WA retirement location w/fly fishing nearby...


Active Member
Clear Lake

5 minutes to Sedro Woolley
That's good stuff right there.

Forks, Twisp, Ellensburg, SW Washington are the top four places that come to mind as far as where I'd like to live if I had to live in WA and took fishing as well as quality of life into consideration. Small towns in rural areas with good fishing opportunities nearby.

Of course, if I could have two locations to spend the year at, it would be Terrace or Smithers and somewhere in Chile/Argentina.
It's not often I hear of people retiring to WA, lol. I'm far from retirement myself but most people I know that are are dreaming of sandy beaches in Mexico and what not. I have more questions for you, such as, how country do you want? How close do you want to be to bigger cities? Are you planning on building a house on raw land or buying? Here's four places that are worth a look..

Olympia/Lacey/Tumwater area
Hood Canal area
Cle Elum/Roslyn

The first two are in the I-5 corridor and a short drive to anything you want, fishing included. Olympia probably has the best all-around appeal when you factor in hospitals, golf courses, dining and the like. All four of these areas have very good property prices.

There could be way better places that I'm not aware of, but I've been to all of these places and think they're pretty cool towns with their own unique appeal. Good luck!
One of my sisters and her husband retired from Miami to a mountaintop mesa near Telluride, CO. They built a fine house on 35 acres, with splendid scenery all around, wandering wildlife, and the San Miguel River just down the hill. I loved visiting. But after six years they moved back east. Reasons: winter driving and no medical facilities nearby. As we age, we have to consider such things.:oops:
I live in Pacific County,WA. only issue is the lack of jobs and the rain, also no freeway within 30 miles or more in any direction, maybe that's a good thing,, The fishing and clam digging near the ocean beaches of Westport, Long Beach and Ilwaco is still good and a fun break from the rivers, Access to fishing by boat and land in Salt Water of Willapa bay is popular and productive for Salmon and a occasional Sturgeon.. The fresh water river portions of the Willapa river is another story altogether, hard to access mostly because we have had a big influx of Californians and others in the past decade or more who retire here closing off any public access to property and river that we have grown up using and respecting. I live 10 minutes from Steelhead fishable water but I have to travel miles away to find a fishing spot on accessible water. Years ago, the same land and water was accessible , land owners would give you a wave and ask "catch anything today" Now the new owners call the Sheriff's Dept. It is the same story elsewhere, someone had a good deal of money and pretty much bought the land-water and the fish! I think everyone is feeling the lose of fishable accessible water.. Most likely in a dozen years Washington State fishing will be so bad it won't matter, but out of habit we will continue to buy license and pay for all the extra fees

If I was to move, it would be South of Chehalis WA. Somewhere near Napavine or even a bit farther south. Better weather, farm lands, fishable water with Cowlitz River near by, good hunting and half way between Seattle and Portland Oregon. I have flown my powered parachute from Napavine and over the Cowlitz River.. From a low and slow flying powered parachute the summer view was beautiful, I should have landed on a gravel bar and gone fishin

Once you arrive in Washington you soon learn that the commercials and promos about all the great fishing and hunting this state has to offer is a lie.. that was Washington 40 years ago.. but no more.
Ellensburg is a nice town, but the WIND is a definite drawback!
Someone sent me a picture from Wenatchee this morning and I could see it was windy. It reminded me how much I HATE THE CENTRAL WA WIND. I spent two years in Ellensburg and the spring wind drove me crazy.
I don't know where to retire. But I'd stay away from the Everett-Seattle-Tacoma area. Too many people...many of them Californians.

Rick Todd

Active Member
It's not often I hear of people retiring to WA, lol.
It is actually interesting how many people do move to WA for retirement. I'm a dentist (semi-retired!) in Bellingham and I would say 20% of my practice is made up of people who retired here from other parts of the country. A lot of people don't like hot weather or a lot of snow, and Western Washington fills both of these requirements. I also know several people who retired full time to AZ and really hate the May-September time of year when it is too hot to do anything outside. I don't think there is any one ideal location to retire, so you just need to prioritize what is most important to you and go for it. Rick


My name is Mark Oberg
USMC VET if you live near illwaco or long beach let me know that's my old stomping grounds. Great steelhead and salmon opportunity's
There are worse places but don't let these people bull shit ya !! The weather here does suck no two ways about it. We have one of the longest winters of any major U.S. city. We are the cloudiest and coldest on average places in the U.S. with only 58 clear days with an average temp of 61. Again humid in the south if you have not experienced an August in Phoenix well then you have not been in Hell. I'm not sure where I'll end up but sure ain't here !!!!
Hello Rainbow!!
I live on the farthest East End of Pacific County in Frances, WA Population 20 depending when the aid unit when through last.
10 miles West of Pe Ell WA and 18 miles from beautiful downtown Raymond. I don't know about you, but I absolutely love the Long Beach Peninsula ... I even like Long Beach in the height of the Summer when all the tourist are there.. My mother in law lives in Long Beach and we are going to the Elks lodge for dinner Saturday.. The only time I have spent in Ilwaco is for fishing Salmon on the Ocean or along Willapa Bay.. Not sure there are any good Steelhead or Salmon freshwater holes to cast a line into.
When I worked for Pacific Co. Sheriff Dept. I wanted to move there but my wife did not so now I just go there for a visit often.


My wife just read me an article so you may not want to choose Raymond WA. as your next retirement location!

My little town of 3500 is going green, not the kind of green you would think of like wind power or electric cars,
Apparently the first WA. State Marijuana Plant will be located here.
A person from Seattle who is a restaurant and club investor has found our sleepy little town and is gong to invest in Washington's next big money maker.. Drugs

apparently the lottery has not kept up with payroll in Olympia so thus a new adventure awaits us all.

HERES THE ONLINE ARTICLE: http://washingtonstatewire.com/blog...-grow-operation-is-announced-at-a-public-port



My name is Mark Oberg
USMC VET Then we may know each other. I had several businesses down there. ill send you my email.

Sorry to temp jack thread
My name is Ron Black, have lived up around Raymond most all my life,
Worked for Pacific County Sheriff Dept for 13 years as the Jail Superintendent before that south bend PD
If you know of any good fishing places down in South Pacific Co, I would sure like to know where,

take care, Ron my email is chaplainblack@centurytel.net
Port Townsend is really nice and a great location. What is lacks in good close by stream fishing it makes up for in saltwater opportunities and good microbrew.
On the other hand far northern California can be very nice. There is great fishing around Dunsmuir.

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
My name is Ron Black, have lived up around Raymond most all my life,
Worked for Pacific County Sheriff Dept for 13 years as the Jail Superintendent before that south bend PD
If you know of any good fishing places down in South Pacific Co, I would sure like to know where,

take care, Ron my email is chaplainblack@centurytel.net

HI, Ron. I fish down in your neck of the woods. Mainly searun cutthroat and salmon. Sometimes for steelhead. I'm sure that you must be aware of the few public access spots on the rivers down in your area. I just go fishing where I think my target species may be, usually thru public access if walking, or by paddling in, or else motoring in my 16' john boat.
I am sorry to hear that more of the river access over private land is being closed. I have noticed that in recent years, logging roads, more often than not, are gated or red-dotted.

You say you take to the air in a "powered parachute?" If that's one of those motorized lawn chairs (seen one above the Satsop, when floating the river), then I think you're nuts!:D

One thing that has always bothered me about Pacific County folk is that it seems like many of them have little regard for the fishing regulations, as long as they think that no one, especially the game warden, is watching. I constantly hear comments that the State of WA only thinks it has jurisdiction there, but that it is in fact "God's Country," and so those folks harvest what fish they want, whenever they want, because they feel that "harvest" is why "god put them there." Its very tough to argue against "true believers" who use their religion for justification to violate the fishing regulations. I'm curious, if you have anything to say about that.
One of the teenagers involved in spinning donuts around my truck and spraying it with gravel in a boat-launch parking lot (several years ago) claimed that his dad was a Raymond cop. (As if that would have saved his ass if he had been alone instead of with a half dozen of his friends, and if I had lost my temper). He told me that the C&R rules for trout don't apply to him and his buddies. so what do you think of that?

That was the final straw that encouraged me to go take the "Eyes in the Woods" course.

To the original poster, sory about the hi-jack. I'm not sure if you would want to retire there. There are very few decent lakes out here. Pacific Co hardly has any! A couple of small ones near Ilwaco.