WEST COAST FLY FISHER
Author: Mark Pendlington, Editor
Publisher: HANCOCK HOUSE PUB. LTD., Jan 1999
Five famous fly fishers reveal their secrets for West Coast fly fishing. Topics include: top 50 fly patterns; fishing Pacific Northwest lakes; winter and summer steelhead; saltwater fly fishing for salmon, and more. 116 color photos, B/w photos; 5x8 inches, 152 pgs.
Full of color pictures and colorful descriptions, West Coast Fly Fisher offers readers all they need to know about fishing with flies in the Northwest. Featuring writers who have spent their lives pursuing tight lines and fighting fish, this book celebrates all aspects of this popular pastime.
- Top 50 fly patterns
- Fishing Pacific Northwest lakes
- Winter and summer steelhead
- Saltwater fly fishing for salmon
- Fishing West Coast rivers for salmon
- Fishing for sea-run cutthroat trout
- Basic knot patterns
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The Authors 25
by Mark Pendlington 27
Fly Fishing Pacific Northwest Lakes
by Brian Chan 29
Winter and Summer Steelhead
by Art Lingren 57
Saltwater Fly Fishing for Pacific Salmon
by Barry M. Thornton 81
West Coast Rivers for Salmon
by Harry Penner105
The Sea-run Cutthroat Trout
by Kelly Davison129
EXCERPT: Winter and Summer Steelhead by Art Lingren
Wow, what a fish!
Severely shaken by the rush of adrenaline as I knelt down to take the hook from the steelhead's mouth, those few words inadequately describe what had transpired over the previous few minutes. I love to fly fish for summer run steelhead, and I love to bring the fish up to the surface to take a surface- or just under the surface-presented fly. On this trip I had been at the fabled Dean River, located along B.C.'s central coast in Fisheries Management Region 5, for six days. Today I thought I would walk up to the Fir Pool. I couldn't leave the Dean without fishing the pool where I took my first summer run steelhead fifteen seasons earlier. I had heard great changes had altered the pool, and although the changes to the Fir Pool were drastic, they didn't surprise me. I have wandered too many rivers over the past thirty-plus years and few, if any, have been unchanged by water flowone of nature's most fascinating and powerful forces.A large gravel bar had developed diagonally from the tail of the Fir to the bottom of the chute flowing from the upstream Grizzly Run. It looked wadeable. It was, and I could fish the classic fish holding guta spot in a river that will stop a fish from migrating further upriver because of its depth and velocitythat had developed near the left bank. (The best spot turned out to be a little further downstream from where I started, but one should cover all likely looking water. Sometimes you don't know what the water will fish like until you do a drift or two.) By methodically working the water I intended to work my way through the gut and was just enjoying being alive and on the Dean. I have caught steelhead from thirty-six of British Columbia's rivers through the years, but this day a fish took my Black Spey fly so violently and put up such a struggle, taking me well into my backing line, it had me scurrying over the rocks like never before. This thirty-three inch male was truly one of the best fish I have ever caught, incse from the mighty Thompson. Perhaps the fish of a lifetime, but I will continue to cast my flies on steelhead waters hoping that someday a better fish will find my flies as attractive as this fish. Such are the dreams of steelhead fly fishers.
What an unusual handle: steelhead. I have often wondered about the name's origin and spent nine months one year writing to museums and researching fisheries papers. Eventually I found early written records that showed steelhead and hardhead were the common names adopted by coastal market fishermen for this fish in the 1870s and perhaps earlier. The steelhead is a seagoing rainbow trout. It spawns and the offspring rear from one to three or four years in freshwater, depending on available food and growing season, before migrating to the ocean where they grow to a large size. When the steelhead returns to the river, it has a steely blue dorsal surface, silvery sides with black spots on its back, dorsal fin and tail. As it continues to sexually mature after entering freshwater, it takes on the telltale coloration of its rainbow ancestors. Females, after months in freshwater, may only show a slight tinge of pink on the cheeks and have a light rainbow hue along the lateral line. Males color much more and more quickly. Steelhead return to fresh water to spawn after spending from a few months to three years ocean feeding, and can range in size from about two pounds to more than thirty pounds. Although steelhead vary greatly in size, a five-pound steelhead is a small fish in British Columbia and any fish fifteen pounds and larger is a good-sized fish in most rivers...