Sunday, July 16, 2006

North Fork Lewis River


Green Drake


Last weekend I spent some time on the North Fork of the Lewis. The NFL is possbly the prettiest and most diverse river I have ever fished. Parts coastal river, North Idaho cutthroat stream and Rocky Mountain freestone this little stream in SW Washington felt like many other rivers around the west.
It did however fish differently. While I would not have been suprised to pull out a brown, cutthroat, redband, brookie or bull I only managed to catch a whitefish and many smallish rainbows. Indeed the largest fish brought to hand was a 12" 'bow. Yet, suprisingly, I was not disapointed. You see, dear reader, I was plenty satisfied not only with the beauty of those little trouts but with the scenery, scents and sounds of the river's surroundings. I must be getting old.
While I never saw what one would call a hatch I did see a smattering of caddis, drakes, duns, stones and one large millepede seen here posing next to a #8 stimmy.
More importantly there was always the feeling that there were large fish to be had. Behind every boulder, beneath all the deadfalls and at the bottom of every dark pool swam a leviathan. Its just that none of them chose to take my fly. Did I see any of those big fish? No. But they were there, are still there and will definately be there when I return. When I do one or more of them will take my fly. I hope

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's this, here you come and spend time on MY water and you don't even let me know you're going to do it or give me the chance to show you around. Hmmph, what good is it being a river pimp anymore.

WesH

Flytimes said...

Great river you got down there Wes. When do the big guys ('bows) move up out of the lake?
Flytimes

Anonymous said...

Hmmph, kind of forgot about about coming over and lowering the overall quality of your blog. (g)

Your best bet for hitting the biggest wild fish is early in the season right after it opens but it can be a lot of hard work in heavy water. The next best time is late in the fall when the big boys cruise up and are trying to put some fat on before winter. The water is a lot skinnier then so you have to cover more water to find where they are holding. This generally means further up the canyon.

You can also periodically find some larger fish dumped in by WDFW throughout the summer but these guys (the fish) aren't nearly as smart nor as tough as the wild fish unless they manage to winter over for a season. Even then you can usually tell the difference between them on the end of a line.

~w

Anonymous said...

Oh, by the way, there is a trail that takes off from where your freestone pic was taken from that runs upstream all the way to the to Lower Falls and points beyond.

Let's just say it could be worth your while to hike in a few miles.

~w

Flytimes said...

Great info, thanks Wes.
FT

Anonymous said...

I just saw this bro....

youe better call me, the next time you come down...you big turd!

Mike Gamby

Anonymous said...

Hey Steve, I have always really liked your blog...when you layed this out:"The NFL is possbly the prettiest and most diverse river I have ever fished." I knew I had to let you know that I appreciate your schtick. You are a treasure, and any bs that occured in the past well, ...that was my schtick ...great work! Jim and I are hitting my favorite watershed the NFL tomorrow...got flies to tie up...Miss your shit, hope you come by and get whitty in your own inimitable way...."the tired and failed old turd" wishes you well-"that" was a good one by the way...

Insano