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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if anyone has touched a Steelhead on the North Fork of the Nooksack? I heard this year was supposed to be a good return of hatchery fish. I have played my fair share of chum which I consider Steelhead by-catch. let me know if anyone has ventured up North--lucky flies etc.

mcronariver
 

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mcronariver,
I have been up searching the NF Nooksack for Steelies a few times over the last week. Have had the same results as you, just getting into a lot of incidental chums...I did hear about one Steelhead getting caught in the large pool right below the North Fork/South Fork confluence. There were so many people out there over the holiday, I am sure a few more were taken. I also fished briefly on the South Fork, and saw nothing except a few dark coho...I usually try to get up there for a couple hours before dark during the week, so I will let you know if I should find any.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Grey Ghost,

I have fished that run below the South fork but I have never had any luck there(cable hole)?. It usually holds its fair share of gear heads. Have you had much success for winter Steelhead on the North? I usually do better on the South but this year I am going to grind it out until I get one of those hatchery beasts. What flies or color combos have worked for you on the North? I should be up on the north Wed or thurs this week, I am concentrating on the water from Kendal down to Welcome.

Thanks for the reply--

Mcronariver
 

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I have not ventured out on the North Fork or Main body of the Nooksack yet...I have been thowing everything at the South Fork. I was told that some guy walked out of the South Fork with a 20+ lb. Steely...who knows if it is true, but did manage to catch a small 14" rainbow/steelhead right behind some spawning chinook. I also caught the same day into one hell of a fish (silver in color) that ran into my backing. Didn't land it, but I want to say it was a Steelhead since everything (at least where I was) were old Kings and dark coho.

If either of you guys are looking for someone to go with during the weekend...give me a shout!

This is my work address: [email protected]
 

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

I have fished the South fork of the Nooksack a grand total of once. I went up there two years ago and played around up by the Salmon Hatchery. But I would like to learn more about it. But what I don't understand is all the no parking signs at just about every pull off.

Jim
 

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yeah, Jim, access does seem to be an issue on the SF Nook...for example, I tried to park at the end of a dead end road off Rt 9 where I had fished last January....this year the small parking area was barricaded off, and surrounded by no parking - tow away zone signs. The north fork seems to have much better access.

Mcronariver...this actually will be my first full season of winter steelhead fishing on the Nooksack since I am new to Bellingham. I put in about 12 hours combined last january when i was out here visiting and I landed one hatchery fish. The head of the cable pool looks like really great steelhead water, but you are right, most days it holds a fair number of gear slingers. I usually head upstream.
In terms of fly selection, I believe that the right fly for steelhead is one that you have lots of confidence in. Something that you are willing to fish for hours straight with no takes and all of the sudden....wham! Fish on! I usually stick to small bunny speys (sizes 4&6) and other small wet\spey flies (sizes 6&8). I almost exclusively fish with black, orange, purple, and white for steelies. Combinations of black and orange or black and purple have been deadly for me in the past. (Maybe we should start a thread...what is your go to steelhead fly and most productive colors?) I am interested in what other people tend to stick with.

Anyways, guys, i was up there for 2 hours tonight and landed a couple chums and a small whitefish. Still searching for steel....
Pete
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Old man,

The parking is not bad by the Saxon Bridge below the hatchery, there is some nice water close. Aparently a guy caught a hog Native right under the bridge a few years back, I heard rumors of 30plus--you know how that goes. I think he was using gear any how. However In March afew years back I did land a Native Male eighteen to 20lbs--39inches. That is the largest Steelhead I have ever caught, so I know they still go up the South Fork. I was using an orange bodied fly with red hackle and a red marabou tip wing size 4 tiemco.

Grey ghost--
Yeah purple is one of my favs for the North. Black works well but I do not have much confidence in it. My favorite flie for steelhead and cutthroat are spiders-- I am a big fan of Al Knudsens patterns and some people even jokingly call me spiderman. I have hiked, cursed, and told myself I was not going to winter steelhead any more up there--here I am again this year...haunted again.
 

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

After looking at my maps that is where I pulled over and parked. There was a few spots off that road below the hatchery. And I understand that the river is closed above the hatchery.And know with all this new info I think I will try it again. But not to soon. It's quite a jaunt from where I live. Marysville.

Jim
 

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Since someone mentioned Saxon road bridge I'll expand on that...it is worth wading the knee deep bank to get to the "rocks" 1 block below the bridge (if you go over the bridge and park on the shoulder). There is some kind of park along this bank, however, I am not sure if it is public or private...I just stay away in fear of "banjos" (Deliverence). Anyways there are some nice pools and small rifles, some cover, and along the opposite bank the land owners are trying desperately to keep the river from swallowing their homes...so they have created a nice under cut bank.

I was out Thanksgiving day...not much going on, a lot of dead coho, a good day to be out watching the eagles!

As for the North Fork I have fished it only twice, caugh a nice bull trout near the Raspberry place off Mnt. Baker Hwy, and tried for some winter steelies up stream from the Mosquito Lake Rd. bridge. Lots of gear chuckers around there...I was wondering if anybody drifted the river before? Below the Raspberry Pie place to Mosquito Lake Rd.?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Kerry s,

Thanks for your concern and yes I am aware the South Fork closes on the 28th of february, However that fish was caught a few years ago and I believe the South Fork used to be open until March 15th. I will dig around and look for some old regs to verify. I do not fish outside of the regulations.


Mcronariver
 

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

For the time being I'm kinda limited on my time and as it is quite a drive from here to there but when the time arises that I can make it I'll be sure to email you. I always like to meet new people.

Jim
 

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That's no joke about Deliverance. I had some local guys on the South Fork drive by and yell at me. They drove by three times giving ugly stares. I thought for sure, "They wuz gunna give me uh whuppin." I guess all the long-browed inbreds thought I'd catch all their steelhead. Hey MCR, didn't make it to the Sky, but maybe this weekend, I'll let you know how I do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
hey steve,

good to hear from you! I was wondering if you did make it out? I am heaading up to the North fork tommorrow for a few, I will let you know what is up. Maybe we can fish this weekend? Give me a ring get back at me on the forum.

Kerry--s
By the way I did double check the regs on the South fork: It used to be open until March 15th up to 2001 then it turned to feb 28th. I had to go up to Western's library to find back issues of regs which dated back to--95. The Bio's got hip to run timing-- as far as when the Natives were coming into the river. I release all Native steelhead.

is it beer--30 yet?

mcronariver
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Nooksack fly guys,

Fished today for a few hours--No Steelhead just alligators. River is low and clear--need a quick flood to bring in the steelhead. Eagles are having a feast on the gators. I heard of one guy catching a steelhead on a fly when fishing for Chum (hearsay) but thats about it.
If any one gets out this weekend let me know how you did or didn't. I suppose I will tie flies and wait for the dogs to die off.


Mcronariver
 
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i resent that "banjos" remark. the park you are talking about is a camp ground and yes it is private it belongs to my family. since we are on the subject of the south fork could anybody tell me how the fishing is now and is anything running in july? i am in the air force and have not fished at home in about 13 years and will be home in july. thanks for any info. p.s. any fly recommondations?
 

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Sanjuanmaster1,

I am sorry if I have offended you, it was out of line and did not pertain to flyfishing; which this forum is all about. However, thank you for informing me that this property is private...my efforts to not trespass have been legit.

Sincerely,

Andrew
 

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Sanjuanmaster1,
I would also like to apologize for my remarks about the good old boys that seemed to want to do me harm that day for no apparent reason other than that I was flyfishing instead of using gear. I'm sorry if I over generalized about the locals. Hopefully this type of behavior is confined to a few individuals.
Steve
 
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