If you ever decide to fish those waters, bring your Gortex jacket. Alternate names for this dam include Sauk Centre Dam. Just Kirk being Kirk. Fluctuations from rain, snow and glacier melt are common with a mean flow between 3500-4000 cfs. 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. Caught 1 bull trout though from the Sauk around 2 lbs. Wet wading would not have been a pleasant endeavor, despite that it wasn’t miserable enough to be considered winter steelheading weather. A new access road for the site was completed the summer of 2014. 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 […] Interconnected, the circle of life becomes quite evident during this time of year on Pacific Northwest rivers. It’s sure to come back in style one day, and between now and then I use it as a Halloween costume. We’ve been privileged to spend the last few years on the Sauk in January (and now February and beyond thanks to new rules!) Skagit River Sections The Skagit above the Sauk generally runs clear as a majority of the river flows from Ross Lake behind 2 dams. 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. What a pleasure to have you stop by for a comment, Leland! The Sauk is one of the few productive bull trout rivers in the Puget Sound region. Swing large streamers and intruder-type flies on sink tip lines. Is it easy to tie yourself? 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. See more ideas about trout, bull, fish. The fish are chrome bright ... and can weigh up to 20 pounds or more. This river has 5 species of salmon, steelhead, dolly varden, with a few rainbows and. THanks for the comment, Dean. 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. 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. 3/13/08 Sauk River: two bull trout, zero steelhead. Following the cold trail of the JanSport D-series packs. Since 1856, Sauk River, Washington Fly Fishing Reports & Conditions. 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 . The rain began to fall in greater abundance as we situated ourselves on the next run. I would like to fish those waters someday. We found the softest rocks we could to sit on and talked shop and shared libations for … "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. Wait a minute! Fly fishing the Sauk River in Washington. SAUK RIVER: From mouth to White Chuck River. These were considerably smaller than the first fish, each stretching the tape at about 18 inches. Catch-and-release, except daily limit 2 hatchery steelhead. 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. We’ve been privileged to spend the last few years on the Sauk in January (and now February and beyond thanks to new rules!) The second time I fished the Sauk was when I dressed as a fisherman for Halloween 2016. Steelhead, salmon, dolly varden char and bull trout are present in this river. Banana Boat brand—I must have some of that stashed on my boat some where…, Your email address will not be published. A splendid Sauk River dolly varden bull trout. Went to the Sauk for the first time. Beautiful in-the-water pics of a beautiful species. CASCADE RIVER: From the mouth to Rockport Cascade Road Bridge. Required fields are marked *. It is a wild and scenic river and, as such, is undammed. 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.) This time of year it was all about bull trout, or as some mistakenly call them, dolly varden. I apologize for forgetting to put the rod behind my neck for the photo. Fluctuations from rain, snow and glacier melt are common with a mean flow between 3500-4000 cfs. A nice incidental catch while swinging for steelhead on the North fork of the Nooksack River. 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. (WASHINGTON D.O.E.) 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). Sort of like clowns—their true identity is unrecognizable when in clown garb…, Can’t get over how beautiful this fly looks. Hatchery steelhead can be found in the river from January. Species affected: Dolly Varden/Bull trout. Speyfishing and speycasting on the Sauk and Skagit rivers With N.W. And that was fine, because we were fishing for bull trout. 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. Trout, minimum size 14," daily limit 2. 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. 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. Dolly Varden/Bull trout, minimum size 20." cutthroat. There may be a smattering of winter steelhead. A male moved in behind her to do his part. Also, on the menu, resident bull trout and early Coho. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. Some of the funded work has progressed. Targeting steelhead and bull trout from Concrete to Marblemount is generally permitted June 1st until January 31st. Finding our groove on the Middle Fork Salmon. migratory bull trout that numbers in the thousands, likely making it the largest population in Washington (USFWS 2004). 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. 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. They must be redband rainbow trout. The Sauk River is one of three major tributaries of the once-fabled steelhead river, the Skagit, in North Central Western Washington. River also contains among the largest populations of Pink and Chum salmon in the lower 48 states (Connor and Pflug 2004). It includes species of fish, season and more about fly fishing the Sauk River. 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. And I landed two more. The Sauk was running a bit high due to recent (and current) rains, but not unreasonably so. Just a different wing & hook, but basically the same. Fishing Report Last Updated: 1 / 10 / 2021 Choose A Different River Here. Fortunately I remembered before getting too far up the road. Even when it’s not raining, it feels damp. In other words, the river was fishable. Naturally I assumed I’d hung up on a rock, but when the rock began shaking its head I changed my mind. Cutthroat and bull trout would eventually move in later to snatch eggs from the redd, and eagles would eventually feed on the chum carcasses. Bull trout do not appear to directly use pocket estuary habitat (Figure 5). Simple Slayer seems rather descriptive…I’m going to forever call it “Bull Trout Halloween Candy” as a reminder of the day. I can imagine, but then again, every streamer looks great in the corner of a bull trout’s maw But let’s not dwell on the past, shall we? 3/15/08 Yakima River: Three li'l pigs, all 'bows, each of 'em on a stimmy. Apparently that was the only willing participant in the run as neither Bob nor I touched another fish. The rain began to fall in greater abundance as we situated ourselves on the next run. This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree. Nice fish and fight. 3/13/08 Sauk River: two bull trout, zero steelhead. Best fished in the fall - spring for salmon, bull trout and steelhead. 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In 2003, we caught one bull trout in Turner’s Bay, the largest pocket estuary located on the Swinomish Reservation. 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. Once they’ve spawned they are spent, and hungry, and they move back down to the main river in search of a cigarette food. 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. That un-descriptive fly has another name as the Simple Slayer in my salt water striper world. The Sauk is a the major tributary of the Skagit and joins the Skagit below Rockport. chasing unicorns. There ensued no drag-screaming runs nor acrobatic displays, but the fish did communicate its displeasure and pulled with determination. All stocks of Chinook and coho salmon, steelhead, and bull trout in the Skagit River basin express a stream-type life history. But the buff is in style so that sorta cancels things out. There was a glacial green tinge to the river and visibility wasn’t horrible. As usual I haven’t been paying attention and still wearing my 30-year old Orvis vest. and can weigh up to 20 pounds or more. It is a wild and scenic river and, as such, is undammed. Bull trout don't spawn in the mainstem Sauk. 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. Sauk River Dam is a dam located just .2 miles from Sauk Centre, in Stearns County, in the state of Minnesota, United States. We moved upriver, above the well known bridge, to try our luck on a new piece of water. 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. The Rafting. 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. Sorry, the fish are beauties as well, but this fly really did it to me It is a wide river with ample gravel bars and road 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. It is a wide river with ample gravel bars and road access. Fished the stilly and cascade but no fish. Wait until the river drops. 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. Look for bull trout in the riffles and tailouts. Very nice report, Kirk! 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. After a short fight I landed what was a rather nice bull trout—somewhere in the 26-28″ range—certainly my largest to date. 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. 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. The Sauk River: Fall - Spring. To receive notifications when new Drivel® is posted, please kindly enter your email address: Your email address will not be published. Cheers! 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. There should be little debate that December 2020 was the low-water mark for Washington steelhead and … Look for bull trout in the riffles and tailouts. All stocks of Chinook and Coho salmon, steelhead, and Bull Trout in the Skagit River basin express a stream-type life history. thanks for the reply! Bull Trout", followed by 846 people on Pinterest. Well done, I almost didn’t recognize you in your costume. Join us as we discuss the Minnesota Fishing License options, fishing rules and fishing regulations. 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. Technically, anglers may not target bull trout under Washington regulations that cover the Sauk River. 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. 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. Other gamefish, statewide rules apply. 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. It's winter and the rains come and go. 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. A splendid Sauk River dolly varden bull trout. Steelhead and Bull Trout are more plastic in their life history strategies but exhibit How does it look wet? You can also subscribe without commenting. Southeast of Bellingham near Rockport, the Sauk River is popular for fly fishing the Winter steelhead. Though present, salmon may not be targeted in the Sauk. This is not a river for rafting novices and newbies. Sauk River. If it’s any consolation, I still have vest. When did the fishing vest become socially unacceptable? 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. I apologize for forgetting to put the rod behind my neck for the photo. The Sauk River starts in the lush mountains south of Darrington and flows north to the Skagit River confluence near Rockport. 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. 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 Columbia River Grande Ronde River Hoh River Sauk River Skykomish River Snoqualmie River Klickitat River Methow River Yakima River. What, Steve—you didn’t get the memo from the Bureau of Fly Fishing Fashion? Variables that influence anadromous bull trout production and survival will only be detectable as downstream catch if Expert Speycasting and Speyfishing instructor Mike Kinney. They spawn in the upper South Fork according to … I like it … The Sauk river is best suited to floating in a drift boat due to its large nature and limited bank access. Apr 5, 2020 - Explore Todd Konitzer's board ". In addition to the steelhead, the Sauk River is also known for fly fishing the summer bull trout. 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 … is immaterial to their conservation. chasing unicorns. Despite appearances, not winter steelheading weather. I got 12 minutes from home when I realized I had left my waders back home in the garage. 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. 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. A Tributary to the mighty Skagit the Sauk is. The Sauk is a the major tributary of the Skagit and joins the Skagit below Rockport. The river was clear. Fishing Conditions Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby: Water flow: 8500 cfs. This includes a Sauk River fishing report. Fluctuations from rain, snow and glacier melt are common with a mean flow between 3500-4000 cfs. The vest went out of style at least ten years ago. We mostly fish the Sauk in fall and winter for bull trout and steelhead. like the little brother. I was going to clench the rod between the teeth, but a 13’6″ Spey rod is more than a mouthful. 3/15/08 Yakima River: Three li'l pigs, all 'bows, each of 'em on a stimmy. 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 The Sauk is a prime wild winter steelhead stream from March through April. No hyoid teeth, no red slash under chin, im 100% certain these were not cutthroat and look nothing like dollys/bull. 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. 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). 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. Truly a favorite time of year for us. 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Limit 2 rainbows and least ten years ago mountains south of Darrington and flows North to Skagit! 3/15/08 Yakima River wide River with ample gravel bars and road access southeast of Bellingham near Rockport mighty Skagit Sauk... The Simple Slayer seems rather descriptive…I ’ m going to forever call it “ bull in..., as such, is undammed water flow: 8500 cfs express a life...