My brother and I recently went to the Skeena river for the first time for Summer run fish. We had some pretty good Intel on a few runs and techniques. One thing that my source stressed was that if we waded out past our ankles that we were fishing too far out! Man was he right! It took me a few days to catch up to my brother who was fishing left handed and close because of tennis elbow in his right arm. He was really getting into the fish, hitting 4 steelhead the first day on a (Fish Magnet Summer Methow)! The biggest problem was all of the plucks, and short strikes from traveling fish. I was a zero with lots of on offs until the third day when I put on a sink 3 on my Rage head and started swinging it into the beach. Then my trip really began as I managed some nice fish mimicking my brother with a Fish Magnet Summer series Methow fly* that proved very good for Steelhead and Coho.
Flash forward a couple of weeks and the same trip with Jeff at Grabflies. Fishing has been tough all over and the Skeena was no exception this year with a near record low steelhead run. We were going to have to work hard and step up to be successful. This time it was me that hit the ground running having learned my lesson! Prior to the trip I worked on a fly that would be smaller, darker, casts easily on a light polyleader and moves with very little current while showing off a red bead by the hook that would hopefully give the fish a point of attack so the hookup rate would go up with the fast traveling Skeena fish.
It is basically an April Vokey Sugar Pop fly without the Rhea and an added black rabbit zonker tail with the flash right on top of the wing. Introducing the (Sugar Bunny) Man this fly really fit the bill. I could have called it the Labrador retriever because the tail looks like a dogs tail wagging the flash back and forth. Winner Winner Steelhead dinner!
I had many grabs and fish on and lost along with a couple of dandy mid to upper teen steelhead caught the first two days. We think the Coho were the plucking fish, but we also lost some big steelhead deep into the battle.
Jeff soon learned his lesson as I did, as he said "keeping one foot on the bank" and hit three steelhead on his third day, fishing a light tip and a light nice moving fly called the (Egg Dropping Methow Rhea Taco) one of the fish took him down the river and got off at the bank that we dubbed the Kispiox buck because of his 20# + size and nasty demeanor.
Jeff also caught a some on a lightly weighted (Skagit Methow Leech) which is always a good fly to tie on.
Later in the week the river cleared up some and the fish moved out from the bank and I fished another new fly that was incredibly successful, hooking three steelhead in one run on the final morning. Jeff and I managed a double as well, each catching a nice mid teen chromer! I'm dubbing my new fly (the Hoh Magnet) It is a highly visible mostly black fly with a dark blue flash wing and Lady Amhurst barbs that says "bite me" I will be adding it to the Fish Magnet fly collection as soon as I can tie some up and get them to Jeff to be available.
See (customer photos) and view the awesome wild steelhead and the flies that we used to catch each!
Also see Evo Bunny with Eyes (Click Here)