Stilly fish report

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Whitehorsebob, Oct 27, 2017.

  1. Whitehorsebob

    Whitehorsebob Member

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    okay so I know this is not a valid scientific piece of data seeing as its such a small sample but remember how the north fork has been shut down since the end of july? All because of projected low silver return even though any real mortality ( if any) from steelhead flyfisherman is a joke at best. Well water has cleared up this morning and in front of my house there is a larger school of silvers than i have seen in many years. Probably thirty plus all told. I have been watching this hole for 35+ years and while there have been years with this many i dont think i have seen this many for twenty or more. Gee guess it was from keeping all those flyfishing poachers off the river in july eh?
     
  2. XP

    XP Active Member

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    Allow 1 day of fishing on that pod and then count.
     
  3. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Well-Known Member

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    It wouldn't matter. The NF Stilly is always closed to salmon fishing, so there is no legal salmon retention. Salmon poaching on the Stilly is a long time-dishonored passtime, so regulations are irrelevant to that.
     
  4. XP

    XP Active Member

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    I'm thinking the fish would scatter with people fishing around them if not on top of them. Not so much about poaching them.
     
  5. napawino (Roger Craft)

    napawino (Roger Craft) Kicked

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    Gotta save them for the natives.
     
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  6. Whitehorsebob

    Whitehorsebob Member

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    Yes of course
    Yes of course , shutting the stilly down at all let alone in july made no sense from a conservation standpoint not to mention the wasted money and effort of raising 70,000 smolts. But now i look down and see what looks like a much better than average silver return on top of that? Just salt in the wound. My bet is poaching on the north fork this year was above average. No legal fisherman to make them feel nervous and certainly no stepped up warden presence that i have seen. Oh and i cant wander down to fortson ponds to shoot a few ducks ....game dept gave it to the indians. Supposedly so they can “ enhance “ the area better than wdfg.... so far all i have seen is a large increase in trash. Oh well good to see a few fish spawning anyway
     
  7. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Whitehorsebob-

    A quick and dirty back of the envelop would indicate that the game fish closures on the main Stilli and North Fork this summer and fall has likely increased the wild coho escapement of somewhere between 0.1 and 0.5 adult coho. Don't know if you would have noticed that increase in wild coho in the basin in that pool by your house.

    However that game fish closures will continue to give pain. For the first time in several years hatchery winter steelhead smolts were released in 2016. The 2-salts from those 130,000 are expected to return to the Whitehorse facility. To be fair some access will be provided to those winter fish; Historically 48 miles of the even though all the main Stilli and the NF have open for winter steelhead. The one piece of the river still scheduled to be open this season is the North Fork from the mouth of French Creek to Swede Heaven Bridge - a total of 4 miles of river; only less than 10% of normal. In addition historically that section of river is open under winter rules from the first of December through the 15th of February (10 weeks). This year that section will be open for 6 weeks; a 60% reduction. Not much opportunity from those 130,000 smolts.

    curt
     
  8. the_grube

    the_grube Active Member

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    I started swinging flies for steelhead last year, while I still lived in Everett. I'm guessing I made about a dozen trips to the N. Fork Stilly during the fly fishing only restriction. In that time I hooked and landed 2 silvers (didn't even see a steelhead though). The silvers I caught were each about 5-7lbs and touched up, but not firetrucks or boots. They both ran and fought quite well; one even took a pair of jumps on me. I was fishing an 8 weight with 12lb tippet; brought them in quickly and released them in what appeared to be an unharmed state -- they both took off like red lightening bolts. Based on what I'm hearing catching silvers in the N. Fork is atypical.
     
  9. Whitehorsebob

    Whitehorsebob Member

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    Curt, yes i doubt the extra escapement has anything to do with the nice bunch of silvers here. Projected returns have always been pretty imprecise as i am sure you know. Best example would be bristol bay. Very common to see projected run size to be...say 21 million to 27 million... and that is with a run that is probably watched better than any in the world. I have always joked they should just ask me ... i can guess that well. Washington F&G , well lets just say i dont feel they have improved their game and are actually much worse than they used to be. Their penchant for coming up with a plan that works for one river or elk herd and applying it all over the place seems to getting worse. You would think the skagit situation would have them at least try to do things a bit smarter. I was hoping the new director would help ( my idaho warden buddies seem to think well of him) but so far other than giving to go ahead on eliminating a cow killing wolf pack i have not seen much change.
     
  10. RichieRich

    RichieRich Active Member

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    8 weeks on the Stilly, 6 weeks on the Skagit
     
  11. cuponoodle breakfast

    cuponoodle breakfast Bigfoot is blurry

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    That's not all. The NF traditionally opens to conventional gear on December 1st. This year, the limited area open will be under fly-only regulations. I contacted Mill Creek to see if this was an error. The response I got indicated that the employee contacting me was unfamiliar with the Stillaguamish, but they said there was no error and fly-only was going to be the winter rule.
     
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  12. golfman44

    golfman44 5-Time Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year

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    In theory that is a good thing, although it is fly only during the summer too but I saw more guys chucking gear than flies this past June/July.
     
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  13. I love babies

    I love babies Member

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    Saw half a dozen people fishing bait out there on saturday.
     
  14. Richard_Smith

    Richard_Smith New Member

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    I heard the same from a guy today, unless you’re the one who told me that.
     
  15. I love babies

    I love babies Member

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    I was there today too, at Fortson?
     

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