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. Beautiful in-the-water pics of a beautiful species. Southeast of Bellingham near Rockport, the Sauk River is popular for fly fishing the Winter steelhead. 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. The Sauk is a the major tributary of the Skagit and joins the Skagit below Rockport. Fly fishing the Sauk River in Washington. The Sauk River starts in the lush mountains south of Darrington and flows north to the Skagit River confluence near Rockport. 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. The Sauk River: Fall - Spring. Finding our groove on the Middle Fork Salmon. A new access road for the site was completed the summer of 2014. is immaterial to their conservation. Speyfishing and speycasting on the Sauk and Skagit rivers With N.W. 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. In other words, the river was fishable. 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. As usual I haven’t been paying attention and still wearing my 30-year old Orvis vest. 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. 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. 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). I apologize for forgetting to put the rod behind my neck for the photo. The vest went out of style at least ten years ago. When did the fishing vest become socially unacceptable? Technically, anglers may not target bull trout under Washington regulations that cover the Sauk River. 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. Wait a minute! Some of the funded work has progressed. Fishing Report Last Updated: 1 / 10 / 2021 Choose A Different River Here. A splendid Sauk River dolly varden bull trout. No hyoid teeth, no red slash under chin, im 100% certain these were not cutthroat and look nothing like dollys/bull. Wet wading would not have been a pleasant endeavor, despite that it wasn’t miserable enough to be considered winter steelheading weather. thanks for the reply! 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. It's winter and the rains come and go. Bull Trout", followed by 846 people on Pinterest. Interconnected, the circle of life becomes quite evident during this time of year on Pacific Northwest rivers. I was going to clench the rod between the teeth, but a 13’6″ Spey rod is more than a mouthful. 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. 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. Is it easy to tie yourself? It is a wild and scenic river and, as such, is undammed. Fished the stilly and cascade but no fish. Species affected: Dolly Varden/Bull trout. Following the cold trail of the JanSport D-series packs. It includes species of fish, season and more about fly fishing the Sauk River. In addition to the steelhead, the Sauk River is also known for fly fishing the summer bull trout. Hatchery steelhead can be found in the river from January. A splendid Sauk River dolly varden bull trout. What a pleasure to have you stop by for a comment, Leland! 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. 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. 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. A Tributary to the mighty Skagit the Sauk is. Apparently that was the only willing participant in the run as neither Bob nor I touched another fish. Well done, I almost didn’t recognize you in your costume. Variables that influence anadromous bull trout production and survival will only be detectable as downstream catch if Alternate names for this dam include Sauk Centre Dam. How does it look wet? Caught 1 bull trout though from the Sauk around 2 lbs. Went to the Sauk for the first time. Despite appearances, not winter steelheading weather. 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. The rain began to fall in greater abundance as we situated ourselves on the next run. We found the softest rocks we could to sit on and talked shop and shared libations for … Sorry, the fish are beauties as well, but this fly really did it to me Just Kirk being Kirk. Required fields are marked *. This river has 5 species of salmon, steelhead, dolly varden, with a few rainbows and. They spawn in the upper South Fork according to … Banana Boat brand—I must have some of that stashed on my boat some where…, Your email address will not be published. (WASHINGTON D.O.E.) 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. Just a different wing & hook, but basically the same. We’ve been privileged to spend the last few years on the Sauk in January (and now February and beyond thanks to new rules!) Expert Speycasting and Speyfishing instructor Mike Kinney. It is a wild and scenic river and, as such, is undammed. 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. Look for bull trout in the riffles and tailouts. This time of year it was all about bull trout, or as some mistakenly call them, dolly varden. 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. 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). A nice incidental catch while swinging for steelhead on the North fork of the Nooksack River. 3/15/08 Yakima River: Three li'l pigs, all 'bows, each of 'em on a stimmy. Columbia River Grande Ronde River Hoh River Sauk River Skykomish River Snoqualmie River Klickitat River Methow River Yakima River. The rain began to fall in greater abundance as we situated ourselves on the next run. 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. A male moved in behind her to do his part. 3/15/08 Yakima River: Three li'l pigs, all 'bows, each of 'em on a stimmy. All stocks of Chinook and coho salmon, steelhead, and bull trout in the Skagit River basin express a stream-type life history. Fortunately I remembered before getting too far up the road. The Sauk is a the major tributary of the Skagit and joins the Skagit below Rockport. The Sauk was running a bit high due to recent (and current) rains, but not unreasonably so. 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. 3/13/08 Sauk River: two bull trout, zero steelhead. After a short fight I landed what was a rather nice bull trout—somewhere in the 26-28″ range—certainly my largest to date. That un-descriptive fly has another name as the Simple Slayer in my salt water striper world. I would like to fish those waters someday. Also, on the menu, resident bull trout and early Coho. THanks for the comment, Dean. And that was fine, because we were fishing for bull trout. Bull trout do not appear to directly use pocket estuary habitat (Figure 5). 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. It is a wide river with ample gravel bars and road access. You can also subscribe without commenting. Sauk River Dam is a dam located just .2 miles from Sauk Centre, in Stearns County, in the state of Minnesota, United States. 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. I can imagine, but then again, every streamer looks great in the corner of a bull trout’s maw Truly a favorite time of year for us. Since 1856, Sauk River, Washington Fly Fishing Reports & Conditions. 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. The Rafting. I apologize for forgetting to put the rod behind my neck for the photo. But let’s not dwell on the past, shall we? Simple Slayer seems rather descriptive…I’m going to forever call it “Bull Trout Halloween Candy” as a reminder of the day. Trout, minimum size 14," daily limit 2. Truly a favorite time of year for us. Sauk River. Fluctuations from rain, snow and glacier melt are common with a mean flow between 3500-4000 cfs. Very nice report, Kirk! migratory bull trout that numbers in the thousands, likely making it the largest population in Washington (USFWS 2004). The Sauk is one of the few productive bull trout rivers in the Puget Sound region. Fishing Conditions Orvis-Endorsed guides nearby: Water flow: 8500 cfs. To receive notifications when new Drivel® is posted, please kindly enter your email address: Your email address will not be published. Swing large streamers and intruder-type flies on sink tip lines. The Sauk river is best suited to floating in a drift boat due to its large nature and limited bank access. There should be little debate that December 2020 was the low-water mark for Washington steelhead and … Dolly Varden/Bull trout, minimum size 20." Join us as we discuss the Minnesota Fishing License options, fishing rules and fishing regulations. Cutthroat and bull trout would eventually move in later to snatch eggs from the redd, and eagles would eventually feed on the chum carcasses. 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 […] Fluctuations from rain, snow and glacier melt are common with a mean flow between 3500-4000 cfs. Comment, Leland Gortex jacket feels damp Skagit the Sauk in fall and winter for bull and! 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