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Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was up the Elwha a week or so ago, looking at the Dam removal project again. We toured the facilities and several project areas, and had a look at the project overall. It wont be long before they are cutting into the dams, about a year. They are calling 2010 "The Last Dam Summer". Great news indeed.

Along the way I was noticing countless freshly hatching Termites, their waxy wings still clumsy in flight, we could catch them by hand. They were blowing along in the wind, from the tall trees all of the way up and down the valley, seemingly everywhere. I knew I had time to go to the beach that evening regardles of tide. I spun up some #6 ruddy brown Stimulators with black heads and crushed the barbs. Of course they take dry flies on the beaches! We caught an over 20 inch Steelhead by skating a Stimulator in shallow, fast running tide water right there on the beach! Ah, summer.
 

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Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
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5,673 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A few years ago there was an explosion of large orange-colored moths. I used my fall caddis pattern, and the fish struck it with confidence.

Tom
Tom, We had a solid annual hatch of Tent Caterpillar Moths here for a few years. I had a similar result as yourself using Bill McMillans great little cinnamon colored October Steelhead Caddis fly. Then they sprayed for the bugs... the insect life collapsed along the beaches that I fished, and the fishing kinda tanked too. Its just not the same in some locations.

Our beaches have logs and trees, dense foliage etc, and thats all a Termite ( or a moth, beetle, ant etc population) needs to get going. We have regular hatch cycles of them most of the year here. And I have been out sailing on the Straight and had the sails and deck pelted with a "rain" of Termites that blew down out of the mountains, riding thermals high into the sky they blow all over creation. Right after a cold wet cloudy period, a rain storm etc, and after the sun gets things cooking again, we will see another hatch. But I doint wait for that- some of my best days on the saltchuck fly fishing for Sea Run Coastal Cutthroat Trout have been while using dry flys. Skitter-Shake-Strip-Pop! ( No drag-free drift required.)
 

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Donny, you're out of your element...
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Bob- great report. Watching those dams come down and how the river does will be a great opportunity for all of us to observe a grand experiment in action. I've often wondered how much better the fishing in Puget Sound might be if there was far more wood on the beaches and in the water. If you think about the amount of wood that would have come down into Puget Sound before and during the days of river-floated logging that's an enormous amount of biomass to degrade, erode and shelter behind or around.
 

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Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Bob- great report. Watching those dams come down and how the river does will be a great opportunity for all of us to observe a grand experiment in action. I've often wondered how much better the fishing in Puget Sound might be if there was far more wood on the beaches and in the water. If you think about the amount of wood that would have come down into Puget Sound before and during the days of river-floated logging that's an enormous amount of biomass to degrade, erode and shelter behind or around.
Yep, thats one of the reasons why I have been a supporter of the Shoreline Master Plan here.
 

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Wadin' boot -
The much larger habitat issue for most of Puget Sound is the amount of "harden" beaches rather than the lack of large wood. The protection of the eroding bluffs and beacheswith rip-rap, bulkheads, etc have a huge impact on the survival inter-tidal spawing bait fish (surf smelt and sand lance).

As you know those fish spawn at the top of the tide putting their eggs in the coarse sand. Critical to the survival of those eggs is having enough fine materail (from eroding bluffs) to prevent the sands containing the bait fish eggs from excessively drying out when the tide is out. Of coourse given the value and the folks that live on those beach fronts allowing ongoing erosion processes will be a tough sell. If local snad lance populations can not successfully our best "lance" patterns with be of little value.

Tight lines
Curt
 

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Watching those dams come down and how the river does will be a great opportunity for all of us to observe a grand experiment in action. I've often wondered how much better the fishing in Puget Sound might be if there was far more wood on the beaches and in the water.
iagree Wadin.

It will be wonderful to see the Elwha rebound to it's original self after being blocked up for so many years..
 

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Those of us working on the Snake River dams are watching and waiting for the Elwha to provide a needed lesson and light to the folks who don't yet get it. God speed to the June hogs!

Thanks for the report Bob! Great observations.
 

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&(*^$&%
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Yep, thats one of the reasons why I have been a supporter of the Shoreline Master Plan here.
Many jurisdictions throughout Washington State are updating their Shoreline Master Plan (SMP). Contact your jurisdictions Planning Department for further information. The SMP comprehensive update is a very important Planning process and I encourage everyone to be involved or to learn a little more about what a SMP is/does.
 
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