Dream steelhead trip????

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Panhandle, May 29, 2006.

  1. Aside from fall through mid winter, my days of year round steelheading are gone since leaving Oregon a year and half ago. My obsession has not tapered a bit. Needless to say my opportunities to swing for them mean a great deal. Here's my question.... I'm going to take about ten days off to focus on them and location is not a issue. My problem is??? do I spend that time on water I know where fish are likely to come to hand, or head to new water where water and fish are inknown? I've never chased for them in N.Cali, the OP, or B.C.. My dream has been B.C. (Skeena) but there are so many other waters that I dream about as well. Where would you go and when??
  2. My trip will be this September in BC on the Skeena System. I have been looking forward to this all year.
  3. Hey Skwala,

    I was actually thinking about a trip like yours as I was driving back from seattle along highway 2 this weekend. I haven't done much steelheading on the wet side of the state either so I was thinking if a guy had two weeks it would be sweet to spend the first half fishing the Sky, Snohomish, and Upper Stilly or some combo like that. The last half of the trip you could bust out the spey rod and head up to the Skagit or if you felt really ambitious maybe even make the drive out to the OP if time was available. So much water...so little time!

    The topper would be to get some of the folks from WFF who call these waters home to come out and show us dry-siders around...if they could find it in their waterlogged and moss covered hearts to do so ;)

  4. The dream trip can no longer be done - Kamchatka. Did it twice, but its a crapshoot w weather. The last trip had 13 days of fishing scheduled. 9 were a complete loss. But the other four days? My GOD. IF the Russians ever relent, and you can afford it, GO!!!
    B.C., supposedly, has the largest fish.
    The Oly fish can be large - yours truly had J D Love put him into a wild 36" incher which J D pegged at 16-17 lbs early last month (it nailed an egg sucking leech) but I've spent 10 guided days over several years of attempts at varying times of the year for that 10 minutes of excitement/adrenaline rush. That male in full spawning regalia made it all worthwhile, but don't expect much if you hit the OP - that way you'll be pleasantly startled, as was I. That was, all told, a $4 to $5k fish, I reckon lol... and we were sans camera!!!
    A reliable source (Indian guide on the OP) says emphatically the best time for numbers of fish is Dec January, but you won't, probably, want to wait that long to go . They are HATCHERY fish at that time, so, if it's wild fish you're after, B.C. might be a better shot, if you can afford it, and want to maximize your chances while having an unforgettable experience.

    Go on the Sol Duc would be my suggestion if you do the OP at any other time. It has fish and large ones.

    Don't know beans about UPPER B.C. steelheading - spent days on the Fraser and its tribs to no avail. But that's this writer's N American fantasy outside of the US (on the OP - which Love just attended to.) The Dean is supposed to be about the best but impossible to access without an "in", the Thompson the fiestiest but is a big brawling river with few fish and the Babine to have some of the largest - but watch out for the grizzlies. Or so I am told.

    You might seek out Ed Ward for suggestion. A fellow club member alleges he caught astonishing numbers of fish this winter on the Sauk/Skagit this year. Spent a week (in a camp in during an approaching typhoon) in Kamchatka w him. Really knows his "onions", he does. Especially re spey casting.

    Hope that helps.
  5. Chris, I must have missplaced your invite to that Skeena trip. Make sure you give me the scoup so that I can crash the party. I would have to agree the Skeena system would be my number one trip. Then again steelheading in Patagonia would not be so bad either.
  6. i'd give up my left nut to go on The Dean River. A very good guide which i highly respect, Jeff Brazda has a sweet trip going http://www.brazdasflyfishing.com/seasons.html (scroll down to see the dean details)

    however, i am not quite ready (skill wise) for this caliber of a trip. i've barely scratched the surface and am getting comfortable covering the water one handed.
    i am gonna book at least 2 OP Trips ( one fall and one winter) and get myself a spey rod
    and spend a full season getting that down. then, maybe, another full season, then hit the dean for that once in a lifetime trip.
  7. I forgot about S. America, that wouldn't be bad either:eek: . My buddy got back from there a month ago. No chrome, but some big sea run browns.
  8. My dream steelhead trip happened again this morning. Can't remember the last time I had it. It's a paradox whose meaning continues to elude me. You see, it's a steelhead river with interior characteristics. The main run peaks in the fall, like the Snake River tribs. Only it's located in SW WA - at least that is how I get there in my dreams. Access is totally weird, as it requires readjusting all of WA state's coastal geography. I have to drive toward Neah Bay and turn south, crossing none of the storied OP rivers, and continuing south, there is no Grays Harbor nor Willapa Bay. And then shortly before the Columbia, there it is, and of course, I am always forgetting the name, which isn't too surprising since I now realize that this river doesn't exist anywhere except in my recurring dream. It's about Klickatat sized and runs out of a canyon. Only the lower river is accessible by road, and it's remeniscent of the lower Grand Ronde. I always want to fish up in the canyon, but the river is just a scoosh to deep and quick for me to wade across, and the bank that I'm on has unscalable cliffs at the canyon's end. I could get there via the other side of the river, I think. And I seem to forget to take my raft every time I go there, oops, or dream that I've gone there. That was my mission this morning. To remember the raft so that I could access that unseen steelhead water up in the canyon. I remembered the raft. The drive there really messed with my sense of geography again, but I was on the right road and would have arrived there shortly. And then I woke up and had to get ready to go to work. I can't wait to fish that river again.
  9. i would think a trip to the anchor river in alaska in late september or early
    october would be very hard to beat. big fish and lots of them.
  10. The Dean river is still my choice for dream trip. I dream about it every day.This will be year 7 and it is awesome!! We have been very lucky so far with only one partial day of unfishable conditions due to water issues. Thats 47 days of killer fishing on a killer river. The Dean is not impossible to get in on,if you can outfit your own expedition and float it yourself. It just takes,(1)getting drawn for permits,(2)getting there,(3)getting a heli in,(4) figuring it out. Big steelhead full of piss and vinager,that will readily take dry flys if the water is right. Oh and an occasional 20-40lb chinook if you play your cards right. We call it Steelhead Disneyland. What ride do you want to take today?

    Dreaming of the Dean
  11. Did my steelhead dream trip last fall...end of september. Base of operations was an RV park in Smithers. Camped out of the back of my truck. If there is some sort of higher power out there in regards to the Bulkley, that higher power was a spey rodder and loved to swing a fly! Its as if that river was Designed with a swingin' spey rodder in mind. Not to mention that the only place that I have ever seen that is more beautiful than northern BC is Switzerland. Man what a Trip! Good friends, good drinks, and text book water for miles! Ahhhhhhhh

    The next dream trip will consist of a Helicopter (flown by me) and a couple weeks on the Dean or Sustut. Of course, Andros Island Bones are starting to tug at my curiosity strings a little.....but thats a whole nother can of worms.
  12. I fished the Dean for seven days last August with 5 other guys. Dropped in and tent camped. Out of the six that went, four said they wouldn’t go back: I wasn’t one of the four. Our fishing experience wasn’t the same as the previous post. Consider: six guys (this was the second trip for two of them), 85+ years of combined fly fishing experience, roughly 260 hours fishing. Total fish: 20 and only 11 landed! One guy never touched one. Another group I know who fished a week later had similar results.
    Thinking my next “dream” trip could be to the Queen Charlotte Islands for Steelhead, or maybe just jumping in the Passport with my wife and the dog and heading for the middle and northern regions of Vancouver Island.
  13. go fish the great lakes tribs for them...

    at least its something different?

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