100 Streams in Washington...


Active Member
A couple years ago in the spirit of making bucket lists and such, my brother and I decided our bucket list would be to catch trout in 100 streams in Washington (moving water, no lakes, but beaver dams count). We started counting those where we'd already caught fish, and started making our lists from our earliest forays with fly fishing as Boy Scouts to more recent years exploring blue lines on the gazetteer. We both were just shy of 70 streams. Since then it has been fun to turn every trip into an excuse to check out new streams: picking up a few small tributaries to the Yakima near Snoqualmie Pass on the way back from Seattle; leaving early to explore a few small streams near Ellensburg on the way to picking up a daughter from camp; visiting the MF Snoqualmie, which I had never done while growing up in Seattle; planning a trip with my youngest daughter to NE Washington last summer and picking up 24 new streams, some beautiful streams I'd revisit in an instant, others too small and brushy to fish (well, except for the one little fish I had to pull out in order to add it to my list).

Well, this summer I hit stream #100 at Indian Creek near White Pass, finding a small brook trout after hiking to the stream above the falls (I'm now at 103 streams and still climbing).

It's fun to reflect back on those memories and some of the places I've found trout. Driving down an apparently waterless creek while exploring the Entiat drainage with my brother, we threw the car in reverse when we saw what looked like some moss covered water. Sure enough, there was a beaver dam and a little open water with trout visible from the road. My brother caught a couple small trout casting from the road, then with waders on we carefully entered the water and each caught about a dozen 10" to 12" rainbows. Returned there for several years and found similar fishing until one year the channel was changed and no fish were to be found.

On another trib of the Entiat, my brother and I took 10 minutes to thread our way 30 feet from the road to the stream through a jungle of alder, then found the stream completely encased in the alder thicket. Not letting that stop us, we threaded our rods through the trees with about a foot of line out, dipped the fly on the water, strip set to hook the small trout, threaded the rod back out of the branches, and unhooked the little guys. After one or two fish each, we decided this was too much work and continued on to a less brushy stream.

While on a hike along Lake Chelan as a Scoutmaster, there were little six-inch trout literally jumping out of the water and hooking themselves on a fly held a few inches above the surface of the stream. Stopping along a tiny stream for a water break while hiking with my brother as Boy Scouts, we'd race to get our Fenwick reversible fiberglass pack rods put together and the line with the fly already attached through the guides so we could fish for 5 minutes, then put it away and continue on with the hike. Standing on a culvert in a slow-water section of an east side stream, I watched 18" and 22" rainbows come rocketing from dozens of feet away to hammer a fast-stripped white bunny leach. I could list dozens more. Each stream is a wonderful memory of the fish caught and the company kept.

Write down a list of the streams in Washington where you've caught fish, and whether it's two or two hundred, enjoy the memories that come back to you. Then go out and make some more.

Stream 100.jpg

Old Man

Just an Old Man
It is fun finding little streams like that. I don't know how many little skinny waters that I have fished. But maybe I should write them down also. I know it's a bunch.


Active Member
It always amazes me where trout live. Sometimes you can't even imagine how they got there. But there they are. If it's a small stream that's really, really low at it's minimum flow the trout may only be four inches long. But they're there. Exploring creeks in the SF bay area, Ca. I found that streams with NO trout in them were the exception. Even within suburbia along industrial park fences with power lines overhead. Much harder than finding trout is finding water that can support bigger fish. It doesn't need to be a large stream at all. It's more about how low it gets and how deep the pools are. Exploring 100+ streams sounds like a good way to learn how to spot a good one at a glance. Kudos ten times over. Inspirational.


aka Dave Hoover
That's neat to keep a list like that. I'm a small stream wanderer. I'll stick a fly in any tiny little trib I encounter along the way and they almost always have a couple fish in them. I wouldn't doubt that I've tried 100 creeks in the last couple of years. I've probably fished 10-12 different creeks just in the last two weeks.


Active Member
What a remarkable accomplishment. But it couldn't have been without drama. What was your most interesting wild animal encounter along the way?



Active Member
What a remarkable accomplishment. But it couldn't have been without drama. What was your most interesting wild animal encounter along the way?

Also please describe your favorite secret place discovered. Not the location obviously, but fish sizes, river size and character, etc.


Not to be confused with Freestone
That is an accomplishment...I'm still trying to reach 100 world rivers. I was keeping track for awhile... should do an update as I've got to be close.