Friday, April 12, 2013

THE OP (DAYS 4-8) Getting situated

On my way up from Portland I stopped at Walmart in Aberdeen and picked up some cool waterproof tube fly boxes and then entered the rain. At about 11 pm I arrived in Forks, WA home of twilight. I slept outside the grocery store in my car, and waited eagerly for sunrise. Nate McDonough from Nomadic Angler Blog and Brazda Fly Fishing Outfitters was kind enough to give me some advice on where to fish as I got my bearings. So after picking up my license, breakfast, lunch, and more Owner SSW hooks at the all inclusive Forks Outfitters, I proceeded to drive over to the Hoh River Rainforest. Forks Outfitters had steelhead murals and memorabilia everywhere, with an impressive 20lb mounted steelhead at the checkout counter. I get tired of people claiming sizes of fish by seeing them or catching them and not weighing or measuring them correctly. I have seen 7 lb fish be claimed as 12, 24 inch trout called dirty thirties. Measure your fish for god sakes if your gonna talk about them. Taking random stabs at fish size just discredits all the true giants that are weighed and measured correctly. I found the first run adjacent to one of the few "boat ramps"(glorified gravel bars) on the Upper Hoh.

I slowly worked my way down 200 yards of swing-able water. I hooked my first steelhead down the first gravel bar in the fishiest part of the run. Unfortunately, I didn't hook another fish in that run the rest of the trip. The fish played me exactly like the the one on the Sandy, 15 seconds and it was off. Little did I know I wouldn't touch a fish for 5 more days of fishing.

I really started to question why I was losing these fish, in the same fashion. After a few days of thinking I believe I wasn't really setting the hook after the fish took my loop from me. I just started playing them. In British Columbia all the Steelhead I landed took the fly mid swin, many times hooking themselves. All these coastal winter steelhead were taking at the very end of the swing or on the hang down. I told myself the next steelhead that took I was going to make sure to set the hook.

I fished one more run without a grab as I listened to my brother's hockey game on my headphones. If they happened to lose he would be flying up to join me for a week of steelheading. But they won, which was awesome too.

 On day 2 the Hoh River went from 3600 cfs to 9000 cfs. I was told to wait till it got down around 5000 till I should try to float due to the large hydraulics that can appear. So I spent the next few days scouting the swing unfriendly Sol Duc River, and fishing the edges of a blown out Hoh River.

 Gotta have some small flies too
On the shore of a secret Sol Duc Swing run, that I found by partly by accident and partly from a Doug Rose article giving too much information. In this day of satellite images on our cell phones, even little land marks can give away secret spots. Thanks Doug
Beautiful swing run dotted with submerged boulders, swung this run many times and never roused a fish

1 comment:

  1. The little blurb about exaggerated fish sizes is funny but oh soooo true!!!!