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Post Info TOPIC: Mad River Labor day week?


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Mad River Labor day week?
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Any advice on what flies to take for first week of sept? What can i expect? Other than sportsmans in eureka is there a shop i can visit before going up?



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I'd think that would be too early for steelhead and quite possible salmon as well depending on rainfall and flows. I suppose you could fish the tidal water off of Mad River road.

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Winter eats heat the way darkness swallows light. The terrors of failed power and frozen stems are stymied with fire, smoke and white ash.

Cedarville, Mi



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I would think way too early as i only fish the mad as a winter steelhead fishery. Were you thinking chinook fishing rather than steelhead? Either way id recommend the klamath instead, for half pounder and summer run steelhead or chinook that time of year. Ill be up there in my tacoma most of october.

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The tidal water used to get all the attention that early in the season. They used to close the rest of the river for low flow conditions, not sure if they still do. That made the tidal water the only place to fish on the Mad. I watched the same guy in an anchored driftboat on multiple days just slay the salmon with a fly rod. Everybody else including myself was chucking spinners and spoons. That guy was tossing some sort of bead chain eyed crystal flash thing. The flyfishing nut in the dorms swore by polar shrimps.

There were a lot of fish caught down in that area but fishing off the bank kinda sucked and wading was not an option. It would be a great spot for a kayak.

When the river opened back up, despite flows, the salmon would be in the deep holes below the hatchery and it was a circus with all the people fishing. There was a temporary summer logging bridge about half a mile above Blue Lakes that always drew a ton of people. With low flows and clear water you could see all the salmon in the hole. There was always a monster moby dick or two with multiple hooks hanging off them.

With the rains and higher water comes mud. With too much rain the river would blow out overnight and take a week to clear back up, unless another front rolled through. As for steelhead, in the mud, flossers would sit in the riffle just below the hatchery and hook fish seemingly every cast. The bait dunkers would hang out on the rocks right next to the fish ladder and drift roe with nothing more than a 8-10 feet of line in the water to pick up the fish hugging the bank on the way to the ladder.

The other option that very few people did was to fish the mouth of the North Fork. With no logging taking place above the NF flowed nice and clear or cleared up quick even after a heavy rain. The NF itself was closed to fishing so the trick was to fish the seam of chocolate milk in the Mad and the clear water from the NF. Once again it was dunking roe right next to the bank, but it worked. I was spooled there a few times :)

Right around January 1 always seemed to be prime time on the Mad for steelies. If you hike above the hatchery there are less fish but also a LOT less people fishing. There is a ton of water up there. I always wanted to float it from the bridge at Maple creek down. I've watched some huge steelhead and salmon swim up into Maple creek. Great memories.

As Laird said, if I had to go in September I'd hit up the Klamath or Trinity. If I had to fish the Mad in September it would be the tidal water, preferably from a boat or kayak.



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Winter eats heat the way darkness swallows light. The terrors of failed power and frozen stems are stymied with fire, smoke and white ash.

Cedarville, Mi



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Appreciate the infos. Its s fam RR kinda trip so I manage my expectations. But fun and relaxing in nature is always the aim. I gotta call the low flow number for MAD.
The fisher kayaks this year as low as 700 buckaroos have me drooling. All the folks that panic bought RONA kayaks got me wondering if theirs gonna be alot for sale once first winter rain starts.

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