Monthly Archives: February 2009

I was doing it long before it got popular…  Maybe its just a fad, but I know some celebrities and high power people really enjoy my favorite past time. What the reasons why you enjoy fly fishing? For me its a fantastic way to relax and get out into God’s country.  I forget about all my troubles, stress and just focus on one thing, catching fish!

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Protected: 2007 Pink Salmon Run

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Skagit River: 04/14/07

So Charles and I decided to fish the Skagit for some winter runs but no steelhead to hand, BIG surprise.  I did hook a nice 21″ Dolly that was safely released.

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Ling Cod on Da Fly Rod! Summer of 2008

Well well, what can I say about our adventures fly fishing for these toothy creatures.  Deep running lines (T-14), full sinking type 5 or 6 lines, 40 lb leader and tippet, 7″ articulated orange bunny leeches and stout 8 or 9 wt. rods.  I have to attribute all my success to my buddy Thao, who is the innovator of Ling fishing and really turned me onto fishing for these largemouth bass of the Pacific.  They are quite tasty in soups and deep fried.  Get some Ling!!!

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Kodiak, AK: Sept. 16th-29th, 2007

I thought that since I had updated the 2008 trip, that I should post the photos from our 2007 outing.  Accompanying us this year was Gil C., Harris G., Charles W., Sun Y., and newby Jae P., we stayed at the comfortable Russian River Lodge with host Gus Gustafason.  I wouldn’t recommend this place, it was sparse and very primitive for what was promised versus what we got.  But it was a place we could lay our heads down to sleep and shower and fish.  Not enough room to store our fish and many other visitors to the ‘lodge’ that made for a less than desirable vacation.  Nonetheless, it was reasonable and we were right on the river just a few hundred feet away.  Our antics included Sharpie writing on Sun and Jae, a trip to the wilderness with ATV’s to fish the Sultry with Can’t Get Enough Fishin’ tours. Chuck and Jae ended up going on a halibut charter and thats how Jae got his nickname “Ralfie”.  The Dramamine only works when you take it well before the boat ride! HAHA! 

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Kodiak, Alaska: Sept. 16-20, 2008

This was our second trip to Kodiak, since we had a blast fishing the island in 2007, we booked our tickets early to ensure a spot on the plane and for our accomodations.  Gil C., Harris G., Charles W., Gil’s Uncle and myself journeyed to the land of famous Grizzly bear to sample some Coho fair.  In 2007 we fished several river systems including: American, Olds, Pashagshak, Sultry, and the Buskin.  Catching Dolly Varden and Coho salmon were the usual fair.  This year was a much different year, we had planned to go up a week later in the season, but somehow we must have missed the peak of the run, as based on the fish weir counts at the guaging staion.  It appeared that the Coho peaked around the first week of September and we were a couple of weeks late! There were still some fish to be found, but they seemed to be extremely turned off with our offerings and were not good biters at all.  To add to this it was a slug fest of fish lining and combat fishing at its finest.  Not something that we were too thrilled about after spending money, time and effort.  We could have stayed in Washington to combat fish for a few fish on the Buskin.  It is always odd that it usually takes a few days until we figured things out. The second to the last day, we finally found fish and were somewhat alone, except for the numerous Grizzlies that were around. It had been a very weak run of Sockeye and Pink Salmon, and forced many bears down to the lower elevations seeking their fair share.  I would expect that many bears didn’t survive that winter with the lack of food.  We saw then at the garbage dumps, in the street, in the rivers, on the beaches.  We probably sighted a dozen bears during our visit.  On one particular day we were able to get very close, within 10 feet, from above, watching the bear eating a salmon.  Salonie Creek, a river halfway between DT Kodiak and the Pashagshak did hold a good number of Coho that were in a nice pool and run at low tide.  They were waiting for the incoming tide and the cover of darkness to make their way up the rest of the river to spawn.  What worked was #5 split shot with a heavier weighted fly. I was using a size 4 conehead egg sucking leech in black. A nice place to stay was Bev’s Bed and Make your darn breakfast, a duplex with the owner’s living above.  Bev sold the business to the Lyman’s. John and Bronwyn who took care of us, stocked the fridge with breakfast foods, full TV, DVD separate rooms, several bathrooms, deep freezer, vacuum packer, smoker and covered patio.  Very nicely located and reasonable rates.  The second to the last day, we also had some vandals damage our beloved Ford van.  While it was parked on the driveway, someone thought it’d be funny to throw a rock on the door, or perhaps aiming for the window.  We had kept our rods inside the van, and it was likely they were targeting our gear while we slept.  I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to Kodiak but the good experiences of 2007 and some decent fishing in 2008 made it a memorable time indeed.

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Upper Yakima River: Bullfrog launch to Cle Elum pump house takeout Jan, 2009

My fly fishing friends Jason D. and Todd B. invited me to float the upper Yakima river.  Not being a real fan of the Yakima due to the crowds and the smaller fish, but having some cabin fever I decided to join.  They knew that there would be many downed trees and it would involve portaging their 16′ Clackacraft drift boat over, around and through the woods to make it down the river.  There ended up being many downed trees and dangerous obstacles that proved challenging but very rewarding, since we were able to get away from the crowds.  The fly of the day was Pat’s Rubber Legged Stonefly.

The Upper Yakima Proper-Lake Easton to Cle Elum River Confluence
The river between Lake Easton and the Cle Elum River confluence flows at an average of about 350 CFS. Access is difficult in that it borders many private summer home developments. Floating certain stretches of this section is not recommended with a large raft or drift boat. From the dam down to the Washington State Dept. of Wildlife access just below the LDS Ranch as well as from the Bullfrog access to the Cle Elum River confluence there are many log jams and a few dead end braided channels that are definitely impassable with large rafts and drift boats. These two sections of this stretch could be navigated with smaller personal float boats, yet extreme caution is recommended and only intermediate to advanced boatman should attempt. The stretch between the State Wildlife access and the Bullfrog/ Iron Horse access is navigable by larger drift boats and rafts. The Upper Yakima is predominantly Rainbows with a small mixture of Cutthroat, and Brook Trout as well as a few Bull Trout. The best chance to see a black bear along the Yakima is either in this stretch or the Upper Canyon.

Generally, we use as heavy a tippet as possible for the technique we are utilizing. For example…when streamer fishing we will generally fish no lighter than 2x and often 0x depending on the clarity of the river; leaders will be about 7.5-9 feet in length. When Fishing #8 and bigger dry flies in the summer we never fish them on less the 3x and will generally use about a 7.5 foot leader. When fishing #18-20 Blue Wing Olives of the Fall we go down to 6x and use leaders in the 12 foot length

Winter tactics 34 to 42 degree waters
Streamers, Streamers, Streamers Streamer Techniques of Winter include fast and slow presentations.
(Spuddlers, Buggers, Clousers.)

Nymphing—Dry Droppers and Indicator style. Nymphing generally in slower deeper water yet with good midge hatches you will find trout in the shallow riffles.
(Stone Nymphs, Brassies, Copper Johns,Prince Nymphs)

Dry Fly fishing is fairly slow other than the Midge hatches which can be fairly prolific.
(Hatching Midge patterns, Adults #18-22) 

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Pass Lake: April 6, 2008

Pass lake is one of the west side’s most popular and well known fly fishing only lakes. This selective fishery lake holds rainbow, cutthroat, brown, and Atlantic salmon. Because of the selective fishery these trout have grown very wary of anglers offering. The fishing here can be tough but the rewards well worth it. Trophy sized fish roam it’s waters and anglers that hook into them have earned their catch.

The lake is 99 acres. It is just north of Deception Pass, making it an excellent destination lake with a great state park to camp at. Summertime will see this state park fill up quickly so get your reservations in early, especially on the weekends. The winter weekday that I fished the lake I saw a half dozen anglers, so spring/summer can really be hopping. Pass is undeveloped and would be perfect except for the road that borders it’s east side. You’ll hear and see vehicles drive by while fishing. Oh well, a small price to pay for those trophy fish. The launch is primitive and suited to small boats. No motors allowed as of this writing.

If you are a west side fly fisherman Pass lake is one of your “must do” lakes. Well worth the drive up to the Anacortes area.  ~By Mike Carey 

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Roche Lake British Columbia: 06/22/08

It was our annual pilgrimage to the Interior British Columbia lake near Kamloops for some fantastic chironomid fishing for big fast Kamloops strain rainbows.  We use a variety of techniques that encompass long flurocarbon leaders, small thin bodied chironomid larvae patterns and single man prams.  It is without a doubt some of the best fishing with multiple hook ups of 20-50 fish per day.

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Quilcene Coho Run: Oct. 2007


Too bad my friends decided to leave after a fruitless effort to claim dig at the Quilcene, because they ended up missing a fantastic afternoon run of Coho salmon.  We had a blast with the fish.

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