Whistler, BC area report (2/6)

Diehard

aka Justin
#1
Sorry, this might be a little long...
My self and Icanfly went up to Whistler for the weekend with some friends for some skiing and fishing. The skiing on Saturday was good, but we really wanted to check out the fishing too, so on Sunday we went to the Cheakamus River. The guy at the fly shop said that it was a little too early for steelhead, so this would be a good bet for Dollies. The river is a small-medium sized river and is dam controlled, so it was in perfect shape. We hiked a section about a mile or two long and saw at least 30 bald eagles and hardly any people. The day started off well with a nice Dolly in the first 20 minutes or so. I couldn't believe how fat and healthy it was, much fatter than nearly all the ones I have seen in Washington. In the next hour or two we hooked 3 or 4 more fish, but they all got off. A little further downstream, we got into a small pod of fish and got in two more and both of these were extemely fat too. Near the end of the section we were fishing, I caught my biggest dolly ever. He was around 21-22" long and very fat. We then hiked back up to the car and since we had an hour or so left, we went back down to fish a few more runs that we didn't hit before. We got in three more nice dollies and lost a few more including one that broke me off (11 lb test). At this point, we had about 30 min. left before we had to leave. There was one more little slot next to a partially sunken log that we had seen earlier from the other side of the river that looked good, so Icanfly went down to make a few swings through it. Pretty soon I hear him yell something and I look down to see him hooked up with a fish. I get down to where he is at and he tells me that he thinks it is a big one. I didn't doubt it because every fish we had caught up to this point was big. There was only a small slot for the fish to hold because on one side was fast water and on the other side was the fallen tree full of branches in the water. We were getting nervous that it might dart into the branches and break him off. After a few minutes of hugging the bottom, he came up for a second and we could see how big he was. He looked at least 25-26" long and we both thought that it was a huge Dolly. But right then he turned and took off downstream, right into the fast water. We had to chase him downstream through waist-deep, pretty fast moving water to get to an area where it finally slowed down a little on one side. He got the fish into the slightly slower section and I went below to try and land the fish for him. When the fish got in close enough to see, I couldn't believe it. It was a Steelhead! His first one, and it was a native! I came up from behind and gently lifted the fish half-way out of the water and passed it to him so he could get his picture with it. After a few photos, he let it go back on its way. All this on a 6wt! It was such an awesome first Steelhead. Even though it wasn't my fish, I was still exicted. Imagine what he was like...
So overall, I landed 4 nice Dollies and lost some more, and Icanfly landed 3 and the Steelhead. It turned out to be a pretty amazing day.

Icanly, was there anything I left out?
 

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#4
Great report. Nice fish. What were you guys using? The guide gave me some big ugly orange attractor bug when I was up there.
 

Diehard

aka Justin
#5
We had the best luck on big white rabbit strip streamers with lots of flash. The shop up there recommended a few smaller olive and black streamers, but we didn't have very much luck with those. The Steelhead took a white streamer too, which was a pretty big surprise. I haven't heard of many people using white flies for Steelhead. I don't go for Steelhead very much, but from what I hear it is like 90% presentation.
 
#6
Diehard said:
We had the best luck on big white rabbit strip streamers with lots of flash. The shop up there recommended a few smaller olive and black streamers, but we didn't have very much luck with those. The Steelhead took a white streamer too, which was a pretty big surprise. I haven't heard of many people using white flies for Steelhead. I don't go for Steelhead very much, but from what I hear it is like 90% presentation.

White flies have been working great for me this season. I tied up a 4 inch whitefish pattern that looks like it has a glob of eggs hanging out of its mouth. It's gotten some pretty aggresive takes from both steel and bulls alike.

Also white and black globugs have been working well.. during high water.

Great report, awesome fish. :D Maybe someday they'll let me back into Canada without having to be sneaky about it.
 
#12
That Dolly does look different from Skagit Dollies (which I have learned are actually Bull Trout).

Am I right in thinking that it's probably a "true dolly" vs. the Bull Trout we catch on the Skagit?
 
#14
jaybaker 71,
Yeah, I think so. The guy at the fly shop said he could tell the difference between Dollies and Bulls and he showed me examples. I compared these photos to ones I have taken of the Bulls or Dollies in Washington and they do look quite different. The ones in Washington (Bulls) have a longer snout and usually more color. The ones I just caught in BC have short, pointed snouts and a very silvery color. There are some fish though that you can't really tell if it is a Bull or Dolly.