Mountain Backpacking Streams

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by wannafish, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. I'm pretty new to backpacking in general and looking for a trip that I can complete in about 23-36 hours from Puyallup (I have 3 kids, so it's get it done or do nothing lol). This probably means less than 3 hours of driving time and not a ridiculously long hike either.

    I'd like to be on the east slopes of the Cascades off of I-90 or Hwy 12 and hopefully fish on a stream. I'd like to have some prospect of catching something and fishing takes precedence over scenery on this trip. I still might bug out and end up going to a hike-in lake, but I really like to take advantage of our short season for fishing the mountain skinny water. Smallish fish are OK by me...

    Any ideas/areas to get me started? I've come across a few, but all seem to have either possibly sketchy stream crossings or are really heavily used.

    I hate to shamelessly solicit info, but due to the aforementioned kids as well as work, I need to make my trips count these days!!

  2. I would start with some hiking guides. Dan Nelson, a forum member, writes some of the best. I think you'll find that most of the streams have small fish so the hard part would be finding a trail that interests you.
    Dan Nelson likes this.
  3. not only would i start with hiking guides but the Washington State road map is a great idea. it have maps pf every part of washington incuding the small streams. i love it because i will put two and two together and find some amazing places. plus you will be able to find the fastest way there.
  4. I agree with the State road map/Atlas idea, the hand drawn maps in some of the books you may find can be vague, but pair the books with some better maps and youre good to go!
  5. Thanks for the plug, Patrick. Beyond guidebooks (mine or others), I'd recommend utilizing the Washington Trails Association's website. I worked for WTA for a dozen or so years back in the '90s and early 2000s and I helped developed the website (in addition to re-developing their monthly magazine). The site has a phenomenal Trip Report section -- user-provided reports from the field that provide great up-to-date trail condition information.

    Go to
  6. If you stop into your local Forestry you can pick up detailed maps with roads, trails, campsites and everything for almost all national parks as well as national forests. Look into Ranier NP. Lots of great water and a beautiful park. Only about 1-1.5 hours away. Also the Taylor river is a great little river to hike. Not too far from us here in Puyallup either.
  7. Not to hi-jack, but Patrick do any of your books talk about fishing specifically? I am in the kind of in the same boat as the OP, my wife loves to hike but doesn't love to fish. I'm new to the area and looking to feed my addiction and keep her happy. Thanks for any info.
  8. I'm not sure if you're asking me or Dan, but I'll attempt an answer.

    There are a few books that address the local mountain fly fishing specifically. One author's name is Dave Shorett(sp?) Do an Amazon search and his books should pop up. They are valuable as a starting point, but I think the trail guides by Dan Nelson and others are the way to go. I haven't found a mountain stream in the state that didn't have some trout in it so ant trail that follows a decent sized stream would work. One of the most spectacular, and my favorite hikes is up to the Necklace Valley in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. It starts with many miles on a small river. It's far from secret but I'll still let you find the details on your own.

    Another one that I haven't done, but it's been on my list for a decade is the hike up to Goldmeyer Hot Springs along the Middle Fork Snoqualmie. Good fishing and then a good soak.
  9. The Olympic National Park offers some of my favorite hiking trips.I find it more beautiful than the Cascades. At this time of the year the fly fishing is awesome because the fish are feeding eagerly for winter. I'd check out Grand Lake up on Hurricane Ridge, it is gorgeous up there.
    Ed Call likes this.
  10. Tough not to like the info above from someone called the Puget Sound Pimp. I don't know much about the Cascades, but the Olympics are always good for a great hike.

    Disclaimer: There are NO fish in the Olympic Mountains, on the rivers flowing to the Straight of Juan de Fuca or the Pacific. Great hiking, but leave the fishing bug wands at home!
    Puget Sound Pimp likes this.
  11. There are if you check out the alpine lakes, they used to stock them full of Brook trout but the populations are so healthy now they reproduce natural. You may run into a rainbow or cutthroat but it's really rare. I usually catch brooks between 8 and 14 inches but have run into ones up to 17 and 18 inches. I even saw one of the larger ones take a frog I tossed into the lake.
  12. Lots of brook trout in the high lakes. Donna and I, along with our yellow lab Sophie, hiked into Cougar Lakes in the William O Douglas wilderness in mid-August (have to go in via the PCT since the road from Bumping Lake is closed) and also summit-lake  001.jpg summit-lake  002.jpg summit-lake  003.jpg summit-lake  004.jpg summit-lake  005.jpg summit-lake  006.jpg summit-lake  009.jpg hit Summit Lake out of the Carbon River area this weekend. Non-stop action on dries in both lakes with brookies of 6 to 14 inches.
    Patrick Gould likes this.
  13. Thanks for the photo proof Dan, can't believe Ed Call thinks the Olympic National Park lacks fish. I've caught my largest Bull trout up there (13 pounds) and hard some of my best dry fly days up there.
  14. I think I detected a wink in Ed's post.
  15. Dan, that is some killer Brookie porn!
    Puget Sound Pimp likes this.
  16. Thanks. Taken with a Pentax WG-2 GPS -- the winner of our waterproof camera shoot-out.

    Forgot to post this image that, if you look closely, shows more than 6 brookies.

    summit-lake1  001.jpg
  17. Well, this thread is rather old, I think, but......
    If you want to hike up to Lena Lake with me, I'm ready!
    It's getting a little late in the year, but I am almost sure there are fish there, and I have a float tube that needs some exercise. It's less than a two hour drive from Puyallup, less than a two hour hike in. Just sayin' !!!
    Unless I'm catching cutts on the beach. Then I'm tooooo busy.
    Ed Call and Beachmen like this.
  18. Lena gets seriously, seriously hammered.

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