Bellingham, WA fishing opportunities? - Spey Pages
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Bellingham, WA fishing opportunities?

I will be heading up to the Bellingham area 2nd week of August, was wondering if there are any salmon/steelhead fishing opportunities in any of the local rivers? Probably only have a day to play hookey so a short drive time would be good...
Thanks
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 11:01 PM
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Unfortunately, Bellingham doesn't have any salmon or steelhead fishing available closer than either the lower mainland of BC (Fraser or Vedder) or the NF Stilly upstream of Arlington, WA (about an hour to the fishing on it from Bellingham) in August. This is why the late Ralf Wahl of Bellingham fished the NF Stilly for summer runs.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks....NF of the Stilly....sounds pretty close...is it a smaller river?
Would a smaller spey say a 7 wt. floating line be able to cover all the water?
john
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 08:06 PM
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Bellingham

Chukarhun99,
7wt would be more than sufficient for the NF; another consideration would be the Skykomish River. This river is a little further south the the Stilly, but has many opportunities from Monroe and points east.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
NF of the Stilly....sounds pretty close...is it a smaller river?
Would a smaller spey say a 7 wt. floating line be able to cover all the water?
john
A 4 weight would be able to cover all the water on the NF in mid August Your 7 would be just fine.

Hardy-Davidson

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-09-2008, 09:32 PM
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The North Fork of the Stillaguamish

The North Stilly, as we call it, is accessed easily from I-5, midway between Bellingham and Seattle. Take the exit for State Route 530. In four miles go through Arlington, where the North and South Forks join. For the next 20-25 miles, to the Whitehorse crossroads, the river is never far from 530. It's a substantial little river, but in August lows it may be warm enough that regulars are reluctant to stress the steelhead.

The North Stilly's runs are a remnant of their glory days, but the river has a fly fishing history matched by few streams, east or west. Read the chapter in Trey Combs' Steelhead Fly Fishing so that you can realize that your felts will be treading in the tracks of giants.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2008, 04:52 PM
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Sinktip my friend, does this mean that I will be seeing you fishing with a 4 wt "Midge Rod" of 7' or less on the Stilly this summer as Walt Johnson, Mike Kinney, and Bob Arnold did with short bamboo "Midge Rods" in days past instead of with your 1307 T&T? I know Russ Miller fishes an 8'6" 5 wt on the Stilly after the water drops to its summer low in August.

Chukarhun99,

A 7 wt will easily cover the water on the Stilly. As Nooksack Mac has mentioned, the NF Stilly has a storied history in the annuls of fly fishing for summer steelhead. Most if not all of the pioneers and most of the luminaries of steelhead fly fishing in WA state have fished the Stilly. In fact, several very effective summer steelhead fly patterns were developed on the Stilly by Enos Bradner, George McLeod, Bob Arnold, Wes Drain, Ralph Wahl, Walt Johnson, and Mike Kinney among others.

Although the runs are a ghost of what they used to be, it is still a beautiful river and one I gladly call my home river in summer. Just don't expect to have a grab or hook-up each time you fish.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2008, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to all......

Unfortunately.....this visit will be cut short because of scheduling.....no fishing....
4 wt. midge......or 8.5 5wt. I grew up on the southern oregon coast fishing small creeks for cutthroasts and steelhead with the same rod.. 8 1/2 7wt. fenwick..My dad still has the rod. I thought that i had reached heaven when i finally bought a sinktip line. I did get to meet the late William Cushner at his fly fishing museum in Florence, Oregon. Seeing all of those beautiful patterns has kept me tying since i was 12. I have a gift from Mr. Cushner of two english wet flies on silk gut leaders. So maybe some day ..... i will be able walk in the steps of the legends.

thanks john
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 08:00 PM
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Russ,

Alas, you won't find me fishing the Stilly at all this summer or any for that matter as try as I might, I have never been able to develop a fondness for the river. The last time I fished it was with Sean and I said then that it would likely be my last time. If I was to venture up though, it would not be with teh 1307 but rather the 1206.

'tip

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 10:49 PM
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'Tip,

Since the Stilly is as close to me as your home summer river, I have grown to like it. However, if I lived as close to your home summer river as you do, I'd fish it too and probably wouldn't venture to the Stilly either. As you already know, your home summer river is one of my favorite rivers, too bad it is a 90 mile drive to it for me.

Also, I didn't think you would abandon either your 1206 or 1307 for a short, light line single hander. That would almost be like Jared giving up Subway.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-13-2008, 11:15 PM
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Summer Runs, WA Issaqua area

Will be in WA area 2nd week of Aug. and would like to fish for summer runs.
Any good suggestions?
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