Sky Steelhead

bk paige

Wishin I was on the Sauk
Being a piss poor/fickle biter is simply a measure of Skykomish salmon in general.
Having figured the Coho out they are really easy to catch, at least on gear, the Chinook can deffinetly be more difficult to catch. But I have not intentionally targeted them in earnest, but have caught them on fly and gear looking for steelhead or Coho.

In general I think Salmon need the completion of other salmon to make great fishing, being Choo, Chinook, Pink or Chum. The more fish in a run the more success one can encounter, want to have a 100 fish day, you will need to have a run of 200k to 500k fish(think pinks). Want a 20 fish day, you will need 80k, the more fish in a run the more compitation there is for your lure, and the more action one will encounter.
 

JACKspASS

Active Member
Having figured the Coho out they are really easy to catch, at least on gear, the Chinook can deffinetly be more difficult to catch. But I have not intentionally targeted them in earnest, but have caught them on fly and gear looking for steelhead or Coho.

In general I think Salmon need the completion of other salmon to make great fishing, being Choo, Chinook, Pink or Chum. The more fish in a run the more success one can encounter, want to have a 100 fish day, you will need to have a run of 200k to 500k fish(think pinks). Want a 20 fish day, you will need 80k, the more fish in a run the more compitation there is for your lure, and the more action one will encounter.
Ok, so how many fish are holding infront of Hogarty at Reiter when 6-10 fish are brought in throughout the course of 1 day?

I think these are fhe questions we all ask ourselves when we are steelheading, albeit, not at Reiter. lol
 

skyrise

Active Member
Having figured the Coho out they are really easy to catch, at least on gear, the Chinook can deffinetly be more difficult to catch. But I have not intentionally targeted them in earnest, but have caught them on fly and gear looking for steelhead or Coho.

In general I think Salmon need the completion of other salmon to make great fishing, being Choo, Chinook, Pink or Chum. The more fish in a run the more success one can encounter, want to have a 100 fish day, you will need to have a run of 200k to 500k fish(think pinks). Want a 20 fish day, you will need 80k, the more fish in a run the more compitation there is for your lure, and the more action one will encounter.
bait or hardware ? since you have it figured out. just wondering ?
eggs have always been best for me & my buddy’s since the 70’s.
and I hear the same from coworkers about the Skagit kings. used to do well with spinners but that was a long time ago when the returns were much higher.
 

Shad

Active Member
I'm sure we authorize far more development projects than habitat restorations, but the thing that befuddles me most is how anybody expects restored habitat to help when escapement goals are NEVER increased. Even new, pristine habitat won't produce fish if no spawners are allowed to utilize it. For me, this makes it clear that the habitat projects are largely greenwashing, to the end of justifying ill-advised development projects.
 

bk paige

Wishin I was on the Sauk
bait or hardware ? since you have it figured out. just wondering ?
eggs have always been best for me & my buddy’s since the 70’s.
and I hear the same from coworkers about the Skagit kings. used to do well with spinners but that was a long time ago when the returns were much higher.
Hardware, I used to use bait years ago but grew tired of dealing with it, now I do far better!
 

ChrisC

Active Member
The same could be said about trout stocking. Small percentage of the population per expense.
The bottom line is WDFW is there to provide fishing/hunting opportunities. Among other things. We pay for it so plant as many as possible. No one seems to get all worried about how many Salmon we plant so plant as much as possible.
Opportunity, opportunity. Let’s have as many choices as possible. there always seems to be money for sockeye or trout or stupid wolves than there IS money for Steelhead. Which brings in Way more dollars to the economy.
Rant ended.
A major casualty of the pullback in hatchery programs were fisheries that provided an easier entry point for anglers new to steelhead. Snoqualmie summer run plants come to mind - they seemed to bring both economic benefit and greater interest to the species. Why did those (Snoqualmie summer runs) plants stop a couple of years ago?
 

JACKspASS

Active Member
There are not many streams with native summers, so why not end the chambers plants and put the extra space into raising summers? Plant all tributaries and main stem like the old days. Summers will be available longer to catch and provide alot more opportunity then winter runs, hell, summers can be caught well into November. Plant 300k at Reiter/Tokul and 50k to all tributaries and we might have decent fishing.....If I was king for a day :eek::rolleyes:
 
Apparently, everyone has forgotten about this:
Thanks for reminding us _WW_.

I get it that that this is a fly FISHING forum first, and a fish CONSERVATION forum a distant second, but there are many on here, myself included, who believe that ultimately what is good for fly fishermen is to take steps that are best for the wild native fish in our ecosystem. I've stopped fishing for steelhead in large part for that reason (and truthfully because probability of success had so diminished over the last 20 years). I become moderately depressed by reading posts in threads like this that basically say "to hell with the native wild fish, just plant as many hatchery fish as possible so that I can catch fish," as if our natural environment is nothing more than a theme park for your personal pleasure. Stepping down from my soapbox now...
Dick
 

Smalma

Active Member
Richard -
I will climb on that soapbox.

For decades I have been an advocate for wild steelhead and the need to prioritize their needs. That is precisely the reason that I did not jumped on the anti-hatchery band wagon. For at least 25 years in the Puget Sound region (and maybe elsewhere) the wild/hatchery steelhead interactions has been very limited. Compared to the other factors adversely impact the region's wild steelhead those hatchery/wild impacts were not detectable in the wash of the massive impacts from freshwater habitat degradations and marine environment changes.

For those last 25 years the continued painting as those hatchery/wild impacts as a major factor has constantly divert the discussions and ultimately restoration actions away from those major factors limiting our steelhead. That delay in actually addressing those major limiting factors has all but assured the extinction of Puget Sound steelhead. By the end of the next decade we may well see viable numbers of wild steelhead reduce to a very small handful of Puget Sound steelhead populations.

The collapse of the north Sound river steelhead populations makes my case. If you still have any doubt consider the blight of the Skagit steelhead (the last Puget Sound stronghold). Since the ending of all hatchery releases in the basin in 2013 the numbers of wild steelhead returning to the basin has declined by 45%. The freshwater and marine water dominate limiting factors that limited the steelhead returns while the hatchery plants were increase remained in play and continue limit the steelhead even with no hatchery fish.

The harsh reality is that are seeing the end of steelhead fishing (with or without hatchery fish) and ultimately the end of steelhead by ignoring the limiting impacts chasing less painful actions thus allowing minimal societal changes. The plight of the State fish is clearly showing us the future of other Washington iconic species (Chinook salmon and resident orcas.

It gives me no joy to be the bear of this sad news.

Curt
 

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