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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Fished under Highbridge and up above. First two days were sunny. Today it rained. First day I threw lots of color; Purple Peril, Skykomish Sunrise, Frieght Train, Red Butted Skunk all tied with variants of flash, krystal flash and no flash. Second day I throw all subdued colors of tan, olive green and brown Steelhead flies.

By the second day I had noticed the empty Stonefly casings on the rocks. Huge ones, almost all black except the legs were a little mottled. Took some digital pics, went home and tied several variants.

So today I figured I was going to have it made. It even rained for me. Which didn't change the water any, but it sure felt good wearing that rain jacket. So all I get today were little love taps. No serious takers.

This whole week though, I have been watching Steelhead rise to the Caddis hatch. I counted at least 15 in the 2 to 5 pound range over three day trips up there. And at least 3 in the 5 to 10 pound range.

So I ask you, what the hell does a milligram of Caddis do for a big fat Steelie? Today I got my answer, the Caddis hatch just smothered
the river. A couple hundred of them might make a meal. All my Stoneflys were just getting in their way while they feasted.

Anyway, I'm going to try some Caddis dry flys in the white to light tan range tomorrow. That was the color of the Caddis I saw. I have a lighter rod(#7) that will handle those trout flies. Figured it would be worth a try, maybe even scare up a Dolly with 'em.

Anybody else have a suggestion? Other than go back to working day shift.

Matt
 

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Gawd, never go back to working the day shift if it interferes with your fishing! I think that steelhead who rise to surface insects such as caddis are harking back to habits established before they migrated to the ocean. Since steelhead on their way to the redds eat little or nothing, it's more of an instinctive reaction than anything else. It's been pretty well established that wild, native steelhead who, of course, have spent more of their young lives foraging like trout, respond much better to surface flies than do hatchery-reared fish. At any rate, most of them seem to respond better to a waked fly than a dead-drifted one and imitating a particular insect doesn't seem to matter a great deal.
 

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What do I know---I'm just an old man

After reading your story. I had to ask myself about those caddis hatches. I have never seen a hatch like you described in Washington on the western slope of the Cascades. It would be nice if it was that way.

How's the water up where you were at. I haven't been up that way for a while,but since the fishing in the Stilly sucks for me I think that I will have to go there. But with my luck it will likely be the same. BAD :MAD.

Jim :BIGSMILE
 

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I don't want to deter you from experimenting but I will say that if you fish a trout fly, you are likely to only catch trout.

Try an October Caddis pattern if you are gonna try to catch Steelhead with trouting techniques. You can fish them dead drift or the skate swing.

These insects are abundant right now. This is their emergance period avan if you never notice one. They emerge in the dead of night to lower the fatality rate. If you look in bushes and gravel bars, you might find one.


It is just something about catching a 6" costal cutthroat on a 7 weight. Kind of humiliating.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
After spending all week trying to hook a Steelie, I finally talked to a couple of other fishermen up there today. They helped me ID the fish I had been seeing. The fish in the 2 to 4 lb. range are definately cutthroat even though somebody had said it was to early. It doesn't matter, I know what they are now and where they live and I'll stop throwing Steelhead flies at 'em.
The fish in the 10 lb. range are chinook or coho leaping their way up river. I had wondered why I was seeing more juvenile eagles on the river plus hawks and buzzards. Those chinook are increasing in direct proportion to the numbers of boats I see on the Snohomish and the drifters on the Sky, when going up to highbridge. I have seen one chum.

The Steelhead I've seen aren't jumping anywhere. They are just rolling on the surface and flipping me the bird.

The caddis hatch was gone today and there were just little midges buzzing around. I threw dry flies anyway for kicks and giggles. Nothing.

So....what kind of flies will those salmon take? I have a good idea what I'll do about them cutts.

After I was schooled by the fishermen I saw today, I just can't get over how many fish are pooling up just before they hit the fast water.

The smell of fish in that river is driving me crazy. I'll figure it out eventually.
 

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Just an Old Man
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What do I know---I'm just an old man

Well after driving around Monroe looking for that access under the 522 bridge, I finelly found it. Boy,does that area have a lot of access to fish.I didn't fish. But I will go back tomorrow and give it a shot. And after reading about using a large humpy I will give it a go.

Jim

Also I might add that the river looked good. I don't think it came up at all after all that rain. :THUMBSUP
 

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In regard to what "Preston" posted, a little off topic....

The new issue of Flyfishing and Tying Journal has an interesting article about skating and waking a dry for steelhead. From my experience fishing on the Hoh for both summer run and Januarys, steelies will not hit a dead-drift.

Check out the article and enjoy!
 
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