Best Washington Fishing?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Woollyworm, Mar 13, 2002.

  1. Woollyworm New Member

    Posts: 129
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    With winter-like weather lingering, I'd love to hear some fish tales. I'm talking about those rare banner days that we all get now and then, with big fish or high numbers (or better yet, both). Anyone care to relate a yarn or two regarding your best day of fly fishing in Washington? Was it for trout, salmon, steelhead or something else? Yakima, Skykomish or the Sound, or farm pond? Any details you want to share would be great.


  2. FishPirate New Member

    Posts: 107
    Darrington, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I'd have to say my best day in Washington was on the O.P. two years ago, and included 6 steelhead landed on the fly. Serious karma.

    What about you?
  3. hikepat Patrick

    Posts: 1,804
    Des Moines, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +12 / 0
    Last September on a small off shoot of the Taylor caught and released 8 cutthroat the first day and 14 the next on way back from Montana after not doing good at all in Montana. All were small the largest was 14" but I had alot of fun creeping up on the small pools seeing the fish and targeting them one at a time. I plan to go there again this summer after that area opens. Sight fishing at its finest on a small stream. I will not say exactly where this small stream is. You will have to do so exploring and bush wacking for yourself.
  4. troutski New Member

    Posts: 108
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Not my best day but maybe the most gratifying as a result of figuring out some fish behaviour. After trolling for Silvers on a warm & bright late August afternoon with no action I ran the boat well in-shore from the 110 to 150 foot depths we had worked. Trolling just outside the kelp line in 35-40 feet of water my wife hit a Chinook at 4:00 p.m. Landed it, rebaited and trolled through the same area. My turn this time. Another Chinook @21 lbs. 2 passes / 2 big fish. There is an explanation behind hitting Kings in 40 feet of water at 4:00 in the afternoon. Has something to do with where they hold until the tidal currents reverse, (a back-eddy bay) being under the darkness of the kelp, and their propensity to attack baitfish from this cover. Oh, and that old thing about if it ain't working , change something.
  5. Paul_ Active Member

    Posts: 212
    La Center
    Ratings: +99 / 0
    Coldwater Lake provided one of my most memorable fishing days. I caught 4 incredible fighting bows, ranging from 16"-20" and one cut around 4#s. Not exactly huge numbers, but for me and this enigma(in my experiences) of a lake, it was a banner day.
  6. steve New Member

    Posts: 174
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    One my best day's fishing acyually happen last August. I found a nice school of Pink swalmon in Bellingham Bay and proceeded to catch quite a few of them ranging in size from 4 to 8 pounds. This was the first time I'd ever fly fished in the salt. Needless to say, I'm hooked.
  7. Duck New Member

    Posts: 12
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    My best Washington day was on a trip to Dry Falls. Had fished the prior two years without catching anything. Was facing the same fate this time until the second day. Finally tried something different and went against all the advice I had been given. Caught 4 big rainbows and brown in an hour and a half. :THUMBSUP
  8. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,716
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,759 / 0
    I have two from recent memories.

    The first happened a few years ago while fishing the Skagit for searun cutts with the local fly shop owner. We didn't have a place set so decided at the last minute to try a new spot. We fished during the morning hours say about 3 hours and caught 8 or 9 cutts each. All were over 16 or so inches with several over 20 and one over 24.

    The second was a few weeks ago on the Skagit. I managed to hook and land 3 steelhead in about 20 casts. One was a buck that was over 40 inches long.

  9. rockfish Member

    Posts: 730
    Manchester, Wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    hey troutski the kings hold right off the kelp. at dawn is the best time. in the straits and ocean more around cape flattery like skagway rocks and thru the western strait the best fishing is close to kelp. whenthey did close it off, you had to fish 1 mile from shore when it was open for salmon. but some of the best fishing for kings anywhere is the rock pinnacles like where they killed those whales. there just getting fat and heading who knows where. 40 - 50 ft of water. seen alot of 40 lbers at big salmon resort last year. got some 15/25 lbers myself during last year season working herring and jigs. Ben
  10. M00se456 New Member

    Posts: 30
    Bothell, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    One of my best days fly fishing ever was on a small hike in creek that flows into lake chelan. I Landed about 50 cuttthroughts in the 8" - 14" range. I rember 1 hole that was maby 5 feet wide and 4 or less feet deep. I pulled 10 fish out of that hole in no more than 15 casts. We had hiked along the river a long ways off the trail, so those holes we were fishing probably rarely got fished. It was an awsome day.
  11. Flyfisher Frank New Member

    Posts: 55
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Hi all, I've had great days hiking into the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area. The isolated creeks have little pressure. One stretch of creek that I like to fish is virtually inaccessible except in extremely low water conditions. I hiked there six times during El Nino, and haven't been back since. Dollies, Bows, Cutbows, and had a steelhead attack my hooked bow, all in one afternoon.
    Actually my best day was an event we called "Sweaters and Sunglasses", a couples event. It was a gorgeous sunny day in late September year before last. The idea was to help two buddies learn to flyfish. Three couples, lots of fun, sunburns included, campfire and incredible camp food, and a drive back down the skagit and sauk river valleys in the moonlight. For my money it doesn't get any better than that. I like to teach as much as fish solo, but not all the time. Flyfisher Frank :COOK
  12. Woollyworm New Member

    Posts: 129
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    There are some great stories in this thread! Let me share one of my own Washington fly fishing memories.

    A couple of summers ago I visited a small stream on the eastslope of the Cascades. Using my two-weight, I flicked a #14 tan elk-hair caddis into the first emerald-green pool I found. I was a little taken aback when a 10-inch cutthroat cartwheeled out of the water and appeared to take the fly before it even hit the surface. After releasing that colorful little native, I cast again right away. Lo and behold, another acrobatic cutt gobbled my fly with abandon.

    I moved to the next pool, cast again, and had another immediate smash hit. The fish were taking flies with such "heartbreaking innocence" and near-comical gusto, that I decided to keep count of how many I caught and released that day (which is not something I typically worry about too much). After a couple of hours, I had hit the 50 mark and decided to call it a day well spent. On the walk back out, I cast casually to a few of the pockets I had missed previously and picked up 5 more.

    When I was breaking down the rod at the car, I realized I had used the same fly all day.

  13. Pontooner Member

    Posts: 134
    Puyallup, WA
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    Last year fishing a desert lake in my pontoon boat the wind was blowing so hard that I was almost ready to give up. Fished for about 3 hours with 1 decent fish and 1 missed take. I was thinking of leaving. The wind was so intense casting was nearly impossible, whitecaps were breaking all around me. I went near the back of the lake and found a little sheltered bay, fish were going crazy in the bay feeding on adult mayflies. I rowed quietly back into the bay and anchored down. Wind was minimal. Switched to my dry line rod and casted to gulping fish. Landed 7 fish on the next 7 casts. Was insane how hard they were feeding, fly wouldnt sit on the water for more than 5 seconds before it was taken. Finished landing about 25 fish. The action ended after about 90 minutes fish just quiet feeding on adults but what a day. Pulling my pontoon out there were 2 others getting out they hadnt had a fish all day, I just told them that I got a few and had fun. Didnt want to rub it in, but what a day.
  14. Scott Salzer previously micro brew

    Posts: 2,887
    Ratings: +205 / 0
    Great stories from you all.

    Chopaka, last summer. An incredible damsel hatch, fish stacked up against the reeds. First time I had fished dry damsels. Watching those fish come out an roll over on the flies was great! Two of us picked up 20+ fish in about 90 minutes. Some were rather nice, up to 20".
  15. fishnfella New Member

    Posts: 148
    Grand Coulee, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Fish till ya drop.
    Then suck it up
    and fish the evening hatch.

    I've had many fine days on Nunnally,Chopaka,Blue,Aenias,and others scattered around,even a few in W. Washington.

    But my most memorable was 2 days on a small lake near the Canadian Border just on the Canadian side. I'd been up in the Kootney and had good luck on smaller fish at Summit near Nakusp. Decided to return to Osyoos and hunt larger at Sawmill. Stopped at Grand Forks and ducked across the border for cheaper American gas. The border guard said "thought you were going up for a week", so I told him my "small fish" story. He said "You should try W******* lake, one of the guys got a #5 the other day out there."
    I pulled in around noon and nearly left. Small and right near a TransCanada Highway with a damn rest stop near it. But there were thousands of small chironomids hatching and I like that!
    So after some searching I found some shoal water,on this very deep little lake. I only had black chironomids down to #18 so I tied one on, anchored up in 8'of water and tossed out into 12-13'. Well that afternoon I landed 7 trout of #4 to #6 and lost with broken tippet or self release another 8-10.
    Came back the next day earlier and the hatch was still on. I landed 15
    of the same size that day loosing only a few as I went up one tippet size.
    From those days on, I never make any assumptions about any water untill I try it myself.
  16. Chris Bailey Member

    Posts: 120
    seattle, wa, USA.
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    There is some great small stream fishing on the east slope. I'd have to say that one of my more memorable days was a few years ago on a small stream in an area heavily used by ORVs and campers west of Yakima. The fishing is surprisingly good at times for an area so heavily used. I was having good luck fishing late into the evening to the point I needed to use a flashlight to get back. I heard something in the woods so I sat down and listened for a while. Nothing came out so I packed up and drove back to the cabin. I went back the next morning to fish up and down from where I had good luck the night before. I was standing in the river and about 100' upstream a bear crossed the stream in front of me. I went to the nearby crouded campground to let them know that there was a bear in the area and they told me that she had cubs and had raided their food tent in the middle of the night before. The guy got up all mad thinking he was being robbed. He looked in the tent and that bear was eating an apple pie.
  17. crockett New Member

    Posts: 184
    Kirkland, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    My best day started out as my worst. Early one morning last September, new to the steelhead game, I was stalking fish on the Snoqualmie. Although I had gotten a few hookups in the few weeks prior I had yet to land a fish. On this particular day, I hit the water near Tokul Creek at first light. Overcast and raining, I probed the waters with a marabou pattern on a sink-tip before heading upstream to check out new water. As I climbed on the bankside boulders above the creek, I slipped and fell face first into a small pool, thoroughly dousing myself and giving my casting elbow a pretty good crack. Wincing in pain and soaked to the bone, I hobbled back to the car to call it a day. As I was driving out, a stretch of riffles that I'd never fished before beckoned. I pulled out my 5 wt. and riffle-hitched a muddler onto my floating line. On my 2nd drift a 9lb. hen took the fly with reckless abandon and jumped 3 times in the current before coming to hand. After carefully releasing her, I smoked a Winston and waked another dry. A fish rolled on the muddler after 4 casts and took hard on the follow-up. After an aerial assault that went into my backing, the hook was free. Trembling with excitement and disbelief, I drove home reflecting on the incredible turn in events that still has yet to be beaten.

  18. saltchuck New Member

    Posts: 273
    seattle, washington, usa.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    One of my best stories has one of my least favorite endings. My fishing buddy and I had been having an exceptional day in our float tubes on a certain Eastern Washington lake near Quincy. It was about 1-1/2 weeks after ice off in March 1996 and we brought to hand numerous (about 8-10 fish each) rainbows and browns in the 14" - 18" range as well as a couple of fish each in the 22+ category. Just when we thought it couldn't get any better, I dropped a heavily weighted size 6 olive Matuka into a depression near the bank and adjacent to a beaver lodge. I counted it down for 10 seconds which I guessed would get it into the strike zone that had been productive all day for us. Instead, I got bottom which also had been happening throughout the day and was the price we had paid for getting our flies deep enough. As the all too familiar story line goes - "the bottom began to move!"

    To make a long story short (too late), after about 20 minutes of fighting the fish on a pretty stiff 6 weight rod (and scaring the hell out of my partner in the process when it swam between his legs and he realized I wasn't kidding when I said this one was REALLY BIG)I attracted attention from some power bait anglers on shore. Since the size of my net precluded any thoughts I had of landing this fish on my own, I graciously accepted their offer of assistance in using a salmon net (this should have been my first clue there was going to be a problem) they brought with them to help land the fish.

    The fish was a monster brown - 12.5 pounds and the largest trout I've taken anywhere, anytime. How do I know the weight? My two bait fishing friends brought a scale and offered to weigh the fish. Not wanting to miss the opportunity - I agreed (thinking that they would weight the net and fish together and then weigh the net alone after releasing the fish). This was my second mistake. Immediately after netting the fish, one of the guys grabbed the big brown by it's gills to hold it up, but before I could tell him to leave it in the net, the other guy hooks the scale into the fish's mouth, hoists it up and then proceeds to drop it on the ground on some rocks. The fish gives a big shudder as if it had been hit with a "fish bonker". Needless to say, after that I knew the fish was not likely to survive so I offered it to the bait guys as long as I got some pictures first.

    I still have those pictures and I still have major pangs of guilt everytime I see them....but I learned a valuable lesson in that I'll never let another stranger land my fish for me let alone take it out of the water.

    It's that time of the year again (a few weeks after ice off) so I'm heading out east and hoping lightning strikes twice. Tight lines and see you out on the water.
  19. rockfish Member

    Posts: 730
    Manchester, Wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    got a silver in the 10 lb class and a cutthroat in the 19-21 inch range on back to back casts, or pretty close to that but I was drifting along a prolific rock wall/jetty that goes for a 1/2 mile or so and the current just takes you along the shore. fish seem to stack up there at the latter part of the tide and there was a drinking party and they were all yelling wheres the camera crew to me. it was pretty cool. this one sticks in my mind realy good. Ben
  20. Coho Member

    Posts: 149
    West of the Whistling Buoy
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Bens' story reminds of me of one of my favorite fishing stories.

    I was fly fishing with some friends in the Rogue River. We were targeting kings stacked up in the lower river. The method of choice there is to anchor small prams in the pools and cast shooting heads with comet type patterns.

    The Rogue is a famous river and occupied by many people other than fisherman. If you have been there, you have seen the commercial jet boats that take tourists out on rides. The boats seat as many as 30-40 people and include a tour guide who narrates their journey with a loudspeaker.

    I was anchored in my pram casting, when a very large jet boat stopped a few yards from me. The tour guide announced very loudly over his microphone that salmon fishing was very popular on the Rogue, and that a few hardy souls even tried to catch them on flies, but were rarely ever successful.

    As the boatload of curious tourists looked at me, poetic justice took its curious course. I felt a grab on my green weenie (it's a fly) and rocked home the hook into a 30+ lb chrome bright king.

    My Hardy screamed as I dropped the anchor float and set the pram free. The king started towing me as I fought it, right past the prideful tour guide, and the now cheering tourists.

    My only fish of the day, but the timing was sure great!