"thoughts" about the stilly


The dumb kid
well, i was reading through that thread, and felt that i should point some things out. i dont know why im not doing it in the thread, but i want it to be read. the fly in question that i see people fishing under a dink is not a fly, its a johns jig. j-i-g. not a fly. but i digress, that was made clear. the stilly is a river with a helluva lot of tradition behind it, and to me thats part of the enjoyment of fishing it. i prefer fishing below deer creek, but often fish the fortson area. fortson is a great area to fish, if you dont know what your doing. my first steelhead came from fortson, my first on the fly came from fortson ( different fish). most people, i think, outgrow the fortson fishery. after a while it becomes dull, casting to the same fish for 4 days, then hooking it in the tail. i guess what im trying to say is, in my eyes, the people who throw "flys" with an "indicator" into fortson just dont know, all they want is meat for the table by any means nessicary. i would rather walk down 500 yards and fish picnic table and hook a steelhead that i cant see ( assuming its at the head of the pool) than sit at fortson. i dont know if anyone has ever met him, but anyone know a very dark skinned man ( just an identifying charecteristic) named James? anyone ever see him or talk to him?he fishes the rock side with nymphs and catches ALOT of fish out of there, by far more traditional means. it can be done, but its not fun.
to be frank and honest, im just venting here for some reason, it would be best to ignore most of what i have said. how about we lighten it up a little with storys from the stilly!

i remember 4-5 years ago, when i first fished the stilly, i was at fortons standing on the rock on the sand side, blindly dead-drifting a sz 16 bh nymph, no indicator. my rod was one of those 50 $ combos, and i was loving life. cast after cast, with no fish. then, i got this little "nudge" on my line, and sweep it to the side. resistance, but no fish. i fire off anohter cast, same spot, and almost instantly my fly is gobbled by a 6# buck. after the insuing fight, i landed that fish. dont remember much else about it, but the pic of me with my first steelhead on the fly still hangs on the wall in gregs, right next to the pic of my dad with his first steelhead ever, same day, taken 20 minutes after i got mine.
my other fav on the still happened about 2 months later, jsut before the chums started to show. i had taken 1 more steelhead in between these times, after fishing about a total of 10-11 trips. it was getting old fast. my dad wants to fish fortson, and im sick of it. so i wander down and discover what i later found out was picnic table. i hook and lose 6 fish before my dad comes down. he quickly hooks and lands one. he wants to keep that fish, so he cleans it and walks it to the cooler. while he is gone, i grab his rod and first cast, hook into another fish, this one much bigger than the others. i fight it for 20 minutes w/o much give/take, and then it makes one big jump. steelhead, about 17 or so, which got my adrenaline going hardcore, because i thought it was a king. i ended up losing that fish, as well as the next 5 fish. i was getting so annoyed at this it was not funny. im almost out of flys, so my dad gives me a little black pattern he made up. i cast it for a few minutes, and hook up again. i fight the fish for a while, and i finally think that i am finally going to land one, and it gets tied up in the big rock. im not having any of this, and i SWIM out, untangle it, and tail it while floating downstream.

it took me 13 tries to land one steelhead, and i finally got one. still my funnest day of fishing to date. sorry to drag on and on.

any good storys from others?


Workin in a sweet mullet
I love the stilly too, its where I got my first steelhead on a fly, but not at Fortson....
I have fished it twice with a fly rod and both times I was the only guy swinging flies, everyone else was nymphing it and I was even told by another fisherman that I was taking too much room with my swing and that I should go somewhere else!!! I have had enough with Fortson.

I think its sad that any summer runs that are in Fortson right now are either going to be caught a dozen times and/or end up on the dinner table. There is no way that they will survive the next 5/6 months in that little pool while hundreds of jigs float by them all day.

I wish I was going to be around this summer just so I can chase those frisky natives up to deer creek with dries. I spent nearly every weekday from June to October between Trafton and Deer Creek last year and I went from a "dont know jack" type of flyfisherman to a "think I got this down pretty well" type of flyfisherman all thanks to a couple of native steelhead that showed me the ropes....

The Stilly is still my home water even if I live 100 miles away.

Andy - the has never caught a hatchery steelhead guy.
Ok you ask for it.

Two summers ago a friend and I were fishing one of my fav drifts on my fav river for summers. We hit a couple nice fish when we saw a guide coming down with two paying guest. So we stop fishing and let them go by, after watching them fish we new we where safe they weren’t going to hit any fish. So they went by and my buddy looks at me and said let’s go get them, he said for me to go first. So I did there were about 50 yards below me I casted out (first cast) nailed a hot FISH it was going crazy out there , those guys with the guide I don’t think they ever seen a steelhead (so they came up to watch). When the fish got near me it ran right at me I couldn’t reel fast enough so I started walking up stream (I was in knee deep water, I don’t like beaching fish I tail all steelhead) after about 10 steps I tripped on a rock a fell on my a$$! My waders filled up with water fast (I look like he Michelin Man) I got up and landed the fish my buddy and the other three guys were laughing so hard at me I couldn’t help my self from laughing.

Homer, if you were not such a Republican sort of guy, you would be one hell of a fella.

I have never fished the North fork of the Stilly, but I consider it to be sacred water on par with the North Fork of the Umpqua.

It should have special regs. and Fortson should be closed as I have stated elsewhere.

Good luck to you always.

Bob, the Yea, I'm a Stilly Man OK.:smokin