March 8th closure of more OP rivers ... Yikes.

Shad

Active Member
Maybe we have forgotten what it used to be like back in the 70’s - 80’s when you left in the morning not knowing if the spot or run you decided on would have 1 or 2 guys or ugh more. If we chose a certain run for the morning you just expected there would be guys there because that usually meant fish were being caught in that area. Of course you had 50 times more places to choose from but there were always someone around. I think about the Springer season down on the Columbia, if you have trouble sharing water down there then you best stay home.
I would trade what we have now in a nanosecond for the busy, guys everywhere like it was in the 70’s. Had a blast back then & got to know some good folks on the river.
For sure, that where the fish are you will usually have company has long been true. Of course, when there are good numbers around, there are plenty of biters to go around as well, so crowds aren't really a problem. Heck, Buoy 10 is a complete cluster, but almost everyone gets their fish, because there are a lot around (relatively speaking). I won't comment on how that fishery impacts every tributary, big and small, upstream. That's for another thread.

Back to the point, these days, we have crowds fishing over consistently weak numbers. You not only need a rock, but you need the best rock, and you practically have to camp on top of it overnight to get it.

I only wish I had been here in the 70s or 80s, but even I have noticed significant reductions in opportunity and quality in my 20+ years. Even I can remember a LOT more access to fishable water (with fish in it!!!). Not sure anything can be done short of letting more salmon return, so yeah, as far as I can tell, they are aquarium fish from here on out.
 

CreekScrambler

Active Member
Maybe we have forgotten what it used to be like back in the 70’s - 80’s when you left in the morning not knowing if the spot or run you decided on would have 1 or 2 guys or ugh more. If we chose a certain run for the morning you just expected there would be guys there because that usually meant fish were being caught in that area. Of course you had 50 times more places to choose from but there were always someone around. I think about the Springer season down on the Columbia, if you have trouble sharing water down there then you best stay home.
I would trade what we have now in a nanosecond for the busy, guys everywhere like it was in the 70’s. Had a blast back then & got to know some good folks on the river.
I’d also trade the slim pickings of today for yesteryear’s storied opportunity. I pretty much had the big water to myself until the last weekend in January and I can hardly fathom what it was like back in the day. Way more fish spread out over a lot more river and a longer season sounds pretty good from where we stand now. But, I’m not hitting 88 mph anytime soon.

Maybe things will turn around, maybe they’ll become relics of the past.
 

Hendodesign

Active Member
Got to shake hands with a little buck on the last day of fishing on the Quinault. It was a brutal day full of hail and super cold wind. That steelhead is probably gonna be my one and only steelhead this season. That river is such a wonderful place and I love supporting my guide there. He's just good people.

I'm bummed to hear that they are all getting funneled into the Hoh and forks area rivers. It just sounds like the next month up there is going to be a zoo. The one day I ventured up to the Sauk definitely made me rethink things given the sheer amount of cars. Luckily most of the guys on the river were cool and understood there wasn't going to be much solitude. I really hope this isn't the end as I really enjoy exploring the rivers these fish call home. Maybe need to fly just a touch south for the winter.
 

Shad

Active Member
Got to shake hands with a little buck on the last day of fishing on the Quinault. It was a brutal day full of hail and super cold wind. That steelhead is probably gonna be my one and only steelhead this season. That river is such a wonderful place and I love supporting my guide there. He's just good people.

I'm bummed to hear that they are all getting funneled into the Hoh and forks area rivers. It just sounds like the next month up there is going to be a zoo. The one day I ventured up to the Sauk definitely made me rethink things given the sheer amount of cars. Luckily most of the guys on the river were cool and understood there wasn't going to be much solitude. I really hope this isn't the end as I really enjoy exploring the rivers these fish call home. Maybe need to fly just a touch south for the winter.
Congrats on the hookup!

We'll still have December thru January (maybe February) to fish for hatchery fish, so it's probably not all over, but we may be done with spring steelheading on the coast, unless taking sport anglers off the rivers somehow leads to a miraculous recovery (no reason it should).

Either way, I imagine you'll still be able to fish on the reservation with a guide in future years.
 

Salmo_g

WFF Supporter
I closed out my coastal season on one of the now closed rivers. I intended to fish until late afternoon, but at 3:10 a bright lightning bolt flashed across the valley followed by a hella' loud thunder clap. Older and wiser these days, I decided I didn't need to be standing in the middle of a river holding a highly conductive carbon fiber fly rod, so I beat feet to shore, took down my rod and made my way to my car. It was also the 4th hailstorm I'd been pelted by that day, and that was enough.
 

Hendodesign

Active Member
I closed out my coastal season on one of the now closed rivers. I intended to fish until late afternoon, but at 3:10 a bright lightning bolt flashed across the valley followed by a hella' loud thunder clap. Older and wiser these days, I decided I didn't need to be standing in the middle of a river holding a highly conductive carbon fiber fly rod, so I beat feet to shore, took down my rod and made my way to my car. It was also the 4th hailstorm I'd been pelted by that day, and that was enough.

Glad I brought my waterproof backpack.

D0BF615A-2D3B-47C9-B9A6-07A07D8B572C.jpeg
 

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