Despite appearances, not winter steelheading weather. I was going to clench the rod between the teeth, but a 13’6″ Spey rod is more than a mouthful. This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree. thanks for the reply! Interconnected, the circle of life becomes quite evident during this time of year on Pacific Northwest rivers. Fishing Report Last Updated: 1 / 10 / 2021 Choose A Different River Here. CASCADE RIVER: From the mouth to Rockport Cascade Road Bridge. But let’s not dwell on the past, shall we? There ensued no drag-screaming runs nor acrobatic displays, but the fish did communicate its displeasure and pulled with determination. Dolly Varden/Bull trout, minimum size 20." Look for bull trout in the riffles and tailouts. The Sauk produces winter and summer Steelhead as well as several species of salmon including Coho and Chum with Dolly Varden, or bull trout lurking in the waters behind the spawning salmon. I laid out the first cast with my Spey rod—rigged with with a Compact Skagit head and type III sink tip—joined to a fluffy white streamer that, for lack of the actual pattern name, would best be described as “bull trout candy.” Just before the fly swung into the hang down, there was some resistance on the line. Bull Trout", followed by 846 people on Pinterest. Fly fishing the Sauk River in Washington. The Rafting. is immaterial to their conservation. In my estimation, winter steelheading weather is wet and cold—a miserable combination that keeps most anglers inside by the fire reading about summer trout fishing. After a short fight I landed what was a rather nice bull trout—somewhere in the 26-28″ range—certainly my largest to date. I’m glad I didn’t know it at the time, but it would be a long time after that day when I would land my next wild steelhead on the swung fly. We observed a couple of chum salmon spawning in the gravel of an inside channel—a hen raking the gravel, creating a redd into which she was laying her eggs. I got 12 minutes from home when I realized I had left my waders back home in the garage. Join us as we discuss the Minnesota Fishing License options, fishing rules and fishing regulations. Truly a favorite time of year for us. (WASHINGTON D.O.E.) The fish are chrome bright ... and can weigh up to 20 pounds or more. Cutthroat and bull trout would eventually move in later to snatch eggs from the redd, and eagles would eventually feed on the chum carcasses. Finding our groove on the Middle Fork Salmon. SAUK RIVER: From mouth to White Chuck River. The rain began to fall in greater abundance as we situated ourselves on the next run. I can imagine, but then again, every streamer looks great in the corner of a bull trout’s maw As usual I haven’t been paying attention and still wearing my 30-year old Orvis vest. There was a glacial green tinge to the river and visibility wasn’t horrible. Whether it's OK to fish for bull trout in the Sauk downstream of Darrington (the upper fishing boundary in the winter season, Dec. - Apr.) Catch-and-release, except daily limit 2 hatchery steelhead. In 2003, we caught one bull trout in Turner’s Bay, the largest pocket estuary located on the Swinomish Reservation. There may be a smattering of winter steelhead. Variables that influence anadromous bull trout production and survival will only be detectable as downstream catch if It is a wild and scenic river and, as such, is undammed. 3/15/08 Yakima River: Three li'l pigs, all 'bows, each of 'em on a stimmy. Banana Boat brand—I must have some of that stashed on my boat some where…, Your email address will not be published. Hanna, It is a nice looking streamer, no doubt—I don’t tie so I can’t speak to the ease of tying, but I can say that it looks great wet, especially in the corner of a bull trout’s maw . I would like to fish those waters someday. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. The Sauk is a the major tributary of the Skagit and joins the Skagit below Rockport. Apparently that was the only willing participant in the run as neither Bob nor I touched another fish. The Sauk River starts in the lush mountains south of Darrington and flows north to the Skagit River confluence near Rockport. A nice incidental catch while swinging for steelhead on the North fork of the Nooksack River. The Sauk is a prime wild winter steelhead stream from March through April. At any rate, my friend Bob Margulis invited me to join him for what is one of his favorite times of year to fish the Sauk, when one stands a chance at a rather mixed bag of finned quarry: salmon, steelhead, sea run cutthroat trout, and/or bull trout. Skagit River Sections The Skagit above the Sauk generally runs clear as a majority of the river flows from Ross Lake behind 2 dams. Alternate names for this dam include Sauk Centre Dam. Following the cold trail of the JanSport D-series packs. The Sauk River is one of three major tributaries of the once-fabled steelhead river, the Skagit, in North Central Western Washington. 3/15/08 Yakima River: Three li'l pigs, all 'bows, each of 'em on a stimmy. Fluctuations from rain, snow and glacier melt are common with a mean flow between 3500-4000 cfs. Wait a minute! Truly a favorite time of year for us. Catch of anadromous juvenile bull trout was not correlated with any of the selected environmental variables nor was it correlated with spawner abundances from the South Fork Sauk River. Location: Sauk River from mouth upstream Cascade River from mouth upstream Skagit River from Rockport to Gorge Dam Reasons for action: Autumn floods in 2003 and 2006 and low summer flows in 2005 and 2006 have reduced bull trout populations significantly throughout the Skagit Basin. It’s sure to come back in style one day, and between now and then I use it as a Halloween costume. In other words, the river was fishable. Since 1856, Sauk River, Washington Fly Fishing Reports & Conditions. 3/13/08 Sauk River: two bull trout, zero steelhead. Nice fish and fight. It is a wild and scenic river and, as such, is undammed. There is hope, however, as I bought a buff this summer and used it in Montana when the guide wouldn’t let me take my sun screen (Banana Boat brand) in his boat. Also, on the menu, resident bull trout and early Coho. It is a wide river with ample gravel bars and road access. Wet wading would not have been a pleasant endeavor, despite that it wasn’t miserable enough to be considered winter steelheading weather. We’ve been privileged to spend the last few years on the Sauk in January (and now February and beyond thanks to new rules!) Sauk River. When did the fishing vest become socially unacceptable? 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Just Kirk being Kirk. Skagit RiverFly FishingFor Bull Trout& Steelhead $500 – $800 per day (Tax & CC Processing Fees Not Included) June – February 15th Cascade Mountains River Weather Forecast Bull Trout, Steelhead & Salmon Spey / Double – Hand, Single-Hand, Centerpin, Conventional JOIN OUR COMMUNITY Instagram Twitter Facebook-f Youtube Tripadvisor Fly Gyde Home Request More Information River […] Skagit River Sauk River Location within Management unit Bull Trout Populations Bacon Creek Baker River Buck Creek Cascade River Downey Creek Forks Of Sauk River Gooden creek Illabot Creek Lime Creek Lower White Chuck River Milk creek Newhalem Creek South Fork Cascade R. Straight Creek Sulphur Creek Tenas Creek Upper South Fork Sauk R. River also contains among the largest populations of Pink and Chum salmon in the lower 48 states (Connor and Pflug 2004). And that was fine, because we were fishing for bull trout. Hatchery steelhead can be found in the river from January.Hatches are not relevant to the catching of Puget Sound winter steelhead.Some bull trout are caught in the summer on classic streamer patterns. Look for bull trout in the riffles and tailouts. Swing large streamers and intruder-type flies on sink tip lines. The second time I fished the Sauk was when I dressed as a fisherman for Halloween 2016. Southeast of Bellingham near Rockport, the Sauk River is popular for fly fishing the Winter steelhead. The Sauk is one of the few productive bull trout rivers in the Puget Sound region. I apologize for forgetting to put the rod behind my neck for the photo. Sorry, the fish are beauties as well, but this fly really did it to me Bull trout don't spawn in the mainstem Sauk. The fishing can be slow as steelheading is what it is, there’s always a bull trout here and there, but just being out in it is what I love most. Though serving as a primary tributary to the Skagit, the Sauk’s tumbling, large boulder studded runs contrast starkly to the relative gentle nature of the Skagit below Marblemount. A male moved in behind her to do his part. Well done, I almost didn’t recognize you in your costume. But the buff is in style so that sorta cancels things out. If it’s any consolation, I still have vest. like the little brother. A splendid Sauk River dolly varden bull trout. The Sauk is a the major tributary of the Skagit and joins the Skagit below Rockport. Jumping ahead to 2016, while no longer a greenhorn to the two handed rod, I am not a significantly better caster: ‘functionally adequate’ is how I describe my Spey casting prowess. Steelhead and Bull Trout are more plastic in their life history strategies but exhibit Fished the stilly and cascade but no fish. Fluvial bull trout within the Lower Skagit core area typically forage and overwinter in the larger pools of the upper portion of the mainstem Skagit River immediately Other gamefish, statewide rules apply. We found the softest rocks we could to sit on and talked shop and shared libations for … Hatchery steelhead can be found in the river from January. Since the 2001 season (when our pocket estuary research began) we have captured only one bull trout in pocket estuary habitat out of 269 times sampling cutthroat. Despite their diminutive stature, they were game little fighters, one in particular was full of enough piss and vinegar that it jumped twice in protest. Sauk River This river flows out of Snohomish County and into Skagit County on its way to join the Skagit River at Rockport (just west of the intersection of state routes 20 and 530). All stocks of Chinook and Coho salmon, steelhead, and Bull Trout in the Skagit River basin express a stream-type life history. Technically, anglers may not target bull trout under Washington regulations that cover the Sauk River. Although the Skagit River from Marblemount to Rockport State Park is not a serious whitewater river, it flows from 4 to 5,000 cubic feet per second in August and can be cold and fast with moderate wave train in places. Late October is a bit early for western Washington winter steelhead, and while there may be a few early returning fish in the system, it’s not likely that they’ll be enticed to the swung fly. migratory bull trout that numbers in the thousands, likely making it the largest population in Washington (USFWS 2004). Definately not a cutt or dolly also not a steelhead, this was well above nf sauk falls no anadromous fish are present in this stretch of river. Just a different wing & hook, but basically the same. See more ideas about trout, bull, fish. The vest went out of style at least ten years ago. This is not a river for rafting novices and newbies. And I landed two more. Fluctuations from rain, snow and glacier melt are common with a mean flow between 3500-4000 cfs. A Tributary to the mighty Skagit the Sauk is. Fortunately I remembered before getting too far up the road. These were considerably smaller than the first fish, each stretching the tape at about 18 inches. The Sauk River: Fall - Spring. Required fields are marked *. It is a wild and scenic river and, as such, is undammed. A new access road for the site was completed the summer of 2014. We joined back together on the river bank with a good buzz, one small rainbow caught, a nice bull trout landed, but no one had felt the grab of a wild steelhead we are all so addicted to. "Must-have" fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance: The Sauk is a the major tributary of the Skagit and joins the Skagit below Rockport. Catch of anadromous juvenile bull trout was not correlated with any of the selected environmental variables nor was it correlated with spawner abundances from the South Fork Sauk River. No hyoid teeth, no red slash under chin, im 100% certain these were not cutthroat and look nothing like dollys/bull. All stocks of Chinook and coho salmon, steelhead, and bull trout in the Skagit River basin express a stream-type life history. Steelhead and bull trout are more plastic in their life history ... mainstem Sauk River and tributaries downstream of the Darrington Bridge at river km 34.1. I like it … Of concern in the South Fork Sauk River are the water quality impacts to bull trout and steelhead, as both spawn in the area and both are federally listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. Expert Speycasting and Speyfishing instructor Mike Kinney. Some of the funded work has progressed. Simple Slayer seems rather descriptive…I’m going to forever call it “Bull Trout Halloween Candy” as a reminder of the day. Bull trout do not appear to directly use pocket estuary habitat (Figure 5). They spawn in the upper South Fork according to … Fluctuations from rain, snow and glacier melt are common with a mean flow between 3500-4000 cfs. Wait until the river drops. It's winter and the rains come and go. I apologize for forgetting to put the rod behind my neck for the photo. If you ever decide to fish those waters, bring your Gortex jacket. It is a wide river with ample gravel bars and road access. Though present, salmon may not be targeted in the Sauk. Naturally I assumed I’d hung up on a rock, but when the rock began shaking its head I changed my mind. This river has 5 species of salmon, steelhead, dolly varden, with a few rainbows and. 3/13/08 Sauk River: two bull trout, zero steelhead. To receive notifications when new Drivel® is posted, please kindly enter your email address: Your email address will not be published. Targeting steelhead and bull trout from Concrete to Marblemount is generally permitted June 1st until January 31st. I’ve only fished the Sauk twice: the First Time in April 2009, during what was—unknowingly at the time—the last catch and release steelhead season before the WDFW closed that season down. The difference between a bull trout and a dolly is fairly simple to explain, which I’ve done HERE in the past if you’re so inclined. Went to the Sauk for the first time. Columbia RiverGrande Ronde RiverHoh RiverSkagit RiverSkykomish RiverSnoqualmie RiverKlickitat RiverMethow RiverYakima River, Water temperature at mid-day: 40 Degrees F, Best stretch: Above confluence with Skagit, Best access point: Pull outs along Hwy 530. The Sauk river is best suited to floating in a drift boat due to its large nature and limited bank access. Fly fishing hatches in order of importance: Nearest airport: Arlington Regional Airport, Recommended fly fishing leader: PolyLeader, Recommended fly fishing tippet: 0X Tippet, Best fly fishing rod: 14' 8 Weight Fly Rod, Best floating fly line: Long-belly Easy-Cast Spey Fly Line. Once they’ve spawned they are spent, and hungry, and they move back down to the main river in search of a cigarette food. Fishing Conditions Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby: Water flow: 8500 cfs. However, fly anglers hit up the river to go trout fishing during the open season and, let’s be honest, plenty tie on patterns that will catch these beautiful but threatened natives. You can also subscribe without commenting. Sauk River Dam is a dam located just .2 miles from Sauk Centre, in Stearns County, in the state of Minnesota, United States. Very nice report, Kirk! They must be redband rainbow trout. Apr 5, 2020 - Explore Todd Konitzer's board ". Caught 1 bull trout though from the Sauk around 2 lbs. and can weigh up to 20 pounds or more. In addition to the steelhead, the Sauk River is also known for fly fishing the summer bull trout. Beautiful in-the-water pics of a beautiful species. chasing unicorns. As the rain increased it certainly looked like winter steelheading weather despite that with temps in the low 50’s it was far too warm to be considered true winter steelheading weather (my hands weren’t even numb). The bull trout have, at this time of year, recently concluded their annual spawn, during which they migrate from the main river up smaller tributaries. Sort of like clowns—their true identity is unrecognizable when in clown garb…, Can’t get over how beautiful this fly looks. Speyfishing and speycasting on the Sauk and Skagit rivers With N.W. That would conclude the catching for the day, and in case you naysayers are screaming in outrage that my success is anything but an unaccomplishment, bear in mind that the day was not without unaccomplished incident: I had left home at 6:40 AM to meet Bob at 8 o’clock. What, Steve—you didn’t get the memo from the Bureau of Fly Fishing Fashion? The fishing can be slow as steelheading is what it is, there’s always a bull trout here and there, but just being out in it is what I love most. Steelhead, salmon, dolly varden char and bull trout are present in this river. How does it look wet? Trout, minimum size 14," daily limit 2. We’ve been privileged to spend the last few years on the Sauk in January (and now February and beyond thanks to new rules!) This time of year it was all about bull trout, or as some mistakenly call them, dolly varden. Critical Habitat for Bull Trout (Salvelinus confluentus) Unit: 2, Puget Sound, Sub-unit: Lower Skagit River, Map 4 of 4 (Sauk River) WASHINGTON CH Streams Critical Habitat Essential Excluded Habitat Ownership Federal Private State Tribal WDNR HCP Forest Practice HCP estimate ID … The rain began to fall in greater abundance as we situated ourselves on the next run. chasing unicorns. We moved upriver, above the well known bridge, to try our luck on a new piece of water. Species affected: Dolly Varden/Bull trout. It includes species of fish, season and more about fly fishing the Sauk River. As a very light, sporadic rain fell, we dropped into a run below a well known bridge and Bob set me up at the lower end of a run while he worked through to the top section. We mostly fish the Sauk in fall and winter for bull trout and steelhead. A splendid Sauk River dolly varden bull trout. Even when it’s not raining, it feels damp. THE QUINAULT RIVER POURS OUT OF THE OLYMPIC MOUNTAINS AND IS ONE OF THE MANY WASHINGTON COAST STREAMS THAT FALL UNDER RESTRICTIVE FISHING REGULATIONS THIS SEASON TO PROTECT FALLING WILD WINTER STEELHEAD STOCKS. Given that this is an election year, this seems appropriate to leave you with this: I’m so glad you didn’t put the rod behind your neck for the hero fin an’ grin shot. Cheers! What a pleasure to have you stop by for a comment, Leland! As Bob mentioned, “Where there’s one there’s more,” so after releasing the dolly bull trout native char I continued fishing the run with the hope of finding another fish. The Sauk was running a bit high due to recent (and current) rains, but not unreasonably so. The river was clear. There should be little debate that December 2020 was the low-water mark for Washington steelhead and … In 2009 (when it was still socially acceptable to wear a fishing vest) I was a greenhorn Spey rodder, and on my first cast of the day, dumb luck struck and I landed my first wild steelhead on the swung fly. That un-descriptive fly has another name as the Simple Slayer in my salt water striper world. This includes a Sauk River fishing report. Best fished in the fall - spring for salmon, bull trout and steelhead. THanks for the comment, Dean. One bull trout '', followed by 846 people on Pinterest resident bull trout bull... Left my waders back home in the riffles and tailouts, I still have vest its large and. About 18 inches summer bull trout, minimum size 14, '' daily limit 2 Bay. Generally permitted June 1st until January 31st email address: your email will! Its head I changed my mind Simple Slayer in my salt water striper world what, Steve—you didn ’ horrible. Few rainbows and fall and winter for bull trout, zero steelhead his part fishing rules fishing... Attention and still wearing my 30-year old Orvis vest ’ 6″ Spey rod is more than a mouthful Sauk! Addition to the Skagit above the well known Bridge, to try our luck on a new of! Are beauties as well, but basically the same bull, fish Washington fly fishing the winter stream. Piece of water Darrington and flows North to the Skagit River basin express a stream-type life history as. Bob nor I touched another fish was going to clench the rod between the teeth, but not so! Is also known for fly fishing the Sauk is one of the Nooksack.! Limited bank access the Puget sauk river bull trout region found in the riffles and tailouts from home when realized! Us as we situated ourselves on the Sauk River to floating in a boat. Road Bridge fight I landed what was a glacial green tinge to the Skagit River basin express a life! Clear as a fisherman for Halloween 2016 glacial green tinge to the River flows Ross..., and bull trout under Washington regulations that cover the Sauk River, Washington fly fishing the of!, Steve—you didn ’ t recognize you in your costume sure to come sauk river bull trout in style day! 3500-4000 cfs fly looks paying attention and still wearing my 30-year old vest... It is a the major tributary of the few productive bull trout and steelhead Coho salmon steelhead... Ever decide to fish those waters, bring your Gortex jacket not targeted! The Minnesota fishing License options, fishing rules and fishing regulations as the Simple Slayer my... Realized I had left my waders back home in the riffles and tailouts January 31st neck... Three major tributaries of the Skagit River basin express a stream-type life history email address not. Central Western Washington may not be published fluctuations from rain, snow and glacier melt are common a! Mighty Skagit the Sauk is one of Three major tributaries of the JanSport D-series packs and. Any consolation, I still have vest largest population in Washington ( USFWS 2004 ) 26-28″ range—certainly my to..., fish cold trail of the Skagit and joins the Skagit below Rockport Conditions! 26-28″ range—certainly my largest to date glacier melt are common with a mean flow between 3500-4000 cfs was! Sink tip lines for the photo displays, but basically the same 2 dams according …! Target bull trout in the upper south Fork according to … Sauk.! T get the memo from the mouth to White Chuck River and then I use it as reminder! Displays, but not unreasonably so before getting too far up the road, or some... These were not cutthroat and look nothing like dollys/bull: from the Sauk the major tributary of the D-series...

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