I am wrong. As we come around the corner I can see there is no way through. Eventhough the jet boat operators have cut the logs above the water, leaving only the logs left just under the water. The jet boats have the ability to slide right over the top of these submerged logs, our drift boats are not so equipped. So as we come up to the hemlock tree that was ironically toppled by one of the resident beavers, we drop the anchor and asses the situation. I get out of the boat and call for the 026 saw. Not being a big tree I assumed this saw would do the trick. The log is situated about 10″Saw under water in a fairly slow moving section, allowing me to get out and stand in the water with the log. I started in and within seconds the water had the Stihl screaming for more power. So with that I grabbed the big boy 066. The power of this saw is incredible, and water doesn’t slow it down a bit. A couple minutes later 3 sections of the tree are floating away through the current and we now have a opening to drift on through. We were very lucky this year. I only had to cut this one log from the float. and the rest of the river was wide open. now you know what takes place before you arrive to drift the Situk river. Here are a few more pics and a little video.
Well I have given what I promised, but I know what you really want. STEELHEAD.
Here they are! I spent about 2 hours on the lower end this evening, and hooked up with some real nice fish.As I was fishing the a run with about ten fish in it, a couple of fisherman I has helped out earlier that day. When they got to area I was at, I had already landed two nice fish and was working on my third, The bite had slowed for about 20 casts, so I asked the guys if they wanted to toss in their bobbers and jigs and see what happened. I was sure it would not be to long before they would hook up. About 10 casts later the first on was hooked up, and he landed a nice spring fish. Not to much after that the other guy got into one, but the button came undone before he got any real fight out of it. I knew that the fish had turned off from my fly that was drifted along the bottom, and I also knew that they would bite a suspended jig sent down in front of them. I also knew that if they could hook a few, that would be my ticket to getting more myself. Once the two fish were hooked up, I saw the group make a big circle and start darting in and out of the seam. They were riled up and ready for action again. As soon as the button came out of the second one, they politely excused them self’s, asked if the next run was a good bet, I said it was (And it was, I hooked one there after they went through) and with a thank you and a invitation to buy me dinner (Which I may just take them up on) they headed on down river. Soon after they walked away I hooked a tail jerker (A fish that runs into your hook and gets stuck in the tail) I pulled him in and released without a picture(Just not fair to get a pic of a fouled fish). Minutes later I was hooked up with a biter. Landing that fish and hooking three more, I left these fish to them self’s and heading on down. As I went on down I was able to land another chrome spring Steelie and then it was over. I headed back for dinner and now I think about the ones I didn’t get. I will see them tomorrow up river. HAHAHAHA
Well it seems that Eastern Washington has a few secrets to hold. I spent the last four days fishing for Rainbows, Browns, and Tiger trout out of a pantoon boat with my dog in tow. There is a gathering at Lake Lenice every year for the opening weekend of trout season in Washington. This was my first shot at fishing in this manner, and I have to say I was more than skeptical. Being from the background of fishing moving water, this still water fishing can be an intimidating task for a Steelheader. Along with the still water comes the light line, the light rods and reels, and most of all the small number 14 and 16 hooks. To a Steelheader this is like microscopic surgery. The first morning was the start of several surprises to come over the next few days. First of all I was up and ready to fish at 6 AM, the rest of the crew slept until 8 AM. I couldn’t understand what the heck was taking so long, so I headed over to my photographers trailer, (Brian Woobank) to see what the hold up was. After waking him I was shocked to see him roll over and seeing the clock reading just 7:30, he just rolled over and said “the hatch won’t start for another few hours, go back to bed”. I couldn’t understand this, but I just waited to see what the rest of the day would bring. After a reasonably good breakfast of sausage, eggs, toast and coffee, we were on our way to the lake. The walk to the lake is a fairly short 10 minutes from the camp. Making the camping area off the banks of the lake make it alot less accessible and leave it open for fisherman to find a good spot to fish, even when it’s busy. We geared up with waders, flippers and pantoon boats and headed into the lake. The fly of choice is the chrominid,which is a pupi stage of a mesquito. Not a big lake in size, it offers some very large browns and Tigers, with the rainbows reaching about the 28 inch mark. The first day I spent 3 hours on the lake from 9 to 12 with no luck at all. So I headed back to camp and had some nice camp style hot dogs for lunch and relaxed for about an hour before heading back out to try again. At this time I was sure that this was not for me. As I walked down the trail to the lake I started thinking that I fish for Steelhead and that’s just a big trout. So upon getting to the lake, I scanned to bank line and made a decision to fish in a spot that I had seen another fisherman in earlier. The other fisherman was Capt. Larry from Pacific Yacht Instruction and guide services. Knowing that he must know what he was doing, I decided that it looked fishy and so I paddled over and dropped the anchor. Working with the smaller gear was a bit of a challenge at first, but within an hour I was on it and doing fairly well. Within ten minutes my indicator went under, and I lifted up on my first ever bow on a chromonid. I expected to just bring this fish to the boat no problem, but another surprise hit me when this bow took half my line before I even knew what happened. I had to play him with kid gloves and be very gentle, or the 2# test I was using would snap with just the slightest bit over tension on the line. I landed that fish and 6 others the first day out, this was the third surprise, I didn’t think this could grab me the way it has, and I will now start my studying of the world of trout and bug fishing.
Stay tuned for what the second day brought………………………………..