Washington 2009 Report

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by dude_1967, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. I recently had the opportunity to visit Washington with my wife and daughter. We stayed for two weeks. During the first week we focused on great shopping and sight-seeing.

    In the second week I went fishing for 3 days.

    Tuesday 31 August: I fished in a tributary for steelhead and resident rainbow. This tributary can only be reached with a significant physical effort either on foot or combined foot / mountain bike. I had been planning this trip for some time and the pocket water did not let me down. I fished with a 6 weight rod set up with a two-nymph system with heavy nymphs. I caught a few resident bows in the 10 to 14 inch range. In a very seductive looking emerald pool I hit a big fish on my second cast into the churning well-oxygenated water of the pool. I initially confused the fish for a large resident. Two shakes of its head and a jump proved that it was a large, chrome steelhead. The only problem was that I was three levels up on a staircase of rock and wooded pools. It was going to be tough to land this fish under these challenging conditions. I was able to effectively fight the fish down two pools and also get my body down without falling or getting hurt on the big slippery rocks. When we (the fish and I) reached the lower pool which was large enough and calm enough to fight the fish I got aggressive because I wanted to maintain a short fight and it had already been 3 minutes or so. Unfortunately the fish escaped. I saw the fish a lot during the fight and I think it was a native hen somewhere over 10 lbs. I caught some additional resident trout throughout the day, but unfortunately no other steelhead. This was a beautiful trip involving cycling exercise to reach the water, wet-wading with felted shoes in clear, cool Washington water and a combination of resident trout and steelhead. I consider myself to be very fortunate to have tussled with a member of this rare race of steelhead on a small, walk-in tributary stream.

    Wednesday 01 September: A friend took me on a float of the main stem Skykomish from Ben Howard to Tulaco Road. We fished for searun cutthroat and pink salmon. The fishing was modest. However, the weather, companionship and scenery were exceptionally good. I hooked and lost a very nice searun cutthroat. We also managed some fair hooked pinks in relatively good shape. This was a very enjoyable trip and I learned a lot about that part of the Skykomish.

    Thursday 02 September: I fished at picnic point for pink salmon in Puget Sound. The water was choppy. At one point in time a pod of fish came within range of the fly rod and I landed two. I will definitely try to get some kind of boat or another floating device for the 2011 run. These salmon are a beautiful, precious resource and I am very pleased that they are returning to the Puget Sound rivers in such high numbers.

    Western Washington fly fishing is very challenging. But it can also be very rewarding at times. I caught or tussled with 3 species of fish in fresh and salt in three days.

    All in all the Washington trip was very good. It was a pleasure to have my wife and daughter in my company and we all had a very good time. Next year we will be visiting Colorado. Perhaps I can get a flight (maybe using frequent fly miles) from Colorado to Washington for two or three days. Hoping for good health and happiness, I will visit again in 2011. I am already making plans.

    Some pictures in roughly chronological order are shown below.
  2. Very good report, excellent pics.
    Glad you got to enjoy the PNW
  3. Sounds like you had a fun visit. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Wow. Thanks for the fantastic report. It was a good opportunity for us Washingtonians to see our home through the eyes of a visitor. I've been here since '96 and I still am in awe of this place. I'm glad you had such a great visit.
  5. thems be some chrome humpies!

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