Friday, March 30, 2012

The rivers are taking it in the shorts right now. We are breaking records for the amount of rain we have got in March. Most of the O.P. rivers are showing good returns of wild fish. If you could hit the river levels right you could have a pretty fishy day. There is usually a fine line between a blown out river and a killer day. One of the best days we had was as the river was dropping right after it had blown out.

Looking ahead we have 5 hr river schools, 4 hr lakes classes, and casting classes. For guided summer trips we are booking puget sound sea run cutts on local rivers in mid august - late sept and Methow trout from mid july - early September. We will fish summer steelhead on the puget sound rivers, Kalama, and Cowlitz.

I was talking to a lady that works for the Park Service that does a fish survey.  One of the questions they ask my clients is "do you prefer to catch and release wild steelhead or keep them". After my clients answer catch and release I ask, "does anybody say they want to keep them?". I was shocked when she said that it's about 50/50 for C&R vs. catch and kill. As we are loading up the boat and putting gear away, sure enough she ask the question and they answer "catch and kill".
I'm sorry we just don't get enough wild steelhead on any of our Washington rivers for a Kill fishery even on the Sol Duc. We do have some rivers and fisheries for wild salmon at times that can handle a kill fishery but NOT Wild steelhead. We just don't have enough fish, and the fish we do have should be released to sustain our future runs.

Tight lines and please be nice to our wild fish,

Mike D

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kurt's O.P. Steelie

I have a couple days rest due to some higher river levels. I have been hittn the O.P. pretty hard with some great guys. Guiding isn't always easy but when you meet such amazing new people it just makes this job sooo rewarding.
Most days have been a little wet but we did manage to round up some beautiful weather on the 6th-8th.
The Queets has been a little slower than usual this last week possibly due to the netting schedule but we still managed to hook fish everyday. Yesterday we had 2 hookups and landed a hot, hot 14lb hen (in picture). That was a real thrill to watch. We hooked the fish next to a long jam and had to jump in the boat to run down stream with the fish. We ended up landing it on the other side of the river. We had the fish pretty much whipped and as I was helping net the fish at some point I hear the line snap and see the fish just pause for a second and I raced to scoop it up knowing that he can easily slip away. Luckily the fish didn't move and was able to knab her up so Kurt could get a pic of the biggest steelhead he has ever caught. Get's me pumped every time.

I have also been fishing the Clearwater and upper Quinault a little here and there. Both are nice back ups if the Queets gets too dirty.
I'll be headed back out in a couple days hopefully this higher water brings in a nice pulse of fish. A few 20+ pounders would be nice.

Tight lines,

Mike D