Visiting Tacoma area - where should I look for steelhead?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by fingerburns, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. fingerburns

    fingerburns New Member

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    Hi all,

    I will be traveling to Federal Way in the middle of March for a few days and I am looking for advice im my quest for steelhead. I will have access to a car and am willing to drive a few hours if needed to find good water. I prefer to wade or bank fish smaller water if possible. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I have never visited this area and it appears to be lots of rivers!

    Thanks
     
  2. Irafly

    Irafly Active Member

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  3. Benjy

    Benjy Active Member

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    I just moved here from Missoula. I have been here almost 2 weeks and spent four days swinging for steelhead and I haven't touched one yet, but I did have a grab. Good luck. The rivers that drain Puget Sound are all closed so you will have to look to rivers that drain Greys Harbor or the Ocean. Looking at a map of the place you will wrongly think that you can get there in no time from Tacoma- because you're used to Montana where you can drive 90 MPH. Not here. All the roads to get out there are uncontrolled access clusterfucks where your speed probably averages 45 MPH when you factor in all the stop lights and speed zones. PM me if you decide to do it, I could use a ride out there.
     
  4. Peter Pancho

    Peter Pancho Active Member

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    since you are only staying for a few days and you are wanting that elusive steelhead, get a guide. The only guaranteed way to hook in, in such a short amount of time.
     
  5. Wally Bear

    Wally Bear New Member

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    Blue Creek just outside of Salkum, Wa. You can walk down to the creek after parking at the boat launch. Anyone can hook into a steel head there and you do not need a boat to do it.
     
  6. Irafly

    Irafly Active Member

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    Watch out Blue Creek.

    Ira..
     
  7. Mark Moore

    Mark Moore Just a Member

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    Four whole days, that must really bite.

    You might try the Kalama, there should be some winter fish still in there. It is a pretty quick trip down I-5. PP is right though get a guide, not just your best shot but maybe your only shot.
     
  8. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    The OP should be prime if the water levels stay in shape and would be my pick given the time you have. Stay over there (Forks Motel) and hire a guide for one day and then ala-carte the next. If the rivers are out (always a crap-shoot), the Cowlitz will more than likely be in shape and have some fish. I would suggest Steve Buckner if you end up on the Cowlitz and want a guide.

    Have fun!
     
  9. Benjy

    Benjy Active Member

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    I was thinking that they were the best four days I've had all winter, but I'm a glass half full kind of guy.
     
  10. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

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    Benjy, you are probably too innocent and pure of heart to recognize Mark's sarcasm. For us typical steelhead fly fishermen, four fishless days is just batting practice.
     
  11. fingerburns

    fingerburns New Member

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    Geze! I thought I was headed to Steelhead paradise but from the sounds of things, it sounds like the water is obcenely crowded with few fish to be had! I am staying in Federal way and it appears now that I would only have time to visit somewhat local streams and many appear to be closed to fishing. Unless I can find something within an hour or so of FW, I think I will leave the rods at home and save the resources for close to home waters in Idaho. A guide is definately not in the budget and it looks like I could only manage half days anyway.

    Thanks for the imput - I will see if Blue Creek is an option. I may be out over the summer and will definately check out the OP area at some point as the streams look beautiful!
     
  12. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    Steelhead paradise? Maybe at one time. Now we're fishing for scraps, and the fish are dodging lures, bait, and flies their entire way up the rivers. The glory days of steelhead fishing are long past my friend.
     
  13. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Hire a guide or get a boat. The fishing on the Cowlitz is surprisingly good in march and not nearly as crowded as advertised. The run right at blue creek will be packed, but water below there will be much better in terms of crowding.
     

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