Upper Skagit area BC

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by Tony Mull, Sep 2, 2006.

  1. Tony Mull

    Tony Mull Member

    Jan 30, 2004
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    Lake Stevens, WA, USA.
    Headed up in late august with my daughter, Rachel, for a quick trip. Testing the new picardin type repellant, but carrying the old 99% deet too. This is usually the worst bug country around. We were pleasantly surprised to find the 40 or so miles of dirt road to be in good shape except for about 5-10 miles of pretty bad washboard. Actually, really bad washboard. But few potholes. We arrived early enough to get out the first afternoon once camp was set. already suspecting that the picardin was failing by then. We found Ross lake to be 3-5 feet higher than last year and the bugs not quite as bad, probably due to much less stagnant water around. We headed up toward the mouth of the skagit and managed a few rainbows and one small dollie before dark. Reports from other anglers, mostly heading back it being a sunday afternoon, were that fishing had dropped off considerably since the day before, probably due to the hotter weather. The next morning brought the occassional fish also and it was well over 85 degrees most of the day. Fish were obvious in the crystal water, but were just not feeding. In the afternoon a strong wind came up (typical pattern for Ross Lake in sunny weather) that sent our anchors skidding along the gravelly bottom. It blew harder and harder and we soon heard a couple of trees go down. We had by now tied up to stumps. Rowing was fruitless so we just fished. By dinner the wind died off and Rachel called it a day with her total of 8 fish for the day, all in the 10-15 inch range. A couple of hours later I straggled in with 12 similar rainbows for the day. Rachel was a bit disappointed as I had described the fishing in past years which was considerably better. By bedtime we had officially dispensed with the picardin all together except to spray on our clothes and were using deet exclusively to protect bare skin. Great campfires and spetacular views from our campsite with the lake just feet away made the slow fishing not so bad.
    Trying the river the next AM made little difference except for a change of scenery and we were back in the lake in the afternoon. Again wind required a stump to tie on to, but cloud cover and a 10-15 degree temperature drop from the day before helped the fishing. By quitting time we had over 30 fish between us in about 4 hours and Rachel had her taste of what fishing is usually like there. Our biggest was 17" though compared to other years when a few 18-20's could be counted on and the average was 14 or so.
    Hoping to get back in mid sept for a whole week and finding better fishing and then another short trip with my other daughter Sarah the first week of oct. Picardin was about as effective as 30-40% deet except it won't eat plastic and for that I suppose it has a place. However if you think it's good enough for you, or that 40% deet is for that matter, this is the place to prove to yourself that it's not even close. Anyone would be begging for the 99% deet within an hour or two. The scenery, when you can see through the bugs, is amazing. Just posted some more pics in the gallery.

    Attached Files:

  2. SciTeacher

    SciTeacher Guest

    The measure net is one of the best investments I've made in a long time. Net the fish, take out the hook, get a acurate length and release it without touching the fish.
  3. Pat AV

    Pat AV Member

    Jun 30, 2006
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    Burnaby, B.C.
    It sure is buggy you are right but I do love the area to death! After I got back from the Yukon I thought the Skagit skeeters would be nothing..... man was I ever wrong they are at least as bad (I guess I forgot how bad they were in the Yukon)

    Many share your thoughts that 06 was a slow year and the busiest year that have seen.

    I am glad you enjoyed your visit to one of our gems!

    Here is a bully from a 2005 Skagit trip no bullies in 2 trips to the upper this year but lots of nice bows.


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