wanting to try for salmon/steelhead (close to home)

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by stefanelliott, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. stefanelliott New Member

    Posts: 42
    Renton, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    now i have 0 experience in salmon or steelhead fishing. I'm a bass and trout fisherman. I'm itching to get in on some action. is the green river any good? what flies? i hear bunny leeches work well.
  2. wet line New Member

    Posts: 2,313
    Burien, WA, King.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    At times the Green can be OK. There is xome good access at Flaming Geyser park for starters.

    Dave
  3. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,286
    Your City ,State
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    Stefan,

    You have zero experience and are itching to get in on some action. Weren't we all? The best I can put it is that instant gratification with zero know how is an unlikely combination. The fastest route to scratch your itch is to take some lessons in fly fishing for steelhead (several guides offer this) and also hire a guide for a few fishing trips. Otherwise you will have to do it the old-fashioned way of fishing often and hard, acquiring experience and know how, and eventually, with a little shit-house luck, you'll hook a steelhead.

    As for the Green River, it gets a run of summer steelhead. Occasionally it's a really strong run, but most often it amounts to more like a trickle. If you're serious about scratching your steelhead itch, you need to forget about fishing close to home, except for gaining experience through practice, and commit to going wherever necessary to fish where the fish are. That is, certain rivers get much larger runs of steelhead than others. Those are generally a good place for beginners to try. That said, the SW WA rivers typically get much better runs of summer steelhead than the Puget Sound rivers do. Among PS rivers, the Sky gets the largest run of summer fish. Further afield, the Sandy, Clackamas, and Willamette tributaries in OR are getting especially strong returns of summer steelhead this year. And by September, the Columbia River tributaries upstream of Bonneville Dam will host really good numbers of steelhead.

    Or you can fish the Green, knowing nothing, and wonder why the hell you're not catching anything. And if you do that, I would conclude you really aren't that serious about "getting in on some action."

    Sg
  4. stefanelliott New Member

    Posts: 42
    Renton, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I'm 17 and no car so that is why i say close to home. in the summer i do go to leavenworth and around that area. i have a job and would be wiling to pay for the guide if it is a reasonable price
  5. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Posts: 6,288
    Duvall, wa
    Ratings: +1,497 / 2
    Give All About the Fly a call. Brian Page has been getting people in to some fish lately up on the Sky. He's a great guy, and knows that system very, very well.
  6. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,274
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,237 / 9
    +1 for Brian Paige the guy is fun, friendly and fishy.
  7. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,286
    Your City ,State
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    Stefan,

    You may be screwed. I don't know about you, but when I was 17 I made $1.50 an hour at my job (min wage was $1.25/hr.) and couldn't have afforded a guide, and there weren't any fly fishing guides anyway. I'm puzzled that Evan and Mumbles made significantly different conclusions about your income level than I. A guided day of fishing goes for about $400, so if that's too steep for your budget, I recommend a class. They are less costly because the guide will instruct 4 to 6 students at a time.

    If you search all the steelhead threads in this forum you can learn a lot, including if and when the Green is worth fishing for summer runs. Do that and read a book on steelheading (can't think of the author's name at the moment, but it'll come to me) and watch the Lany Waller videos. Then employ this strategy: borrow your parents' car for the weekends from now til Labor Day. Ask them to please fill it up with gas on their way home from work on Fridays. Throw your fishing, camping gear, and some grub in the rig and head for the Kalama River every Friday night. You can camp for free up in the woods so long as you don't get caught. Explore every inch of the river from Modrow bridge up to the deadline above the Weyerhauser gate in the fly only water. Talk to every fly fisher you run in to who looks like they know what the hell they're doing. Tell them you don't know shit, but want to "get in on the action." Most of them will offer some useful information which you will lock into your brain or record in a journal. Observe hard, and fish hard.

    Come home by 11 pm each Sunday night completely worn out. When your parents realize your passion and committment, they'll be more inclined to go along with this crazy, but highly effective strategy. Or maybe they won't. Then you'll just have to steal the car on Friday night and hope it's full of gas, or you'll have to buy it yourself. You'll be doing the exact same thing, only minus their blessing. That's just the way life goes sometimes. Sometimes it's just better to beg for forgiveness after the fact than to ask for permission if you know it won't be granted in the first place. Either way, by Labor Day you should have found some of this action shit you're wanting to get in on.

    Good luck young man, and keep us posted with your progress. If there's anything else we can do to get you on the path to success (= getting in on the action), just let us know.

    Sg
  8. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,274
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,237 / 9
    Salmo, I was not drawing any conclusions about the young man's income level. I can't afford a guide myself. What I do know is that once Evan recommended Brian I had to agree. I have fished with Brian out of his boat and had a great time and learned a tremendous amount from him. Brian also frequents the day on the river in Monroe where he, as well as many others like Leland, Ron, and of course Mike Kinney spend countless hours of their time trying to pass on quality knowledge to those willing to come out and listen. Fishy folks like to talk fishing with other folks that like to listen to fishing stuff. Who knows, maybe young Stefan will find a way to connect with some of the Highway 2 corridor hard core anglers that will take him under their wing. Open seats in boats are seen from time to time and knowing that would also be a benefit. Finding local guides and talking with them has worked for me, even though I'm not in a class or on an outing with them. These folks work hard at fishing for a living and are some of the most friendly and eager to share information that I've met. Our new young friend also said he has a job and would be willing to pay if the price was fair. I bet he makes more than your $1.50 an hour...probably not enough to take such a trip often, but one never truly knows.
  9. wet line New Member

    Posts: 2,313
    Burien, WA, King.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Stefan,

    What you should do is steel Salmo-G's rig and then hold it hostage until he concedes to take you down to the Kalama!! As he said, it is better to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission!

    Eventually he will get over you boosting his rig and hijacking him on a fishing trip!! Heck after awhile he might even find it somewhat amusing! Well maybe not but it would be one heck of an interesting thread!

    Dave
  10. o mykiss Active Member

    Posts: 1,280
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    When someone uses a phrase like "getting in on the action" in the context of flyfishing for steelhead, I have to wonder how much the person understands about what he or she may be getting into. Around here, there ain't much action to get into. Given all the hype around flyfishin for steelhead on this and other sites, you might have somewhat unrealistic expectations. The reality is that steelhead populations are pretty depressed all over Puget Sound, so there isn't a lot of action to get in on. In good years (like last year), you'd have a much better shot at actually catching fish by hitting a number of tributaries of the Columbia and Snake River during the fall, and a somewhat better shot fishing over on the Olympic Peninsula during the winter. Thanks largely to the interweb, flyfishing for steelhead has recently developed a lot of allure, but the reality is that for everyone other than the most elite anglers (a small percentage of the overall steelhead fly angling population) catching steelhead on the fly is a low probability proposition, almost no matter where you fish. (There are exceptions to that rule, but most of them involve travelling to distant lands at the right time and being lucky enough to encounter the right conditions while you are there.) You wouldn't know that from all the hyperbole about flyfishing for steelhead that emanates from the guiding and tackle industries and on the interweb.

    Being without a car is going to make it pretty difficult to get in on the action. I don't have any advice for solving that piece of the equation (i.e., lack of wheels). Given the likelihood that you will not get a lot of opportunity until you do, the best thing you can do now is spend some time to educate yourself as much as possible about how to fish for these things. As Salmo G suggested, beg, borrow or steal a copy of the Lani Waller videos (Lani Waller's Steelhead Legacy). Watch it several times to get some idea of the proper techniques and strategies for fishing for steelhead, and the tackle used. He doesn't cover nymphing but you don't want to go there anyway; it's for losers. (Just kidding, nymphers.) Another good nuts and bolts resource is Deke Meyer's Advanced Flyfishing for Steelhead. (He does cover nymphing, if you're really intent on lowering yourself to that level. :p). Spending some time learning about it will put you in a better position to maximize the limited opportunities you may have on the water until you get your own wheels. If the Green is the best you can do, it sure doesn't hurt to give it a shot. I have not fished it myself. But I have spent many days on other PS streams over the years that are frankly no better in terms of quality, and although I haven't caught a ton of fish in that time, I am pretty sure that every time out makes me a better fisherman in the long run.

    If catching fish is important to you, do not - I repeat do not - take up flyfishing for steelhead, unless (a) you're willing to invest a lot of time and effort over many, many years honing your skills so that you eventually are a good enough angler to make the most of the limited steelhead fisheries we have around here, (b) you opt to nymph for steelhead out of a drift boat or raft using -- ugghhh -- plastic beads :), or (c) you're pretty confident that you will become wealthy enough to make annual pilgrimages to places like Southeast Alaska, the Dean River or the Skeena system. Some people get lucky and catch fish early in their careers, but it is way more typical to fish for a number of years before one is lucky enough to catch your first one. If catching fish is important and you want to catch something bigger than your typical trout or bass around here, wait until 2011 and hit the pink salmon fishery. Millions of them make their way back to PS streams in odd years.
  11. Jim Riggins Member

    Posts: 558
    Battle Ground, Wa.
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    Stefane, Lani has helped me set up a fishing program for kids with copies of his books and videos. He is very approachable and knowledgeable. You can contact him at Lani Wallers World wide Anglers website. You could e-mail him but if you call his office in the morning he will usually answer the phone and will give you as much time as you need with him.His phone number is located on the bottom of his website. He also likes to talk fish to people who like to listen about fish while he tells you about everything you want to know about fish, that was for Mumbles. Anyways just call him, he is in my opinion is "the guru". And yes he is still alive.Tell him Jim Riggins from Clark County Juvenile says Hi. Good luck on those steelhead and don't give up! Just ask Orangeradish how hard they are to catch, Jason will tell you. You do have to practice, get that presentation down, know when and where the fish are running and all that technical stuff but I don't give a shit, you still have to be damn lucky to catch one.
  12. orangeradish Bobo approved

    Posts: 2,448
    Capital City
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    I still haven't gotten one. I'm not sure what your folks would say about meeting up with people to fish, but I've been wanting to go down there and meet up with Jim and his crew. The only worthwhile advice I can offer on that river is where to park, and a few spots I've seen them holding, but I'd be happy to show you around. The most fun I've had fishing is taking kids out on the water. :thumb: Good luck, bub.
    Jason
  13. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Posts: 2,218
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    Stefan, becareful fishing for salmon or steelhead around Leavenworth this summer or you will get a ticket. There will be nothing open for steelhead and depending on when you come, the only thing open for salmon may be the lower Icicle but be sure to check the regs carefully. The entire Wenatchee is closed to all fishing but you can have fun on the upper Icicle (car needed) fishing for small trout in a beautiful setting. If your folks dropped you off, you could spend an entire day up there and still not cover it all. It would be best to fish with a buddy though as it can be pretty rugged in sections. If I were 17, I'd have a blast bushwacking and scrambling up and sliding down the huge boulders; I'm many times 17 and wore the butt out of my fishing pants last summer doing just that! You won't get a steelhead but every day on the water hopefully teaches you more about fish and their habitat and rivers and their behavior which ultimately helps you become a better angler which helps you get closer to your goal. Have fun on your quest! Like the Holy Grail, it will be worth it when it all comes together.
  14. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,286
    Your City ,State
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    Wet Line,

    Watch your six! BTW, do you know where YOUR car is?

    Sg
  15. stefanelliott New Member

    Posts: 42
    Renton, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0

    thanks, there is a video of some people fishing steelhead off the wenatchee this last january on youtube though...
  16. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Posts: 6,288
    Duvall, wa
    Ratings: +1,497 / 2
    It was open then
  17. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Posts: 2,218
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    It opened last fall in late October and closed in March I think. It is never open for steelhead fishing with a regular season published in the Regs pamphlet. However, it may be opened by 'emergency rule' at the last minute in the fall when/if there are enough fish. I think this has only happened 2 of the last 11 or 12 years and other than that, it has been closed. This is the same for salmon on the Icicle. The wild salmon and steelhead are ESA listed (Endangered Species Act) in the Wenatchee and tribs so there can be no salmon and steelhead fishing except for hatchery fish under very special guidelines if there are enough returning (and a host of other factors).

    So, when you are in Leavenworth this summer, there will be no steelheading. There may still be a chinook salmon season on the lower Icicle but it closes July 31st and may close earlier so be sure to check this link before going: https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/rules_freshwater_river.j?body_of_water_id=1392

    If you are in Leavenworth next fall or winter, there could be a season for steelhead and/or salmon but you will have to check the Emergency Rules website to find out. Fishing for or disturbing ESA-listed fish is a Federal violation not just a WDFW one, so be really sure you know the rules before you fish over here. If you have any questions or want some suggestions for this summer or next fall, feel free to PM me.
  18. stewart dee Guest

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    I can answer all your questions! there is no such thing as a Steelhead. Call Brian P. at All About the Fly or even ask for Mike K. and then my friend you will see and catch the myth.
  19. stefanelliott New Member

    Posts: 42
    Renton, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    but i can still hit the icicle for trout and fish lake has browns in it.
  20. stefanelliott New Member

    Posts: 42
    Renton, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    and it looks like the icicle is opening up july 1st for salmon