We woke up a little sore, but eager to get going. The rest of our party was a little slower to get going. We discussed the idea of postponing our float a day and simply walking some more this first day. We had brought inflatable kayaks and they were pumped up and ready to go.
With the low flows, we heard that most of the fish would be in the lower half of the river. A decision was made to paddle the first half of the river and then fish the second/lower half. By the time we launched our boats, it was about 10:30 am.
We thought that we were about a third of the way downstream when we reached the forest service cabins. It had taken us 2 hours. This put us on track for a 6 hour float. I had heard the guides talking about 12 hour floats, but I assumed that they were stopping to fish a lot. We were going to skip the first half of the river.
The boats at the cabins.
It was all quite enjoyable at this point. We took time to leisurely explore the area. We fished half heartedly not seeing many fish. We knew that they would be down lower.We floated lazily. There were a lot of downed trees, but we had time to see them coming. Being in inflatable boats the thought of a puncture was always somewhere in the back of my mind. The low flows meant that we were moving slowly, but we had no idea how slowly. We eventually found some fish and we thought that we were about halfway down the river. We stopped to fish when we thought we were in the right spots. A few fish were biting, but we were not able to land any. Just when we thought that we had it figured out, a couple of kids came floating down in a motor boat.They were very nice and trying not to scare the fish. They asked where we were staying. When we mention that we were camping at the boat launch, they informed us that we still had 8 miles to go the take out. It was now 6:30 PM and we were not even halfway downriver yet. We put our rods away and paddle for the next 3 hours. We saw lots of fish as we paddled hard past them. We were still paddling in the dark when we arrived at the boat take out.
8 miles our first time on a river in inflatables with known log jams and snags in the dark made us appreciate the dry land! We can’t thank Yakutat Lodge enough for leaving a vehicle at the takeout for us. That would have been a long 8 miles to walk back after that day.
I just can’t seem to help myself. October rolls around and the thought of standing in cold water not catching anything gets very appealing. The previous year was very good to me. Catching 3 Steelhead on my first Alaskan outing made me feel like a pro. This year, the rivers was blown out.I was still able to manage to land one which required being out at the river before everyone else. It was cold and as the water level dropped, my expectations rose. The fishing was probably great the day after we left.The drive home was beautiful. We stopped at Tern Lake to watch the swans. A couple of weeks later, I thought that the water level had dropped enough to make the fishing a little better. I knew that it would be cold, so I rented a hotel room instead of camping. I feel like I am getting older smarter.
The day started with a few feet of ice on the bank. It was tough to release fish without taking them out of the water. This Dolly Varden looks small compared to the giant bird prints in the ice. I realized that the old get up early trick might be in order. A few weeks ago there would be 6 people in the popular spots when the sun rose. This time I was the only one there. I did see one other person fishing, but he was walking over to the restaurant to get breakfast as I was heading to the river. It paid off.One fish per day turned out to be the most I could get. It was more than I could ask for. I will be back next October to do it again.
If you aren’t following my Instagram, you are missing out on the #waterfallselfie barrage that is occurring. Find me @roryseiter.This tributary to the Stillaguamish has had fantastic fishing this summer. The flows are starting to finally drop so much that I will avoid this area for a while. There is small stream fishing and there is fishing that is detrimental to the fish.Instead, I am taking my friends on bushwhacking adventures and occasionally hook into some small fish.The places that fly fishing takes us is well worth it. Sometimes it is sketchy, sometimes it is uncomfortable, most of the time it is just absolutely beautiful.
We hit the Teanaway again. This time I brought a new crew of hooligans. Dan caught his first fish on a fly rod and as we explored more, we found water that looked more familiar and produced a lot more fish. This is a great place to wade for novice fly anglers and people looking to explore the beauty of the mountains without traveling far from Seattle.
The next week (or something like that) I revisited Gold Pan Creek. The flows seemed lower than last year, but summer seemed to have started earlier this year and a little more earnestly. It was 80 degrees in May in 2013!
There were lots of small eager trout (a common theme in Western Washington), but no elusive Bull Trout that I keep hoping for. Of course, I have not specifically targeted them yet either.
We fished the Teanaway River last week. It is less than 2 hours from Seattle, just outside the town of Cle Elum. It seems to get a lot of anglers as there are many “No Trespassing” signs. We hit the North Fork first and found some very small fish. We fished near a bridge which probably sees a lot of pressure. Luckily, we went mid week so we didn’t see any other anglers that day. It turned out to be a beautiful day and it is a great small stream to fish in the summer.The fields were full of flowers and Lando made sure to stop and smell as many as he could. There were plenty of bugs around and just like the forks of the Snoqualmie River, a size 14 Stimulator was magic. All of the small hungry fish were voraciously attacking flies on the surface. We fished the Middle Fork of the Teanway River later in the day and found it to be low, clear, and amazing. There were caddisflies all over the bottom. Bill is standing on the light colored bottom where there was a lot of fish food, but no fish to be found. We have to find the dark bottom to find the fish.This is a closer look at the bugs on the bottom of the creek. It was a fantastic day of getting out of Seattle and fishing a new spot. I will be back. Thanks for reading and please leave your comments below.
Fishing 5 days a week is fantastic. Especially when it is 5 different environments. This is Kopachuck at low tide fishing for sea run cutthroat trout. That little speck in the water is my buddy James. He took my canoe over to that island in the distance and allegedly caught a big one on his first cast. I also got to float the Snoqualmie with Derek and Skip. It was a great day of discussing what is important in life. Derek let loose a little secret about the “Upper Deck”. Not the kind where you poop in the reservoir of a toilet. But this place was a beautiful place to fish with nobody around. I even got a little bit of steelheading in with a couple of guys from the shop.5 of 5 will be after work today. It is light until past 9pm these days so us fishing junkies can still scratch the itch after work. We are also putting together an online magazine that will be released soon!
Back to school, back to work, back to the routine. Classes start a bit later so sleep is a touch easier to keep up with. I didn’t win the mega millions so I am still working what feels like 15 jobs. I got a B in Microbiology and an A in Lifespan Psychology. It is a mixed bag as I will need straight As to get into the nursing program at North Seattle Community College. Can I get into University of Washington? Maybe. They require 100 hours of experience in the medical field before I apply. Currently, I have… 0. But I can wait tables like a boss. It is depressing when someone tells me that I am good at waiting tables. Don’t ever tell a server or bartender that.
I bought a pass to Snoqualmie Forest this year. They limit the number of passes sold and most people seem to collect firewood, hunt or take pictures up there. I hit Black Lake for a few rain soaked hours. No fish in the boat, but I saw a ton of them in the water! I am slowly working on a video of the place.
Tomorrow is Saturday, so I am excited to have the morning free. I am going to the library to study for Anatomy and Physiology. I will try not to dream about fly fishing while I am there.