Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Materials

I just came up with a fairly new wave of fly-tying material recently.

It's called "Fish Skull". This link says everything about how exciting this material is so I don't go over. But let me say two features with my words.
First, this head will be slotted from the hook eye, not from the hook-point as any other cones, after completing rest of flies.
Second, the built-in keel so streamers go up-side down under the water for less snagging yet still go deep enough.

Following their suggested patterns, I tied a few myself. It's called "River Rabbit".
In black,

and in tan.

Actually I can think of lots of streamer patterns that can be modified and improved by this material, while keeping their original silhouette and effects yet with some different touch and taste.

So far I haven't experimented a lot because this cost me $6 for 8 cones!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Splice Needle Nail Knot

As I am tuning my gears, I'd like to post about a very unique tool and how it works like a magic. This blog of mine is never meant to be instructional or promoting some products.

But this 3-in-1 Nail Knot Pipe from C&F is one of the most unique and practical tools ever.
Nail knot is probably the most complicated knots among fly-fishing. One has to make it neat and strong. See here how it can be done normally.
This is the description of how it works in English and Japanese. It is as good as TOYOTA as one of Japanese products.
This is how it can be separated. Splice needle and nail-knot tube.
And here's the third function. One of the tips is with magnet that can pick up flies and hooks easily.

Following is the sequence of how the nail-knot can be done with this fine tool and how neat the knot comes up that goes through the rod guides so smooth.
First, the sharp needle can make a punch in the core of the fly-line.

Second, one should be able to pass the tip of knotless leader through the tiny hole located on the tip of the needle. This is a very fragile spot so one has to go strong and firm to make a punch hole but not with too much force.

I pulled the knotless leader all the way to the butt section through that punched hole.

With this thin yet solid tube, I noticed I can make the neatest nail-knot ever.

This is the end result (I didn't clip the excess for the picture).

I actually can make a nail-knot without this tool. And it does have accuracy and strength. But this nail-knot with the splice needle goes through the guides much easier whether rigging up or fighting big trout that have to be dealt with just around butt-section.

I hope some of you out there like this tool and nail-knot.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Debut of 5-wt: Rocky Ford - PM

It was sunny but not too hot. Yet I drank lots of Gatorade with my gourmet lunch. And then I headed to the top of the creek. It's an outlet riffle from the hatchery boundary that forms a little pond. The riffle here has been the only one consistent spot to catch trout by swinging tiny midges. I've been right about that and midges seem to hatch a lot in the afternoon. So, though not quite a dry-fly only fishing, I would be casting tiny flies without split shots.
This afternoon, I saw some rising trout. I swung some midge soft-hackles but I got only one tap. I still saw some risers so I cast and dead-drifted my soft-hackles like dry-flies. It was hard to see my flies but I knew where they were. I saw a rise and set the hook!! It looked like a 16 to 18-inch trout. It first seemed easy to come to my net and camera but suddenly it charged and snapped off my 6X tippet. But I was happy with what I got!!
I was about to go back to scud & worm but I still saw a couple of trout rising. Before cutting off 6X tippet I tied on Griffith's Gnat Emerger from Blue Ribbon Flies. size 20.
Something huge rose and took my tiny fly!!
Another angle.

It was another massive 20-inch & 5-lb class. I really didn't measure but it might have been up to 22-inch or even 6-lb. I really didn't care because it was huge anyway, landed with 6X tippet.

I cast some more to a riser right at the bank as in Firehole or Madison in Yellowstone National Park. I had one more dry-fly action. Regardless of size, I think I was happy!! And this one was easy for camera frame.

I am happily exhausted now as I accomplished my own objectives of the day.

  1. catch nice trout on the brandnew rig
  2. but not by bobber or streamer fishing
  3. test dry-fly casting & fishing

All of these gave me a big confident to fish for fall baetis hatch in Yellowstone Park waters and midge/baetis hatches in spring creeks in Livingston.

I'd like to worn them friendlily, "hey boys & girls, I will be there!!"

And there should be one or two more day to fish with my brandnew 5-wt around here before I hit the road to Yellowstone.

Debut of 5-wt: Rocky Ford - AM

I just come back from Rocky Ford Creek in Ephrata, WA. Two hours one way. I left my house about at 5:20am and you know I have to cook and eat breakfast so guess what time I woke up at....

Today was the debut of my brandnew 5-wt. The biggest objective was nothing but "catch nice trout", period. I just couldn't go out to somewhere, say Yakima River, fish some with dry-flies, may or may not catch fish, and say "I felt this and that about my new rig". I had to feel trout also. The bigger, the better. It had to be Rocky Ford. But flies mostly used in Rocky Ford are scuds and something in the bottom. My 5-wt was meant to be dry-fly fishing in big rivers, wasn't it? Yes and I won't put bobbers or large streamers on my 5-wt that I swear. So it does sound like I'm a hypocrite but, to make a solution, I rigged up a dry/nymph dropper. I chose a foam hopper pattern as an indicator and then tied a scud on 2 feet below and eventually I added a mini San Juan Worm below the scud.
It was slow......though I held the best and easiest spot to get me started and while an angler on the other side was making a killing on the same stretch of his side. I was casting or even dapping to the right feeding lane but didn't get any strikes. I figured it was the "depth" I was fishing. Especially fishing with dry/nymphs dropper, it seemed to be a bit hard to get to the bottom. I simply added split shots till it seemed OK. Trout started to look at my flies. I hooked, lost, foul-hooked, etc and finally landed one.
The first trout on my brandnew 5-wt was this about 20-inch & 5-lb fat triploid rainbow. Not bad, huh??
Show yourself!

I kept going. An angler on the other side hooked and landed twice more than I did but I was positive I was catching only big ones!!! Since both scud and worm worked equally, I really didn't keep track on what on which. Again, the "depth" was the keyword for the day. This one was so massive yet on tiny worm!!!!

Probably 24 or 25-inch long and potentially 7 to 9-lb because it was heavier than a 5-lb beef-chub at grocery stores. See my rod was not flat on the ground so it is hard to guess how long.

This one was a bit smaller instead I got a better picture with my rod laid flat on the ground. Positively guessed 23-inch??

I caught several of these eating machines. All of them were around 20-inch & 5-lb class. By the time I stopped and headed back to my truck for lunch, my Mini San Juan Worm was opened up by these weights!!

Very good debut!! My brandnew 5-wt can handle these beast as well as my 6-wt. Also though I was fishing the bottom of the creek, all the actions were so visible in this clear water. It may not be truly a technical fishing but quite an observation for sure.

Afternoon was the time for another objection = dry-fly fishing.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

On My Way to Be a Steelheader??

Steelheader - not a medical condition but a nickname for a skilled fly-fisherman who likes nothing better than to make 999,998 false casts before actually catching a steelhead (quoted from somewhere).

I think this line really means what is about fly-fishing for steelhead, as well as a very good joke.
Living and fishing for trout in WA State over three years, I have finally come to be interested in fishing for steelhead. And then the accidental catch of Chinook about three weeks ago really made me aware of what Pacific Northwest offers.

People at Worley Bugger in Ellensburg, WA tempted me to give a shot. Also Creekside Flyfishing in Salem, OR gave me a suggested read to get started as I ordered the 5wt rod and line in one post below.

I ordered this book at Amazon right after I had ordered the 5wt rod and line at Creekside. It was delivered today and I have started reading. Just glancing the index, I noticed that it was the best one. What I was looking for and expecting were:
  • Pacific Northwest fishing (not steelhead in general or in Great Lakes)
  • rivers and water-reading
  • Steelhead character and habitat
  • tactics
  • gears
  • flies

All in one book!!

I might make a day or two very soon in my area. It may not be really actual fishing but observing the rivers since this will be a brandnew game for me.

This does not mean I am losing interests in brown and rainbow trout in Montana.

You know I want to catch one big one or maybe two if I get lucky. After all, when targeting huge Salmo (brown trout) and Oncorhynchus (rainbow, cutthroat, steelhead, and salmon), one has to pursue and play the number of games. That's my understanding.

Tomorrow, I go fishing for trout then!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hello, 5wt

I have just purchased a 5wt rod from Creekside Flyfishing in Salem, OR. They have been very kind to me and they don't charge me tax in Oregon!! For the following purchase, I saved about $32, compared to if I had bought this from shops in WA or somewhere online. How many fly-tying materials and sandwich stuff can be bought with the saving of $32????

I hadn't needed a 5wt for a while. In fact, I kind of dislike the common idea that 5wt would do anything. My 6wt truly does handle any situation and all sizes of flies from size 22 midges to 5-inch streamers. Also I own a 4wt & 8-foot rod for fun dry-fly fishing in small streams. But through my experience, I finally came to need one for specific purposes.
First, though I am really good at constructing and adjusting leaders and tippets for fishing situation and sizes & patterns of flies with my 6wt, I finally got tired of it. I decided I will use my 6wt for nymphs and streamers from now on.
Second, my 4wt can be too light oftentimes. This came to my mind the baetis hatch that I encountered during the trip to Yellowstone last fall. When I was with my 6wt that I rigged mostly for nymphs, streamers, and large soft-hackles to swing, it was very time consuming to get down to 6X tippet. Then with my 4wt, it was very hard to handle the increment weather (cold, windy, stormy) that baetis chose to hatch en masse and trout loved to rise.
I've been thinking the time to buy after my car wreck, replacing computer, etc....... As planning the fall trip, now is the best timing to get one. I still have time to feel and test the new rig. For the rod, I already had one in my mind. That had been a Sage Flight. My 4wt and 6wt are both "Sage FLi" which was the predecessor of Flight. Please don't see it as the "second cheapest" rod. I like fast-action rods to fish aggressively whether I'm fishing with dry-flies, soft-hackles, nymphs, or streamers but also I can adjust myself and my casting slower and quieter if needed.
Also, I had been skeptical about 4-piece rods. I'm still an old-timer who believes in: the less sections are, the more smooth the rod is. But I finally decided to give it a try for the recent technology that manufactures and people at the fly-shops claim.

I heard that the progress from FLi to Flight (along with the price gain!!) is mostly about cosmetic, not too much about the entire rod performance. But I have to notice that reel seat is much better and stronger than FLi.

I also thought about the line a lot.............. I wanted a whole rig as a dry-fly rig, occasionally swinging soft-hackles, but not for nypmhs and streamers. Rio's Trout LT seemed to serve for what I wanted. Further more, I wanted a Double-Taper rather than Weight-Forward.

I already had a reel with backing line. All I needed to do was to connect the backing to the RIO LT, then reel it up!! I didn't need a special tool as seen at most of fly-shops. All I needed was a pen and duct-tape.

Reel I'm using is called Scierra XDP. Scierra is a company from Denmark. It's a very strong as XDP stands for "Extreme Drag Performance". But I heard that they somehow closed US market.

I own two of Scierra XDP for 5 and 6wt lines. They can be some of what are left in US.

I believe I can do better for baetis hatch that I did last year with this 5wt rig. I should have time to test and catch the first one right here in eastern WA before I go to Yellowstone.

I can't wait to see what I feel.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fish Watching Day

Today, I made another over 200 miles drive. Local tips I got yesterday at Worley Bugger was that lots of salmon are way up in Yakima River now and they are ready to spawn or spawning. And big rainbow and cutthroat are chasing eggs right behind them. So I drove above Ellensburg. Following the map and my guessing (can't do much observation from my truck view), I pulled into a public access. To make 1-hour fishing story short, I was not successful and decided to move.

As I was leaving, luckily I met a guide from Worley Bugger, Ryan, and talked with him!! He gave me the exact section and spot I should look into. Put it shortly, salmon were way up from where I was.

It was still way before noon when I started to walk and fish around where Ryan directed me. I saw lots of salmon redds and large rainbows!! I was with my simple nymph rig = stonefly nymph + egg, which will be used in Yellowstone in a month. But I had no action at all. Those trout chasing salmon eggs seemed very spooky in the clear water. Then I came to a really deep, wide, and long pool. I thought this must be the place for extreme nymphing!! I didn't have any action yet............then I started to see some huge trout were rising on the surface in this big pool!! Believe me, one I saw was probably 25-inch class or even bigger!! I'm not bragging about the lost fish. This is the "eye-witness" testimony. I saw its rise twice. There were some more rises of potentially large trout too. Then I couldn't what was hatching because there were a couple of insects and guesses at the same time. Midges, baetis, size16 mayfly, potentially October Caddis, and lots of stonelfly nymphal shucks on the rocks. Since I loaded my boxes with primarily for nymph fishing, I couldn't cover all of these. I switched into dry-fly and dry-&-egg dropper but couldn't do anything. To calm my nerve, I walked back to my truck for lunch.

I met a gentleman from Seattle who was fishing upstream from the parking lot. He says he likes this section of Yakima and told me that the big fish I saw could have been steelhead or salmon who were feeding by their instincts = hard to catch. I actually thought so too. Its back seemed the same color as the Chinook I caught, kind of yellowish, not like fresh-water rainbow. We swapped some of our favorite fishing spots.

After lunch, I thought about what I could do. Spawning salmon, egg sucking rainbow, fickle feeding, and misc etc........ Since I loaded my boxes with nymph fishing, I consulted with my secret Dutch Box, filled with the best and most reliable patterns (one of each), to see if there would be any idea. Rainbow, steelhead, salmon = all of them are run-up fish and fishing is fickle. Same as the Madison in Yellowstone Park in the fall to fish fall-run brown and rainbow??? Since I don't have brown in this situation, I picked up a Full-Dressed Red. I am planning to post a list of fall flies so I don't go details for now. One word: swing!!

Not the big one but fixed the "skunk" of the day!! I'd like to say this one was fatter for its length. They all must be feeding on salmon eggs.

Finally egg worked too.

This is the spot where several redds had been made so closely. With my camera and level of photography, I can't take clearer picture than this. Redds are so distinctive. I cast a lot here (because lots of large rainbows were around) but never stepped in or on the redds.
I did make my best effort but didn't get hooked into any large rainbows. Then at the end of the day, I saw a post-spawn salmon that was protecting the redd. Its skin and fins were torn from the hard work of making a redd. Now it was protecting till the death comes. After the death, the body will be the nutrition and feeds of the river........ Again, this was the best I could take. I didn't insert any words to let your imagination grow. Can you extract and see a fish body facing right of the picture?

I didn't catch any large rainbow or accidental salmon/steelhead but I was actually moved to what I experienced today. Without going to Alaska or watching fish biology documents, I saw the life-cycle of the river. That's why I am typing so long!!

I might be back here in a week or two as my work schedule permits.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Best Cutty at Naches

Today I needed to go fishing but hadn't been really sure about the exact game plan.

My first idea was to fish Tieton River that might hold the remnant of bull trout and I might catch them accidentally. Not on purpose!! It's illegal (what a bold liar)!! But as I drove along, I noticed the Tieton was even higher than during the summer months?? I checked into WA Fish & Wildlife Office right along and asked the officer several questions. I had the information that the reservoir above Naches would be released and Naches would be a Class IV or V white water. But it was the reservoir above Tieton that had been released. Instead Yakima River flow is getting lower and more accessible now. See this big game going on??
Also the F&W officer told me the following;
  • He is not sure if I could have killed and eaten the salmon that I caught in Naches. It was beyond the regulation. I let him go anyway.
  • There still are the remnant of bull trout in Tieton.
Well, bull trout fishing has to be waited. Whitefish season is open during the winter so I can pretend as if I'm doing that and I make the accident happen??
So, I had only one option left. I fished the same stretch as I did for the last few times. I actually didn't hope to hook into salmon again........ I wanted a nice Westslope Cutthroat. It was slow but exactly the same spot where I caught Chinook, I hooked a nice Cutty!!!! I don't have to show you Doug's Home Invader, do I??
It was a just about 18-inch buck. This one really fought hard!! I first thought it would be a huge rainbow (accidental steelhead) or foul-hooked 16-inch class. It did bend my rod and pull my line out.
Handsome dude!!
Plump pink belly........

Definitely better looking than me!! Since I was at the same spot as last time, I used the same rock for the self-timer.

This cutty is the best in terms of look, size, color, and attitude. It will be remembered as one of my trophy catches.

I try not to fish the same spot over and over but today I had to follow what I would find.

I swear I won't go back to Naches for this year again. I've been making killing recently!! Trout deserve some rest.

I swung by Worley Bugger in Ellensburg and I've got some local intels which I will do tomorrow.

This one is the best Westslope so far but I might be able to find bigger ones along with monster rainbows. I'll find more.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Practice & Lesson

It's not only about catching fish and tying flies to get ready for the fall trip to Yellowstone Country. Today I had an opportunity to test my bear spray on "live target". I had bought this just about three years ago. Fortunately (or unfortunately as a sightseer), I haven't even seen a bear from the distance while fishing and driving in Yellowstone National Park. Fly shops in West Yellowstone, such as Blue Ribbon Flies, keep tabs of bear activities besides fishing reports. "Keep your bear spray ready and know how to use it". I should be able to spray as any other products in life. But I was wondering see if it really work.

Today, during the job, I used on a Jersey bull at a dairy farm. First to clarify, believe or not, dairy bulls are meaner and more dangerous than beef bulls at farm levels. Really. You know most of us have images and pictures of cowboys and rodeo with beef breeds. At ranches it can be true. Oftentimes even some beef cows can be very aggressive at cow-hands especially during calving season. Then the bulls seen at rodeo and matador are bred to be that way. On the contorary, you might have images and pictures of friendly milk cows at family zoo or farm, probably named Mary-Jane-Betsy..... But I can't emphasize that dairy bulls, primarily Holstein and Jersey, are totally different from milk cows and can be very dangerous by nature. Let me tell you this through my experience. Dairy bulls don't bluff. When they charge, they really aim you and mean to hurt you!! I myself have experienced some bad ones through my jobs. And I have even heard some deadly accidents.

I had noticed that Jersey bull was getting aggressive on me recently. He started trying to sneak up on me while I was checking on cows' estrus, i.e., his girlfriends.

Today he waited for me at the entrance of the corral. So I sprayed. Once then twice. It seemed nothing at first but took about 5 seconds to show the effect. Bull started to tear and drool and ran away from me. Then I entered the corral. Along with the mild wind and whatever left in the air, it stung my eyes and nose too!! OMG!!

Today's lessons learned:

  • My bear spray has not been expired and does work on animals.
  • Make sure to know what I'm doing!!

My eyes still feel peppery as of now. Hopefully it will go away after a night of sleep and I don't have to see a doctor. I re-read the handling manual and checked the expiration date on the can. The label says "expires 2010" so it should be fine for this up-coming fall trip and I made sure that with my body..........

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Salmon Buzz Continues..............

It was only 5 days ago, or already 5 days ago, from the accidental catch of Chinook. I still can't let it go off from my mind. This happens to me when I have lost trout. Sometimes, I just feel something really big and then either my fly come off or line gets broken. Also oftentimes, I see nice trout come up or chase my flies but don't get hooked or I would hook them and see their sizes and then gone somehow before netting or taking pictures........ What if?? They could have been..... This kind of feeling always makes me go back to the rivers.

But this time, the Chinook is lingering in my head in a different way. First of all, I was getting tired of people around here asking me if I fish for salmon/steelhead. Same thing happens when I go fishing in Montana and tell people at shops and anglers that I encounter that I am visiting from WA State. I've been answering "no..... I like trout fishing and salmon/steelhead is a different game with different gears, etc etc." Now I can say "Hey I landed 34-inch & 15- maybe 20-lb Chinook on my 6wt. It's the "KING" of the river, you know....."

Well, just bragging, here is the serious part. To be honest, I was more scared than excited of the sight of this massive fish. My legs got really shakey but my abdomen got tightened to keep myself balanced. Then the brain-works. While I was really afraid of losing it by line-breaking, I was trying to figure out how to get him in. In this case, I looked for somewhere shallow to drag in. Not to mention the adrenalin rash. His tooth gave several scars on my fingers. This one is very sharp. So this "king of the river" really scared my body and mind.

After a few thoughts for pictures and titles, I finally printed one out, framed it, and hanged it on the wall. I wonder which one is more toothy and more beast like??

I always save memorable flies after I land memorable trout and keep them for frames. Believe or not, Doug's Home Invader really smelled the sea = saltwater of Pacific Ocean. Fight would have been 3 to 5 minutes and it got stuck in his mouth for 2 minutes, give or take, for the first couple of pictures and till I recover with my forceps. Now I've got a memory in my nose too.

Another photo I was thinking to print out and/or make a combo with one above was this one. I really couldn't grab or grip it. Along with his strength to get away, I really had to hoist. I stepped backward a bit further from my camera but still it didn't capture his entire body.

Another biggest reason why I am sentimental is probably because I have just bought and read this book. It's written by a fish biologist in my area. It's not really about fly-fishing or catching fish as you can see.

Salmon and steelhead runs were legendary in Pacific Northwest. This book tells the historical numbers of runs and harvests. Harvesting was really important for Native American tribes all along the Columbia Basin too.

Now the Columbia is with all kinds of dams and infamous Hanford Nuclear Plant. The book says nowadays 80% of salmon/steelhead coming back to the Columbia and its tributaries are from hatcheries. I believe my catch was the hatchery one; adipose fin was clipped as you can see on my "Hoist" pic.

Following the regulation and due to the respect for mother nature, I let him go. But did you know that we have to kill certain amounts of hatchery salmon/steelhead every now and then in order to sustain population of wild ones for whatever left?? How contradicting it is and how hypocrite we are??

I don't blame people who want to catch and eat salmon and steelhead in Columbia and Yakima Rivers by any methods. Just follow the regulation and pack in-&-out your trash, folks. Probably nobody really cares if I had killed and eaten this Chinook. Nobody saw me anyway.

But my imagination spread out. This Chinook swam up Columbia from Pacific Ocean to Portland first. Then 200 miles from Portland to Tri-Cities where Yakima meets Columbia. Then he must have swum 90 miles upstream to the city of Yakima, passing right by my house. Another 20 miles, that's where I saw him. We can drive 300 miles in 5 hours give or take but how many days and weeks had he spent?

It was just a catch of my fishing life but it conjured up lots of thoughts in my mind........

I also have got tired of people asking me if I kill and eat trout. No sir and no mam, I am not interested in. Fly-fishing is the sport of passion. Please don't ask me any more.

I might sound like a big hypocrite but I love to eat fish at sushi restaurants, cook cioppino, and eat cans of clam chowder soups!! But those fish/seafood are legally harvested and raised as naturally as possible and I pay the price. That sounds fair to me. But killing and gutting my catch.......yuck, I can't do that.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Biggest Surprise Ever!!

With great imagination, today I went back to Naches again and fished the same section as the day before yesterday. I just heard the local info that the reservoir way above Naches will be released soon and makes a Class IV or V white water for a month. I wanted to see one more nice cutty.

It was slow. Water seemed a couple of inches higher than two days ago and a bit colder also. I fished the most promising section from both sides but didn't get any bites. I would come back here on my way back to truck on the warmer part of the day so I fished down stream. This is the first time that I fished the bank away from the highway. I had been wondering see if I could cross and only two days ago I finally found a spot to ford the river. The run is full of pocket water and eventually the mix of riffle and deep pools.
I was with my streamer rig but I did mix of stripping and dead-drifting. I caught a little "pocket-water cutty" on Conehead JJ. This one actually tapped my fly three times.
I fished way down. There's a deep pool, called Horseshoe Bend, which can't be fished enough from the highway side but even from this mountain side, nothing happened.
Further down, I finally felt a tug and set the hook. It was like a dead log on the water but moving!! I noticed it was a salmon!!!! It didn't really fight or pull my line into backing but so heavy. I didn't pee in my wader but my legs shook harder and faster than Elvis's. I finally dragged him into the shallow along with some help of worthless trout landing net.
It was a 34-inch male Chinook. I measured the girth with my best and it was 16-inch around.

It was more like "Hold & Grin" rather than "Grip & Grin".
According to "fish weight calculator" (length x girth x girth) / 800, it was estimated 11 to 13-pound. But I believe it was more than that. Maybe I didn't measure the girth right. Anyway it was a heavy baby I ever held.

I revived him and let him go. If one had caught this in Yakima or Columbia Rivers, one could have eaten it. But in Naches, salmon/steelhead fishing is not allowed. I watched him till he went back to current.
Now some aftermath stories and pictures. Fly that got bitten was Doug's Home Invader again. Tied tan/olive, it imitates baby trout and sculpin. Coincidentally this is tied with a strong salmon/steelhead hook. It really nailed his tongue.
This one will be soon to my wall with a framed picture so I have to tie more for my fall trip to Yellowstone!!
Also I was with Kelly Galloup's rigging. 6wt, Full-sink line, short heavy leader and jerk-strip retrieve. Last night, I somehow made a leader with 15-lb tester. That helped me to land this accidental beast. If I had been fishing with 2X or 3X nymph rig, it would have been gone......
Here's the spot. As you can see, the other side = highway side is a cliff which is impossible to access from that side. I am pointing my rod where a fast & deep current merges to a slower & flatter side where I was standing. I'd like to say my water-reading was great as in trout fishing.
So I'd like to say, it was an accidental catch but not by mistake. I believe I made the accident happen!!!!
This might have been a lucky item too. As I was choosing the chips for my lunch at the gas station in the morning, I picked up this one. Nacho Cheese.......sounded like Naches when shortened.......

I can't tell if this Chinook was either pre- or post-spawning. If it were post-spawning and ready to die, I shouldn't be proud much. But his fins looked pretty fine, just developing a couple of molds, and he was eager to eat my fly (not snagged or foul-hooked).

And then talking about Naches, there's about a 90-mile of Yakima River from mighty Columbia in between. And there are lots of anglers and dams all the way from the coast. I was so impressed with this happening. I sat on the rock for a while and felt done for the day.

It was more than a practice for streamer fishing to catch huge brown trout in Montana in the fall. I will take 18- and 19-inchers, you know!!
I wonder if I am using up my fishing luck for this year...... No I don't think so.
I made the accident happen!!