Stehekin last weekend

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by JayH, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. I had emailed the address at Stehekin Fishing Adventures web page back on August 3rd inquiring about their availability for a guided tour of the river this past weekend. I emailed again on the 20th after not hearing back from him, but to no avail.

    My friend and I landed on the seaplane Saturday morning at 9:00am and proceeded to the visitor's center to get our back-country camping pass for Harlequin. We then headed up the road to see if the fly shop was still in business and found that they were still there. We purchased some flies and a big can of OFF at the suggestion from the shop-keeper and inquired about a guide for the afternoon. Sure enough, a walk-and-wade was available and we purchased the trip.

    We walked to the garden and bakery, availed ourselves of fresh veggies and pastries and took the shuttle the rest of the way to Harlequin bridge. As we crossed the bridge we looked up river a couple of hundred yards and told each other, "There's some good water!" with smiles on our faces. The Kokanee had started up the river a week before, the weather was beautiful and we found a great campsite.

    Our guide showed up a half hour later and we spent the next four to five hours in four different stretches of river without hooking a single fish until the very last hole when a 14-15" Cutthroat took my stone fly nymph. Not much fight but it was the first fish and it was a nice one. During the day we had plied our guide with questions about seasons, the local community, himself, the fish ecology, the times of day, and even about the particular stretch of water we had seen just above the bridge when going to the campground. He was quite friendly and answered all of our questions but discouraged us from fishing that water. The water a couple of hundred yards further up river might produce some fish but eh the stretch we had expressed real interest in he told us was very hard to fish and he didn't know of fish in it. See where this is going?

    Guess our first fishing spot the next day? Guess what we pulled out of it? Not a bunch but I had five fish rise in the hour or two we spent there and brought two to hand. One measured in at 17-18" and the other at 21-22". Nice Cutts! We struck out on our own and found the water read just the same as it does anywhere else, and not where the guide had us fishing.

    All in all I am pretty disappointed in the guided experience there. To the guides credit, he had only been fishing for a year or so and was probably more used to the total newb angler and spending his time tying knots and relieving tangles. Still...

    So, the fishing is great. There's some big fish with some fun and some fight in them. My opinion though: If you can read water, don't bother with the guided service.
  2. Glad you found some good water and caught some nice fish. It's a shame about the guide though.
  3. For the angler interested in learning based on their own observations (count me as one of them), I often wonder what a guide really offers them. I can usually match a hatch just about anywhere with the flies I always have, I read water well enough, and understand trout behavior at least a little bit. Figuring out a river is part of the fun! And it sounds like you had fun.
    Any pictures?
  4. Fished up there for a weekend two weeks ago and had a great weekend. A friend and did some self guiding fishing the entire time and we slayed the. Including a few fish that pushed into the memorable side for me.

    Our first day up we talked to the guide and he didnt really want to give us many suggestions, i just shrugged it off and did my thing. That river is full of classic trout runs, if you know how to read the water no need for a guide. The weekend we were there all the big fish that i hooked into where on the lower portion of the river. Had success both on the surface and with some subsurface nymphs. Overall an amazing place that I will return to. Beautiful Scenery and some great pastries from the Bakery!!

    THE MOSQUITOS ARE BAD! The further up river you get the better, but down by the bakery and around the lake you will get bit.
  5. Thanks for the nice report Jay. Guess there's another one that I'll have to add to the list.
  6. I've done a ton of guided trips. About 50% of them were completely full of shit. The other 50%'s advice was worth its weight in gold.

    Hit or miss.
    dflett68 and Robert Engleheart like this.
  7. Well, now I don't want to go there, now that 10,000 other people read this post...:(
  8. I have only used guides on the Lower Sac, it's tough and you need a boat for best access. I know have a Cat and learned so much from my last guide it cut the curve way down. The fish aren't where you'd expect to find them, the trouty spots at edge of seams, etc. Most are on flats in the middle of the river and you can't argue with numbers. That said, the first guide I hired on that river in the '90's to help the wife out was a POS. At end of the trip he dropped anchor in a tailout and tried to have her snag kings (with an egg pattern); when I saw what he was doing I made him stop immediately and voiced my displeasure, informing him Cheryl had caught 40# chromers (on gear) in Alaska and this wasn't the fishing we do. He didn't like me much and the feeling was mutual.
    I have been known to follow a guide on boat runs down the Trinity and see what he focused on....................
  9. Some Kokanee by the campsite


    Some more Kokanee


    Some more


    River views




    Valley wall


    As to the fish. I was more interested in fishing and getting them back in the water after fighting them on 6x so didn't spend much time snapping pix of the fish. My fishing partner managed to snap this one with his dumb phone:

    triploidjunkie likes this.
  10. Don't worry, most people will turn around way before they get to thr river, the hoards of upper lake chelan timber rattlers will scare them away & if thats not enough the cost of a float plane ride will discourage them.

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