Skagit River Guided Trip

Skagit River Spring 2006
Earl with a Skagit Dolly Varden

Earl with a Skagit Dolly Varden.

Winter (January, February)

Winter brings hatchery steelhead, dolly varden, and a few wild winter run steelhead. On this trip we float a section of the river and stop and fish the productive gravel bars. This is primarily a sink tip show where you will get a lot of practice catching fish using a number of sink tip techniques. Believe it or not, fishing in January and February can be excellent on the Skagit River with five to ten dolly varden in a typical day with the occasional hatchery steelhead or large native steelhead as a bonus on a good day.
Roger with a Skagit River Wild Steelhead

Roger with a Skagit River Wild Steelhead.

Spring (March, April)

The spring rains bring the legendary native winter steelhead into the Skagit River. These are hard fighting fish that go to the air shortly after being hooked and put you into your backing in a heartbeat. On this trip we float the river and stop at the gravel bars to work sink tips through the productive runs. We are targeting Winter Steelhead this time of year, but there are also a lot of dolly varden in the river. They hold in the same water and take the same flies as steelhead, and as you can see, they can grow as large as a two salt steelhead.

Jerry with a Skagit River Pink Salmon

Jerry with a Skagit River Pink Salmon.

Late Summer (August, September, October)

This is a great trip with typical beautiful weather and moderate river flows. We meet on the bank of the Skagit River and float a small section of the river. During the float, we stop and fish the runs that are holding fish and are fishable with a fly rod. We fish with 4 wt, 5 wt, and 6 wt rods that really show off the strength of summer steelhead, sea run cutthroat, silver salmon, and pink salmon (odd years). Typical gear includes floating lines, 9 foot leaders, and tippet between 6 lb and 10 lb, depending on what we are targeting. Flies include spiders, skaters, and wakers for surface presentation. We also use weighted marabou type flies for sub-surface presentation.

We generally meet in the morning, then float and fish the river until noon. We stop for lunch, then either continue with the same float, or float and fish a new section of the river. We use 9ft personal pontoon boats for transportation. They are easy to maneuver, very stable, and a blast in the chopy water.

Chris with a Skagit River Chum Salmon

Bill with a Massive Skagit River Chum Salmon.

Fall (November, December)

Fall is an excellent time of year to be on the Skagit River. The big runs of chum salmon lure a good number of hungry dolly varden into the river to feed on salmon eggs on their way to and from their own spawning grounds. While targeting steelhead and large dolly vardern, there is a very good chance your fly may also get eaten by a number chum or silver salmon that are also in the river. At this time of year, you have a very good chance of tieing into some very large fish!

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