Considering Move

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Cheesehead4, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. Cheesehead4

    Cheesehead4 New Member

    I'm currently considering a move from Wisconsin to Seattle for professional reasons. However, I would never consider such a move without exploring the fishing options and opportunities of a new location. In WI I fly fish small spring creeks for native browns and brookies. I love fly fishing and relish every outing on the stream. I've tried steelhead a time or 2 on one of the Lake Superior tribs with little (no) success. But, I can understand the obsession surrounding chasing steel.

    So, I'm just looking for some general input on the fishing opportunities in the Seattle area. If anyone fishes this area and they'r from does the experience in Washington state compare?

    In addition, (since I have to think of my family and not just fishing) what can you guys tell me about the quality of life in the Seattle area? I'm curious of the good, bad and ugly. My wife loves the outdoors (camping, skiing, hiking) so I think she'd adapt well.

    Thanks in advance for any input and maybe I'll see you on the river.......
    Irafly likes this.
  2. Jim Hagenau

    Jim Hagenau Member

    Erik at the Gig Harbor Flyshop is from Wisconsin and Zack is from Michigan give them a call they can tell you all about it. Jim

    253 851-3474
  3. Scott Salzer

    Scott Salzer previously micro brew

    I know nothing about WI but you sound like you and your family would fit in well with all the opportunities we have in WA. You have to understand that WA has two personalities - the wet side (western WA) rain and temperate conditions and the dry side (eastern WA)dry - cactus / rattles snake dry - and higher tmeps 100+ possible. I fly fish so I tend to hit specific waters.

    I live in south seattle. I can be fishing some very nice moving water in 45 minutes - trout, steelhead, salmon. I can be fishing the salt for sea run cutthroat / resident salmnon from the beach in 15 minutes. Quality lakes on the west side in two hours, dry side 3 hours. Hit the ski slopes in 1-2 hours depending on where I go. The same areas for hiking, camping fishing. I can be digging clams in the Pacific in 2-2.5 hours. Hit the OP river for Steelhead / salmon in 2-3 hours. Clam on a local Puget Sound beach in 20 minutes. What did I miss. Oh yeah, sip some very giid micro brews at a number of breweries and we have good wineries throughout the state.

    fredaevans likes this.
  4. rory

    rory Go Outside

    Stay in WI. I would fly out there just to fish the Driftless. More open space, four real seasons, and lots of water that is easily accessible by canoe! The rivers here are currently closed for Steelhead (anadromous, not potamodromous) unless you are willing to drive 4ish hours.
    Unless you love green and blue and the number 12. In that case, move here, join the protests about the low numbers of fish returning and don't mentioned beads in the same post as spey. The trout fishing is alright here (on the wet side), and the people are pretty friendly on the street, but the people on this forum are some of the realest, kindest, and most helpful anglers around. If you move here, people will help you get into fish. Good luck either way.
  5. deansie

    deansie Member

    Where in WI are you? What's the family situation like (young or older kids)? Where do you plan to work and live? If you're in a rural area/ smaller town and like the set up, could be a bit of a cultural shift for you and the family. I'm originally from the Midwest and moved to Seattle from Denver and we spent about 3 years in Seattle. We lived in Ballard so we were a long way from any moving water and I didn't get the hang of the beach fishing, although I can see its draw. We have 2 kids, 4 & 2, so the opportunities to get out were few and far between. Any moving water was a minimum 45 min away and getting into something fun like the alpine lakes was a whole day and something I didn't really have time for on the weekends after a Mon-Fri job. That may not be the case for you in WI. I also found the majority of people in Seattle proper unique (ie: not friendly) but quiet the opposite on the east side and as Rory mentioned, everyone on this forum is great.

    If its a positive step in your career, take the plunge as the NW is a truly unique place and awesome to explore. That was my situation and I took the plunge and am truly grateful for the few years my family got to spend there. Between the beaches and mountains, its an outdoor paradise. If its a move just to go somewhere different, I'd seriously consider other places as well...the cost of living adjustment alone would probably pay for 1-2 fishing trips if you stayed in WI and just travelled elsewhere to fish.

    Good luck in your decision, either way I think you're in a good spot.
  6. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

    Get ready for People, and I mean lots and lots of People. Been a few years back but had to do some business research and hit one series of numbers and did a 'You're kidding?'

    The numbers weren't kidding. The three main Puget Sound Counties (Tacoma-Seattle-Everett) population EXCEEDED that of the entire State of Oregon. Was asked where I suggested he locate. Recommend Southern Oregon and a few suggested locations.

    Guy did, and has a very successful company building some pretty interesting electronics.
  7. triploidjunkie

    triploidjunkie Active Member

    My half of the state has decent fishing. I've never fished west of the cascades, so no help about Seattle, except I try to avoid the area at all costs.
    About the only thing lacking are those native browns;) and musky. We don't have many musky. Or spring creeks. Very few spring creeks.
    Damn... Now my own post is depressing me:(
  8. Klickrolf

    Klickrolf Active Member

    Hey Cheesehead4, where in Wisco are you from (spring creeks for browns & brookies, that's a good clue). I grew up in LaCrosse and fished the driftless area for trout and Lake Michigan & tribs for steelhead and other large Oncorhy and Salmo t types. Seattle & suburbs are busier than busy. If you can do your work "online" Washington State, away from Seattle, is a great choice for a number of reasons. Trouting's not as good but steelheading will likely become a pleasant addiction.
  9. Vladimir Steblina

    Vladimir Steblina Retired fishing instead of working

    Scott.......Don't you own a place in Winthrop?? Cactus in eastern Washington!! Oh my!! Yeah, my dog hates the Okanogan for that reason!!

    Triploid.....For a small fee I can show you the spring creeks!! However, why do you want to fish moving water when you have ALL those lakes around you!!! Browns are just English carp. Muskies are a bit more difficult....but you can try those Tiger Muskies.

    Cheesehead4, If you have a "wired" business.....the only place that has extensive fiber is central Washington. If you want 1Gbps speeds your pretty much limited to Chelan, Douglas, Grant or Pend O'reille Counties in central Washington.

    IF your wide open to a move I would consider Idaho, before Washington. However, the high tech infrastructure in central Washington is hard to duplicate anywhere else.
  10. Cheesehead4

    Cheesehead4 New Member

    Wow!!! Great feedback guys! Funny, 1 or 2 posts had me selling my Lund Pro-V and packing my suitcase for Seattle....a few others had me thanking my luck stars I live here in beautiful (yet frigid) WI. I have some serious thinking to do about this opportunity. I live in Hudson, WI (just north of your hometown Klickrolf!) and I fish the Driftless area. In fact, 2 of the finest Driftless streams, the Kinnikinnick and Rush, are minutes from my driveway so I can easily fish a few hours after work. In addition, the St. Croix river is also minutes from my driveway and is teaming with feisty smallmouth bass and the elusive musky. I have a private lake that I can access about 10 minutes away that is an absolute blast to throw deer hair poppers to big largemouth.

    I have 2 awesome little boys that are 4-1/2 and 3. I currently have a good, secure and rewarding position with my company. The move to Seattle would be a step up for me but would be a bit risky and most definitely require over-time/extra effort. My company's office is planned to be downtown near the football stadium. I'm concerned Seattle's big city hustle and bustle will drive me insane.

    So....I still have a lot of thinking to do. Maybe it's this dreadful arctic weather that won't loosen it's grip on us here in Cheeseland that has me thinking of greener pastures. I also envisioned Seattle as a fairy tale place where I could sit on my porch sipping micro-brew and cast swing flies and endless waves of steelhead and salmon.
  11. zen leecher aka bill w

    zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    We have walleyes, ticks, scorpions and rattlesnakes in the basin area..... and trout. If you are in Seattle during a good snow you will find the "drive me insane" part. Also please don't to forget to lecture the locals that you are from Wisconsin and know how to drive in the snow. Don't overlook the basin walleye opportunity and you will need your Pro-V.
  12. deansie

    deansie Member

    My folks live in Woodbury and I fish the Kinni everytime I'm back plus floating some of the rivers in northern MN and WI, love it up there in the summer. Have yet to explore the Driftless area but its on the list.

    Sounds like you've got a pretty good set up where you are and I think your hustle and bustle comment may be your deciding factor. I've found Seattle to have much more of a big city feel than the Twin Cities metro area. Relocating is tough with kids, have done it twice in the past 4 years but obviously you have think long term for your family. Who am I steer you away from Seattle...I just moved from there to Dallas of all places. Good luck to ya.
  13. IveofIone

    IveofIone Active Member

    The grass is greener in Seattle because it is always wet.

    So Cheesehead, why don't you fly out, rent a car and drive around in Seattle traffic for a couple of days before you just move over there cold turkey? Wisconsin winters might seem a little more bearable after that.

    Ive-not a single traffic light in my county
    KerryS likes this.
  14. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

    The way I see it in washington its westside (ie Seattle) = jobs bigger paychecks & people ,Eastside = serenity & lower wages. you need to ask yourself whats important to your family .
  15. wadin' boot

    wadin' boot Donny, you're out of your element...

    Can you handle this:


    Can you handle traffic, and a small (like as in average height of 5 foot 8, not many of them, yet ferociously loyal and sort of angry- (picture Satan's Cavemen from Nacho Libre (which yes your sons are now old enough to see))) cheesehead expat community?

    FYI Larson's in Ballard sells a proverbial butt-ton of fresh Kringle...and you no longer have to pretend that ice fishing for perch is fun.
  16. cabezon

    cabezon Sculpin Enterprises

    An option, especially if the company office is in SODO (south of downtown) is to live on the west side of the sound (Vashon comes to mind) and commute by ferry. You can work on the ferry (and miss a chunk of the traffic) and your kids can grow up in a more rural environment. Visit first and then decide.

  17. Ron McNeal

    Ron McNeal Turtles or universes? I can't decide....

    Sadly, the Puget Sound-area does not have any Friday night fish fries. On the upside, the fishing and climate here are far superior to Wisconsin's. I've lived in both the Minneapolis and the Detroit areas and feel quite comfortable believing you'd love it here. You can look forward to learning about, and catching stillwater trout. Midwesterners have no idea about how much fun (and often large) they are.
  18. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

    I was born in Wi. Family moved to Washington when I was 9. I'm now 78 and living in Montana. I fished and lived on the wet side for over 60 years. There is somewhat good trout fishing on most skinny water. But you have to hunt for it.. I've wasted enough gas to find it, but it's there.

    If you do a search here you might find a few places that I have fished and told about here.
  19. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

    First off Tacoma, Seattle, Everett are not counties. They are cities. Second, and likely more important once outside of the three main cities most of Washington is rural farming communities. I guess southern Oregon is ok if you like living with a bunch of overly self important retirees from California. Can you read "No Trespassing"? Most of the places I used to fish when young are dammed to hell and back and have no trespassing signs plastered all over them. Personally, after growing up in the Rogue River valley, I couldn't get out of there soon enough.
  20. Kyle Smith

    Kyle Smith Active Member

    I lived in Seattle for 5 years, and I thought the little cutthroat of the area were a blast. The lake fishing in WA is really good, and there are countless small trout streams in the mountains. THEY HAVE MOUNTAINS! Car break-ins were and are a massive problem out there, so be careful and be prepared. Finding new water to fish in a new home is one of the most exciting things in a fly fisher's life.

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