Fly Fishing The Stilly

Looking for advice about fishing the Stilly. I will be heading there around the 21st of June. Any have any favorites flies and or locations for this time of the year?

Cutthroat Fight :COOK
You may be a little early to find many Deer Creek Native steelhead, but there should be some hatchery steelhead around. Where and what to fish depends a lot on the flows and visibility, especially this year with the run-offs we are experiencing. I like to fish below Deer creek if the visibility allows, and fish from Fortson down to C-post bridge if Deer creek or the Hazel slide is kicking up lots of mud. One of my best summer run patterns is a black or purple #6 woolley-bugger, or smaller marabous or GP's for fishing sink-tips. Check the archives of this site for several other topics on the Stilly, or Northwest Flyfishing magazine had an article on the NF Stilly. Good Luck, Steve

Old Man

Just an Old Man
I might be old---but I'm good.

North,South,or main river. Just Stilly doesn't cut it. But if you are game the main is out of shape and will be till the end of summer. The N/fork is dirty/cloudy up to about Hazel. The S/fork is okay if you fish above Gold basin. From there on down it looks like a storming sky.

I notice some people don't like me telling about these rivers. As long as I give out the general areas I don't see nothing bad in it. I have my places to fish and you/they have theirs.

If you want to know where these places are go get a state atlas. That's about all the help I'm going to give. Jim :TONGUE

Old Man

Just an Old Man
I might be old---but I'm good.

I wish to apolgize for my last post. But I don't like it when somebody emails me and just about tells me to shut up about a certain river.

There is alot of water out there to fish and I don't know where all the good water is but I keep trying to find it. And if I can steer you all in the right direction I will.Just don't ask for where I fish.
Hey, there is a lot of water to fish on the NF. Most of the drive-in spots are easy enough to locate by the pullouts on the sides of the road or by the trails at the ends of gravel roads. I have not done well there for some reason but have managed a couple of big natives below the mouth of Deer Creek.



Active Member
Hey Old Man don't let the email get to you. You've fished a lot of water and discovered a ton of nuances on the rivers. I don't think this forum is a place were the masses look to find spots, tell the world and fish them out. This seems like a cool responsible group of folks who love to fish- I can't think of a better group to share info with. Besides, you can share you own experiences with whomever you choose--don't let anyone tell you different. Thanks for the insights, and I hope to see you on the river soon. Tight lines.

Old Man

Just an Old Man
I might be old---but I'm good.

I don't usually let anything get to me but what I got made me just alittle mad, but I'm over it now.

Went to the N/fork today. Got there in the early AM. Fished just down from Hazel. No fish. But I did chase some guys off of the river,they were going to spin fish and I told them that this is fly fishing only. And they left. Boy,talk about high water. Jim S.
I had the same thing happen to me a week ago on the NF, the guys actually admitted to me that they were getting ready to "soak some nightcrawlers". I then informed them it was ff only and has been so for many many years. The good thing was that they got back into the truck and left. I hope they didn't just go around the corner.


Ignored Member
I don't like giving to much info out on the net about certain places. The Stilly being one of those places but, that is my choice. I do on occasion give some info. Mostly I like to tell some of what I know of the history of the Stilly. It is a fabled river with a rich history in fly fishing. The NF Stilly was the first river in the US designated fly fishing only in the early 1940s. A lot of steelhead fly fishing pioneers fished the Stilly and Deer Creek. Roderick Haig-Brown and Zane Grey a couple of the most notable.

I would hope that those who do fish below Deer Creek realize that the Deer Creek steelhead are not out of trouble yet. The run is only half of its historical size of 2000 or so fish with around 1000 fish predicted to return this year. In 1990 the run was said to have had only 80 to 100 fish returning and the Deer Creek steelhead was predicted to be extinct by the year 2000. A lot of hard work and a bit of luck has brought this run back from the brink of extinction.
Old Man,

I know how you feel about people giving you a hard time about giving info away. You are being really helpful and then some jerkoff tells you to keep quiet. All anyone has to do is read all of the literature out there. People will sell their soul for $$$$ and the writers do.It is a sad situation but I feel that you can say what you want when it comes to informing individuals that want to have the same experience that you have. People are even less forgiving when it comes to Steelhead water since the waters are more desirable. I say screw em! Ask and you shall receive. Also, read Steelhead Shangrila.

(The shop guys are never helpful anyways)

Next time, try the Purple King. They like purple!

Old Man

Just an Old Man
I might be old---but I'm good.

I'm going to tie up some purple wooly buggers soon.I just got some of that flashy chenille in purple. Also I have a question for you that fish the N/fork. I noticed some flies comming off yesterday and they looked like they had a lime green body with white wings. I was going to tie some up but I didn't have any green in that color. That was the first time that I have done that. I must be learning. Jim :THUMBSUP
Kudos to Old Man for his spirit. I don't have a beef with those who want to keep their own special spots secret, but to tell others not to disclose information on this site about a river system generally is B.S. It seems to me that most of those seeking information are simply novices who want to get into the sport. Giving new flyfishers enough information to get out and get hooked on the sport is in everyone's interest. If we can get more C & R folks interested and on the water, sensible fishing regulations will have more advocates and the poachers will have less places to hide. I would rather ease the entry of new blood rather promote the "pay your dues" philosophy.

Old Man

Just an Old Man
I might be old---but I'm good.

I think that they were about a size 16 or a 14. They weren't to big but they were pretty. Snagged one with my hat just to look at it. Lime green body with off white wings. There weren't many of them but they were there. But since there was no fish they could hatch and mate with no problem.

I was thinking that A green trude would be good if it is small.Jim :DUNNO

Don't mayflies when they sit at rest have their wings stand up. These wings were laying flat on their back like a caddis.

Got some green stuff to tie some up but my shakes got the better of me so I will try later.


Active Member

That was a stonefly called a yellow sally. They come in many shades of yelly to green and usually don't get bigger than a size 12. Fly Fisherman did a good write up on these bugs in the July 2002 issue.

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