Tolt RIver steelhead/salmon?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by TomB, Nov 13, 2001.

  1. Hey fellow flyfishermen-
    I was out at the Tolt R. as well as the Snoqualmie and Raging, and I saw lots of Salmon. I had read that Salmon were only open on the Snoqualmie, but a guy told me they are now open on the Tolt too. I was wondering if anybody has heard anything about this. I was also wondering if anybody has fished the Tolt or the Raging for steelhead, if so, when, and where. Any help will be appreciated.
    Catch and release always,
  2. I've fished the Tolt quite a bit over the last year. Although I've mainly fished for steelhead, I've had no luck. Have done reasonably well with trout, some of decent size (12" - 14"), although that kind of action doesn't do much on an 8 weight. I've always fished from the mouth up to where the public trail ends and private property begins. It's not a huge amount of water, but there are a handful of nice little pools and in the many times I've been there (15 - 20), I've only seen other people fishing once. You can get to points on the river further upstream from some road that originates in Carnation. I've never tried it though. Regs say the lower section of the river (from mouth to USGS trolley cable near confluence of North and South Forks) is open from June 1 - Feb. 28. From that point on both the North and South Forks are closed year round except the North Fork above the falls and the South Fork above the dam are open from June 1 - October 31. I'm not convince this is the best place to steelhead, but I'll continue to try it for a while mainly because it's quick and easy to get to from Seattle and there is little fishing pressure. Wish I could tell you when the best time of year is to fish, but I've had no success with steelhead so I've no idea. My recollection of the WDFW catch records is that the counts are pretty low on the Tolt and spread out relatively evenly over the course of the year.

    Good luck. If you try above that lower section, I'd love to hear how you did and what the access was like.
  3. The road you are talking about is called the Tolt River Road. It runs out of the middle of town. It has very little access to the river. Lots of Private property. At the roads end there is a public fishing area put there by the state. It has a few trails to the river. I used to fish the river with spinning gear, but that was before I started fly fishing. As for being open I don't know. I guess you have to check with the Dept of F&W. Jim S.:TT
  4. Thanks for the info. If I get out there anytime soon, I'll be sure to report back. I wonder how things are doing with all of the rain. The rivers are probably blown out of shape! One more question- has anybody caught a steelhead on the Tolt or Raging, if so, please let me know. I am a catch and release fisherman only, and I am going to be recording redd sites for the DNR(department of natural resources) of king co. Any Info would be greatly appreciated.
    Tom :7
  5. According to the regs book the tolt river is closed to salmon fishing and from what I have seen from catch records and planting info there are very few fish that return to the Tolt. Many of those that do get caught may be lost fish on their way up to Tokul creek.

    The raging is small and a challenge to fish with fly rod. There are some steelhead in it but it is much like the tolt for numbers. I beleive it is also closed to salmon.

    The WDFW will update mid season rules changes on their site.

    Your chances are much better in other rivers like the sky that is open to salmon and steelhead.

    PS if you mark redds with the little ribbons tied on trees on the bank, write the date and how far out the redd is. its nice to know where not to walk cause after a flood like this one they get hard to distinguish.
  6. I see you show that you have caught trout on the Tolt. A freind and myself are thinking about fishing there Thankgiving to see if we can catch and release a few fish so that I can show him the sport of fly fishing. This will be his first time. I picked there for trout because it seems to be still open for trout Also any advise on midges or flys to try would be helpful as well as current river conditions.
  7. Years ago the then Fish and Game Department acquired an easement down the north bank of the Tolt below the access area on the Tolt River Road. I'm sure it extends at least a half mile. It is an easement that provides for on-foot access for anglers extending from mean high water back fifty feet. Back in the 'sixties and 'seventies the department was actively engaged in buying up such easements. To my knowledge, few or none of them were marked and, since they formed a permanent encumbrance on the property, they still exist, no matter if, or how many times, the property has been sold.
  8. Most of the time I've caught trout on the Tolt, it has been on steelhead flies - a buggy-looking thing called a Spade (deer-hair tail, black hair-dubbed body and grizzly hen hackle); Burlap; and marabou speys. I have also had some dry-fly action in the summer, using trout flies (my recollection of what I was using were Royal Wulffs and Adams).

    Good luck if you get out this weekend. If there's a lot of water in the river, it could be hard to get to decent water if you hit the lower section above the bridge going into Carnation (the area I normally fish). To cast to many of the best pools in that lower section, you kind of need to be on the side of the river opposite the public pathway, and that side can be difficult to get to if the flows are high.

    Don't know how bad a shape the Snoqualmie is in, but the water at the mouth of the Tolt (both upstream and downstream) is supposed to be pretty good. I've fished there a couple of times with no luck but have seen a fair number of fish jumping and rolling both times.
  9. The river is going to be running really high right now and wading is tough above the 203 bridge as the stones in the river are about the size and shape of bowling balls covered in axel grease, not a great place for a newbie. The lower river is an easier wade down near the confluence with the snoqualmie.

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