Stilly on Friday, yesterday.

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by mat1226, Jul 13, 2002.

  1. mat1226 Active Member

    Posts: 411
    Bellingham, WA.
    Ratings: +28 / 0
    Spent some time on the N. Fork Stilly for first time ever. No fish or other fishermen sighted. Nice day, clarity 2-2.5 feet. Kind of milky. Will this river get better as the summer progresses and the snow melt ends and visibility improves?

    Mark
  2. Rob Blomquist Formerly Tight Loops

    Posts: 1,343
    Mountlake Terrace, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Yes.

    If you were below Deer Creek, which comes in at Oso, it was likely that the Deer Creek landslide was contributing sediment in addition to any snowmelt. But given a dry summer, the NF and the rest of the stilly will become crystal clear by late July and August, then it will stay clear until the rains of September bring in some color.

    Now, I am curious why you would want it any clearer? 2-2.5 feet is almost perfect visibilty for steelehad fishing. Sure 4 feet would be nice, but then the fish start to get spookier.
  3. mat1226 Active Member

    Posts: 411
    Bellingham, WA.
    Ratings: +28 / 0
    Tight Loops,

    Thanks for the reply. I am new to Fly fishing for steelies. Lots of other type fly fishing in the past. I have always been in AK in the summers purse seining. So this is my first time seeking summer steelhead. Your clarity question answered some things I was wondering about. Thanks again.

    Mark
  4. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,790
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,722 / 0
    I might be old---but I'm good.

    If you are above Deer Creek. There is a small creek that runs into the Stilly around Halterman. I think it is called Monthuhe Creek(sp), and it bleeds clay. It is usually clear above that point. It only seems to do it after a good rain. This is what I have noticed. Jim S.
  5. cuponoodle breakfast Active Member

    Posts: 1,674
    Arlington
    Ratings: +332 / 0
    The Boulder River is what's causing the color in the north fork. The Boulder was running almost white last time I saw (about a week ago) and my friend who lives in the area said it is still very chalky. The river was air clear above the Boulder when I was there.
  6. circlespey Member

    Posts: 244
    Seattle, WA.
    Ratings: +7 / 0
    I was on the Stilly today; the Boulder was spitting out grey mud, which is coloring the entire river below it. We fished up above through Fortson; had two strikes, lost them both.

    Circlespey
  7. Preston Active Member

    Posts: 2,488
    .
    Ratings: +474 / 0
    The current villain is Boulder River, apparently there is a clay slide that has opened up somewhere up the Boulder over the last couple of years. Virtually all of the snow in the North Fork system is gone now (most of the North Fork drainage is of relatively low elevation). Deer Creek is always a problem after any amount of rain and will continue to be so for many, many years. Montague Creek (a short distance above Whitman Road) is a pretty minor contributor, and then only after a heavy rain. Although a lot of people complain about the slide up around the bend from Hazel, I've never known it to add a whole lot of color to the river. The major source of color in the North Fork is, and has been for many years, the big claybank at Steelhead Haven.

    During the 'fifties, when the slide at Steelhead Haven occurred, it dammed the entire river for a couple of hours and when it cut its new channel, half of Steelhead Haven (a cabin lot development) wound up on the wrong side. During a normal summer, the amount of clay color in the lower river usually begins to decline by the end of July, becoming clear by August and, barring rainy spells, it can remain clear until the fall storms begin. In case you hadn't noticed, blue clay is a major component of the North Fork valley's geological structure.
  8. Dan Member

    Posts: 621
    Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Sounds like conditions have not changed since I fished it near Oso last Saturday. It was my first trip there as well. Made a special effort to be there on my trip from Colorado. Fishing was quite good. Hooked and played a native fish at the end of the swing. Came off a little past rod length after about 10 minutes. I thought that I had a good hook set, but don't have much experience with 15 pound fish and barbless hooks. Anyone have any thoughts on playing steelies with barbless hooks? I was using a tip flex 9 foot 8 weight and a weighted fly after a 10 foot intermediate sink tip. I was wondering what experienced steelie anglers use for leaders under these conditions. I was told several times that 10 lb. Maxima was pretty standard. Hard for a trout bum to get used to something other than tapered leaders. Any other thoughts on this subject?

    Also caught and released a 27" Dolly. First Dolly Varden I had ever brought to hand. Beautiful fish! This one was in the head of the pool and the steelie was in the tail out. Seems they like the same water as steelies, so apparently not unusual to hook one while fishing for steelies.

    Thanks for any advise. Looking forward to my next trip. And yes, I am the same "Dan" that Dennis Dickson mentions in his latest fishing report. Thanks again Dennis for a great trip!
  9. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,790
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,722 / 0
    I might be old---but I'm good.

    Came down the road today but I didn't fish. Yes the Boulder is still spitting out clay colored water.
  10. mtp1032 New Member

    Posts: 51
    Sammamish, WA, US.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Yesterday (Saturday) I had the opportunity to float the lower Stilly as part of a group taking a fly fishing class. River was a little high, but not too bad. Visibility about 3 to 4 feet - Great shape for swinging a big ugly fly.

    At one point, while the guide/instructor was teaching us how to take steelhead on the surface using a waking fly, a steelhead rolled. Then another. By that time, no one was listening anymore so the guide released us. Whereupon 7 guys with sticks bolted into the water and proceeded to lash the water to a froth.

    Of course, no one hooked. But, man, what a hoot! :TONGUE

    The river's in great shape from Fortson on down for steelhead on a sink tip. For steelhead on the surface, the water clarity will have to improve a bit more. Barring any significant rains, this will probably happen within the next week or two.

    Cheers,

    Michael