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The Sol Duc begrudgingly yielded a couple of native fish on Tuesday. One up high in the C&R area above Sappho. Another down below the old Rayonier plant. Both were small, about 6-7 pounds. I'm stoked because these are my first winter runs on the spey rod after a couple of months of frustration.

The river was high, but clearing with 2-3 feet of visibility up high. Less than that down below. I recalled some advice from Dennis Dickson. When the river is high, the fish are oriented to the banks in the softer water. In these conditions, he uses his LEAST dense sinktip so that the fly will remain suspended as you swing toward the bank. So I changed over to the Type 3 tip on my Midspey and started working the edge with orange and black GP's.

Then I remembered another Dickson axiom. Hair flies work better in streamier flows, but maribou flies have great action in slow water. So I put on a very gaudy Popsicle Skagit Minnow.

Three casts and sure enough, I get the classic grab. I managed to wait for the fish to turn and tighten up on the fly. Good solid hookup, big bend in the rod, keep the tip low. Run, run, wind, wind. Tailed the fish with my WDWF-approved white cotton glove. Quick picture followed by a textbook release.

I wish I still smoked, because it was definitely Cubano time. :smokin:
 

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Worked Thursday evening(3/20) and then got on the ferry at 10:30 pm. Hit the Bear Creek campground by 1:30 am, Friday. Slept for a couple hours, made some coffee and went exploring. It had rained that night and all that Friday. I started on the Quillayute, but it was already blown. Found a couple new spots on the Sol Duc and fished them for awhile. The river was on the rise with a little over a foot of visibility. Bogie was blown, Calawah wasn’t that much better. By the time I got to Shuwah, I couldn’t see my feet in the water and went home. I worked a double and a single shift Sat. and Sun for a total of 24 hours. Caught the 10:30 pm ferry again Sunday night(3/23) with another arrival time at Bear Creek by 1:30am. That morning the weather was a lot drier but the ground was frosted. It warmed up quick as the sun was out. But the Sol Duc wasn’t in any better shape. Less than a foot of visibility, higher and moving fast. Only fished for an hour at Tassel Creek boat launch then drove to Rialto beach looking for future access. I also was tossing GP's on my Spey rod. I had on a type 6, but the water was fast and I don't think it had much of chance to drop down in the slow water next to the bank. Never felt a thing both days. I just knew Tuesday would be better, in fact, the Sol Duc is calling my name right now. Alas, I have to work all this week. May not get another chance to fish it until 4/7. I'm glad you got a hook up or two.

Matt
 

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I don't know if this will make you feel any better, but I fished the same spot today with the same tip and the same fly. No satisfaction. And I thought I had this whole thing figured out.

The guides are getting theirs. I saw about 4 or 5 dead chromers in the bottom of several drift boats at the Rayonier ramp...all wild fish:mad:
 

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If we had this Steelhead thing all figured out, it wouldn't be any fun and we wouldn't get any practice on our Spey casting. I really wish they would not allow the natives to be killed. That is holy ground over there where Moses and Syd Glasso used to fish. It would really suck to have it start fishing like the Skykomish.

You must live over there if your walking the holy land so much. Lucky dog. I'm logging 200 plus miles just for a couple hours on the Sol Duc. The road around Cresent Lake is getting shorter and straighter. Maybe I'll see ya over there sometime. With the sun shining today, the Sol Duc is giving me one of those spit flinging screams, begging me to come fish it. "MMMAAAAAATT"

Matt
 
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