Skunked on the Sky

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by johnm, Nov 11, 2001.

  1. I grew up chucking bait with my dad on the west side rivers. We fished mostly on the lower Stilly, sometimes on the Sky; we were rarely productive. I gave up my spin gear for a trout rod about five years ago when I moved to Portland and started fishing on the Deschutes.

    Now I'm back in Seattle, and determined to catch something anadromous on this used 8 wt combo I picked up some time back. Armed with a few pointers and a handful of flies from the guy at Patricks I set out today to give it a try. I'd read Dennis' steelhead report and was encouraged by the news of fish 'round Sultan so I made my way to the Sky.

    After a late start I crossed the bridge in Sultan and headed up to the sandbar just above the big eddy. Nice hole - saw a few fish jumping and spotted one or two sick looking salmon a few feet off the bank. My casts were made with a downstream quartering swing, with an upstream mend to broaden it out (Skagit Anglers shop guy gave me the hint - thanks!) I fished with a variety of orange, purple-pink, and purple flies, but didn't get a strike the whole afternoon. Not even a nibble :-(

    Any thoughts or recommendations for a total salmon newbie? I figure it'll take me most of the winter to start regularly catching fish but I'm open to any help I can get.

    Thanks in advance!

    John McD
  2. If you want to catch a salmon on a fly, I would give some of the Hood Canal or South Puget Sound estuaries a try. The shallow water chum are great to catch on a fly, easier than with spinning gear. I fished Twanoh Creek yesterday with spinning gear, and I wished my fly rod wasn't broken, cause I would have done a lot better with a fly rod in my hand. Anyway, a simple fly with green, chartreuse, or pink would be great. They should be size 2-6, I would say. Give it a shot, and you should have a good chance at catching something.
  3. My suggestion is MOVE LOTS. Don't fish the same run all day long. Cast, swing, step down...cast, swing step down. If that stretch of water does not produce, get in your rig and try somewhere else. Make sure you stop by Mickey D's for a big mac to give you energy for the rest of the day.

    Also, the secret is.... bring lots of sunflower seeds!

    make sure you have lines to fish top, middle and bottom of the runs too. (shooting head systems work well for this).
  4. Try the Ben Howard boat launch area. Lots of room for wading and a nice long run - and usually not too crowded. Shallow on the lauch side, and deeper as you move accross. Should start collecting some chum after this ran we're getting.

    For those long, shallow (2 to 8 ft) runs with some current, try this:

    cast sligtly up stream, BIG mend (to get the fly deeper), dead drift, Maybe a slight twitch once in a while, another mend if needed, then let it swing, then let it hang for a few seconds before stepping down and doing it all again.

    For nice deep pools that hold lots of salmon, just cast out, let it sink for about 3 to 10 seconds (alligators :) then strip 6 to 10 inches, count, strip, ... Works great with a floating line, weighted fly, and long leader. They tend to hit as the fly sinks, so watch carefully.

    If the water is clear, I like smaller darker flies. Seems the fish do to :) But don't be afraid to change up.

    Good luck!!
  5. A big thanks to all who replied, both online and off. I picked up some chum candy supplies last night and tied up a few. When all this rain settles down I'll put your advice to use!

    Thanks again,


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