Monday, April 22, 2013

What's Next!

Thanks for all the guys that fished with me this winter/spring steelhead season. I hope you had a good time as I know I did. Looking ahead we are offering a few extra trips and schools this year especially since this is a pink salmon year. If your looking to do a trip let us know, some dates are already booking up. 

New - Lakes guide trips and classes on Pass Lake. Now till early summer.

New - We will do a beach fishing and river class/trip for Pink salmon This will be a goood run!

New - Methow River trout dry fly school Aug 3rd (small class 2-4 anglers)

If you are looking for a partner on a trip I have a guy that said he will do just about any trip – he is flexible and just wants to split the cost.
We will be guiding summer steelhead on the Stillaguamish, Skykomish and Kalama River. We have a Sky steelhead school scheduled for July 6th.
Full day school schedules for 2013: Click here
Sea run Cutt school on the Stilly – Aug 31st. (2 spots left)
Methow River dry fly trout fishing will start Late July to mid August.

Pink (humpy) Salmon trips will start Aug 15th.  We will do regular (1-3angler) and group trips for pink salmon with up to 6 anglers and 2
guides. Create a group or Join one. This is a great trip for families too.
Grande Ronde river 3 day camp out Sept 30th - mid Oct.
Join our Facebook page for more up to date info and reports.

Happy Fishing
Mike Dickson

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A nice O.P. hen (minus the net scars)
I'm home for a couple days before I head back out to the coast. It will be my last couple trips on the Queets before the river closes on the 15th. I will fish for a little bit on the Forks rivers before I wrap up the season.
This has been considered a big fish year with a solid run size and I would agree with that. The Forks rivers started the late winter season a little slow but from late feb till now I got some good reports. The Hoh fished pretty good too. There where 3 storms that knocked the rivers out of shape for a total of 9-13 days depending on which river you fish. During that time I checked the Skagit flows and not once did I see the river out of shape. Being a damn controlled river makes it very stable.

I'm sure the Skagit hit it's escapement goals again this year. I think we should demand the fish estimates before the season starts instead of getting the numbers at the end of the season - If anybody gets the numbers when they come in let me know. I'll admit I'm bias but I believe C&R single barbless anglers have a very, very minimal impact on the Wild steelhead. (1-3% of a impact not 10%) If something has to change it should be the things that DO HAVE a impact..... hmmm like the Commercial fishing, not on our sport fishing. Alaska makes sure they have met there escapement goals first and then allows for the nets to harvest a river. We need to spread anglers out instead of everybody having to fish a handful of rivers, keep eye's on the river (there is poaching going on now! living on a river I see and hear it more than you think) Our successful fisheries will help our local business and economy. If we have to I wouldn't mind paying extra like you do on the Columbia Rivers to help support our Pacific NW and our spring fishing. We are hoping that the CCA can help us here. They are watching this issue now.
Ok.... starting to rant, back to the report.

We went to the Everett CCA meeting last tues. Tom Nelson gave a great presentation on salmon and puget sound fishing. I'm more of a river rat but I especially enjoyed his interesting points on ocean fish behavior.
He also gave a good power point slide show that showed the different salmon specie's estimated run size for this year. Bottom line; Last year was a pretty good year and all of the numbers across the board look better than last year not to mention about 3 million pinks coming to our local "S" rivers. One number I particularly liked was the number of Coho coming to the Stillaguamish, I believe 30+K so there will probably be a 2 fish limit.

Even though they are better than last year, 2 runs that concern me are the Stilly chinook and the Skagit Chum. I know that since the "local commercial" fisherman have found a market for the chum roe the once thriving and fun fishery has took a nose dive.

tight lines,

Now booking: Methow trout fishing, summer steelhead, pink salmon fishing and Grande Ronde steelhead.

Mike Dickson
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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Note: This article  was first posted on February 15, 2013.
The bitter sweet:

The good news is: A very nice pulse of late winter native steelhead have shown up in the lower Skagit river, just before the season closure. Big brawly steelhead. The kind that when you see them you think,

"Must be Sauk fish with their thick caudal peduncles and broad shoulders." The kind of steelhead you can't get your hand around the wrist of their tail, nor take your eyes off that big male shovel nose. The kind of fish, you are willing to stomp the twilight chill just to make it onto first water. Where anticipation is pumping  adrenalin so hard through your veins, you don't just feel, you can taste it.
February has always been a big fish month for me. Of the seven Washington state steelhead I have taken over twenty pounds on a fly, five have come from February 10 to March 10. God created large dominant male steelhead to enter first, it's just the way it is.
It used to be; Valentines was the unofficial kick off for another great Skagit River Catch & Release season. Life just didn't do better than March & April. That is why nature built the season Spring right?

But a Skagit steelhead's life has reduced itself into a political football. Those that destroy it's habitat still blame the harvesters, the harvesters still blame habitat.  The hapless angler stares from the shore at the vacant memory of another lost opportunity. The burden is so painful, he can barely drive along the river roads during those early months of the year. It simply hurts too much.
He tells himself it's for the best. Certainly for the greater good. Even as I point my truck & trailer towards the coast, I try to convince myself, it's better for business. Maybe someday I may even believe it.

I hear the Skagit numbers finally came in over escapement for last year. I don't know. It's what I've heard. I know this. I didn't fish. Perhaps the final tally will come in well again for 13.
So I wish I could explain to the powers-to-be, that my being out on the water, transcends the dragging around a hook with feathers. Maybe if you and I could get out on the river, we could call it Fising, or hookless casting. I do find myself conjuring up in my head, hookless fly patterns that would take the pull, but hold no fish. Would that be enough? I wonder.

So maybe this pulse of fish means the ocean survival is up and it will bode well for the few Washington rivers that remain open. That would be nice.
And what does that do for the fish that swim in Beaver Flats or White Creek along the Sauk? The Mixer, Larsons, Chapel or the Power Line pool on the Skagit. Oh don't mind him. He just doesn't get it.

So as I ready for a trip to the coast, I get on line to get a beat on what's going on. I stumbled onto a site that was so foul in language, so rude in commentary, it prompted me in digging up a piece I wrote. Please read River Etiquette.

So there you have it. The North Sound rivers are closed, the coastal waters will be heating up. Watch for that next good rain. The  O.P. rivers shouldn't have anything less. Come join us, maybe we can share a story about the days on the Skagit.

 Best of fishing,

Dennis & Mike Dickson