Which Steelhead River? (Week of 18-22 December)

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Flycaster99, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. Flycaster99

    Flycaster99 Member

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    Hi,

    I may have the week before Christmas to do some Steelhead fishing and would appreciate any recommendations for general locations and guide services in the Pacific North-West. I know it may not be the most ideal period but a few days on the river is better than nothing..

    Some considerations are :
    1. Least possibility of river blowing out : I don't have flexibility of time so its important to minimise the possibility of a river blow out
    2. Spey and Swing : It will be nice if the river is suited for swinging a fly with a Spey rod.
    3. Hatchery fish are ok with me... especially in December [​IMG]

    Any recommendations will be much appreciated! Thanks.
     
  2. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

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    hatchery fish and swinging during the winter typically do not go together. There is no river in Western Washington that is less likely to blow out vs another. you either get lucky or you don't.
    it could be 25 degrees and the river flowing with ice or it could be 50 degrees and pouring down rain.

    big rivers take longer to blow out but stay blown out longer. small rivers blow out quickly but come into shape within a day or two. your lack of flexibility and your timing may mean that you don't get to fish at all. it is absolutely impossible to predict.

    i don't mean to sound so negative but the question you are asking cannot be given a good answer. All of the rivers in western Washington have an extremely good likelihood of being blown out during that time frame there is an equal livelihood that they'll be fishing great but you will scarcely be able to find a spot between two gear fishermen.

    by best advice

    1. think of it as an adventure and a learning trip
    2. pick a region of the state that interests you
    3. between now and then do some research on that region
    4. go and have fun
    5 don't be upset if rivers blow or are devoid of fishing willing to chase a swung fly.

    pick a river that has a chum run...
     
    BASS_TURDS likes this.
  3. hydrological

    hydrological beads are NOT flies and snagging is just ghetto

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    clearwater, snake, grand ronde, salmon. 4 options close together, hopefully one is fishing. also, see above...
     
  4. David Dalan

    David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

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    If you're really open to the whole of the PNW, the you should add the Deschutes in Oregon to your list.
     
  5. Jeremy Floyd

    Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

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  6. cuponoodle breakfast

    cuponoodle breakfast Active Member

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    The PNW is a big area. You may want to narrow down your search.
     
  7. Phil Fravel

    Phil Fravel Friendly

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    I would have to say the Cowlets. It is regulated. You could check it out of a river flow chart the week before going and then contact a guide if it is in good shape
     
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  8. John Hicks

    John Hicks Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits

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    Flycaster,

    In December, most all of the rivers will have some fish in them. My suggestion is to be open with where you are going to fish. If you are willing to put in a few miles, you most likely will find water that is fishable. Contact a couple guides. Talk with them personally over the phone. See who might be a fit for you and what you are looking for in an experience. The guides will also have a better understanding of what rivers will be "in" during your timeframe.
    The big problem with asking about this kind of information on a FF board is that you get a lot of info that may or may not be accurate.
     
  9. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

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    Jim Kerr on the Bogey
     
  10. cuponoodle breakfast

    cuponoodle breakfast Active Member

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    Solid advice.
     
  11. Flycaster99

    Flycaster99 Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll certainly call up a few guides and chat about the possibilities. But it sounds like a touch and go situation for Steelhead.

    What I did not mentioned is that I live in Singapore and need to fly at least 22 hours one way just to get to the PNW... So I'll need a back up plan in case the river gods does not smile on me. I've read that the Nisqually river south of Tacoma has a decent run of Chum Salmon that time of the year, any chance of getting them on fly tackle in case the Steelhead rivers are not fishable? Or is the Niqually a pure gear fishing affair? Any fly fishing guides on the Nisqually that you would recommend?

    Thanks again!
     
  12. Dan Cuomo

    Dan Cuomo Active Member

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    I'll second the second, for Jim Kerr.
     
  13. Rod Wittner

    Rod Wittner Active Member

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    You can't go wrong with Jim Kerr on the OP. Definately solid advice. I would not wait too long to book it though. If you call now, he might still have that time slot available. He is a sponsor on this site, see Raincoast Guides.
     

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