Skykomish Dollies

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by jmara6864, Aug 26, 2014.

  1. jmara6864

    jmara6864 Joey Mara

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    248
    Location:
    Kirkland
    Saw something I have never witnessed before on the Sky last week. A big pod of Dolly Varden in a small hole. There were about 20-25 of them from 18-30 inches in length. They were mostly staying put but would occasionally chase each other and make high speed runs toward the shallow back end of the hole and then dart back to the deeper water. I tried in vain for a while to get one to bite. Streamers, nymphs you name it I tried it and no takers. I have never tried to target Dolly before. I hear streamers are the way to go? Has anyone seen this behavior before? Does anyone feel like sharing their techniques for catching them?
     
  2. David Bowerman

    David Bowerman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Richmond Beach, WA
    Home Page:
    This one ate a dead-drifted mega prince on the Sky.

    [​IMG]
     
    Kyle Smith likes this.
  3. CLO

    CLO Future WFF Mod

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    2,226
    Likes Received:
    1,577
    Location:
    NW
    They were hiding from Ryan hung.
     
  4. jmara6864

    jmara6864 Joey Mara

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    248
    Location:
    Kirkland
    Awesome!
     
  5. _WW_

    _WW_ Geriatric Skagit Swinger

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,021
    Likes Received:
    2,091
    Location:
    Skagit River
    Are you sure they weren't suckers?
     
    the_chemist and bhudda like this.
  6. Earthquake

    Earthquake Ron Enyeart

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    72
    Location:
    Issaquah, Wa
    nymph a stonefly right in to them.

    But isn't it illegal to target Dollys?
     
  7. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Messages:
    1,863
    Likes Received:
    475
    Location:
    Carlsbad, CA
    Not on the Sky- 20" minimum to jeep
     
  8. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Messages:
    4,165
    Likes Received:
    1,671
    Location:
    Moses Lake, WA
    The rule of thumb was that Labor day was a good time to fish for dollies in the Suiattle. Should work for the Sky also.
     
  9. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    3,696
    Likes Received:
    2,237
    Location:
    Marysville, Washington
    Sounds like you stumbled upon a pod of pre-spawn bull trout. This time of year it is common for groups of them to stage in the better holding areas near spawning areas during which time they behave much like you have described. Depending on the size of the spawning population and the amount and quality of holding habitat at or below the spawning grounds it is common to see staging groups of those bull trout number from a handful to 50 or more individuals. Those fish are pre-spawn fish that are waiting until the water temperature drops sufficiently for spawning to begin. It the case of the Skykomish that will be 6 to 10 weeks from now.

    As I said one usually sees such behavior near the spawning areas. You may wish to check the regulations for the specific location where you saw those fish. The areas where the bulls typically collected in those pre-spawn staging groups are typically closed to the fishing for bulls and may be closed entirely.

    curt
     
  10. jmara6864

    jmara6864 Joey Mara

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    248
    Location:
    Kirkland
    No I didn't see any bait fisherman.
     
  11. jmara6864

    jmara6864 Joey Mara

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Messages:
    137
    Likes Received:
    248
    Location:
    Kirkland
    Interesting. I thought that if the char are in a river system that has anadromous fish some of them are sea going and therefore would be considered Dollies not Bull trout. I am by no means an authority so if anyone can shed light on this topic please do.
     
  12. _WW_

    _WW_ Geriatric Skagit Swinger

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,021
    Likes Received:
    2,091
    Location:
    Skagit River
  13. Preston

    Preston Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Messages:
    3,107
    Likes Received:
    1,478
    Location:
    .
    Ahh, one more time. As noted above, read Curt's excellent Skagit Bull Trout Bio. Briefly: Although the range of the Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma) does reach as far south as Washington, they are restricted to small, high-elevation tributaries, usually above barriers to anadromous fish in the Cascade and Olympic Mountains where they never achieve any great size. The large, anadromous and resident char found in Puget Sound and coastal rivers are bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus). Bull trout are found as far north as Southeast Alaska and Dolly Varden share the waters with them along the coast of British Columbia.
     
    Chris Johnson likes this.
  14. Matt B

    Matt B ...

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Messages:
    1,741
    Likes Received:
    1,292
    I was way up a Sky trib yesterday. I had hiked above a number of waterfalls. I was fishing a nice sized plunge pool and I thought I was most likely above the uppermost point of upstream fish migration. So I was pretty surprised when a rainbow swiped at my dry fly, I lifted the rod, and the dropper came tight (yes I put a dropper on yesterday for the first time this summer and it upped my catch rate big time). It came tight to a FAT bull trout, which barely seemed to notice it was hooked. The fly came loose which is probably a good thing because I was fishing a light rod. It's amazing how good those fish are at getting over barriers. From my understanding, a lot of times they don't jump the falls. They find side routes and use their snakey selves to slither up in the shallowest skinniest water. Fishing my way back down, I caught about a 6" char. It also threw the hook before I got to examine it. It was brookie sized, but there's obviously a population of bulls in there. And then, down by the bridge, I spotted another adult bull holding in a glide. So yeah, pre-spawn staging time. Almost time for them to get BIZ-ZAY!
     
    Jeff Dodd likes this.
  15. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Messages:
    26,769
    Likes Received:
    5,366
    Location:
    Dillon, Mt
    They did close a large section of the N/F Skykomish for the spawning of the Bull Trout. Before they closed it down it was a good place to catch fish. There were some nice holes in that now closed section.