Skagit 2021?

Hillbilly Redneck

wishin i was fishin
Sure, I've been called a xenophobe, but the truth is, I'm not. I honestly just feel that swinging flies is the best way to catch steelhead and the other ways aren't as good. That used to be called being a flyfisherman.
I've never been accused of being a fly fisherman. Especially not a winter steelhead fly fisherman. I'm not sure what you mean by the "best" way to catch steelhead. If you mean "most effective" then I honestly believe you are crazy. At least for most winter steelhead fisheries. If you mean "the method I enjoy the most" then I agree 100%. Fish the way that makes you happy.
I probably should have not mentioned my gear fishing on this site but I thought that it would under score how difficult the fishing has been with the conditions and pressure. It also made those fly hooked fish that much sweeter. And I give props to my gear fishing friend who probably can read the holding water on the Sauk as good as anyone.
 

CreekScrambler

Active Member
That’s about what I thought...gear party. I’m glad I didn’t pour too much river time into the last month or so. I was getting a bit worn out.
 

matchu865

WFF Supporter
Skunked this year winter steelhead fishing. I think I only logged 7-9 days but it’s still pretty disheartening compared to years prior. Caught one nice cutthroat, and swung up a whitefish on a 3” intruder, which was a first. Still enjoyed my time out there and on other river’s.
 

CreekScrambler

Active Member
Skunked this year winter steelhead fishing. I think I only logged 7-9 days but it’s still pretty disheartening compared to years prior. Caught one nice cutthroat, and swung up a whitefish on a 3” intruder, which was a first. Still enjoyed my time out there and on other river’s.
Nice! I logged about 18 trips and my one steelhead arrived on the 10th trip (late Jan).
 

Charles Sullivan

Active Member
I've never been accused of being a fly fisherman. Especially not a winter steelhead fly fisherman. I'm not sure what you mean by the "best" way to catch steelhead. If you mean "most effective" then I honestly believe you are crazy. At least for most winter steelhead fisheries. If you mean "the method I enjoy the most" then I agree 100%. Fish the way that makes you happy.
I probably should have not mentioned my gear fishing on this site but I thought that it would under score how difficult the fishing has been with the conditions and pressure. It also made those fly hooked fish that much sweeter. And I give props to my gear fishing friend who probably can read the holding water on the Sauk as good as anyone.
I'm envious that you got out so much. My life has recently turned into a country music song so I never got out to fish my favorite river.
Your post got me thinking. Kudo's to you for being able to take gear fishing intel and decipher it in a way that helped you hook fish. Often this is difficult to do. My gear friends will often tell me exactly when and where they hooked fish and the spot or even area is just unsuitable for fly fishing. Sometimes it's because they are fishing from a boat (different perspective, no wading) and sometimes it's due to depth or water speed etc.
Flyfishing is the best way to catch steelhead to me. If I thought differently I would fish differently. One of the reasons I like it best is the challenge that getting a fly before a fish without lead shot, bobbers etc. presents (there are other reasons too). The angler has to edit the water as @Salmo_g has taught me over the years. Taking info garnered from gear fishermen, deciphering and editing it, and then using the resultant info. is a super useful skill. My daughter may even call it top tier. The competent gear fisherman will have much more positive reinforcement in the form of hooked fish than most flyfishermen. Some can be quite loosed lipped at times. Good on you for being able to steal their positive reinforcement and using it for yourself. That's a skill I could improve upon. Of course, I have to be a able to get to the river.

Go Sox,
cds
 

bk paige

Wishin I was on the Sauk
Well I didn't touch a fish this year in about 6 walk in trips trips, never did get to do a float. I had a fish on for about 10 seconds that I think was a large Bull trout the way it fought. Fished a floater with a heavy iron Wnters Hope a couple times durining the low water but it never produced.

I just didn't have the drive I used to have, seamed like a waist of time most days and even some of the fishiest people I know didn't touch a fish.
Here's too next year!
 

_WW_

Geriatric Skagit Swinger
WFF Supporter
Picked up two total, in early March, on consecutive days no less. Then a royal skunking the rest of the season. My regular partner got two also. It seems a lot of the fishiest guys I know went without a pull all season. Tough duty for sure.
 

Brandon

Floatin'
Well I didn't touch a fish this year in about 6 walk in trips trips, never did get to do a float. I had a fish on for about 10 seconds that I think was a large Bull trout the way it fought. Fished a floater with a heavy iron Wnters Hope a couple times durining the low water but it never produced.

I just didn't have the drive I used to have, seamed like a waist of time most days and even some of the fishiest people I know didn't touch a fish.
Here's too next year!
I hate to say it but the big buck I caught felt like a bull for at least a minute. Not even a big bull, just small soft head shakes and not much movement. Then it went apeshit cartwheeling through the air and making runs like a freight train. Maybe you had a 20 pounder on :eek:
 

Salmo_g

WFF Supporter
Just finished 4 days of fishing on the Skagit and a little on the Sauk. Low, low, low and clear. And beautiful. Today I'm slightly sore, so I must be getting soft with age. I've always been able to cast all day with no grief to my shoulders or arms.

It's been a tough winter season. Fished 16 days, with 10 on the Skagit system, and caught 3 bull trout on the coast and 1 steelhead on the Skagit. Fortunately the steelhead was one that reminded me why I still play this game of diminishing returns. Two deep runs into the backing and 9 jumps. That is uncommon, even for summer steelhead, except on the Dean. Walked a lot of gravel bar miles the last few days, and by yesterday it was apparent that it's time to replace the Kold Kutter screws in my felts. Talk about a tough season, an acquaintance on Sunday told me that he has fished 40 days since January on the Skagit and Sauk and didn't touch a single bull trout or steelhead. That's grim.
 

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