Help for kids

Hi All,

I am looking for some advice about lakes within a reasonable distance from Redmond (2 hrs.) where I can take my canoe, my young son and his flyrod. The goal is to catch fish, preferably on the surface and provide positive reinforcement for my son who is just beginning to show interest. Does not have to be trout. Bass or bluegill would be fine.

I recently moved from Boston where I know ten lakes that would be great for this. I am sure there are some here as well but I am not familiar with the area. Thanks for all advice in advance.


o mykiss

Active Member
Rattlesnake Lake, just up the hill 5 or 10 minutes from North Bend (think it's the second exit of I-90, but check map before you go), would probably fit the bill for trout. Cannot vouch for the dry fly action, though it is probably pretty decent this time of year. I've seen some action on midge emergers earlier in the year, but had most luck w/ chironomids, GRHR's and buggers. It is a great setting and despite the name, there are no rattlesnakes around. Go to Eastern Washington for those. :)
hi Brian,

Since i live on Vancouver Island i'm not familiar with your area: however, if you're within an easy commute to a beach with pink salmon i'd recommend that you take your son there.
Pink salmon take the fly readily and are usually within easy casting range; and pinks, pound for pound, really are great sport.
Fishing for pinks also reduces many of the difficulties inherent in fly fishing the river and lakes for a 'fussy' trout that has the habit of frustrating young anglers (and old ones too!).

I only use two flies for pinks off the beach and they're very productive. If you'd like the patterns feel free to email me.

Playing a 5lb. pink will go a long way to 'hooking' your son on the sport.

Rattlesnake is great this time of year, lots of trout. But I have yet to fly fish it so im not sure how that is. I live just about 5 minuets from it and go up there a lot. Nice setting. Yeah, it is the second North Bend exit (Exit 32), going east you want to take a right off the exit go past the golf course and head all the way up that road. The lake is at the end and there a boat launch there aswell.
Hey Randy,

Most anglers up here are under the impression that pinks runs in either odd or even years too. Hatchery stocking of pinks however has changed this. Last year, for example, was supposed to be an off year in the area i fish for pinks but i was catching at least 15 fish a day. So don't tell anybody :WINK

I'll email the patterns.

Help for kids - 5 ideas!

Hi Brian:

I have 4 small children, and have been quite successful in helping all of them to catch fish on the fly from a very early age and have a great time doing it. I am assuming your son is still young and has limited casting ability?

In that context locally, it may be a little tough getting fish on the surface for small children - or any size children. Surface fishing is tough on most Western Wa. Lakes. I have enjoyed great success with my kids by trolling woolybuggers or small nymphs. The fish frequently hook themselves. Our favorite spot has been Lake Alice, just outside of Preston. Each of my kids have landed numerous trout that way starting at the age of two.

Rattlesnake Lake (as mentioned on the other posts) has also been a favorite of ours using the same technique. The added benefit of Rattlesnake is that the shoreline has lots of cool places to explore for little boys (and big boys)with lots of old growth stumps.

A couple of other ideas... The N. Fork Stillaguamish is fairly close and has decent dry fly fishing for sea run cutts in the late summer and fall. The lower river is very canoe friendly. We had a particularly good day last fall where my 8 year old rose and hooked fish for several hours fishing a yellow stimulator.

If your budget allows, there are also numerous pay lakes nearby that would be a real treat. Some of them are very reasonable, check out the links on this page.

There are probably some good panfish lakes also,though I have done less of that. Try Kapowsin, Silver (the one near Toutle) and Sacheen, and I am sure there are many others.

The Yakima River will be great for hopper fishing within the next few weeks, and my kids and I usually fish that a lot too. Also a fairly easy way to get kids into trout on a dry fly.

One last thought - out of the box. We really enjoy bobber fishing for Chum Salmon down in S. Sound and Hood Canal. Not flyfishing, but the chums will hit whole herring floated just below a bobber, the take and battle is quite exciting. My 3 year old was almost pulled out of our boat by his first salmon!

A funny thing about fishing with kids, my last 4 trips down the Yakima, my rod never left its case. I was having too much fun watching my little ones fish!

If you need more information, leave me your e-mail address and I would be happy to give you more detail.