How are the Satsop and Wynoochee doing?

#1
Anybody been out?
I live in the local area, only been here a few months.
I went out on the Satsop with a gear fishing guide a couple weeks ago and we hooked one big wild steelhead on a yarn ball floating 4-5 feet underneath a bobber. It was my first time on the river. It ended up being a beautiful partially sunny day but that was our only fish. I don't typically gear fish, but I've been doing it because that's what all the guides do and I have to start somewhere. In my view, bobber and jig fishing is literally no different than fly fishing with an indicator, conceptually. They use braided high visibility line that floats, which you must cast out and get a dead drift with, then mend your line. I was laughing as I learned the technique for the first time, telling my guide "this is just like fly fishing..."
He responded "except we're catching fish." Well, one. It was a nice one. We actually lost it at the side of the boat because the line wrapped around the rod holder and he twisted off.

These rivers are BUSY, power boats everywhere full of people. Not many of them catching many fish. Rivers have been blown for weeks, but no rain for a week now and the flows are down. I drove down to the mouth of the satsop where it meets the chehalis and found a beautiful little bank spot but the water was brown from the chehalis refluxing back up the mouth of the satsop.

So, I have a gear set up now due to the "if you can't beat em, join em" phenomenon.
However, I really want to fly fish these rivers. I think I need to hear at least one success story before I go buy a new 8wt fly rod :)
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#2
I haven't found either the Satsop or Wynoochee Rivers to be very conducive to fly fishing for steelhead. Jig and bobber, or nymphing, or dirty azz nymphing as it's better known, are effective methods on those rivers tho. If the swing's your thing, then you'll likely prefer other rivers.

Sg
 

Gyrfalcon2015

Wild Trout forever
#4
Are you asking about pre-1970's? Those rivers have been off for decades..minus hatchery brats on the W..

Combat guide slingers Wynoochee, Satsop a lot of nothing for a lot of years..

Also, if that guide was Sw*nny, he has a habit of turning native fish into hatchery with a quick snip ! Bad guy.
Maybe he is already locked up from either killing native fish or getting busted w/ disability while guiding 300 days a year..
 
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Gyrfalcon2015

Wild Trout forever
#8
Anybody been out?
I live in the local area, only been here a few months.
I went out on the Satsop with a gear fishing guide a couple weeks ago and we hooked one big wild steelhead on a yarn ball floating 4-5 feet underneath a bobber. It was my first time on the river. It ended up being a beautiful partially sunny day but that was our only fish. I don't typically gear fish, but I've been doing it because that's what all the guides do and I have to start somewhere. In my view, bobber and jig fishing is literally no different than fly fishing with an indicator, conceptually. They use braided high visibility line that floats, which you must cast out and get a dead drift with, then mend your line. I was laughing as I learned the technique for the first time, telling my guide "this is just like fly fishing..."
He responded "except we're catching fish." Well, one. It was a nice one. We actually lost it at the side of the boat because the line wrapped around the rod holder and he twisted off.

These rivers are BUSY, power boats everywhere full of people. Not many of them catching many fish. Rivers have been blown for weeks, but no rain for a week now and the flows are down. I drove down to the mouth of the satsop where it meets the chehalis and found a beautiful little bank spot but the water was brown from the chehalis refluxing back up the mouth of the satsop.

So, I have a gear set up now due to the "if you can't beat em, join em" phenomenon.
However, I really want to fly fish these rivers. I think I need to hear at least one success story before I go buy a new 8wt fly rod :)
double
 

Shad

Active Member
#9
Those are my local waters, and the spring fishing that used to be great is now a shitshow. A dozen trailers yesterday at Black Creek... On a Monday. On the way home, I saw 8 trailers at the W. Fork Satsop. Crazy.

Ever since they started closing the Puget Sound rivers at the end of Jan., spring on the coast has featured more anglers than fish.

I put in the work to access the Middle Wynoochee yesterday (you know, the part Green Diamond whored out to guides from Montana). Scenery and solitude were grand, but no signs of fish. After about an hour, a guide boat came down from the 7400, with 3 clients. Having fished through all the best water in that drift, they were 1 for 1, with one downstreamer to show for the day. Talked to a friend who was fishing down by Tall Timbers and also got skunked. Lots of anglers; few fish. It's becoming the norm in Grays Harbor.

Back on topic, I agree with Salmo. Satsop and Wynoochee are not great fly water. I've swung up a couple on the Nooch, but never the Satsop. I like to fish hardware and jigs most of the time these days. Save the Spey gear for the Quinault and points north... And the Cowlitz.
 
#10
I haven't found either the Satsop or Wynoochee Rivers to be very conducive to fly fishing for steelhead. Jig and bobber, or nymphing, or dirty azz nymphing as it's better known, are effective methods on those rivers tho. If the swing's your thing, then you'll likely prefer other rivers.

Sg
With the ridiculous amount of pressure on these rivers you'd be lucky to find a fish on the swing.

I'm not saying it can't happen but it's tough there's just far toooooo much pressure on these two rivers.
 
#11
Those are my local waters, and the spring fishing that used to be great is now a shitshow. A dozen trailers yesterday at Black Creek... On a Monday. On the way home, I saw 8 trailers at the W. Fork Satsop. Crazy.

Ever since they started closing the Puget Sound rivers at the end of Jan., spring on the coast has featured more anglers than fish.

I put in the work to access the Middle Wynoochee yesterday (you know, the part Green Diamond whored out to guides from Montana). Scenery and solitude were grand, but no signs of fish. After about an hour, a guide boat came down from the 7400, with 3 clients. Having fished through all the best water in that drift, they were 1 for 1, with one downstreamer to show for the day. Talked to a friend who was fishing down by Tall Timbers and also got skunked. Lots of anglers; few fish. It's becoming the norm in Grays Harbor.

Back on topic, I agree with Salmo. Satsop and Wynoochee are not great fly water. I've swung up a couple on the Nooch, but never the Satsop. I like to fish hardware and jigs most of the time these days. Save the Spey gear for the Quinault and points north... And the Cowlitz.
Only 12 at black creek? That's nothing.

It's a complete Sh__tshow around here.
 
Likes: XP

Shad

Active Member
#15
I wouldn't go so far as to say they aren't WORTH flyfishing; I still do sometimes and occasionally even catch something. The Nooch is a good summer run stream, but the fish hang out in really strange places. Look for any combination of shade and depth on bright days. I haven't tried it, but I think the Nooch could be a great place to strip streamers. Hmmmm.... Satsop gets a few strays summer runs that can make for cool surprises, but not enough to be worth targeting in my opinion.

Both rivers (especially the Satsop) get fall salmon that can be targeted with flies, as long as you have a lot of patience.
 

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