I'm planning a backpack trip into the Stehekin area and was wondering if anyone has fished there. Looking at Dagger and McAlester lakes, Rainbow and Bridge creeks as possible fishing spots. Any info on these or other possibilities in the area are appreciated.
I was there a few summers ago. Neat place. Be sure to visit the bakery...
I didn't do a lot of fishing, but it was pretty clear that if you worked away from the main roads and trails, there were plenty of fiesty little fish to be had. The water was as clean and clear as I've ever seen, and the trout were just as beautiful...
Oh - watch out for bears (and mice CAN climb into your hanging food - don't just bear proof - mouse proof too!!)
Two years ago, I met a fellow who lives in Stehekin and has fished that system his whole life. I told him I was thinking of coming up and wondered how the fly fishing is. He responded with a very detailed e-mail about fishing the Stehekin. Below is his entire response, which I found interesting and quite inviting:
"The Stehekin River and its tributaries, Company Creek, Agnes Creek and Bridge Creek open to general fishing, i.e. Fly, Bait, Spoons, July 1 and remain open until September 30. Indigenous are Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout and occasionally a Dollie Varden Char. Big fish are found in the lower 4 to 5 miles of the river with pan size above that and in the tributaries.
"I regularly take fish 17" to 28" within the first mile of the River. Pressure is light and to my absolute delight I routinely meet spin and bait fishermen that are quick to comment that there are no fish in this River.
"I use a 9' fly rod, very light and with uniform flex. tapered line and 2 to 3 pound tapered leader. This may surprise you: it matters little whether you use dry flies or so called wet flies. It is how you fish the currents and eddies that bring out the big fish. The big fish lay in the fastest water...white water if you will...and dart out after the fly then back in the current. Be prepared to follow the fish if you want to keep some on this light leader.
"Following the fish is no easy matter in the Stehekin. A 20" fish requires about 20 minutes and 2 - 200' of shoreline to land.
I feared my fishing days were numbered until last year when my wife found a set of remarkable boots with which I can once again stay upright in the water on the slick rocks. Incidentally you must get in the water to fly fish the Stehekin.
The usual flies, i.e.. North West variety, will catch some fish, however for the Big Fellows I find a variant of the Montana Nymph and the McGinty catch the fish I'm after. You will not take big fish with little flies. I have mine tied to order by the Avid Angler in Seattle on No., 6 and No. 8 snelled hooks.
I was taught by my grandfather to rig a lead fly, and 3-4' behind, a trailing fly so multiple hits can and do occur. Particularly in the
tributaries where a big fish is 12". Bridge Creek you can limit on pan fry in 30 minutes. Speaking of limits read your State Fishing rules to be properly confused about what you can take and where. Where I fish a limit is two fish 15" or more.
"It is you against the bushes, trees, vines, logs, debris and other vexations. Don't expect the "River Runs Thru It" setting.
"Reading the water, the hatch, and negotiating the current is fishing the Stehekin. Done right, you will have some fun."
Enough detail for you? I still haven't made it up there yet (it's quite a haul), but it's right up near the top of my "places to visit" list.
I fished Bridge Cr. last summer. I hiked 6 miles down the PCT and fished my way back out. The creek is full of mid-sized, 8 to 10 inches, cutts just as Coho's friend said. The stream has brush down both sides and requires wading to fish it effectively. Last year the water was warm, I waded wet, and low. This year is a different story. The snowpack will keep this running high probably until fall, so it will be harder to fish. The cutts in this stream took drys all day long, and the area is worth the hike. Enjoy!!!