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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Fishing the Sky yesterday near Monroe and landed 2 of the ugliest fish I've ever seen at the end of my line. What in tarnation were they?

They had bottom-feeding mouths like a sucker, huge greensish/orangish scales, and were each over 20 inches. They fought like logs and were very squishy in the hand. One took a Skykomish Sunrise and the other a #2 Purple Spey in the slow water on the inside of a bend about crotch deep.

After searching around, I think they were white suckers but they were bigger than the descriptions and much darker--maybe a golden-redhorse like attached?

Anyone know what I'm talking about? This raises a bunch of questions:
- do they school (2 in the space of 15 minutes seems a bit much)
- does their presence mean a lack of more trouty fish in the area
- are they unwanted, invasive species that I should have removed from the system

Man, they were ugly. But seeing as I've yet to catch anything else out there I guess it was just nice to see rod bending again. Thanks.
 

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Have you already ruled out whitefish? If not, I would assume these fish you've caught were whitefish. Everything you've said about them (except about being squishy) sounds exactly like a ******. They do tend to school up and become active in the winter time. Especially in slower water. They have medium-large gold scales and a small, downward-facing mouth.
If they weren't whitefish, I'm sure we'd all be interested to know what they were!

http://www.fisheries.org/idaho/mountain_whitefish.htm
 

· Formerly Tight Loops
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I caught one on the lower Stilly in November during the Chum run. I think that they are a native species that is occasionally caught in the rivers.

And I don't rank them as ugly, they are just suckers. I mean they are nowhere near the ugliest creature I have seen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

· Just an Old Man
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The thrill is not in the kill---But to let them go.

I caught one of those ugly fish out of the Sky a few years ago.But I got it in the tail,boy did it put up a fight. But it was before I have been putting my time in fly fishing. Come to think of it I caught more fish when I was over on the dark side fishing.

Not to change the place fron the Sky,but I caught a Sucker like fish out of the S/F Stilly a few years ago. It wasn't green like yours was and it didn't have scales that one could see. It looked smooth. It weighted about 5 lbs had very big lips like a sucker. Caught it on a worm in a slow deep hole under the old bridge out of Arlington. The one that was replaced.

Jim
 

· Driven by irrational exuberance.
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The largescale sucker is common in most Washington rivers. See: http://www.orst.edu/instruct/fw316/markle/fishimages.html under Lampreys to Salmonids. If it had those big pimply lips deeply incised on the lower lip, it was a Catostomus macrochelius. There's also a shot of our whitefish on this page. They're not squishy and not orangish, they'd be more green on top and silvery with small lips. See also: http://www.dreamflyfishing.com/sucker-2.jpg

Also note the pictures on the fish image page of the coho and the sockeye salmon. See how red a spawning coho can get. Sockeye could possibly be seen in the Stilly but red side coho are responsible for many sockeye sightings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yep, that's the one! About the same size too. I had no idea they could get so big. Based on your picture and some other research I think they were the Largescale...not the white.

Excellent. Thanks for all the info. Puts that little mystery to rest.
 

· Just an Old Man
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The thrill is not in the kill---But to let them go.

Since that mystery is put to rest I will start another one. This one was in Pilchuck creek and it was in the Summer time. I didn't catch any of them as they were too fast. They were about 6" long,had a red stripe down it's side although they looked like trout I dont think that they were. They were in the shallows(water 1" deep). When you approached them they would head for deeper water and when you backed off they would head for the shallows. They were in schools of hundreds. And since the fishing sucked I left. If I had a net I could have looked closer at them but I didn't.

I told someone else about this and they suggested eels.:dunno

Jim
 

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Those suckers are strong fighters for about 4 seconds. When they take off, It always feels like a Steelhead due to their strong 3 second 20yd dash and also had one that tailed out about 3ft! I catch these all the time, only when stripping in on a heavy sink tip. I lighten up my tip to avoid them.
They are kinda funny lookin' though, hehe.


"Follow Me and I will make you fishers of Men"
Matthew 4:19
 
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