Best Washington Fishing?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Woollyworm, Mar 13, 2002.

  1. Chris Bailey

    Chris Bailey Member

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    There is some great small stream fishing on the east slope. I'd have to say that one of my more memorable days was a few years ago on a small stream in an area heavily used by ORVs and campers west of Yakima. The fishing is surprisingly good at times for an area so heavily used. I was having good luck fishing late into the evening to the point I needed to use a flashlight to get back. I heard something in the woods so I sat down and listened for a while. Nothing came out so I packed up and drove back to the cabin. I went back the next morning to fish up and down from where I had good luck the night before. I was standing in the river and about 100' upstream a bear crossed the stream in front of me. I went to the nearby crouded campground to let them know that there was a bear in the area and they told me that she had cubs and had raided their food tent in the middle of the night before. The guy got up all mad thinking he was being robbed. He looked in the tent and that bear was eating an apple pie.
     
  2. crockett

    crockett New Member

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    My best day started out as my worst. Early one morning last September, new to the steelhead game, I was stalking fish on the Snoqualmie. Although I had gotten a few hookups in the few weeks prior I had yet to land a fish. On this particular day, I hit the water near Tokul Creek at first light. Overcast and raining, I probed the waters with a marabou pattern on a sink-tip before heading upstream to check out new water. As I climbed on the bankside boulders above the creek, I slipped and fell face first into a small pool, thoroughly dousing myself and giving my casting elbow a pretty good crack. Wincing in pain and soaked to the bone, I hobbled back to the car to call it a day. As I was driving out, a stretch of riffles that I'd never fished before beckoned. I pulled out my 5 wt. and riffle-hitched a muddler onto my floating line. On my 2nd drift a 9lb. hen took the fly with reckless abandon and jumped 3 times in the current before coming to hand. After carefully releasing her, I smoked a Winston and waked another dry. A fish rolled on the muddler after 4 casts and took hard on the follow-up. After an aerial assault that went into my backing, the hook was free. Trembling with excitement and disbelief, I drove home reflecting on the incredible turn in events that still has yet to be beaten.

    crock
     
  3. saltchuck

    saltchuck New Member

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    One of my best stories has one of my least favorite endings. My fishing buddy and I had been having an exceptional day in our float tubes on a certain Eastern Washington lake near Quincy. It was about 1-1/2 weeks after ice off in March 1996 and we brought to hand numerous (about 8-10 fish each) rainbows and browns in the 14" - 18" range as well as a couple of fish each in the 22+ category. Just when we thought it couldn't get any better, I dropped a heavily weighted size 6 olive Matuka into a depression near the bank and adjacent to a beaver lodge. I counted it down for 10 seconds which I guessed would get it into the strike zone that had been productive all day for us. Instead, I got bottom which also had been happening throughout the day and was the price we had paid for getting our flies deep enough. As the all too familiar story line goes - "the bottom began to move!"

    To make a long story short (too late), after about 20 minutes of fighting the fish on a pretty stiff 6 weight rod (and scaring the hell out of my partner in the process when it swam between his legs and he realized I wasn't kidding when I said this one was REALLY BIG)I attracted attention from some power bait anglers on shore. Since the size of my net precluded any thoughts I had of landing this fish on my own, I graciously accepted their offer of assistance in using a salmon net (this should have been my first clue there was going to be a problem) they brought with them to help land the fish.

    The fish was a monster brown - 12.5 pounds and the largest trout I've taken anywhere, anytime. How do I know the weight? My two bait fishing friends brought a scale and offered to weigh the fish. Not wanting to miss the opportunity - I agreed (thinking that they would weight the net and fish together and then weigh the net alone after releasing the fish). This was my second mistake. Immediately after netting the fish, one of the guys grabbed the big brown by it's gills to hold it up, but before I could tell him to leave it in the net, the other guy hooks the scale into the fish's mouth, hoists it up and then proceeds to drop it on the ground on some rocks. The fish gives a big shudder as if it had been hit with a "fish bonker". Needless to say, after that I knew the fish was not likely to survive so I offered it to the bait guys as long as I got some pictures first.

    I still have those pictures and I still have major pangs of guilt everytime I see them....but I learned a valuable lesson in that I'll never let another stranger land my fish for me let alone take it out of the water.

    It's that time of the year again (a few weeks after ice off) so I'm heading out east and hoping lightning strikes twice. Tight lines and see you out on the water.
     
  4. rockfish

    rockfish Member

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    got a silver in the 10 lb class and a cutthroat in the 19-21 inch range on back to back casts, or pretty close to that but I was drifting along a prolific rock wall/jetty that goes for a 1/2 mile or so and the current just takes you along the shore. fish seem to stack up there at the latter part of the tide and there was a drinking party and they were all yelling wheres the camera crew to me. it was pretty cool. this one sticks in my mind realy good. Ben
     
  5. Coho

    Coho Member

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    Bens' story reminds of me of one of my favorite fishing stories.

    I was fly fishing with some friends in the Rogue River. We were targeting kings stacked up in the lower river. The method of choice there is to anchor small prams in the pools and cast shooting heads with comet type patterns.

    The Rogue is a famous river and occupied by many people other than fisherman. If you have been there, you have seen the commercial jet boats that take tourists out on rides. The boats seat as many as 30-40 people and include a tour guide who narrates their journey with a loudspeaker.

    I was anchored in my pram casting, when a very large jet boat stopped a few yards from me. The tour guide announced very loudly over his microphone that salmon fishing was very popular on the Rogue, and that a few hardy souls even tried to catch them on flies, but were rarely ever successful.

    As the boatload of curious tourists looked at me, poetic justice took its curious course. I felt a grab on my green weenie (it's a fly) and rocked home the hook into a 30+ lb chrome bright king.

    My Hardy screamed as I dropped the anchor float and set the pram free. The king started towing me as I fought it, right past the prideful tour guide, and the now cheering tourists.

    My only fish of the day, but the timing was sure great!
     
  6. ray helaers

    ray helaers Active Member

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    In late spring, Dry Falls has a pretty dependable evening rise to emerging chironomids. The surface activity can be insane. Literally dozens or rainbows can be bulging, finning, and sipping at the surface in one small notch of the shoreline nonstop for the several hours between the sun slipping behind the rim of the coulee and dark. While it is dependable and spectacular, it will more often than not kick you ass. The water is still, the fish are smart and picky, and the emergence is often more complex than it seems, several different midges of varying size and color hatching at once. It has left more than a few good anglers well spanked. Many old hands at Dry Falls have gained the fortitude -- through hard knocks -- to simply ignore the risers and concentrate their efforts subsurface.

    A few years ago, my pals and I cracked it with a little fly of mine I now call “my little darling,” MLD for short. I can only take partial credit, as it is very largely based on Paul Lasha’a raccoon, but it has enough “improvements” that I feel justified in naming it. It’s my little darling because it works so incredibly well, particularly in tough situations, when everybody else is living through a figurative Porky Pig cartoon, the trout practically spitting water in their faces.

    Memorial Day weekend, several years ago, I was fishing the lake by myself, from my driftboat. It’s a little more boat than you need for this sort of thing, but it’s a comfortable platform, rows fast, and anchored from both ends at the mouth of a small cove, it runs pretty effective interference. As the sun approached the coulee rim, I set up and waited. The fish started rising, and soon enough it became clear that I had shown up on an epic evening, even by the standard of this hatch. The cove and the entire shoreline were continually pocked with maybe a hundred or more simultaneous rings. My little darling started working her magic. I was pretty much just along for the ride. With so many risers, there was no way to lead individual fish; I’d just cast and let the fly sit until a speckled snout came over it. I watched one fish tip up and examine the fly for 20, 30 seconds before sipping it in, bulging and breaking the water into froth when I tightened.

    I know it’s a little nasty, but what made the evening so memorable, aside from the fact that 30-fish evenings are rare enough for me, were the other chaps in their float tubes, silent and grim, periodically staring into their fly boxes. After about an hour, my rod bent to the 15th or so fish, they were craning their necks in my direction. Despite the dozens of rising trout in front of them, they inexorably started drifting toward me. We all say we’re searching for solitude, but there is a lot to be said for audience.

    I’ve already gone pretty long, but to inoculate myself from charges of braggadocio, I also want to include the following short vignette. Please bear with me.

    Charlie cold-called me to introduce himself and ask me to take him fishing. He was a friend of my brother, who lives in San Diego. What the hell, I offered to take him steelheading on the Sky. He had an 8-weight and a sinktip, but he’d never been. I set us up on a half-day float that would put us first-up on one of my favorite pools. I ran him through the drill and set him up in the tail-out, while I took the sweet spot at the head of the riffle. Well, what else could happen? He hooked and landed a wild buck on his third or fourth cast. His casting, while apparently adequate, was far from expert, if I must say so myself, and in the time it had taken him to make those casts, I felt I had fairly covered the best part of the riffle. So I sent him up to that “finished” water, while I took the rest of the tail-out, where the fish seemed to be. I’m sure you see where this is going. It took him maybe a few minutes to hook another steelhead in the water I had just fished. Despite his lack of manners, Charlie turned out to be a pretty nice guy, and still tells everybody what a good steelhead guide I am.
     
  7. Woollyworm

    Woollyworm New Member

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    Your Dry Falls story is intriguing. What's the timing on that butt-kicking chiro-fest?

    Thanks,
    ww
     
  8. Woollyworm

    Woollyworm New Member

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    Hey FF Frank,
    Thanks for the fish story. GP Wilderness area sounds amazing. Anyway you (or anyone else peeking in on this thread) could point me towards some productive creeks in this area? Please feel free to e-mail me if you want to keep it on the down-low. I dig backpacking, so if it involves some hiking, all the better.

    Cheers!
     
  9. fishnfella

    fishnfella New Member

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    Fish till ya drop.
    Then suck it up
    and fish the evening hatch.

    Hey Saltchuck: I may have been there with ya the day you hooked that
    epoch Brown in 1996 near the beaverdam. The fish of a lifetime. Do you remember my suggesting that I'd think you hooked one of the beavers except that the damn thing should have come up for air if it were a Beaver.
    Later years another friend landed a smaller one there and we opened
    it up. It's gut waz full of bones. After a long look we decided they were bird bones, either baby swallows or baby ducks.
    Are you spending all your time on the saltchuck yet or are you
    coming over for the spring trouting this year?
    E-mail me. I know another spot for big browns.
    fishnfellaS@netscape.net
    Ron. :LOVEIT
     
  10. fly15

    fly15 New Member

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    I have a couple memories i would like to share.


    Last summer i found a small crystal clear creek near elensburg,
    Well lets just say i caught 65 westslope cutthroat from 8 to 14
    inches in length all on dry flies.The other 2 guys i was with that
    were using the same flies and fishing the same pools of the creek
    only managed 10 or so appiece.So eventuly they were getting kind of
    mad because i was fishing in front of them so i let them fish the rest
    of the creek first with me following them and still out fishing them 10 to 1.

    My second experiance was on a small O.P. river in august.My family and i were camping right on the river when my dad woke me up at 9 in
    the morning telling me that there were 2or3 summer run steelhead swimming around in a small crystal clear pool, so i went to the pool to inspect and sure enough there they were with 6 other kids swimming around in the same pool. so i waited until after dinner and started drifting different steelie flies through the pool then these crazy kids started swimming in the pool at 8 at night, so i waited till they got out of the water wich was around 9 let the pool rest until 10 meenwhile tying a special glow in the dark fly that i thought might work since they use glow balls on the cowlitzs river at night.
    so after strapping a flashlight around my neck on a string, i set out for the river and started drifting my fly through the pool an hour later and about 300 casts later my fly stopped at the head of the pool
    so i set the hook and after several jumps and several screaming runs
    i landed the 23"inch buck at 11 at night it was my first fly caught steelhead wich i consider a great accompishment for a 15 year old.cathing that steelie is my fondest fishing memorie so far.
     
  11. Coho

    Coho Member

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    Great story! Where is the creek in Ellensburg?
     
  12. fly15

    fly15 New Member

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    I wish i could tell you but a couple people i know would kill me,sorry.