north fork of the lewis

i just picked up a pontoon boat satuday and fished the north fork of the Lewis sunday. bright fish were around but not in mass as i drifed from cedar creek to the golf course. i tried may flies but no bites. sink tip, floating, swinging, dead drift,and stripping all failed me. my quest sets in the mouth of silvers for i dont believe in steelhead. can any one help? also, are the rivers all blown out in south west wa. much rain has came.

p.s. steelhead are a conspiracy made up to keep me from seeing my girlfreind

Steve Buckner

Mother Nature's Son
As you saw, there are some silvers just beginning to show in the N. Fork of the Lewis. The question is where were you spending your time fishing for them (i.e fast water, slow water, somewhere in between)? There have been a number of jacks make it back to the hatchery which means the adults will not be too far behind. Last prediction I saw was for 40,000 to return.

I recommend fishing for silvers in relatively slack water and or the soft edges. Coho will often hold in less than a few feet of water when given the chance. There is a lot less effort migrating upstream there. Fish found in faster water are often moving through and are therefore more reluctant to strike a fly.

Just like nymph fishing for trout, subtle changes in your approach, retrieve, cast etc. make the difference between success and failure. However, sometimes Coho do get lock jaw and it doesn't matter what you throw at them, they just ignore. More often than not however, a little rain does them good and makes them more aggressive.

The other recommendation is that you examine what types of flies you've been using. Most fly shops recommend big gaudy flies from Alaska. Try using more sparse patterns, something that won't spook the fish away. I generally don't use hooks larger than size 6, and tie streamer like patterns. They're far more effective than those big Alaska type flies. Sometimes flies like comets work, sometimes small egg sucking leaches also work.

Hope that helps,
thanks skinny, i have tried all you have written and that is what makes my nights sleepless. you did however mention the rain might make them more aggresive. this is the second time tonight i have heard this idea. is it fact?
tommorrow i will fish the east fork any info on that?

Steve Buckner

Mother Nature's Son
As mentioned, sometimes it doesn't seem to matter what you try, the @$#$ fish just won't take. Then, for no apparent reason, (river water the same, weather the same, everything seemingly the same) the start crashing everything in sight. They're well known for this behavior.

Have you been able to see your fly in relation to the fish? Can you tell if they are getting spooked or if they are just not paying any attention to your fly?

One thought, is there someway you can post a picture of the fly you're using as I may have suggestions on what to change? I prefer using rolled mudlers, sparse flash flies of various colors, and other things from time to time.

I've not fished the east fork but my suggestion is that if you know where fish are that you keep in that general zone. Better to spend your time where you know fish are.

thanks again skinny,
as for flies, i have been using purple and black mudlers, egg sucking purple leeches,and green butt lite flash bugger type things and what not. nothing goddy but tried them also.

most fish ive seen were not to spooked by the sight of me. i have had 4 on but they all broke off in the period of a mounth and a half. the rest just dont give a hump.

on a different note, i caught my very first steelhead today. though small in size the pleasure was gigantic. it was a native east fork maybe 5 pound ball of fun on a black flashed bugger i tied my self! i used mudlers all day and decided to go to something dark when after 2 casts,SLAM! my first fish on my new pontoon boat.

but more so do you live in clack county and would you like to go fishing? i fish everyday and will drive.

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