Best place to live for steelhead?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Panhandle, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. Will Atlas

    Will Atlas Guest

    I dont think you can really beat portland. Within 25 minutes of both the Sandy and the Clack. Less than an hour to the Kalama, Lewis. 2 and change depending on where you fish the Deschutes, and less than two hours from large swaths of the oregon coast. That being said, if you want a steelhead river in your back yard that's not ridiculously crowded that wont cut it. I havent fished the area ALOT but I feel like SW Washington is not nearly the place it once was for steelheading. The Cowlitz, Kalama, Lewis and others provide the opportunity to catch hatchery winters and summers all though baisically that's it. The wild runs in SWW (particularly the summers) are teetering on the brink of extinction. Only about 300 wild fish were passed over Kalama Falls this year. That's miserable fishing.

    I think the WA coast would be my pick for best overall steelhead opportunity. Followed closely by the oregon coast. On the WA coast there is relatively good winter run fishing still. In the summer there are hatchery brats in almost every river as well as a smattering of wild fish (which dont seem to be doing all that well). Its pretty much year-round steelheading. The oregon coast is a close second. It falls being the WA coast in my opinion for a couple reasons. First the winter fish are smaller on average and they dont run as late into the spring. All those rivers are rain dominated systems which means during the summer they run low and warm. While there are summer fish in a couple rivers down there, conditions can be extremely tough when trying to get them (both on the angler and the fish).

    As far as overall livability though, Forks pretty much blows. It rains like 5 times as much as seattle and it's about as backwater as you get in WA anymore. Not exactly an intellectual mecca if you know what I'm saying. I think the oregon coast is probably at least a little more livable than forks.

    I'm obviously showing my nothern bias here. It seems to me another good choice would be ashland oregon. Right on the banks of the rouge, within striking distance of the N. Umpqua, the Klamath and many other coastal rivers. That's pretty much year-round steelheading at its finest, plus I hear ashland isnt a half bad place to live.

    Will
     
  2. Will Atlas

    Will Atlas Guest

    Beuhler,

    Can I ask how long you've been flyfishing for steelhead? Or for that matter, how many fish have you caught lifetime on the fly? You seem to have quite the ego and sense of entitlement about your steelhead fishing. Might expect that from someone who has been fishing for steelhead for 40-50 years. I agree that having crowded rivers is obnoxious, but it sounds like you're a little brittle that you're not catching very many fish...am I on to something?

    Will
     
  3. Tim Lockhart

    Tim Lockhart Active Member

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    OK girls, let’s break it up. Subject is ‘Best Places to Live for Steelies,’ not ‘Pick on Buehler.’ To swim upstream a bit, Buehler is not the first to touch on that subject (and won’t be the last). Smart enough guy, if he’s pissed for BEING FOLLOWED, I’d say he was probably followed (newsflash I know). I’d be pissed too. And who’s to say he hasn’t spent more time helping newbies than most of us…that wouldn’t surprise me either. Point is, I bet Buehler has some pretty frustrating stories to back his comments…and an occasional rant is good on this site. Would hate to see it get boring.
     
  4. Mark Bové

    Mark Bové Chasin tail

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    Terrice BC. I know its out of the country but if steelhead are truely the most important thing in your existance. Then move to this Mecca of steelheading. Terrice has all five species of salmon. Steelhead every day of the year, and not to mention the most beautiful area in the world. Buy a cheap sled, a raft, and live the dream.
     
  5. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man (NFR)

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    Why anybody would want to live in western Washington is beyond me. There are easier fish to catch out there than the wiley steelhead. It is said it is the fish of a 1,000 casts. So why waste your time on them.

    I lived in the shadow of the "S" rivers and have bided my time in them. But I guess that it is just me as I got tired of fishing in the rain all the time and have opted for a drier climate. Montana.

    Jim
     
  6. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    To those dear poor souls who were offended by my rant,

    It is true, it was a rant. I am can be a bit of an arse. It had to do with the nature of the post. It brought the words “realty” and “steelhead” too close together in my mind.

    And to clarify:

    I have been followed MANY times. It happens A LOT these days and than I get low holed by someone who has brand new gear who can barely cast. It pisses me off.

    I have introduced more people and gotten more people into their first steelhead than most. In fact all those who know me, know I am the guy to go fishing with if you want a steelhead and I help teach the Western Wash. University fly fishing class.

    I am all about getting people into fishing because I think it benefits the fish in the long run. Catching them makes people see them as less of a resource and more of something magical and worth fighting for.

    Truthfully I am only 25. I caught my first steelhead when I was a kid. It wasn’t on fly gear. I have been fly fishing for them since I was 7 and caught my first on a fly when I was 14. I used to fish around 200 days a year around here until I grew up.

    So anyway, I am bent out of shape at what I am seeing. Only someone who used to fish 200 days a year on these S Rivers could see it:

    I used to go the OP and be the odd fly fisherman for steelhead. I know I wasn’t the first obviously but there were a lot less chasing steelhead out there. Now I see more fly fishermen than gear guys on some days. The same goes for the S Rivers. Fly guys used to be the odd balls chasing steelhead and now they are more common. This is all great for the sport me thinks but it also means that limited fly water that holds steelhead is even more difficult to get to undisturbed than ever before.

    Top it all off with the fact that most of these new guys I run into ARE the ones that are snooty and full of themselves and it bends me out of shape.

    Used to be the arse holes on the river were guys snagging fish and now it is the guys wearing gore-tex EVERYTHING who walk the walk and talk the talk.

    I run into guys from time to time who start naming every steelhead fly in the Kaufmann’s catalogue just to try and sound like they know what they are talking about. They usually say they caught a steelhead that morning like it is no thing…..Yeah….right……

    Now in defense of most of the people here; I think most of us on this forum are great people and NOT the people I am talking about. There is a lot of good knowledge and a lot of bad knowledge passed around but people here are respectful.

    However, anyone who thinks that “steelhead are just trout” makes me worried. That is the dumbest thing anyone could say about steelhead IMO. Steelhead are a hell of a *%*ckin lot more than just trout to me…….and maybe that is why I am bent out of shape at the popularity of steelhead fly fishing in my area and how difficult it is to catch a steelhead these days, all by myself or with a brother on an S River.

    Good luck to you, Jason
     
  7. Matt Burke

    Matt Burke Active Member

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    My kids reside here with their mother. When they're 18, I will move with OR at number two. Ruling out the lower 48, I'd like to die in AK.
     
  8. Hillbilly Redneck

    Hillbilly Redneck wishin i was fishin

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    Why anybody would want to live any place other than Darrington is beyond me. It's a fishing and intellectual Mecca:)
     
  9. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    I would agree but I live in Skidrow Woolley. Just like Darrington except we got us a Starbucks, I think.
     
  10. Zen Piscator

    Zen Piscator Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.

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    No votes for Northern Cali/Southern Oregon?

    Smith
    Chetcho
    Rouge (big numbers)
    Applegate
    Trinity (big numbers)
    Umpqua
    Kalamath
    etc......

    Only problem I could see is too many people but there are summer and winter steelhead + salmon and great trout fishing (fall river, hot and hat creek, lower and upper sac, williamson)
     
  11. wannafish

    wannafish In search of Blinky...

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    I'd say on the OP. Maybe on the outskirts of Port Angeles or Sequim? Out towards Forks there's a lot of areas that give you that 'not in the city' sort of feeling, but maybe not always in a good way. I think anywhere on the OP is ideal to give you close range of all the famous rivers up there and also lots of little known water that still holds decent runs of wild fish. There's always an option up there when the big rivers are blown and I could have that dialed in if I lived there. Lots of public land and tree farm makes access pretty easy to tons of water. :thumb:
     
  12. oilslick

    oilslick New Member

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    Hood river's great, but if you like the small town feel, you could look at Mosier - 5 miles east of hoodriver. And the John day river is only 30 minutes away and Maupin is only about 2 hours away. Although Sandpoint seems like a pretty nice place to live. My cousin has a couple drive threw coffee stands there.
     
  13. greyghost

    greyghost Member

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    I would say Bellingham, so you can follow JB around! But seriously, I would echo others and say number 1 = PDX/SWWA and number 2 = Grants Pass, OR. Anything better than those and you are leaving the country.

    Pete
     
  14. chromeseeker

    chromeseeker Where's the Bucket?

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    Zen,

    See my post! Southern OR is sweet.

    NorCal ain't a bad choice either!

    CS