Samish River?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Tyler Axel, Aug 28, 2014.

  1. Tyler Axel

    Tyler Axel Buenos Hatches Ese

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    I know the reputation that the Samish has, but I might be up that way this weekend and the prospect of big fish in small water gets my tail wagging. As I understand it the area near the mouth is a total cluster f**k, but is the water further up river worth exploring? Do the kings make it beyond the weir at the hatchery, or is that the end of the line for them? I see that some of the creeks that flow into the river are also open to fishing. Are those any good? Not looking for any real advice or secret water here. A simple yes or no as to whether or not it is worth my time to explore will suffice.
     
  2. Tyler Axel

    Tyler Axel Buenos Hatches Ese

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    Are there SRC?
     
  3. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    There are SRC.

    The Samish above tidewater is a creek. The tributaries are quite a bit smaller. Think small Tenkara.

    Sg
     
  4. Tyler Axel

    Tyler Axel Buenos Hatches Ese

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    Thanks. So the salmon aren't moving past the hatchery or the little dam they have there I take it?
     
  5. Tim Lockhart

    Tim Lockhart Active Member

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    Most years this is the early part of the run. I'm not saying your idea is impossible but if you want a legitimate shot at a hook set I'd borrow my neighbor's baitcaster and go join in during low tide. Call it what you want but it's fun.
     
  6. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    Fish above the hatchery
     
  7. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    One thing many do not know about or take part in is if you have access to a small water craft such as a pontoon or a kayak, something easy to get on the water, there is some fair cutthroat fishing at the mouth of the Samish. It has been years since the last time I did this but I do remember having some decent fishing. If you do this you will get some shit from the locals telling you it is illegal to fish below the bridge but it isn't as long as you are not targeting kings. Stay away from the salmon snaggers if you use a boat. Getting into the snagger's waters could also get you into an uncomfortable confrontation. Also check the regs before fishing anything on the Samish. Many portions of the river are closed. Likely a good idea to have a copy of the regs with you while fishing.
     
  8. Tyler Axel

    Tyler Axel Buenos Hatches Ese

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    Thanks for the info guys. I do have a pontoon, but I had my heart set on wading some skinny water. I will probably give this a shot at some point this weekend. Most likely above the hatchery or just below it if there are not a bunch of people. I'll be looking for SRC, and maybe tie on some heavy leader and try to drag in a king on my 5 weight (The River Why style).
     
  9. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    You'll do well. There are some really nice SRC and bull trout in those sections
     
  10. FT

    FT Active Member

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    The Samish flows right off my backyard downstream of Old Hwy 99 (the hatchery is just above Old Hwy 99). Right now there isn't any adult salmonids in this section of the river.

    And you (and any others thinking about fishing the Samish) need to know that it is closed to all fishing between Old Hwy 99 and the hatchery all the time, and come September 1st, it is closed to all fishing, which means it is closed to fishing for everything, not just kings, between I-5 and Old Hwy 99.

    I know there are folks in the area, including at some local tackle stores, who tell folks it is legal to fish as long as you're not targeting kings in this section, that is simply not true. The regs say CLOSED WATERS from September 1 to November 30. And CLOSED WATERS are closed to all fishing, period. Most of this misinformation is because until about 4 or 5 years ago it was legal to fish between I-5 and Old Hwy 99 after October 15th. But that is not the case anymore.

    It is open below I-5 to the mouth and you can keep 2 hatchery kings, everything else is catch and release.

    It is also open for catch and release for all species above the hatchery up to Hwy 9 until November 30th.

    Whatever you do, don't make the mistake that many do and assume that if you are fishing for SRC you won't get ticketed between I-5 and Old Hwy 99 beginning September 1st, you will because it is closed fishing for all species. I have neighbors (one who works for WDFW) who call in and report folks fishing below Old Hwy 99 or when they see rigs parked in either of the two fishing access lots or the parking area on the shoulder of Old Hwy 99 just south of the bridge (many times they also provide the license plate number of the rig). Also be aware that fish and wildlife officers check this section of the river quite a few times during the day and they write a lot of tickets to folks.

    I would love to see it open for catch and release, but I don't think it is going to be.

    I'd also like to see it open for catch and release of winter steelhead, but that is highly unlikely too since the wild winter steelhead in this river are part of the Puget Sound biologically significant unit and as a result I don't see a catch and release fishery being allowed for many, many years, if at all. This despite escapement exceeding goals.

    So if you want to fish it, you have to go participate in the zoo at or near the mouth, or get permission to cross someone's field to fish it below I-5. And yes, the farm owners will call the sheriff if they see you crossing their field unless you have gotten their permission, which should be in writing. And parking on the grass next to I-5 will also get you a ticket, and possible tow, from a state patrolman since it not legal to do so. Plus, doing so also means you have to cross private property to get to the river.

    I'm not trying to be an arse, I'm simply telling folks the facts about what portions of the Samish are closed to all fishing and which are open along with the difficulty in accessing the open water between Chuckanut Drive and I-5. I'd hate to see someone come up to fish and get a ticket for fishing closed waters.
     
  11. Tyler Axel

    Tyler Axel Buenos Hatches Ese

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    I fished it Saturday between I5 and Old Hwy 99 (still legal before Sept 1). Had decent SRC action and saw a solid amount of salmon (including some large kings), but they never decided to chomp my fly. I only saw one other person fishing, and it was a gear guy posted up on a hole right next to the 99 bridge. If you wander away from the easy access points its a nice little river to explore. Too bad it is closed now.