June's probably a very poor time for the Klickitat; it'll be high and turbid with spring runoff. Late Sept. and Oct the glaciers begin to cool, and the Klick begins to clear, and the steelheading is prime. June is probably the best month on the EF Lewis, as it has no snow pack and becomes real low in July. July is the peak return summer run month for most SW WA rivers that have flow holding up throughout the summer. June is best only on those that practically dry up in July and August. The Kalama is good in July and August, as is the Cowlitz and NF Lewis (which doesn't seem to be much of a fly stream).
Strategically, you'd probably do best to pick your preferred time, and then hit a river that peaks at that time.
Trout do not go anywhere, there is no debate of whether they are "in", or not, only the debate if you can catch them or not. Plus, steelhead and pretty much all anadromous fish have a hard enough life as it is, so i figure I wont bother them. But if I did, I surely would not ever grace their presence with an indicator... I would rather catch a 12" trout on a streamer or dry fly that catch a 40" steelhead indicator nymphing any day of the week. I respect the guys who fish dries, streamers, and wets for steelhead immensely, although I do not really share the motive to do that type of fishing right now... And i do bass fish as well.
LOL!!! I know exactly what you mean. Grew up in Bellingham, fished steelhead like crazy throughout early life, read all the classic books, fell in love with the Stille and Skagit, graduated high school and moved to Bozeman for two years.
At the end of those two years ALL I could think about was steelhead. Started chasing huge browns, caught all the way up to an 8 pounder on the Madison, didn't clear my mind of steelhead. I went to the Clearwater for some steelhead, but just not the same and still feeling seriously deprived of steelhead.
Ultimately I moved back to Bellingham for my home and some CHROME. Haven't thought seriously about going to Montana or trout fishing since and that was 7 ears ago.
I'll stick with steelhead and bass. Call me crazy; Jekyll & Hyde.
Fussy bunch! I like trout in the winter when the rivers are all blown out and don't mind catching the occassionaly 20+ incher. However, there is nothing like stealhead. I catch them all summer long in the area but I hate that half-hour drive to get there - it's sooo long I have fished a few of the SWerners and didn't get a tug or hook-up but there is some nice looking waters down there. The Cow seems to be overrun but apparently some folks like that. My two cents.
Let's not forget about the Sky opening week of summer and it's 3 salt hatchery brutes. I've caught em at 14, 15, 17, 17 pounds from June 2 to June 9th in different years. I caught one on my buddy Chris West's brand new spey rod showing him how to cast. That went over real well. It went over even better when I bonked that baby and carried it into the Avid Angler in a plastic bag and slapped it on the counter. I thought people were going to faint. Good times. They are chrome, hot, aggressive and big. I've been told that only a couple hundred of them come back and some years you can't get at them, (especially when you live in Hawaii bawling: ) but that is an option.
Dan, those statements make me believe you have never steehead fished, or at least caught one on the swing. Saying that you would rather fish for trout than steelhead is like saying, "I just want to snuggle, is that alright?"