Washington State Flyfishing - Waters We Guide
Flyfishing on our Washington State Rivers is an awesome experience. Excellent fly waters abound with a number of species of our finned friends residing in or returning to our Washington rivers.
Run timing of our migratory fish plays an intricate part in deciding where and when we fish. We travel throughout Washington State in search of our quarry much of the year. Each river system we guide offers a unique opportunity to flyfish for a number of species in incredibly diverse ecosystems.
The Queets river, located on the Olympic Peninsula and within Olympic National Park, offers a fantastic opportunity to "swing" flies for large, wild, winter run steelhead. This stunning river system offers a true wilderness feeling for much of its course. Given that the Queets river is located within Olympic National Park, it has been significantly protected from some of the challenges other systems have seen. Although not our primary target, Bull trout/dolly varden can certainly be a very pleasant by-catch as well.
While my hope is that the Queets remains in shape, that is just not always the case. A little further north on the Olympic Peninsula, the entire Quillayute system offers incredible opportunities for flyfishing much of the year. Large, wild winter run steelhead return to the Bogachiel, Calawah and Sol Duc in the late winter and spring. Sea run cutthroat, bull trout and salmon also call these stunning river systems home.
While I fly fish and guide a number of rivers in Washington and live on the South Fork of the Nooksack, I consider the Wild and Scenic Skagit river watershed my home. I spend a lot of time involved in conservation efforts to protect our anadromous fish and their habitat. When the opportunity arose to be the Native Fish Society River Steward for the Skagit, it was with great honor that I accepted. The Skagit/Sauk watershed drains an immense geography that that one could spend several lifetimes getting to know intimately. This wonderful river is home to a number of anadromous and resident species including summer and winter run steelhead, resident rainbows, bull trout, sea run cutthroat trout and all five species of salmon. The Skagit fishes well much of the year and is an ideal river for the Spey. Much legend and lore surrounds the Skagit and the origin of the Skagit-style Spey casting technique.
The Sauk, the primary tributary of the Skagit, is an extremely enjoyable river to flyfish. With winter and summer run steelhead, resident rainbows, large bull trout as well as Coho and Chum salmon, the Sauk can be a go to river at certain times of the year. The scenery is absolutely stunning and its free flowing Wild and Scenic character make it a joy to guide.
There are numerous options for flyfishing around the Seattle, Washington area. Classic flyfishing rivers such as the Skagit, Sauk, Skykomish, Snoqualmie, Nooksack and Yakima are not far away and offer opportunities to chase both resident and anadromous fish. Fish most definitely live in beautiful places in Washington State.
The Nooksack is just plain gorgeous. We target a number of species on the Nooksack including summer and winter run steelhead, resident rainbows, sea run cutthroat as well as coho, chum and pink salmon. Bull trout can be a really pleasant by-catch on a tough day chasing steelhead. The Nooksack is a prime example of our Pacific Northwest flyfishing in regards to run timing. At certain times of year, the Nooksack can fish really well. Tributary creeks, above impassible fish barriers, hold small resident rainbows, brook trout, dolly varden as well as cutthroat trout. These tributary creeks can be an awesome dry fly experience.
The Stillagaumish River is a gem and frequently and affectionately referred to as The Stilly. Much of the year, the Stilly fishes well on the walk and wade. A number of species return to the Stillaguamish offering great opportunities to chase summer run steelhead, sea run cutthroat trout as well as Chum and Pink salmon.
The Snoqualmie river has a number of things going its way. Even with its close proximity to Seattle, it is still possible to not see another soul on this stunning river. From large winter run steelhead to fantastic resident rainbow trout, the Snoqualmie and its tributaries offer solid options much of the year.
The Grande Ronde is one of our favorite fall fisheries for summer run steelhead. These are aggressive fish that will move to a fly "skated" on the surface. These summer run steelhead surface takedowns are just one of the reasons we travel to the Ronde. First class accommodations and dining experiences go hand in hand with our three to five day float trips.
The Yakima river offers Washington's closest thing to blue ribbon trout flyfishing. I have two super good friends that know this river extremely well and that I highly recommend. My part comes in when we start talking about our two to three day overnight float options on this stunning river. As always, super comfortable accommodations and excellent dining experiences are included on these overnight trips.
I'll look very forward to having you out on the river!