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Hooked on Salmon
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Hello,

One of my best fishing friends has to take four weeks of overtime out as vacation from late Nov. onwards. (He is an army officer and new budget cuts are taking their tolls.......)

He has been on the Skeena system, but I guess it is getting too late up there. What else would you suggest. Thompson? Smaller coastal rivers? Or is it as dead at that time as it is here in Europe?

Please advice. The man needs to fish!

Per
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Per -

Most PNW river systems are getting bright winter fish, but conditions make it a time for gear fishermen. There are literally thousands of chrome winter steelhead coming into any major river but the water is very cold, deep and the culling of hatchery fish over the decades has made the fish shoot up to the holding waters and sit on the bottom in deep water where gear rods with large lead weights and bottom bouncing rigs are very effective.

If the fish were not so concentrated, a fly angler could work sinktips in softer seams and do well, I have done well as early as first week in November for winter fish so fresh some of their scales came off along the shoreline when I beached them, but this is not what I would call the best time for flyfishing as the crowds choke these holding pools with conventional gear and it every fish is bonked for the table.

Washington is a good choice if the 'man must fish' because within a relatively small area there are many rivers to try. Even if one river is out of shape there are other options in one of the three major regions (Olympic Peninsula, Cascade tribs, Columbia tribs) to try. It's possible for all rivers to be blown out.

As far as catching, it's best in fall and spring for flyfishermen (Sept/Oct and March/April). The fish are likely to grab a swung fly in both of those seasons more than winter and summer. That being said, fish can be caught in July or December and I've had my fair share of great luck in dead of winter and heat of summer.

Since the likelihood is lower in December, it would be best to cover a lot of water and concentrate on places where there are a lot of fish. Once again due to culling practices over the years of fish & wildlife managers it will be primarily a hatchery fish show in December but they are fun and I hope he takes them out of the river to make way for the wild fish to follow.

If this region is where he chooses, we have a large amount of knowledge among the members of this forum. I have almost 20 years fishing the area myself.

Let me know what he decides and we can provide very specific information as needed.

Juro
 

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Per, one other thought would be the

streams in SW Oregon. The Chetco, Windchuck, lower Rogue all have large numbers of winter fish in them at that time. Bit farther north (Elk and Sixes) you'll even find late running King Salmon. A tad farther south you also have the Smith River in Northern California. I mention this one as it has a run of steelhead that include some of the largest fish of any PNW (if you want to include Nor. Cal. as PNW) in the area. Also (from Brookings, Oregon, it's only a few minutes drive south down '101.'

Save for the Rogue and Smith, all are fairly short rivers coming out of rocks and heavy forests. So it takes a hell of a storm to knock them out, and they'll usually come back into fishable condition within a very short period of time.

fae
 

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i'm saying Fred knows ;if you can't catch fish in those waters mentioned,,well,a barstool will have to take it's place,and it sounds like per could give class on deeply swung flies,should be good ,check curry co. pilot .com,local newspaper online,search gold beach,brooking ore. for accomodations,don't forget the coho:chuckle:
 

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WPer, re PNW river fishing is there in early Dec.?

Fred has suggested a great destination place, the SW corner of Oregon, either Brookings or Gold Beach. If your friend's wife is coming, she would probably prefer Brookings. There is not much to do around Gold Beach except fish, eat and sleep.

He can fly into SFO, San Francisco or to Portland and rent an all wheel drive vehicle.

If he comes into San Francisco, he should be able to fish his way up the coast with the Russian River, the Eel, Mad, Redwood Creek, the Klamath and the Smith before arriving in Brookings or Gold Beach. If we have some rains before or during his arrival. If not the runs could be held up in the ocean.

If he flies into Portland he can drive down the coast on 101 and fish the rivers going down to Brookings or Gold Beach. Or he can go down I5 and fish the rivers including the Umpqha and meet Fred to fish the upper Rogue.

Then he can drive to Brookings and fish the Smith River on the way to Brookings. Once in Brookings, he can fish the Chetco, the mouth of the Winchuck, go back to the Smith and the lower Rogue from Gold Beach to the Agness area. He can check on the Fox and Elk rivers above Port Orford to see if the fish are in yet.

He should be able to get a reasonable rental in Brookings or Gold Beach.

Then he can fish back to the airport city for his return trip.

I'm sure that Bob Meiser would be glad to open some doors and maybe show him a river or two. I have heard that Bob knows a few spots on the Rogue and the Smith River.
 

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Per, two more helpful web sites for Oregon

Url for Oregon fish and game re fishing conditions and other data:

http://www.dfw.state.or.us/ODFWhtml/RecReports/Fishing.html#NWReg

Here is Scott Richmond's site for monthly fishing reports and what to do in Oregon, California and other NW areas.

Scott is a great writer. He basically tells you what fly to use and how to rig it, what river to fish and where, what rock to stand on and what side of your mouth to put your tongue in.

http://www.westfly.com/cgi-bin/entryPage?state=OR
 

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Hooked on Salmon
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Discussion Starter #9
Dear friends,

Thanks for all great advice. I will let you know what my friend eventually will decide.

I just got back from a few days of moose hunting up at my folk's land. My cousin shot an unusully large bull that we worked our backs into pieces on when carrying down to the trucks. (The dressed weight was 820 pounds!) Catch&release is so much more relaxing...;)

Per
 

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Big or More?

If you want a big fish, then the Thompson. However, there is some question about the return on the Thompson this year, it might not be very good from an earlier report on the board.

Also, I am not sure about the Deschutes in December. The big Clearwater fish that often move up the lower river will have departed for Idaho and the Deschutes fish will be higher and spread out. Someone else on the board must fish it then. I am fishing the Clearwater, Snake and Grande Rond then.
 
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