Hatchery Steelhead, discount days

Days are short, and cold, but the fishing is good.

We are trying to fill a couple more days. Drop me an email, we are still offering some pretty cool December pricing.

Greg with an early native winter run

Greg with an early native winter run

Weekend spey fishing special, $350.00 a day for two anglers. And yes, you will probably catch some fish.

Early season hatchery steelhead

Early season winter steelhead

The fishing for hatchery fish has been good, with a few wild fish showing up.

There are STILL a few nice bright coho coming in, but I have been sticking with the steelhead for the most part.

Jim Kerr

Rain Coast Guides

Forks Wa

Posted in Fly Fishing Classes and Workshops, Guided Fishing Deals and Specials, Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing Report | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving, cheap dates, winter steelhead

Winter steelhead have started to show up, and so from now until late April we are on a runaway steelhead train to hell with the devil at the wheel.

This weeks weather, cold and dry is shaping up to bring good water.

Cheap dates?

You bet!

December 4th, 11th,12th,16th,17th,18th.  Three hundred for a single angler, 350 for two, plus on some of those dates we can get you cheap lodging.

Megan with a hatchery winter steelhead. Day off fishing with Ryan and Aaron

Megan with a hatchery winter steelhead. Day off fishing with Ryan and Aaron

The longest Coho season ever continues. Some how we are still catching beautiful bright coho, which is funny, because thats been happen every week since July 1.

Want to do a fish a long?  Want to do some spey fishing instruction? Between now and Christmas is the best window before May.

Jim Kerr

Rain Coast Guides

Forks Washington.

 

Posted in Guided Fishing Deals and Specials, Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing Report | 2 Comments

Rule Change Proposals, the status Quo is unacceptable

As almost every steelhead angler in the country knows, the Washington State fish and Wildlife Commission will be taking comment concerning a list of sport fishing regulation changes on the Olympic Peninsula.

These proposals were designed by a ad hoc advisory board selected by fish and wildlife.

I have stayed abreast of this process from day one, speaking weekly to many members of the group, as well as fish and wild life employee’s and members of other steelhead advocacy groups.

In the end, much of my time was spent fact checking, writing, and rewriting, and trying to determine how  or if any of these recommendations would work as intended.

Here is what I believe about the primary recommendations.

No Kill on Wild Steelhead.

I think this rule will reduce the number of wild steelhead harvested.

I had some concern that this rule might lead the tribes to increase their harvest, and negate any conservation gain.  But after doing a lot of research I do not think this will be the case.  This rule will lead to a small, but significant, decrease in harvest.  We could use the help.

If we have to talk a little longer, work a little harder, to keep fish like this around, its worth it.

If we have to talk a little longer, work a little harder, to keep fish like this around, its worth it.

No fishing from boats.

This is no fishing from a boat on the Upper Hoh above Morgans.

The question is why?

If it is to reduce encounters on native steelhead while still maintaining angler opportunity then its probably a good idea.

If we are talking about doing a season or more of creeling to determine how much use the area is getting, and how many fish are being encountered so we have a base line, thats very good news.

Then when we go to no fishing from a boat we can put a number on exactly how much impact this rule has.

This is crucially important because when we have conversations with co-managers about needed harvest cutbacks, we can demonstrate the effectiveness of this tool, and say things like “if you guys reduce your net days by 6 hours we will increase our no boat area by 2 miles” And perhaps avoid fisheries closures like we have seen on the Hoh in the summer.

The problem is if we just implement these rules with no base line data, we will never know if it really helped, or how much.

And we can’t use it as a tool, or use it to guide the creation of future no fishing from boat areas.

So, without the data, what is it?

 

No Bait.

This seems to me to be by far the most contentious issue.  And an issue that most needed more time and data to resolve.

I do not use bait for native steelhead.  But many guides do.

However you feel about the issue you must recognize that “fisheries management” is really about managing people.

Dozens of local business owners feel that this rule will have a negative impact on their businesses.  These are people who support  families, and pay mortgages.

If they fear that this rule will take money out of their pockets, and endanger their livelihood, then time should be taken to demonstrate the positive impacts this rule may have, and look at ways to insulate their businesses from harm.

In short their concerns should be taken seriously by EVERYONE involved, and creative solutions should be sought.

Segments of the conservation community have displayed open disdain for other user groups.  If these rule changes fail, it will be largely their fault.  They have created the resistance they are now fighting against.

We all need to invest the time to get this right, so we can create change that works and will be supported by the State.

So now its Maximum sustained harvest vrs a potential no harvest rule.

Which will win?

Washington has chosen to manage its fisheries through MSH.

What that means is we set spawning goals for each river system and then try to harvest every “extra” fish that returns after that goal has been reached.  That is the law of the land, the single rule that governs every major rule the department of fish and game makes.

According to Washington department of fish and Wildlife there are lots of “extra” native steelhead on the Olympic peninsula.

So how does it work when a no kill rule passes?  MSH, and no kill on native steelhead are directly opposed to one another.

The department of fish and wildlife will be forced to fail at one of these goals.

Can we say we are operating on a MSH model if we are not harvesting fish?

If we are not, what model are we using?

I’ll be glad to pick one.

 

Its tempting to spend about 5 pages highlighting how screwed up advisory board process was.  But its also important to point out that this was a unique effort on the part of the state to gather information and include the public. And that effort should be applauded.

The state underestimated the time this would take, and badly rushed the process.  Due to the make up of the group things quickly reached an impasse, and the State appointed a manager to facilitate the discussion instead of a moderator.

Despite all sides being relatively close to agreement going in the door, no consensus was reached, and much of the sport fishing community was divided on the end result.

Communication was so bad that several people involved have speculated that it was the the Department of fish and wildlife’s intention to sabotage the process so as not to be bound by decisions made by the commission.

How ever it works out, we will not be at an end point, but just a little bit down the rd to better native steelhead management.

Groups like Steel Headers United are going to have a lot of work to do reuniting steel headers. Wild Steelhead Coalition has to build broader coalitions.  We have to work together on this stuff if we want to maintain one of the best steelhead fisheries in the world.

Jim Kerr

Rain Coast Guides

 

 

 

 

Posted in Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing Report | 4 Comments

Still salmon, open days, and cheap seats

 

There is a natural arc of the fishing in every season, not just the run timing, but the excitement level and the crowds.

Early on, even before the fish really show up, everyone is out, excited, and can’t wait for the fish.

After its been going for a while things settle into a rhythm, and then, when the end is in sight the river gets quiet, even if the fish are still coming well.

There were a couple of weeks there where anything that landed near that tree got gobbled up

There were a couple of weeks there where anything that landed near that tree got gobbled up

Thats where we are now.

Friday, with the water going up through the roof, we pulled over and grabbed the spey rod and managed to hook four chrome salmon before whole trees started drifting by.

We will be back at it tomorrow, there are plenty of chrome coho and still fresh kings rolling in, we still have at least a couple of weeks of good salmon fishing to go.

John got this good fish during the low water. Sight fishing, with some good dry fly action (for some)

John got this good fish during the low water.
Sight fishing, with some good dry fly action (for some)

As the fishing tapers off hatchery steelhead should start to fill in the gaps.  Sometime in mid November salmon slows and steelhead starts, but no one knows what day that will be.

I will offer some discount days, we will find some fish, its a good time to sharpen up your spey fishing skills or just get a day on the river in.

First up, November 12 and 13th, $100.00 discount plus “lodging” for $40.00.

Email if you are interested

Jim Kerr

Rain Coast Guides

Posted in Fly Fishing Classes and Workshops, Guided Fishing Deals and Specials, Salmon Fishing, Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing Report | Tagged | 3 Comments

Catching salmon, oops I meant Thursday is open

The rain last week really pumped up the fishing, it tapered off all week but just the little sprinkle on Friday got them going again.

I have Thursday open, there are more than enough bright coho around to make for an interesting day, especially mid week. I could probably work in some bargain accommodations as a incentive.

Rain brings salmon

Rain brings salmon, Thanks Chris and Kim

Had less luck this week bringing them up to the dry, so I am reworking some patterns….we will see……..

You could still catch a summer run if you wanted

You could still catch a summer run if you wanted

Small is beautiful,

as the water gets low you have to size down more and more.  Small dark patterns were getting all the fish, kings included, by the end of the week.

 

Marty with a nice new salmon of the backside of last weeks rain.

Marty with a nice new salmon of the backside of last weeks rain.

Jim Kerr

rain coast Guides

Forks wa fly fishing

Posted in Guided Fishing Deals and Specials, Salmon Fishing, Summer Steelhead Fly Fishing Report | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Salmon

Still have some prime salmon dates open, give us a call.

A dry line and a bead head got this summer steelhead cartwheeling for Chance.

A dry line and a bead head got this summer steelhead cartwheeling for Chance.

Just wait until December.  Then you won’t have to catch as many fish, they won’t be as big, and you can wear a giant coat and boot foot waders instead of a t-shirt.

OK, don’t get me wrong, I love winter steel heading, but come on, big kings every day for a while now, plus silvers on drys, plus nice trout fishing, plus dry fly steelhead.

Its the real deal, old school.

Oops! Big king eats silver fly. Nice work Bruce.

Oops! Big king eats silver fly.
Nice work Bruce.

A little patience goes a long way when it comes to fly fishing for fall kings and silvers.

It takes a bit to find them, a bit to figure them out, but if you take your time they will come and often bite really well.

Dan with a nice hatchery fall coho

Oh yes, fall silvers, and we are tricking them into eating drys.

In the right spot, at the right time, silvers gulp drys better than anything. It can be an awesome take.  Wether you are fishing for summer steelhead, winter steelhead, silvers or kings, if you can find them relaxed in less that 4 feet of water spend some time fishing a skater.

When they are in the mood it can really crush them.

Jim Kerr

Rain coast guides

 

Posted in Salmon Fishing, Searun Cutthroat Trout Fly Fishing Report, Summer Steelhead Fly Fishing Report, Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing Report | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

You could go salmon fishing, we have open dates

This is it, nows the time to book, we have open dates for October, one of the top two months to be on the Olympic Peninsula.  If you really like catching big shiny fish, ring ring…Hello Jim..I wanna go catch big shiny fish, thats you, calling me.  Actually probably better to email, but you get the picture.

John swung up this nice Coho

John swung up this nice Coho

We are catching lots of salmon, Coho and Kings, and things should just be getting started.

You could also still pull off a real nice steelhead trip, with this low water the dry fly bite should be really good in the afternoon.

Or, you could do what I have been doing.

Trout fishing.

count the spots and win a free trip

count the spots and win a free trip

ben

Jack salmon will gobble up a dry fly intended for trout

A day of dry fly fishing for sea run cutthroat is a very cool thing, and I have been trying to talk everyone into while the weather and water is perfect.

Sea runs have a reputation for being push overs.  Some times they are, often they are not. When it comes to getting them on dries come prepared for anything.

This time of year they may switch from small mayflies in the morning to giant caddis later to tiny caddis in the afternoon.

When you dial them in the will compare in numbers and size to almost any trout any where in the world.

And there always surprises.  Jack salmon often can’t help but slurp dries, and summer steelhead pop up as often as not.

Anyway, that will only last a week or two, then its all salmon all the time until mid November.

Jim Kerr

Rain Coast Guides

Forks Washington

 

 

Posted in Salmon Fishing, Searun Cutthroat Trout Fly Fishing Report, Summer Steelhead Fly Fishing Report, Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing Report | Tagged , | 9 Comments