Wading The Rivers In The Area

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Les Logan, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. Les Logan

    Les Logan New Member

    I just moved to North Bend, WA, and have a couple of questions. Are the rivers in this area, wading rivers, or do you need a drift boat. I have fished most of the rivers in Michigan, for trout - steelhead - and salmon. And most of them, compared to what I see around here, are more like streams or brooks, in comparison. Most of my trout experience is in Michigan and the eastern U.S. and Canada. The gradients seem much higher here, and the water much faster flowing.

    Any insight would be appreciated. I'm a catch and release fisherman, and will be trying to teach a couple of my brothers the joys of fly fishing. HELP! PLEASE!
  2. jjaims

    jjaims Make fishin’ your mission

    You have the north south and middle forks of the Snoqualmie right out your back door which are great trout fisheries in the summer months and easily wadeable. I mainly fish the south fork and have a blast. Many other rivers in your near vicinity are wadeable also.
    Les Logan likes this.
  3. Les Logan

    Les Logan New Member

    Thanks, for the information. I was curious about the Snoqualmie. I'm sure it's up due to runoff and rain. Does it stay cool enough in the summers to support a good trout population? I was excited to see that Brookies are up here. Not very big, but damn aggressive, and easy to teach a novice to catch.
  4. rory

    rory Go Outside

    The Snoqualmie definitely has some trout in all three forks. I am not sure that I would classify it as a "good" population, but they are in there. If I lived in North Bend, I would buy a pass to Hancock Tree Farm. I have had a key the last couple of years, but the drive wasn't worth it from north Seattle. You aren't too far from the Yakima River as well which should not be overlooked. Search this forum for information on sea run cutthroat in Puget Sound. Get used to long drives and don't be disappointed if you come away without any fish. Welcome to the forum and the area.
    Les Logan likes this.
  5. Les Logan

    Les Logan New Member

    Thanks for the info. I used to have to drive three or four hours, in Michigan, to get to the AuSable or PM, so an hour or so won't be an issue. I'll look into the Hancock Tree Farm. For the last eleven years, I lived in my home state of TX, so I'd have to fly somewhere for trout. At this point, just trying to hook one would be a success. Thanks again.
  6. troutdopemagic

    troutdopemagic Active Member

    The snoqualmie forks can be fun if you get onto the brookies but mostly its just small 5-8" rainbow and cutthroat. Nowadays I fish a 3wt. glass rod up there and catch as many as I want. You'll want to wait until July for the "best" fishing. I like the evenings after a hot summer day when the hatches come off and every fish in the river is looking up. Attractor dries are really all you need. In my opinion nymphing is mostly unnecessary.

    The mainstem Snoqualmie gets some hatchery steelhead and even less native fish but its always worth a try. The Yak is a quick hop over the pass and that has a alot of nice fish, but can be tempermental.
    Les Logan likes this.
  7. Les Logan

    Les Logan New Member

    Never caught a cutthroat. I love using my 3wt. Guess I'll give my brother my 5wt. My rods for trout are Winston's. I've been told they're a little "slow" for the "West". But if you're using a glass rod, I should be fine. Thanks for the information.
  8. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

    Slow is relative term, Winston's are a great rod and will do just fine
    Jeff Cheng and Les Logan like this.
  9. Les Logan

    Les Logan New Member

    Thanks. And steelhead fishing HAS to be warmer here, than in Michigan. At least I hope that's the case.
  10. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

    Trout in Western Washington are there. You just have to search for them. I used to live in the greater Everett area. I found many places where trout hung out at. But it takes a lot of searching for them. And they aren't as plentiful as they are in Mich.
    Les Logan likes this.
  11. TD

    TD Active Member

    There is also Rattlesnack Lake near you. Stillwaters can provide fishing during the high muddy river flow months and river closures.
    Les Logan likes this.
  12. Preston

    Preston Active Member

    Most of western Washington's streams do not offer particularly good trout fishing (as mentioned, the forks of the Snoqualmie offer fish mostly in the 5"-8" range). Although there is some evidence that populations of resident rainbows are increasing in some of the mainstem rivers (including the Snoqualmie) they are still not all that common. Some of the best trout fishing in the larger rivers is in the latter part of the summer and fall for sea-run cutthroat returning to the rivers (even though they will not spawn until late winter/spring).

    A boat is not really necessary even on the larger rivers. The classic technique for winter steelhead is the swing, while working your way, step-by-step, down a gravel bar. Access isn't usually a serious problem and there are lots of long gravel bars. There are many miles of accessible beaches along the sound for salmon and (again) sea-run cutthroat if you wish to try something different.

    DSCF0172.JPG An 18-inch sea-run cutthroat

    PM me if you want more specific information.
    Les Logan likes this.
  13. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

    From North Bend you're only 40 min to the upper waters of the Yakima. The 5wt Winston will be perfect. There is tons of access in that area including the state launch ramps on golf course road and near the Ensign Ranch.Wading can be good from both those points.

    Go to the home page and read the article on fishing the Yakima. Get a Delorme atlas and go explore.

    You're at ground zero for good small river/stream fishing in all three upper forks of the Snoqualmie. The fish are mostly small, but they're plentiful, and you'll get the occasional fish in the 12" range.
    Les Logan likes this.
  14. Craig Hardt

    Craig Hardt aka Nagasaurus

    A couple of wading tips for our waters -
    1. Get to know the flow gauges and keep a fishing log. For example if the South Fork Snoqualmie is running at 250cfs and you felt like you could safely wade a particular spot at that level then note it in your log. Then you'll know from then on that that spot is worth visiting at that level or lower.
    2. If you don't have one consider a wading staff--the SF Snoqualmie gets pretty slick in the late summer. And the best spots can require bushwacking and it will double as a hiking staff as well as let you push prickly devil's club and salmon berry branches out of the way (if you haven't encountered devil's club yet you are in for a 'treat'). I like to use an old wooden broom handle as floats and is very strong.
    The season can seem short on a lot of the smaller streams around there but with all wadeable miles of rivers near you you'll quickly fill up that log with great trips.
    Les Logan and Patrick Gould like this.
  15. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

    Good advice on the hiking staff. I always use one and at least once a year I forget one somewhere on the river.
    Les Logan likes this.
  16. Red Arch

    Red Arch Active Member

    Keep your five weight Winston!!!

    Just because you might not need it for rivers, does not mean you wont be using one should you get into Lakes!
    I was slightly outgunned against a 27 inch rainbow in a lake. The 5 would open lakes up more then a 3.
    Les Logan likes this.
  17. Stew McLeod

    Stew McLeod aka BigMac

    I'd hang onto that 5wt for the Yak, Cedar and cutties on the main stem Snoqualmie.
    Les Logan likes this.
  18. Les Logan

    Les Logan New Member

    I appreciate everyone's input on this thread. I've never fished lakes for trout. Wasn't a popular pastime in Michigan. We mostly went after pike, musky, and smallies, on streamers. I'm very interested in trying the ocean run fishing. The picture I have on here is of a lake run brown, taken in north of Batavia, NY. So lake run/ocean run sounds enticing. We'd get onto the steelies coming in from Lake Michigan or Huron, for the winter steelhead runs in MI. I will look hard around this area. My brothers will be new to the sport. After teaching them to cast, mend and properly present a fly, I want them to experience the feeling of a rising trout taking a dry. I also want them to experience a hatch. The first time I saw a cloud of BWO's coming off the river on a cloudy day, my jaw just dropped. Thank you again everyone.
  19. Kyle Smith

    Kyle Smith Active Member

    My best advice for the Middle Fork is to get away from the road. Wear pants to avoid the nettles, and fish a dry with a dropper. The bigger fish (10-12") hit nymphs and small streamers. And don't fish up there until July 5th, when summer begins in western WA.
    Les Logan and jjaims like this.
  20. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

    And ends on July 6th.