Fishing Blog primarily about fly fishing in the UK and USA. The objective is to promote the gentle art of casting the fly and catching beautiful fish. The author although a qualified fly fishing instructor with 40 years experience does not teach commercially but likes teaching and promoting fly fishing as a hobby.
Wednesday, 3 July 2013
STEELHEAD ACTION ON THE SKYKOMISH
decorating nearly complete and already two thirds of the way through my six
weeks here in WA, USA I was starting to get desperate to catch something worth
boasting about, so I decided to have a go for summer steelhead.Lonnie had shown me the car park by (the) Big
Eddy just up the Reiter Road Junction on State Route 2. So I paid a visit on the 2nd July
with my fly rod.Near the road bridge
the water was ripping through and the Big Eddy was in full swing.I followed Lonnie’s advice and walked up
river pass the following sign and along the bolder-strewn beach, close to the
I think I had read somewhere that if you were
in the water you weren’t trespassing!
There was a lot of water coming down and I wished I had checked the river flows web site before I drove the forty miles! So I moved upstream and when I got
above the white water I waded out and had a few casts.It immediately became clear that:-
1.My nine foot eight weight rod was not really man
enough for the job of launching a sink tip and a steelhead fly as far as I
wanted it to go.
2.I really needed a wading stick.
3.I should probably have a pfd (personal
floatation device) on.
4.I had forgotten anything I ever knew about spey
casting (and all the American derivatives, snap T, circle C etc).
I was also
concerned that I was not getting the fly deep enough, but I had no idea of what
deep enough was.Anyway after an hour
or so I chickened out and went exploring.
I decided to
try and find the steelhead hatchery which I had been told was just upstream of
where I was fishing (and confirmed the night before using good old Goggle
So I drove
up Reiter Road and just as I was about to give up I came across all these
vehicles parked up at the gate of the hatchery.I walked through the gates and there was one
of the amazing phenomena of fishing in the US a sign inviting you to fish at
the hatchery where all the returning fish congregate!
I walked the bank, spoke to a few friendly guys and checked out their techniques.They were all gear fishermen spinning, float
fishing and plunking! I watched for an hour, apparently some fish had been caught earlier but now things seemed to have gone
That night I
dug out an old telescopic spinning rod and some spinners and resolved to join
them.So this morning having woken at
6am I hit the road arriving at 7.30 to find fourteen vehicles outside the
gate.As I was walking in a chap called
Brian had just wrestled a steelhead on to the bank and he kindly let me take
I found a
spot between two nice guys and commenced fishing a rooster spinner under a
float.Avoiding hooking up is a bit
challenging as everyone is using different methods and trying to avoid casting
across each other.This is made more
difficult because the float men like to let their lines drift as far as
possible.Anyway I only got caught up
with others twice and everyone was very amenable.
Then I got
to see some action, I had a fish on but he came off so I had to make do with videoing
others in action.In a way it was good
preparation for me because the steelhead I saw caught went absolutely ballistic
when hooked.Also the river is a
minefield of obstructions and potential snags. The following
video clips try to capture the drama of having a fish on!
The next clip shows how feisty the fish is when it is netted.
And here is the end product and a very happy man with a big fish!
So now I am convinced they are there I just have to try harder!!!!