Summer Steelhead Options - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Summer Steelhead Options

So I'll be venturing west (specifically, White Rock, BC) this summer and was wondering if there were any summer steelhead oppourtunities nearby? I'd be willing to drive 5-6 hours if necessary. It'll most likely be during the 4th week of July or the 1st week of August. Any river suggestions/equipment advice would be greatly appreciated.


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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 05:17 PM
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If you dont get any answers here give these guys a call.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-14-2012, 10:21 PM
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I live in the Sunny White Rock and your best options are the Stamp on the island which is a couple of hours on the ferry + a couple driving or the Coquahalla if it opens, the Thompson again if open or other small streams on the west coast of the island in the gold river region. If you cross the boarder rivers like the Cascade and some others in Washington on the Olympic Pen have some fish. The OP has some great fly water and would be an option. Same if you head south to Oregon
Sadly for you i am moving to summer run central in two weeks (Smithers) or I would take you out fishing.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 11:09 AM
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At the time of year you are here the steelhead opportunities are very limited on the mainland. Other than going north to Terrace, there is really nothing around for steelhead close to the Vancouver area(even with a 5 hour drive).
You will have to get on a ferry and go to Vancouver Island. Most of the west coast streams will have summer fish, but other than the Stamp there will be very little double handed action. Most of the water during the summer months is very 'trouty' and quite small. Single handers and dead drifted dry's will be the name of the game in most of the smaller flows.
Do some research and look at drainages that empty onto the west coast of the island. Concentrate your time here and be willing to drive a little further and hike a little further and you will find summer fish.
On the other hand you could go trout fishing on the Thompson(2 hours drive) and catch fish as big as summer steelhead on big stonefly patterns during July and August. Getting 10 a day up to 5 pounds on light tackle is not uncommon. They aren't steelhead though, they show up later and some years(read most lately) the river doesn't open at all due to low numbers.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 11:51 AM
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I wouldn't bother with the Island. At that time of year, most rivers are running too low and warm.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 12:30 PM
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your best bet would be to bring a couple rods and nothing over a 6 or 7 wt and do some swinging/dead drifted dries/nymphing for trout. here are the two better streams for it

Skagit river - opens July 1st every year but isnt very good until end of July early August when the water drops (better because you can wade almost everywhere) this is a single hander fishery because 30-40feet is a long cast on this stream, fish to 16-18inches max unless you hunt the Bull trout which can run up to 10lbs respectively. most people fish 4wt or under on this system.

Thompson - swinging/dries/nymphing is all good on this river. bring CLEATS or be prepared to swim as the rocks are very slippery. fish in the 3-5lb range are very common and will give you a great battle on anything 6wt or under.

Vedder - they release steelhead smolts in summer time and they can be great fun on light fly rods and small flies but most people will be using gear rods and trying to target the chinook that are in the system. these chinook can be taken with a swung fly or nymphed fly but is alot tougher than using a gear rod setup.

now unless your here into the fall you wont be able to fish the Coquihalla OR the Thompson for steelhead. Coquihalla doesnt open until September IF it does open. Thompson used to open around mid-october but usually not until Nov 1st and thats also IF it opens (its opened the last two years now)

so as you can see it would be alot better if you planned on doing some trout fishing instead of hoping for summer steelhead. there is summer steelhead in this area but noone gives up that info easily and NEVER online

I would be glad to take you out fishing on the Skagit when your here if you would like someone to show you around a bit. just PM me when youve gotten to BC

good luck !
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 01:56 PM
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Chehalis river is close by and has some summers, you could also jump down south and try the Stillaguamish (SP?) or the Skykomish (sp?).

All within 2-3hrs
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-15-2012, 05:47 PM
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I agree that the Thompson for rainbows would be a good bet. I fish a lot of small Vancouver Island streams for summer runs, but i usually don't bother after about the 2nd week of July due to low flows and/or warm water. The Stamp is is pretty big and continues to fish nicely through the low summer period..but the water temps can be up around 22 C, and it is really hard to get the fish to chase a fly.

Any chance you could get to the Dean? That would required helicopter and at least 10 days of free time.. but you're timing is good. Thats where I will be at that time if all goes well.

PM me if you want to know some access points on the Stamp or Thompson. Estuary fishing for pink salmon can be good at that time too - but it is cast and strip with 6-7 wt single handers.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-16-2012, 12:06 AM
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good point about heading south of the border Pat AV, i overlooked that I will actually be doing some southern rivers this year myself i hope.

wouldnt we ALL like to get to the Dean !!! jealous fisherman typing over here
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