Good ol' Cow

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by miyawaki, May 28, 2013.

  1. Always open. Always with fish. And yesterday, hardly anyone on the river. photo-2.JPG

  2. Fishing has been reported as slow there lately, likely explaining why you found it uncrowded. It's a nice river for fly fishing on days like that.

  3. Spot burner.
  4. God, I HATE that river. UGH! LOL
  5. I grew up in a house on Westside Highway right on the river. One of my biggest regrets is that I didn't fish it, especially before the mountain blew. It was a beauty.
  6. Have had a love/hate relationship with that river for over 20 yrs now. But, a great, great place to use the loong rod.
    I recognize that spot Leland.
  7. Fished it Sunday. No chrome but some nice trout to hand.
  8. Great river. i wish was closer to it. the farther you go past blue creek the more water you will have to yourself. wish i had time to chase cutts there this year.
    i miss those south wa rivers. Washougal was almost like home river for 15 years.
  9. Fished it Sunday myself since there isn't anything closer of consequence. No steelhead either, but not crowded, 2 other trailers at Mission, good water height, altho rising through the afternoon. Practiced casting my new line from Steve Godshall on my little Clay 'boo 11'er. A couple cutthroat, no size. Got some sun, shoulda' used sun screen.

    doublespey and miyawaki like this.
  10. Bringing this thread back as my last couple trips triggered thoughts that have likely been brought up before.
    Seems to me in just my 20 years of fishing this river there's been a decline in good holding water. I've seen nice tailouts and shallow flats that produced fish, some classic flywater, disappear over a winter. I see that's the nature of these big dammed rivers with prolonged high sustained flows. I see how these high sustained flows can scour out features in a river and create fast flowing, almost canal-like water that fish are not likely to hold in. You get a river with one deep trench where most of the fish travel. You get a river ideally set up for gear fishermen to back-troll and side drift. You don't get a river that creats classic flywater. Riprap banks and levees of course do not promote holding water either.
    Wondering if perhaps a lack of holding water can be a factor causing hatchery fish to race back to their birthplace.
    Any thoughts?
    JesseCFowl and Phil Fravel like this.
  11. Dan,

    There is and cand be a difference between suitable steelhead holding water and suitable fly swinging water. There's no shortage of holding water for steelhead. I think it's the more frequent and sustained high water flows that motivate the steelhead to keep on truckin' until they reach Blue Ck or Barrier dam.

    Because it's a flow controlled river, uncontrolled flood flows are infrequent. And it's those high flows that both maintain, destroy, and build new holding water, including good fly swing drifts. It sure does seem like we've had more good runs destroyed than created since the 1996 flood of record.

    John Hicks likes this.
  12. Sg,
    Thanks for the input.
    Yes, it's the "96 flood that really seemed to change things for my style of fishing, especially in the areas around Toledo. Used to be some awesome fly water there.
  13. Dan,

    I wonder what your thoughts are on the genetic non biter theory? I feel that over the years of hatchery sustained stocks on that river, only the non biting fish return to the hatchery gates. Thus passing down the train to not move to a fly. Just a thought.
  14. What are the smolt releases now compared to the past 15+ years?
  15. The cow is my favorite place to take new guys who are just learning to fish the spey. There's tons of room and the cutts provide a ton of feedback to keep the beginners smiling.

    It's a great river if you avoid the circus around the hatchery.
    Jim Riggins likes this.
  16. PT,

    Summer run production is up, and winter run production is down about a third.

    I think the lack of fish this summer is the same as last winter, severe cold water disease epidemic with the 2010 brood year smolts that would return this year.

  17. John,
    Seems to me the genetic non-biter theory could have some validity. Think I just read hatchery fish have smaller brains than wild. In youth they don't need to use them as much as wild fish to survive.
  18. The cow is by far one of the most frustrating rivers in this state. I Love the fact that you can fish it most of the time when all the other rivers are blown out. But on the other hand when they raise the levels up to and above 10,000 and leave it that way for a month in a half it drives me crazy.

    Along with that, the shore access is limited so it requires a float. That is great unless you are limited for time. The Blue creek area has great access. Wow what great looking water. Best place I know to go and fish with 100 of my closest friends. along with the guide boats plowing up and down the river. And how can you not enjoy the fresh smell of boat motor exhaust in the morning.

    Now to find out that the fish have small brains??? I would think that might be a good thing??? But then again that does not speak well for my brain.
    miyawaki likes this.
  19. Yeah it is just a theory I have heard thrown around for some time. It makes sense if we are thinking like Darwin.
  20. I wish they would reintroduce Summer run to the Snowqualmie. Afterall it has a good natural barrier. does anybody know why they stoped this?

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