The steelhead river so nice...

...that they named it twice: the Chilliwack/Vedder in s.w. B.C. For us steelhead wretches agonizing in the Puget Sounds of Silence, be of good cheer: the Vedder is open, and March and April are the height of the winter(?) steelhead run.

I fished the Vedder today. From my home in Bellingham, it was 38 miles - half the distance to the most upstream of my favorite runs on the Skagit. The water was dropping, with about two feet of visibility. No, I didn't catch one, but I had a pluck. There were other anglers in sight, but not crowding each other. (I won't fish it on weekends, when you have to turn sideways to fit between the pin reelers.)

Downside: time in line at the border crossings. About 20 minutes in Sumas in late morning, over an hour in the evening heading home. Fill your gas tank and take a good book.
Downstream from Vedder Crossing (which I think is where the names change) for about five miles, the river has a number of wide channels between sandbars, naturals for swinging. But also there are small side channels with little pools and eddies, prime for bobber-watching. The Vedder is a good size for wade fishing, perhaps 1 1/2 or two times the size of the North Stilly. I haven't seen anyone floating the river, in any craft, although it probably happens.

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