..Thoughts on TFO Deer Creek Spey Rods

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by fullerfly, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. You must work for the WDFW!!!bawling:
  2. My god JB, you just can't get around yourself can ya?:eek:
  3. I guess it is just the born-and-raised-fishing-the-Stilly-for-Deer-Creek-fish-locals-only-hot-blood in me. Or the it-was-so-much-better-years-ago in me. Or the fact that I reflect on better times fishing around the S Rivers and I am only 25!

    Like an overly protective mother: good intentioned but probably just being an arsehole.
  4. I don't think so; all-be-it's been many, many years (far longer than you've been around) I 'remember' the size/strength of the run of 'special fish.' Then again, I remember what fishing was like 'pre-Bolt.' (Did I just age-date myself?):rolleyes:
  5. while deer creek fish are certainly a special race of steelhead, I've heard from old timers who used to fish the stilly that it has (or maybe HAD) a run of humongous late spring fish. those are the real mythical creatures.
  6. Will,

    In all likelihood, Deer Creek supported, and may still support some few, winter steelhead in its lowermost reach. The summer run developed to take advantage of most of the suitable steelhead habitat that lies upstream of the falls that are just a few short miles upstream. Migration barriers and headwater habitat differences are what separate summer steelhead from their winter run brethren in west side rivers. The number of winter steelhead that historically inhabited Deer Creek would have been quite small compared to the summer run. And I seriously doubt they were any more humongous than a similar proportion of NF Stilly winter runs. Historic memories are notoriously bad when it comes to topics like fish size.


    Salmo g.
  7. Salmo,

    I wasnt talking about Deer Creek in particular. I was referring to a conversation I had last summer with a fellow named Charlie Gearheart (sp.?) about the N. Fork Stilly. He's fished it for the better part of his adult life and was referring to late spring fish spawning in North Fork. He claimed that in the 1970s and 80s when the river was year round catch and release they would regularly catch VERY large, chrome bright wild steelhead as late as May. He's the only person I've ever heard refer to that, but then again people dont seem to talk about Stilly winter runs nearly as much as the Sky and Skagit systems.

  8. It's my understanding that that the sauk used to flow into the stilly around 5000yrs ago and was diverted by a landslide to it's now present drainage via the skagit. Take a close look at a map of the area, it certainly seems plausable. Anyways, if true, it would lend support to the notion that the stilly had sauk-sized fish...
  9. During our fishing lives, hopefully at some point, we find a personal Shangri-La. For a few years in the late 80's and early 90's I lived mine: It was March/April on the NF Stilly. A few friends and I had the river to ourselves and routinely hooked and played a terryifing (euphimism for ass-kickers!) race of chrome winter steelhead. They were beautiful and large. The biggest steelhead I've ever hooked, but didn't landed, may have well been there. Fish into the teens was the norm.

    FYI, Charlie Gearheart was my original steelhead mentor. We remain best of friends today.
  10. In the lower mainstem in the late winter and early spring we used to catch many of these large native stlhd as well, while I knew some could have been headed for the SF I always assumed they were NF fish. That as well was in the early-late 80's. Don't think I ever fish it after about 1990 and believe they began closing it around then. But the lower river used to remain open thru March as well.
  11. Will,

    I remember Charlie Gearheart when he used to work at Ed's Sport Shop before it became Kim's Skagit Angler. The NF never was year round CNR in the 70s. That occurred for a few years during the 80s. The NF was doing really well in wild steelhead production during the 80s, but it crashed like most PS rivers in the 90s.

    I've caught wild winter steelhead in the NF in March, April, May, and June. And yes, there were, and hopefully still are, some large ones. I think it's a misnomer to claim or suggest that the run was extraordinarily large. I'd estimate the average steelhead at 12 pounds, same as the Skagit, Sauk, Sky, Nooksack, etc. That's about what wild winter steelhead average in PS rivers. Of course, the teeners and 20s (I caught one ugly dark buck once that was well over 20 but I don't "count" it on my list as it was already sexually mature and had spawned, and was probably still looking around to spawn some more) remain vivid in our memories, but when we add up all those 8 pound wild fish we catch, and the 6 and 7s, it's easier to conclude that the average size in the run is close to 12. Maybe it's the scientist in me, but I really spoil a fishermen's bull session around the campfire when the steelhead BS gets deep.

    People don't talk about the Stilly wild winter runs so much because it was such a short lived fishery, shorter even than the CNR season on the Sky. And because it's a smaller river and fewer anglers fished it. All the gear guys with their drift boats or sleds were on the Sauk, Skagit, or Sky, so that pretty much left it to the walk and wade fraternity.


    It's most likely true that the Sauk River flowed partially if not entirely during floods down the NF Stilly. That isn't likely the reason for the size of the steelhead however. The size of the fish is influenced by the dominant environment, and the NF Stilly would have been that. Further, I guess my point is that there is little if any significant difference in the average size of the wild winter steelhead between any of the major north PS rivers. There are big fish in the Sauk, but for every 20 pound fish I've caught there, I've caught numerous more in the high teens, and even many many more that were 8 - 12 pounds. The average size Sauk steelhead is not huge, nor is the average Skagit, NF Stilly, Sky, etc. Fishermen are the least reliable source of information I can think of when it comes to steelhead size. Ain't that right Dec?

  12. From (past) personal experience, the 70/early 80's were 'salad days.' If you didn't hook fish is was a 'what the heck???' day.
  13. Just as an FYI, the original question was asking opinions about the Deer Creek rods by TFO, by those who have cast the rods.

    So how about helping Fullerfly out by giving opinions on how the TFO rods cast. :thumb:


    Dave Fulton
  14. They cast very nicely and would serve any beginning or intermediate spey caster well. In fact, unless an advanced spey caster is looking for the highest performance in a rod, the TFO Deer Creek Series rods would let him be happy too. Granted, the cork is not the best, but they sure do cast nicely. They don't have a soft, wimpy tip, but are mid-nearly full-flex, medium-fast recovery, with reserve power in the butt rods.

    Just don't push them too hard and let the rod do the work with a bit of a relaxed stroke and they will cast anything from a Skagit to a long-belly line, provided the line is in the rod's grain window. They are a true best buy in the world of 2-handed rods.
  15. Its not the same cork that they used to use on TFO that would disintegrate over time is it? Do you mean to say it isn't that pretty or that it will fall off and the rod will need to be wrapped with grip tape? I wouldn't want a spey rod with tape on the handle...
  16. Anyone have any opinions on the Deer Creek 12'6" 5/6 series vs the Echo Classic 12'6" 6/7 as a summer rod? Lookin' to pick something up this winter.
  17. i thought the cork looked nice on them, has some inlays with the rubber/cork mix like a loomis
  18. A hot 26"+ steelhead could be a chore on the TFO 5/6. Its a nice rod for half pounders, large cutts and very small steelhead, but get a fish over about 7 lbs and you're probably toast. I'd say the 6/7 is more of a true steelhead rod.

  19. My last steelies a 9.5 and 10.23lb fish were both caught on my deer creek 5/6. It handled them just fine. Its really more of a true 7 weight than a 5/6. I throw a 450 grain skagit cut back a bit on the 5/6, while I also throw a 450 on my Loomis Roaring River 8/9 dredger, which is cut back , but not quite as much. The 5/6 has some backbone to the little rod while its action bends into the handle, which I am a big fan of. A 20lb fish would be a hoot! ;)
  20. do you know what the wgt on that skagit was?

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