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