12/09/10 11:12 Filed in: Photography
When we made plans to go fish this Saturday, the forecast was for rain. I packed TWO rain jackets the night before.
The river had different plans for us. We awoke to a few clouds and as the day went on it got warm, the sun shone, and it was as nice a day as anyone could expect on the river. I went with a Jon, a John, and a Lisa, more people than I’m used to fishing with on a river, but we kept out of each others way for the most part, and had a perfect day fishing. I got another big Dolly, had another spit the fly, had a big rainbow spit the fly but managed to fool a half dozen or so of his brothers. I didn’t think there were any cutthroat left in the Skagit, but there were clearly orange marks on a fish I got later in the day.
One of the coolest things that happened all day was running into snorkelers doing a fish count. I’ve always heard of this happening on various rivers (in fact I’ve always wanted to do it) but this is the first time I’ve ever seen it. These guys cover 7 kms a day in water that is between 4 and 7 degrees! When they go through a pool, they make little “beep” noises through the snorkel every time they see a fish. They mark their slates and every so often dump the data to the other guy on shore. We talked to them for quite awhile and found out that they are contracted by the Skagit Environmental Endowment Commission in partnership with the BC Ministry of the
Environment. What we learned was that the rainbows we are catching are the normal sized fish for the upper Skagit and that there are very few larger ones, but they are there. The population of Dollys is growing and the average size is too. There are huge char in that river and lots of them. In one run that is less than 100 yards long they counted 80 fish. Whoa.
As amazing as this river is, I can only imagine what it was like before they dammed it and it had runs of salmon and steelhead. It could have been one of the best Flyfishing rivers in the world. I hate dams. But i like cheap electricity.
At the end of the day, we were packed up and driving home, the sun was setting and it was starting to get cloudy. Just as we left the gravel and hit the pavement the first drops hit the windshield. By the time we hit Highway 1 West, it was pouring rain. We got lucky today.
Ok, enough words, I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
We drove out under an amazing sunrise.
John, hittin’ the water
Lisa working out the rust.
Thanks for the info guys!
Signs of Fall are showing up.
And a John.
Jon gets stealthy.
Lisa casts into the deep pool.
John puts a nice tight cast where he wants it.
Lisa brings a nice bow in.
This was a BIG dolly. Smart too, wrapped her around some roots and broke off.
Jon gets into one.
Look at the big ugly stonefly nymph!
Too bad about the crappy scenery
A SERIOUSLY beautiful river.
Jon plays one more.
Location is everything...