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Hello guys. Was wondering if there are ANY rivers out there that do not have the Gear-Chucker for the winter run Steelhead? Couple weeks ago I did not mind the GC guys that were around me, I caught 2 and hooked 1. But the last week at the Cowlitz was ridiculous!!! I have roughly 50yds to myself and only get 2 hookups and 75 yds from me they are 10 GC guys hooking up every 5 minutes with HUGE 15lb Chromeboys! I did not want to HOG the whole river due to flyguys need at least 50ft to the left and right, and 50yd down river to be spoiled. I admit I was jelous and wondered if I should of brought my GC rig. Anyways, was wondering if there are any Quality Steelhead rivers that don't have as many GC Dudes! Just my luck that my favorite river happens to be the #1 producing Steelhead river in the State, which attracts everyone and their grandmas-buckskin-reels.

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

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Formerly Tight Loops
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I hear that the Cowlitz is like that.

I don't know that there are any FF Only rivers for winter runs. It's sad, especially the NF Stilly. But back when they were created FF was not a good way to fish for winter runs.

I fish the Sky in the winter, and I find that its easy to have the river to myself, especially when the gear holes are packed. I rarely ever have problems on the river, as I avoid the packed places. It seems that I end up walking a bit to get to my places, but its worth it. As I am out for the day and the adventure, not just some slabs on the grill.

Is that not possible on the Cowlitz? I have always wanted to fish it, but not if its like that.

Rob
---------
Genetic pollution damages wild
stocks, bonk those Hatchery Zombies!
 

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Smells like low tide.
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The South fork of the Toutle switched to selective gear rules on Dec. 1st. I read somewhere that there is good fly water to be found there, although I don't know this myself 'cause I haven't fished it. Won't be any bait-chuckers there, though. There's also a section on the Kalama above the upper salmon hatchery that is selective gear rules year-round and that also forbids motors, so you won't have to suffer any jet-sleds. And upstream from that(above Summers Creek to below Kalama Falls there is flyfishing ONLY water! (Part of this is closed waters, so check the regs and a map). These are popular spots, but they have some fish in. Hope this helps.

I just checked the "Outdoors" section of The Olympian (www.theolympian.com then click "outdoors") and it mentions low water conditions nearly everywhere. It said lakes were also producing some nice trout. (I check this every friday so I will at least know the places everyone else is reading about!) Good Luck!-Jimbo
 

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

Yes,there is one and they just did an article about it in one of the papers in Seattle, At least I think that is where I saw it. It is the Hoko river. It is over on the OP around Sekiu. It is the middle portion of the river.

Jim
 

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Spent a fruitless weekend on the Hoko a few years ago. The Hoko's a small stream. A road parallels the lower section. The winter fly only section is reached by logging roads or you can bushwack upstream from the bridge which markes the start of the fly water. It is a small stream with pocket water, small runs. Go to the Hoh or Queets if you want 100 yard riffles. There's a chapter on the Hoko in Doug Rose's book Fly Fishing the Olympic Peninsula and in Steve Probasco's The Olympic Peninsula Rivers Guide.
 

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Smells like low tide.
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There's a small article by Doug Rose on the Hoko in the Winter 2003 Northwest Fly Fishing mag. Article mentions that it "definitely gets silted up after a rain" due to recent logging in the upper basin. I can testify to that. Last January I watched the river level and weather for days wanting to fish it, and when the real-time river data and rain clearing finally looked to be a "go" I headed out at about 4 am and drove the 180 miles. Not any rain until I got to the Hoko, where it was starting to rain and the river level slowly rising and visibility getting worse as I fished. Saw one caught, and saw some fish rolling, but got skunked. When I got home that night, I checked the real-time data on my computer and the graph of the river level showed a bottoming out and reversal occuring while I had been en route to the river that morning. Lots of logging trucks then, too. It should be low and clear thru this weekend, though. The easy access on the lower river makes it a popular spot. Good luck.Jimbo
 
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