The Blue Gill in Washington

I am new to the fishing scene in Washington. I learned the fly by myself and books in South Georgia. Try to find a fresh water fly fishing buddy in South Georgia, I know they're there, but few and far between. I have seen all of the outdoor programs showing the uncomfortable host floating in alligator infested waters trying to pass on as much info in such conditions and smile about it. I was one of those who didn't think about the gators, in fact I stayed in pull with a 13" bass for two hours until he finaly tired enough that I can bring him in. I know my topic is not about bass, but the blue gill. I am an acomplished blue gill fisher man in the south, I have caught two at 2.5 and there abouts more than on one ocasion. I also know that blue gill are a good fish to teach on.
I have friend who wants me to teach him the way; he has no prior experience to the sport, but is ready and willing. I have had him cast until he is blue in the face and I want to introduce him to blue gill first, but I have no idea where to take him due to the fact I have only lived here for two months and really haven't had time to explore myself, plus I would like to tie one on myself. I don't know if the temp has anything to do with their catchability here, in fact I have no idea what fish do up here, I learned in the south where it is hot almost all year. Any suggestiond, or did I miss the opprotunity and need to wait for him.
I have no prior expirence with trout, steel head, or salmon and thought I would embarace myself by myself, sjould I take him on one of my endevors, or should I stick to what I know, I don;t want to discourage him. I almost feel like an anbasador. :confused:


Idaho Resident Craftsman/Artisan
Well Jermz, Please tell me that was a 13# bass and not a 13" bass that took you 2 hours to "tire out". hehehe

Welcome to the great northwest. Blue Gil in lake washington? Yes there are. You can hit the lowers samammish slough and do pretty good. There are also small mouth bass and every other kind of fish in that lake. There are sturgeon as well. Well at least they found an 11' one dead floating a few years back.

Anyway, there are so many fish in that lake it is rediculous. The small mouth fishing is killer. Just find some structure and get'er done.

As a kid my best friend and I use to ride our bikes down the hill to the 68th st. bridge in Kenmore and fish the Slough. We caught all kinds of fish in there. One time we caught an 8 pound whitefish and of course we bonked it and had my buddy's mom bake it for us. hahaha tasted like motor oil. hahahaa

One time I was just down there playing around and all I had was a stick and a little line and a tiny little popper fly. I sight casted to this little blue gil and he took that thing like it was his last meal. I yanked him out and then dropped him back in and watched him swim right back to the same spot. Soooo I caught him again, and again, and again. I think I brought that little guy to hand like 4 times. hahahaha

I haven't fished that water for YEARS so I wouldn't be much help.

I am sure we'll get some feedback from some of the guys on here.

Good luck!



New Member
blue gill

Hey i know what type of fishing you are talking about i was in college in GA. Blue gill crappie and bass on a fly rod is great, although at least up here dont have to deal with the watermocassins and black snakes.

In answer to your main ? Kapowsin lake has blue gill crappie and bass as well as the hybrid bass and trout among a slew of other species, and a bonus if you dont mind the cold its open year round. It might be a bit farther south than you might be but it can be fished from shore (in a few spots without too much trouble) as well as from water and has a natural and tumultuous amount of snags in water almost daring gas power motors to try it.


New Member

I used to fish LW all the time as a kid too. I caught all sorts of species from cutthroat, sockeye and rainbows to smallmouth, perch, bluegill and squawfish.

One of the wackier catches I had was an 8 pound tench.

I also hooked something in the newport shores canal that I'm pretty sure was a big ass sturgeon. It just swam around on the bottom of the canal like a volkswagen for a while and eventually broke off.

I learned to fly fish on TVA lakes in East Tennessee - mostly Watts Bar. I drove my dad's boat long before he let me drive his car. (That 10 horsepower Johnson really seemed to make that old boat fly when I was 14). I had a fiberglass rod and a box full of popping bugs and my target was bluegills, but I caught an occasional bass. What great memories.

From my perspective, there's nothing wrong with limiting yourself to warm water species. I'd love to catch a mess of bream on a popping bug on my 3 weight! However, you have some wonderful options in Washington. If you can afford it, I'd hire a guide and let him or her teach you and your friend the basics about fishing for steelhead and salmon in your area. (If your friend can split the cost, it's even more affordable). There's so much to learn! Perhaps you and your friend can share the journey. In my experience, the learning together can make for a great friendship. Good luck!


"There are none happy in the world but beings who enjoy freely a vast horizon."

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
Also used to fish Lk WA as a kid in the mid-1960's. I caught kokanee, cutthroat, Donaldson hybrids, perch, black crappie, smallmouth and largemouth bass, bullhead catfish, squawfish, and a couple of sockeye salmon.
One evening, I accidentally snagged a 31" carp in the dorsal fin when casting a large yellow/black roostertail spinner to shore for largemouth bass. That big mama towed me all over the end of Meydenbauer Bay in my 7' dinghy for about 20 minutes. When I finally boated the beast, a bunch of "clubbies" on one of the Meydenbauer Yacht Club marina floats cheered. I felt like some kind of hero.
Never did catch a bluegill in that lake.

edit: Just remembered a couple of places that are infested with bluegill:
Lake Leland , between Quilcene and Discovery Bay on the OP, and Swofford Pond, near Riffe Lake. Kapowsin is a fun lake to fish. The boat-rental at Ericson's is still in business.

although washington isnt known for trophy sunfishing, it seems that nearly every lake has at least a few. on the west side, populations are often spotty but present widely. id find a smaller marshy lake to make finding them easier as most of the lakes around here have limited bluegill habitat. i also find that bluegills in these parts dont really become known until well into summer. the only time ive found them fishable is basically when they are on their beds. they aren't big over here either although i did catch an 18" crappie out of spring lake on a trolled Yuk Bug. that's probably weak by Georgian standards though.

if you are willing to travel, eastern washington is where the sunfishing is at. nearly all of the seep lakes have them and lots of them except for those which have been poisoned recently for carp. i used to have a blast nailing bluegills and bass in the backwaters of the Snake river, tons of them although not large as a result. -ryan
I will 2nd Jim on Lake Leland. Had a few 40 plus fish days for pan fish there without really trying very hard. I could have had higher counts but got bored with it. Great place to take kids or someone new to the sport. Best fishing there for pan fish seemed to be Sept.You should still be able to catch quite a few there in Oct as well. iagree
I have also had alot of luck on pan fish on Many King County lakes though I never got around to targeting them much this year.


Active Member
Most of what people catch and call bluegills on this side of the cascades are pumpkin seed sunfish, and they don't get very big. But you can catch a lot of em', try small dries, or a zug bug along the shore and off weed beds and pads. What the heck if they're bigger than a lima bean take a bucket of em' home and fillet em' out and you got a mess of popcorn fillets.


Only 3 more years until I can think like a fish.
hedburner we have both bluegill, and sunfish. If you hold one up to the other you can see the difference.


Left handed Gemini.
Please go to lenice or nunnelly, bluegill, sunfish I don't know but theres tons of them to catch and you'd be doing everybody a favor if you could clear out a bunch of the bigger spawners. I was there 2 weeks ago and there were so many I couldn't cast anything to the banks without either catching one or getting hits, I saw schools of them at one point I looked down and I had a school of about 50 hiding under my tube.