Proof of Steelhead in the Stilly???

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Runejl, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. Man, Im bummed. I thought I was just going to find out what a crummy steelheader I am. I would much rather suck at flyfishing for steelhead than for there to be so few fish in the system. Good luck out there guys.

  2. Yeah, if the problem is that you're a sucky angler, you can improve that. When the problem is lack of fish, there isn't much you can do. FWIW it does seem to me that the king numbers are better than the last few years.
    I just checked the USGS site and the river really shot up. That illness I felt coming on has faded.
  3. I am feeling better too! :p
  4. Yeah, I've pretty much punted on the NF and Sky forks the last 2 summers due to the reports I've been hearing and the WDFW numbers. Looks like I'll need to get my summer fix this year in the desert.
  5. Once again for you newly minted steelhead fly fishers; steelhead are a myth perpetuated by tackle distributors, fly shop owners, and guides for the sole purpose of selling you more equipment and services. There are no steelhead anymore, anywhere.
  6. ptyd
  7. Salmo g.-
    Unfortuantely many folks here missed the gem that was the North Fork during the 1970s and early 1980s. Unfortuantely not only are the returns are greatly reduced the river itself is a mere shadow of what it once was.

    During the late 1970s and early 1980s I spend a lot of time skating dries on the North Fork with great success. My catch rates during peak season (mid-July to late August) were on parr and some years exceeded what I found in September in the Skeena country on the Morice/Bukley. There was a reason that many of days old timers cut their steelhead fly fishing teeth on the "Stilly" during the summer.

    I agree the whole situation is heart breaking - I can count on one hand the number of times I have fished steelhead on the North Fork over the last decade. And that is with the Oso water being only a 1/2 from the house.

    Tight lines
  8. Oh I wish.
    I am sorry to say I fished the stilly from 2003-2007 with much of the same infested thought as everyone else. In 2003 I was lucky to grab 2 SH's, 2004- I had a banner year of 6 SH, 2005- hooked one, 2006-2007 nada, zero, zip...I'm done. It's a beautiful sight to behold.

    Good luck, tight lines, remember the good ole days.
  9. sad times we live in.
  10. Curt,

    Not to mention the Oso water is only a ghost of its former self prior to the DeForest slide. Heck, my favorite runs (the Elbow and the water just downstream of it) as you doesn't really exist anymore with the last of the good holding water in it taken out by the '97 flood. I love the river, but like you, I don't fish it very often these days.
  11. Certainly we are in a period of low marine survival, but I suspect that there were cycles of poor survival in the past. However, because pristine watersheds have so much more freshwater carrying capacity fish were probably relatively abundant even in years of poor survival. I also often wonder about the effects of sustained low abundance on fitness. Curt, would you think that reproductive competition and possibly competition for rearing habitats have been relaxed due to multiple generations of extremely low abundance? I wonder about the long term implications of that, certainly in my opinion failure to acknowledge the benefits of a large escapement is one of the flaws of MSY management.

  12. Will -
    You are touching on an interesting point that is rarely discussed or even thought about.

    Most population theories accept that there is alot of natural selection going on with our populations and it only follows that with a limited capcity the more dense the population the more intense (selective?) that selecton process will be. It would follow from that high populations would in at least theory be more productive over the long term.

    An underlying assumption with fisheries management is that that whatever costs there are in productivity from reduced abundances from fishing impacts are minor and in most cases are more than balanced by the benefits (man days of fishing, #s of protein, etc.) Of course we each have an opinion on the appropriateness of that cost/benefit ratio.

    One thing many folks forget is that carrying capacity and MSH are dynamic and changes with changes in survival conditions. With lower survivals portions of the habitat that were marginally productive become unproductive; that is fish spawning in those habitats are no longer able to replace themselves.

    In some areas the managers have begun to recognize that dynamic natural of such population bench marks (MSH etc) and adopted more dynamic management models. The use of exploitation rates become a key part of such changes. While I realize that is a red flag for some folks - it does allow for more consistent and predictable fisheries - it also if applied consistently provide a much broad range of escpaement and under good conditions with at least some species are seeing escapements larger than those seen in the recent past. With those kinds of escapement in theory at least they should be able to achieve insights into some of the issues you are talking about as well as the ecological benefits of have more fish on the spawning grounds.

    The key of course is a long term committment to those changes including the willingness to allow those larger escapements to actually happen as well as monitoring the impacts from those escapements. That monitoring should include an evaluation of the appropriateness of current escapement objectives.

    Tight lines
  13. I went up to the stilly to day and saw some steelhead.
  14. The water below Deer Creek was fairly clear and 54 degrees at 8 a.m. Friday morning. No sign of steelhead.

    A considerable percentage of church members, including clergy, admit to doubting the existance and/or concern of God from time to time; but they keep attending church. Keep the faith, brothers.
  15. I FREAKING KNEW IT. :beathead:

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