Nooksack River Steelhead

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Sheepdog, Sep 25, 2003.

  1. Sheepdog

    Sheepdog New Member

    Hi All,

    I'm new to this forum & am looking for some ideas. I have been flogging the Nooksack for a couple years, looking for steelhead. But I've only had one hook up on the Middlefork two years ago. So I've just about given up on the river & tend to drive an hour to the Stilly or the Skagit instead.

    Anyway, if anyone has some information to share, I'd appreciate it. Like when do they start showing up? I always thought it was late October through January or February. (With ice building up on the rod a necessity!)

    If you're feeling generous, how about some general areas? I've hit the Middlefork a bunch...from the mouth to about 5 miles up stream...Fished the Northfork both up & down stream of where the Middlefork dumps in, spent time below the Kendall Hatchery, been upstream of Ferndale...& hit the South Fork near Whickersham....mostly it seems like I've just been out for a walk on a cold day with my fly rod!

    If these areas are the place to go, great, just lemme know, I can deal with paying my dues. If you have other suggestions, I'm listening...

    Mike d
  2. mat1226

    mat1226 Active Member

    Driving south to the rivers you named is the way to go.

    Otherwise look for an early run of hatchery fish heading for the middlefork in Nov. Try for them below the Middle Fork on the N. Fork and in the Middlefork itself.

  3. mike doughty

    mike doughty Honorary Member

    IF your just looking for steelhead then the nooksack is not your best bet. although it does has a descent run of winter fish, but has much better salmon runs mainly silvers and chums starting around the middle to late Oct. that's about all i can tell you, somebody else i'm sure will be able to help you out more.
  4. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

    Fly fishing for winter steelhead is a numbers game, and the odds are with the house. You're trying to find an exception (a steelhead that is receptive to your fly NOW) within an exception (a suitable resting place in water slow and clear enough for flies). Long odds. Other streams mentioned offer better probabilities. On the other hand, if you lack the time or resources to go beyond the Nooksack basin, then it still offers better odds than Powerball.
    And what's so bad about walking around with a fly rod on a winter day?
  5. Nailknot

    Nailknot Active Member

    I guess you'll find a number of fishers who have fished the Skagit and Stilly for a couple years with no steelhead. Try the Cowlitz.
  6. andrew

    andrew Active Member

    "....oh that is a flyrod in my hand...not a walking stick"! I understand the frustration I have not yet even seen a steelhead! I had to bush wack and take an advanced orienteering class to find Fortson (sp) Hole just to see that they do exist! But like so many other chaps on this foundation for my craziness to bear extreme conditions and lousy weather is the many pictures of absolutely beautiful fish that a few have posted! Other than that maybe one of those missed tugs was one? I am sure that my turn will come when I decide to not pay attention to the drift and warm my hands....

    I heard that last year was a good year for the Nook...a decent size return? I have only fished the South,maybe the North a few times, and the Middle but once. Like someone else stated if you are hell bent to catch one...go to water that has the best odds! If you are just out and about to escape, the Nooksack (especially if you live somewhere near like Bellingham) is your best bet.

    Good luck am may the 'Force' be with you!

  7. Sheepdog

    Sheepdog New Member

    Thanks for the replies...Y'all kinda reinforced what I had been thinking for a while. I did get a nice pretty red steely on the Stillaguamish Wednesday....guess I just gotta be patient with the Nooksack and have to give the silvers a try.

    Have a good weekend.