Whidbey on Friday

miyawaki

Active Member
#16
I only caught two in two years of fishing. They were both hatchery. Tom Moore, who used to be a school teacher and is now a guide in Missoula, used to fish the beach a lot and did a bit better. Understand, this was not a sight fishery. We did not see schools move in. We cast to the water. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over .........

Leland.
 
#18
If I can add my own two cents: and on and on and on and on and on and on and on,

Did we mention, "and on"? :D (my version of and over)

I averaged half a fish a season over 8 years fishing once a week (full day) during December and some years a couple more days in January.

Still beats working though. And it's a great place to step up your casting levels. Heavy winds are the norm and alot of the misery I felt out there made me better and is now applied daily on our flats. There is always room to improve and learn, and I really kind of look at steelhead in the salt as a casting exercise and challenge and if you hook something it's icing on the cake. Tight lines Coach
 
#19
I used to be a fish checker for a NOAA research project back in the mid-1980s and spent a fair amount of time at Fort Casey. No one will want to hear this, but the fishing was a lot better then than it has been in a long time. It was definitely not a fly fishing scene back then--I never saw another fly rod--but the hoochie guys caught fish most days I worked the beach. I just checked some old WDFW steelhead harvest summaries to make sure my memory wasn't faulty. According to the reports, anglers caught 303 steelhead in December and 271 in January of the 1983/84 winter season, and 435 fish in December and 475 in January of 1984/85. The following year, the numbers were 273 and 211, with an additional 184 in February. By 1996/97 the Dec./Jan. harvest was down to 122/73, and in 2002/03 it was 20/10. Clearly, this fishery has fallen off a cliff. I wish I had had my switch rod and modern lines when it was still strong.

www.dougroseflyfishing.com
 

DimeBrite

MA-9 Beach Stalker
#21
Thanks for the great information guys. This doesn't sound too encouraging. I think I'll stick with fishing for feeding sockeye in the saltwater (better odds).
 
#22
Do it! How nice would it be to post a quick pic of one of maybe 5 (seriously now folks) fly caught saltwater steelhead per year off Whidbey? Come on now...is there anyone out there (local or not) that really catches more than one of these rare beauties annually? I've never seen one posted anywhere...can someone show me what one looks like? Shame on me for not checking threads or the gallery...I'm on my way...
In the Estuary Flyfisher the author, Steve Raymond, leaves the impression catching salt water steelhead is relatively common in the right conditions. According to Mr. Raymond extended periods of low water cause steelhead to bunch up in the estuaries making them viable targets. He even has a favorite fly to target them. I can't recall the name of the fly but it was a bright orange body, orange and white wing.:ray1:
 
#23
Oh boy............. Ahhhh I can't do it. Somebody else please step in and tell this fine gentleman and angler the ugly truth about our Sound and Hood Canal steelhead runs. Coach
 
#24
I can't believe I even post here...

Hey Delbertnipper and "my other brother Daryle", TL whatever...don't get the wrong impression here. I'm not looking for a gear report (sorry to disgrace the board with the word hoochie) and I don't doubt it's been done (I've read Steve Raymond's books too...). I guess I should have said "still exist" so sorry for the insinuation they don't but it won't be long.

In fact I will be the first to praise the next guy that gets into one! That's why I encouraged any and everyone to GO GET EM! I simply thought it would be cool to see a picture. Where's the harm is a little fun? :confused:

Personally I'd rather catch them in the river like you Leland ;). Doug - thanks for the history on the once productive fishery. p.s. I hope you got the money I sent your way for your Brandy I ended up drinking! :beer1:

Duffer - you are my ambassador of fishing quan...you complete me :rofl:

What a joke
 
#25
By the way, what year was the Estuary Fly Fisher published?? My copy says 1996. A lot can happen in a few years to a delicate resourse...

According to the reports, anglers caught 303 steelhead in December and 271 in January of the 1983/84 winter season, and 435 fish in December and 475 in January of 1984/85. The following year, the numbers were 273 and 211, with an additional 184 in February. By 1996/97 the Dec./Jan. harvest was down to 122/73, and in 2002/03 it was 20/10. Clearly, this fishery has fallen off a cliff.
Thanks again Doug



The pattern was Randy's Retiary
 

DimeBrite

MA-9 Beach Stalker
#28
Here's a proposal. WFF sponsors the 1st annual Whidbey Fly Steel Tournament this winter. Entry fee is a 1976 Jefferson $2 bill or two Susan B Anthony coins (other threatened or endangered currencies may be considered). Contestants will be alllowed a maximum of 90 trips to the beach (preferably Bush Point or Lagoon) to catch a winter run steelhead. The first one to land and photograph a Whidbey Steelhead and post it into the gallery wins the entire pool (hatchery or wild). To verify the authenticity of the catch you must photograph yourself holding the fish while standing next to the Bush Point Bed & Breakfast pier with a copy of that day's Whidbey News Times paper clearly visible. You will also need to have an authentic Islander witness your catch who must sign and date the contest form in the presence of a notary. Oh, and keep a scale sample for scientific verification. This contest is fly fishing only (ie- no hoochies or spin&glows). Also, in the interest of making this thing last more than a few days no one will be allowed to use Steve Raymond's deadly sure thing pattern, the "Randy's Rietary" (especially at low tide). The winner will take the lead in setting up a BBQ to enjoy the fruits of his/her success with the rest of us (unless of course it is the last of the wild Duwamish steelhead race).
 
#29
Here's a proposal. WFF sponsors the 1st annual Whidbey Fly Steel Tournament this winter. Entry fee is a 1976 Jefferson $2 bill or two Susan B Anthony coins (other threatened or endangered currencies may be considered). Contestants will be alllowed a maximum of 90 trips to the beach (preferably Bush Point or Lagoon) to catch a winter run steelhead. The first one to land and photograph a Whidbey Steelhead and post it into the gallery wins the entire pool (hatchery or wild). To verify the authenticity of the catch you must photograph yourself holding the fish while standing next to the Bush Point Bed & Breakfast pier with a copy of that day's Whidbey News Times paper clearly visible. You will also need to have an authentic Islander witness your catch who must sign and date the contest form in the presence of a notary. Oh, and keep a scale sample for scientific verification. This contest is fly fishing only (ie- no hoochies or spin&glows). Also, in the interest of making this thing last more than a few days no one will be allowed to use Steve Raymond's deadly sure thing pattern, the "Randy's Rietary" (especially at low tide). The winner will take the lead in setting up a BBQ to enjoy the fruits of his/her success with the rest of us (unless of course it is the last of the wild Duwamish steelhead race).
sign me up coach! ive smoked enough weed in the past 24 hours that I'm pretty sure anything is possible! right on gentlemen. lets make-r-happen.
 

Jeff Dodd

Active Member
#30
Next time you'e at Bush and you see a guy fly fishing in a carhart vest smoking a BIG stogie - ask him about fly fishing bush point for steelhead. Sink tip line and popper flies in the appropriate color. Most of the takes come between strips as the fly turns and begins to float up- same idea with the hootchy.

Now the only fish I've hooked (gear) I lost. I have seen steelhead holding right in front of the beach access at Sandpiper and remain there for an hour or more... I've also seen steelhead swim around my fly as if it was in the way haha

I've still not made my first trip of the season, but I agree with Leland, it seems the best time to fish is after a big water event that puts the fish on the move