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Discussion Starter #1
This October some friends and I are heading out to the Thompson. We will be fishing from around the 23rd of October to the 1st of November. I've got the Thompson River Journal and I'm studying it like crazy.

I was hoping that somebody would have some tips on runs maybe not listed in the book, effective patterns, techniques, or any tricks. I would be really greatful.

Steve
 

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Best time for grease lining, but the busiest time of the season. Everything you need to know is in Art's book. If the run is strong ,and that remains to be seen, they will be nicely spread from Martel down to Litton.
You need to have faith in your flies. I will be camped at Hilltop most of October and November--If the weather doesn't get miserable into mid-December as well. I'm at the far end of the campground--stop out and say hello.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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With my limited experience there is nothing I could tell you that you haven't already read, but Dana's advice on the oil-slick and bowling ball smooth rocks is no laughing matter... unless you're the others guys while I insisted I could get by without a wading staff! They had a good laugh while I looked like a cat trying to walk on a skating rink. :hehe:

Stout boots that can't be compressed from the sides are also important, getting the foot crushed between two rocks can be a hazard in current as well.

I believe that there are no unlisted shortcuts to nirvana; the place is huge in all respects, the river is broader than broad, but if you work hard and put your best flies forward the fish are accordingly big and as strong as anything nature produces with fins.

.02
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What about big orange prawns?

Dana & Juro
Thanks for the info. Juro, if you don't mind we wil stop by and visit.

But, what about fishing some big orange tubes, I have a big prawn pattern that I fish here, but I have not heard any thing about people fishing orange on the Thompson, why is that? Is orange a traditionaly less productive color on the river or will it work as well as any if the is a little off color or high.

I also will mostly be fishing dries if I can help it. so if any one has thought on what size, I'm all ears.

Steve
 

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chrome-magnon man
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colors etc

orange, purple, pink, red, black, grey, brown, big, small, wet, dry--they will all work on the Thompson. Try your favorite and stick with it for a good long time. If you lose confidence in it, pick your next favorite one and try that. Then your third choice and so on, then rotate back to your favorite again. The main secrets to Thompson success are confidence and persistence. Expect to go a long time (several days) without hooking a fish.
 

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If the Thompson has the same rocks as the Vedder which is close by, believe everything they tell you about big slippery dangerous rocks. There is nothing like these in the mid west although the Muskegon comes close in some sections.

Don't know how I survived my one winter day of steelheading on the Vedder without falling in. As I remember I had a couple of close calls. I had felt soled boots and they were no wheres near enough for the wading on those rocks.


Good luck and be careful !
 

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The Vedder is wading heaven compared to the Thompson. If there is another river in the world more difficult to wade I don't want to fish it.
 

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Icelandic Atlantic salmon rivers looked bad to me while I was there in the USAF. Walked the banks but did not get to fish them.
Lots of slick volcanic rock. Which I regret not being able to fish until this day.

Perhaps on the Thompson you should rope your self to a tree, but the pictures I have seen it does not look like there are many trees near the river.

I guess the biggest river I have ever fly fished is the Delaware.

Do they raise and lower the water on the Thompson during steelhead season ? Thats another high risk factor to be aware of especially if you do not know the river.
 

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Hi: Bebop is right there is nothing like the grease hole for slippery,but the real ball cruncher is the upper"Y" .Big boulders so large that if you straddle one you cant move.They are laid in on an angle and if you lodge a foot between them your stuck .Water pressing against your legs your ankle stuck and your legs spread like your wrestling an elephant.
Never tempt the splash gremlins on the Thompson. Walk with a staff, have both felts and spikes in your boots,and move one foot at a time. The worst is when you hook a runner and you try to get to shore to follow him. The rocks are dry and the cleats slip . Disaster in spades.
 

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Bud, your'e right about the Upper Y, but I think even more than that, I hate Murray Creek. Even standing on the bank at that spot gives me aching feet and a sore back. Back in the days when I fished with a ten ten and silex, I managed to fall in twice in one morning at Murray creek. Of course I had changed into the only dry clothes I had after my first fall. Second time around though, I was into a big doe and actually managed to land it half swimming down the river.
 

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Hi Wintershope: As Dana said any fly will work sometimes on the Thompson but a black fly that looks like a stonefly will always work. The Thompson doesnt hold a lot of secrets but it is stonefly heaven. The juvinile fish seem to imprint on stonefly hatch areas and that is the place to start if you dont know the river. Look for areas with black rocks in size ranges from 8"diam to 18" ,you will find many stonefly cases nearby . steelhead lies can be anywhere on this river .In low water you can see many shallow troughs in the rocks .Any one of these may hold a fish. The main secret is to cover the water in a two foot pattern .Work hard and sooner or later you will be rewarded.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You guys are getting me seriously pumped up for fishing the Thompson. And alittle scared too. I hope I can stay on my feet, I'll definitely use a wading staff and carbides.

I'm also curious about rod length on the Thompson. My favorite rod is a 13'3" 8wt Burkheimer rigged with a 9/10/11 windcutter or the 9/10 delta. I can cast in the 80 foot range pretty comfortably with this set up, but will it be too small? Am i going to need to fish my 9140 sage? Or can I stick to my Burkie?

I know that the likelyhood of hooking a Thompson steelhead is pretty uncertain, and that lots of guys get skunked out there, but I figure if I'm going to get skunked, it might as well be on the Thompson.
:D

Steve
 

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Hi Winterhope: You should do fine with your 13' and 80'casts.Eary morning the fish will be close to shore in water as thin as 3' It is usually good practise to fish these shallow shoreline areas from dry land before wading in to deeper water. If fishing pressure is light the fish will remain in shallower water up to 6 feet. Towards midday if pressure is heavy the fish will move out into deeper water. If you encounter groups of fishermen with bait gear it is wise to avoid this water,its usually too deep and too swift. Of course you want to avoid frog water like the top end of the Grease Hole. If pressure is heavy you might want to walk upstream above the Nicola Run crossing on the railroad bridge. Upstream you will find few fishermen.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Pmflyfisher,

The Thompson is similar in size to the mainstem Delaware around Calicoon. However, unlike the Delaware, it is full of bowling ball size rocks that are just as round as a bowling ball and covered in very slick algae or moss.

The first time is had a chance to go up and fish it, I did so without a wading staff or cleats, big mistake.

However, it is such a beautiful river, with such great surroundings that each fall I look forward to going back. It is certainly a precious jewel of a river.
 

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Wintershope,

Don't let the hype spook you about the wading!!! There are other rivers out there with much more challenging wading structure, but there are none as slippery.

I would highly recommend using the "Stream Cleats" (aluminum bars). (Carbide studs will be roller skates- so much so that your weight shift during casting can break your feet loose.) Using the cleats will allow you to have traction like a tank when in the water, but when on dry land they are dangerously slick trying to step over/around the bowling balls. Also, if you have not already heard/experienced, do not step on your flyline with the cleats or you will be splicing it back together.

If you are a reasonably strong wader, a staff is not really necessary, however it would not hurt to have one just in case.

The wind will be your enemy when fishing the lighter rods, please be prepared for this common condition. A stout breeze could easily turn your 80' casts into 50's real quick. There is a reason why more than a few of the regulars talk of using garden variety 15/16' 10/11wt CLUBS. :devil: Conditions will dictate...

Be prepared for the river, and its fish, to leave an 'indelible mark on your psyche'. :)
 

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Yes remember the Calicoon water. Really miss the Upper Delaware and all of the trout streams that feed into it.

Glad we don't have those types of big round slick rocks/boulders in our rivers here in Great lakes. They say the St Marys in Canada saw is the toughest wading here, i have not been there though. Remember some runs on the Vedder though which is close to Thompson. Waded out into a run in February winter steelheading and I said to myself how are you going to get out of this one, big boulders, strong current, deep hole below me, no wading staff, only had felt soles. Did not know the river which is probably the most stupidest thing and highest risk factor.

I did not get an unplanned bath but it was close.:eek:

Thompson country sounds and looks great (have the Thompson River Journal) definitely in my top five of steelhead rivers to do yet.
 

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PMFlyfisher,

I too have fond memories of the upper Delaware. I used to fish it a lot during the 1970's before I moved to Montana in 1979. I love the Pacific Northwest though, and would only go back east on a fishing and family visiting vacation.

There are places on the upper Delaware that I would like to use my 16 foor spey rod at night for the big browns, and the Callicoon water ranks high to do so.

But I digress. The wind, as Inland points out, can be a factor on the Thompson as well. That is why I use my T&T 16' 11 weight on it. Yes, the big rods are not for everyone; but when the wind is up a bit, smaller rods won't get the job done as well.
 

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Flytyer,

Yes the Delaware is perfect big water for the spey. There were lots of trout I could never reach there with my 7 foot 6 weight back in the 1960s and 70s. Wish I had a spey rod then. I left east due to corporate transfer in 79 to the Chicago area.

The Thompson looks likes a great challenge and I can see the need for a big spey rod. Look forward to reports from there this fall I suspect October and November are the hot months for steelhead there.

Big country, big water, big flies, big spey rod, BIG wild steelhead, and Canadian ambience, priceless !

Hal
 
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