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Name: Reel Priorities Date: September 29, 2014 Rating:
 
Time: Noon Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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Starting Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Skykomish River
Method of Persuasion: Jigs & Shrimp
Setup: Okuma Celilo 9'6" 4-8 Pound Test Rod, Shimano Stradic 2500 Reel, 10 Pound Power Pro Mainline

There's nothing quite like knowing there are some dime bright Coho and aggravated Summer Run Steelhead meandering around in your backyard, and willing to bite. Your fishing holes are nowhere near stacked to maximum capacity, yet, but there are enough fish to play around with. With the rain softening up their hardened hearts and the sun directing it's light upon brighter hillsides, I decided it was time to embark upon a short fishing adventure.

First stop was the kitchen to chop up some shrimp; Target, I tip my hat to you for providing such economically sound bait that Steelhead rarely pass up. Usually, I cube up a couple pieces of shrimp, add a dash of salt, sprinkle on some sugar and vanish out the door. It may have been my incessant appetite this morning (I accidentally skipped the grocery store) but the alluring packaging and the aroma of my Bacon Salt piqued my curiosity, so I seasoned up my cubed shrimp, hope high enough that I would actually allow the fish to taste some bait if I hadn't eaten it all by the end of the trip. Sandals slapped onto my feet and basketball shorts tied haphazardly to my waist, I bobbed out the door and down to the river. And yes, as you'd suppose, having the Skykomish River as your backyard is a dream, one from which you never desire to wake!

The first few casts with a #27 Aerojig and the marinated shrimp produced forth some bites and small trout. Heck, I would bite it too... After working around a few boulders, floating some fast water and the tail of the run, it didn't seem to produce any willing sparring partners. Though I had no desire to move -especially since it rained just enough to make the rocks as slippery as a buttered casserole pan- it was a given that movement mean life this afternoon. So, after a nice 15 minute death march weaving in and out of the boulders to access a slot upriver, to my surprise I safely arrived to my destination with fully functioning knees.

Six casts out with a tipped jig and some precision float guidance through the slot and no love was given; it was time for a color change. So on went the tipped,#7 Aerojig (seriously, I was starving by now playing with all of my bait). It was no surprise as my float hesitated near the end of the run and I felt the lightest, yet firm nibble. Upon retrieval it was apparent that we had a genuine sized "fan" of the Target surprise since the bait had been borrowed. After some fresh bait, the repositioning of the jig and a flick of the wrist, my offering sailed back into place to see if the competitor was game for another round. And not a moment to soon! As if it were planned, down went the float, up went my rod tip and on went the rhythmic "zing" of my Shimano Stradic drag system.

It is a very rare event for me to feel matched when I am engaged in battle with a Steelhead, but with the lower water conditions today, limited mobility due to the lack of waders and poor choice of foot wear (slippers) and scary fighting location directly above the fast water, fear began to creep up on me. Thankfully, I chose to arm myself with #8 Maxima leader today and forego the usual #6 Maxima Fluorocarbon. Knowing that it had to pay for it's last "free meal," this buck immediately took off down stream. No Parkinson's disease head shakes, nor famous death rolls. In fact, this Steelhead didn't even jump! A few head shakes at the surface during the fight and a final valiant run towards the fast water, Mr. Bacon Salt tapped out of the cage. For being such a small, hatchery Steelhead, I respect him for his tact and skill during the fight, both which were much appreciated along my hour long fishing journey. Short, sweet and to the point.

The numbers of Silvers in the Wallace will begin to grow within this next week while the Sunset Silvers and the remainder of Summer Run Steelhead will continue to happily bite with the generous amount of rain we've been receiving this week. If you have any questions on how to pick up some Silvers, Summer Run Steelhead or both as we enter the month of October and near the Winter Run Steelhead season, don't hesitate to give me a ring.

Steelhead or Salmon Angler, I wish you many safe days out on the water and an overabundance of tight lines (though not too tight). I dare you to leave your fishing hole(s) spotless and trash free, punch out your catch card and share your fishing successes with a fellow angler of choice this season. After all, isn't that what it's all about?

Rock to rock. Cast by cast.



Specializing in the Instruction of Advanced Salmon & Steelheading Techniques and Systematic Bank Fishing Tactics.

Official Digital Anglers Sponsor

ReelPriorities.com
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Name: Donc67 Date: September 26, 2014 Rating:
 
Time: Morning Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
Color: Login to view! Species: Coho  Method: Login to view!
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With the recent rain, I thought I'd check and see if there were any fish near Startup this morning. I fished off of Reese road from 7:00 to 9:00 am. A lot of small trout jumping, and at most 3 legitimate silver rolls. I floated eggs, jigs, threw spinners, spoons etc... no takers. Regardless, it was a great morning before work...always love fishing the sky, and I was thrilled to at least see some fish starting to make their way up stream. Heading back out Sunday and multiple mornings next week. Happy that we are getting some cooler weather and rain to hopefully kick start the Silver season on the Skykomish.
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Name: SeatoSummit88 Date: September 12, 2014 Rating:
 
Time: Morning Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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Got to the river just as the sun was coming up. Started fishing hard with spoons and blue fox's. About a half hour in, I hooked into a small, but bright coho, probably around 4 pounds. Then after 2-3 minutes into the awakening fight, Slam! Came to an abrupt stop and then slack. Reeled in nothing but line. It must have gotten caught in some structure or I forgot how to tie my knots. After that, I switched to eggs and got nothing. It was really nice to see some fish rolling and hooking into one this high up river already. The fog rolled off around 8:30, and turned out to be a nice clear day. Left around 11.

Hooked the fish with a Size 4 Blue Fox: Chartreuse Color

I think this weekend I will head lower on the Snohomish. (Maybe Thomas Eddy?)

Has anyone used cut plug or whole fresh bait fish (herring/smelt, etc...) this time of year, and in the rivers, for coho ????


tight lines everyone
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Name: Reel Priorities Date: September 01, 2014 Rating:
 
Time: Morning Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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Starting Time: 10:00 AM
Location: Skykomish River
Method of Persuasion: Jigs
Setup: Okuma Celilo 9'6" 4-8 Pound Test Rod, Shimano Stradic 2500 Reel, 15 Pound Hydrofloat Mainline

When the breeze is light and you find the sun's tantalizing rays beating upon your granite rock porch -not to mention having your backyard be one of the most highly esteemed fishing holes on a river that has long captured your heart- it's time to go fishing. Long have been the days of shirtless rock hopping, wader free angling without a cloud in sight, nor thought in mind. This particular morning, I had the privilege of casting a line with my close friend and angling partner, Brad; though work sat thick upon his desk, and there were bodies in the gym that needed training, we both decided to clear out our calendars and make a day of it. So off we went, fishing equipment, a handful of jigs and GoPro in hand, eagerly seeking the adventures that the Skykomish had to offer.

It was more of a long, appropriately drawn out conversation rather than a fishing expedition of any sort, and one of the most enjoyable trips I've experienced for quite a while. Since I didn't have the chance to eat yet, I decided to bring Brad a little ways up the river in order to hit two birds with one stone, fasted cardiovascular work and the opportunity to cast a productive, low water fishing hole. I know that we're supposed to reach the target location prior to allowing out reels sing their morning chorus, but like so many times before, there were a few pockets that we couldn't resist the urge to let our floats dance through. What should have taken us minutia to walk turned into an adventure in itself! Brad, you surprised me with your innate ability to ruck through those boulders at such brazen speed in those fancy sandals.

Upon reaching our destination and armed for battle with our Drennan Pikers and Aerojigs (Nightmare & Black/Cerise), we slithered around a few more stones to prepare for our first few casts, little did we know we what was to come. I haphazardly tossed out my offering, averted my gaze and began sharing a few more words with Brad. To my surprise upon looking back, my float was nowhere to be found. After a sharp hookset and the click of the GoPro, it was "fish on!"

She shook her head like a Martini being prepared for James Bond. The flash of chrome from her side rekindled the Steelhead flame that burned deeply amongst the two of us. After thrashing for a good 30 second run, she sprinted straight to the inside seam of a boulder, in attempt to sever the 6 pound fluorocarbon leader that connected us. Seeing that the immediate run to shore was to no avail, she worked her way back and forth, weaving through the miniature boulder field that lined the lower portion of the run. At one point, I found myself pinned, line weaved neatly through some invisible crevice below the surface, but thankfully she gave in and managed to untangle herself. When push came to shove between continuing to fight thigh deep in glacial fed waters, barefoot in basketball shorts, and landing this fish, I chose the latter, and not a moment too soon as my legs were about to tap out. An honor and a privilege, today I christened my personal catch card with it's first mark, with my close friend and brother, Brad.

We Steelheaders are a different breed. While some of us live for the exhilaration of a Steelhead tugging on the end of the line, rod guides iced up and the chill of winter brushing our faces, others of our kind live for a sunny day, warm breeze and a blue sky backdrop peppered with rocky mountaintops. Fly or gear, swing, drift or float, we all pursue the prize alike.

With the Coho, Chum and Winter Steelhead preparing for their final run back home, we have some magnificent fisheries to look forward to in our near future. The rains will commence, the river will rise and the battalions of fish will swim up in their timely manner; nature is always on time. Have you any questions, you have my hooks, knots and rods at your service; I look forward to seeing you out on the river.


Rock to rock. Cast by cast.



Specializing in the Instruction of Advanced Salmon & Steelheading Techniques and Systematic Bank Fishing Tactics.

Official Digital Anglers Sponsor

ReelPriorities.com
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3
Name: KarpKilla Date: September 01, 2014 Rating:
 
Time: Morning Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
Color: Login to view! Species: Coho  Method: Login to view!
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Fished the Sky near the mouth of the Sultan from about 6am to 10am. I was targeting trout, but deep in my heart I wanted to catch a Steelhead or an early silver. I started off drifting night crawler but that didn't work so I tied on a Castmaster. Like on the fifth cast I hooked and landed a really tiny jack king. I was maybe 14'' long and a pound in weight. Don't worry I didn't take it out of the water. About 5 minutes later my dad hooks and "lands" a little jack king, on a chartreuse Castmaster. I was using a brass one btw, not that it matters. Didn't see any other fish caught besides the usual 12'', football shaped, trout. Called it quits at 10, but decided to check out my home hole, Thomas' Eddy. I saw one gentleman, wading in the riffles on the wildlife reserve side of the river hook into something but then lose it, also two guys in a canoe left the little island in the middle of the river with a fish bag that appeared to have 2 or 3 fish in it. They seemed pretty happy as they left, so I'm guessing they caught something. I kinda wit=sh I went to Thomas' Eddy in the first place. Oh well.
Tight Lines to all, except snaggers!
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Name: kevin14 Date: August 14, 2014 Rating:
 
Time: Afternoon Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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Caught this awesome bright summer run probably around 10 pounds. He slammed a spinner.
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Name: hromine Date: August 07, 2014 Rating:
 
Time: Morning Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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Haven't posted in a while since I've spent the majority of my time fishing the more productive rivers, but since this one is the closest to home figured I'd give it a shot. I drifted from High Bridge to Sultan...water was pretty low and very clear. The drift is still very possible in a drift boat, I only had to walk through two sections. The most difficult part is right after the put in pushing through the boulders on the right side after the pool below Big Eddy. I stay river right and there is enough water to squeeze through there, maybe not a great idea if it's your first time on the sticks but not too bad....caught three nice cuttys in the hole below Big Eddy, one of them was 18+ in. C/R all of them. I watched one of them chase my spoon down from about 15 yards across the tailout before he slammed it. very aggressive behavior as he attacked it twice before he finally inhaled it. Fished bobber and jig, bobber and eggs, and sandshrimp through the next few sections. Picked up a few more trout with little size on the eggs and sandshrimp. Didn't see any steelhead in there. Finally got to the next hole with 10
+ feet of water in it. Lots of trout in there very willing to take spinners, but couldn't pull any steelhead out. After fishing it i drifted over and saw one lone steelhead sitting on the bottom, he was very skiddish and took off as soon as he saw the shadow of the boat. Fairly unproductive for the next mile or so. Finally got to a stretch of water where there was about 100 yards of walking speed river flow and 5+ feet of water. This was the best stretch of the day. Missed on steelhead side drifting eggs, then missed another on a spoon. The fish that took the spoon was easily 10+lbs. as he busted my swivel on the second jump out of the water. How depressing...the most solid hook up of the day and an easy fish to put in the boat, i'd just checked my leader, knot, and swivel before casting as i know this spot has produced in the past and just dumb luck that he got the right angle to bust the swivel... Drifted about another mile without any luck, water was pretty low and this is where i had to walk the boat over two shallow sections. Finally got to a two really long stretches at turns in the river with at least 15-20 feet of water underneath hard clay cliffs. saw 4-5 steelhead sitting in between the clay cliffs and had one follow a spoon out from one of them but couldnt get any to take it. Visibility was about 10-12 feet so you really have to leave yourself some space and make a long swing so they don't see you. Put my eggs in front of one of them i could see about 15 feet behind the boat, he wanted nothign to do with them and turned and headed downriver immediately...so much for an egg bite. that's about it...would be nice to get another rain but i'm not sure how many more fish will push into the river... tight lines.
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Name: GTS Date: July 26, 2014 Rating:
 
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I've been fishing this river starting at about 5:00 a.m. several mornings and have yet to hook anything bigger 2"-4". I've tried a few different places along Ben Howard Road. The last few days the first big bend in the river south of Sultan. I've tried floating eggs and shrimp, I've tried setting eggs on the bottom with a weight. I've tried orange, green, and purple Blue Foxes. An orange, and a green, yellow, orange Kwikfish. a couple different spoons and have gotten my ass handed to me every time. Would sure love to know where these fish are or if they are all up river already.
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Name: kevin14 Date: July 24, 2014 Rating:
 
Time: Afternoon Bait: Login to view! Tackle: Login to view!
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Caught a nice summer run on the upper sky. I got it on a spinner it was an awesome fight!
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Name: Reel Priorities Date: July 21, 2014 Rating:
 
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Starting Time: 5:00 AM
Location: Skykomish River
Method of Persuasion: Spoons, Sand Shrimp, Prawn, Jigs, Corkies, Eggs, Pink Worm
Setup: Okuma Celilo 9'6" 4-8lb Rod, Pfluger Trion 30 Reel, 15 Pound Hydrofloat Mainline

It's cool when you receive an email in your inbox from an angler seeking guidance, become friends on Facebook (if you're not friends on Facebook, it's not real life...) and slowly build anticipation for your outing this week upcoming. This morning I had the privilege of working the water with single handed, fly fishing convert and Skykomish river local, George. No ordinary man indeed, especially when he replies that his favorite movie is "Talladega Nights" tells you not to eat certain berries off of plants on the walk down (epic fail, digestive system) and shares such an extraordinary life story with you. I've come to the conclusion that individuals who live off of the land are most likely trustworthy, and demand a great deal of respect from the community. As a QFC and Chipotle goer, George has my full admiration.

Today we worked systematically; I worked the bottom of the fishing line, George took front and center and Guide Trainee Seitz covered the top of each fishing hole. Starting at the tail out, Seitz tagged a trophy smolt. Along the way, we placed our floats, drift gear and spoons into every pocket and riffle we could find. After an hour of boulder crawling and precision casting work, we decided to relocate, down river. If any of you require education pertaining to the learning how to relax and on being "mindful," George is your guy. I'd say he taught me more than I was able to teach him this morning, and what a privilege it was to share reciprocal, hearty conversation with such an individual of such caliber. In this industry, you meet quite the colorful variety of individuals, and on some mornings, you're able to truly share an experience with an angler, and feel as if you're taking a "personal fishing day" rather than one that is guided; I'm proud to say that today was one of the former.

Right as Guide Trainee Seitz whipped his first casted into his first drift at the head of the pool, and before I could say "watch out for that snag," a most cooperative Steelhead managed to clamp down onto his eggs; yes, this one managed to escape, before a hook set. Now Seitz is one of the most consistent, powerful hook-setting anglers that I know, but today, this one got away from him. Steelhead: 1, Reel Priorities: 0.

Next, turning to George, I recommended he direct his cast into an upper pocket instead of straight out. I watched the whole process, from casting to watching his float "land" on top of the water. Strangely enough, his float never resurfaced... A solid 6 seconds later, squinting my eyes and scouring the water where the cast should have landed, I looked back to see George's rod doubled over, and then immediately go slack. Hook-set two, missed! It's a funny thing with Steelhead angling; some days, you get one float down, or one take on the drift, equating to one Steelhead landed. Others, you get multiple strikes, and bring nothing to the bank.

After working the whole stretch with spoons, drift gear, bait, jigs and the like (the fish were no longer biting out of hunger nor curiosity), tails between our legs, we walked back to head of the pool. "Have we tried the aggravation bite with the Pink Worm yet?" asked Seitz. Thankfully, we had not. So, on went the Pink Worm, and on came our third contender. Usually, it's a first cast deal, as a Steelhead will either destroy the offering, or leave the hole when then Pink Worm enters it's territory (yes, I've observed Summer Run in low and clear, interacting with my feminine looking offering). Just don't get the one with sparkles, and if you do, best you hide them from your wife and your daughter, lest you arrive in the morning a few worms less!

This fight was strange. Out of a 10 scale rating, I gave this Steelhead a 2 for poor work ethic, but a solid 9 for creativity. So, on the rod went George with this moody Hen. She ran straight in towards George. Then, she proceeded to fight in a circle (quite literally), not even diving into the boulders, attempting to saw off the monofilament leader. Since she still had plenty of juice left in her tank, and after a futile attempt to tail a "hot" fish, George had to drag her back and forth on the ultralight rod (manual fighting technique), to make sure there was nothing left in this fish. The landing portion is where most anglers fail; here at Reel Priorities, we still uphold a clean slate, with a 100% landing ratio; every Steelhead that has been on the line has been landed this season.

We all work so diligently, patiently awaiting the opportunity of a "take" from the Chrome Ghost. If you're disinterested in becoming like the other 99% of anglers who net their fish or throw them on shore (Natives included), continually go home skunked, choosing not to adapt to the conditions, and forego environmental stewardship (just look at the bank), come along for an adventure with Reel Priorities.

The path of a Steelhead Angler (not fisherman) is arduous, requires great discipline and consequently much heart break, but the reward surpasses all human understanding. I challenge you to utilize your gifts, skills and inherernt abilities, to maximize the potential of your life, on and off the water. Your success is my focus. Your wellbeing is my objective.

Rock to rock. Cast by cast.



Specializing in the Instruction of Advanced Salmon & Steelheading Techniques and Systematic Bank Fishing Tactics.

Official Digital Anglers Sponsor

ReelPriorities.com
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