New to the area

Well I moved here from Wisconsin last December. I still haven't caught a fish. I must admit I have been abit turned off by the crowding associated with the Salmon/Steelhead fishing.
I love looking for new places to fish. Back in Wisconsin I would have to replace me Delorme Gazette every year, because it got used so much. The problem I'm running into is that I don't know what to look for. In SW Wisconsin where I fished we had such an established brown trout fishery that any water that stayed below 65 degrees had fish. Here in washington the salmon/steelhead fishery relies on hatchery raised fish, ie there are only fish in planted streams. Well those planted streams are the crowded one.

So I'm wondering. How wide spread is the trout fisheries? Are they also dependent on stocking? What should I look for as I scout these streams? If I finds a clears cold stream is there a good bet there are trout in it?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


PS I'm in Kelso
Most creeks and rivers in washington are not stocked with trout with a few exeptions.The fish are either wild or are remenents of stocked fish.If you can find a creek or river in eastern washington chances are there are trout in it.The biggest thing I have noticed is that rivers with salmon and steelhead returning to them usually means a bad trout fishery with few exeptions.

so creeks and rivers not connected to salt water or that are very far from saltwater are usually more productive for trout especialy the larger trout.The Yakima river is nice but crowded I don't fish there very often because there are usually a lot of people and the fish are not big enough to be worth fishing on a crowded river.Now rocky ford creek I think is worth my time for one reason, huge rainbow trout so I can ocasionally put up with the crowds there.I like finding my own small rivers or creeks with lots of eager trout and no crowds.

HINT, creeks flowing off the eastside of the cascades are usually good for light pressure fly fishing with lots of trout from 6" inches to 16" inches and ocasionaly larger.It is a rare day when you can't take these trout on dries in the summer if you find rarely fished creeks in the area mentioned above.Buy your self a washington gazzetter it is the best investment you will make.Check the regs carefully most of these creeks and rivers don't open until june 1 and close october 31 but check the regs to make sure, they can vary.Another thing I should mention is that the lake fishing is really good here in washington especially for larger trout.GOOD LUCK



Old Man

Just an Old Man
I might be old---but I'm good.

I beg to disagree with you on fishing this side of the mountains. I have found a lot of places to catch trout. All it takes is a little scouting to find these places. The head waters of the Skykomish is a good place to start. Upper reaches of the Sauk are good also.

I also have one of those maps and it gets a bit dog eared every two years.

I have tried a lot of those streams and most of my fishing has been with drys. This year I plan on using a few nymphs,and I think that maybe my catch ratio will go up.

The size of these fish vary from 6" to 18".

Just from an old man who likes to travel. Jim :THUMBSUP
Thanks for the input. I actually ordered Gazettes for Washington and Oregon before I moved out here. Now I can't wait for June 1st to get out there a try these waters out.
I have not done as much exploring as you have and have yet to find any decent trout fishing over here exept searun cutts.The only places I know of is the Elwa river the snoqualmie( I don't like this stream fished it for a hole day without a bite) probably not going to fish it any time soon and thats about it, I know there are quite a few creeks and rivers with trout over here but they are always way up in the headwaters of these creeks and rivers and I usually don't have more than a day or two to fish.

So I usually don't like to go exploring to often because I hate to drive that far and come up with nothin instead of going somewhere I know will have trout to catch.That should change when I get more free time.I live in Tacoma and can't think of any trout stream within half an hours drive or even an hours drive, do you know of any near tacoma or farely close to Tacoma with trout in them? :DUNNO

Old Man

Just an Old Man
I might be old---but I'm good.

I don't live that close to Tacoma. I live in Marysville and I have been fishing this area about 25 years. I think that you have to monitor this site as I read about people fishing the Deschutes River down by Olympia,or the upper Green,or the upper Nisqually river.

I'm like you I would like to fish there but don't like the drive. But when I make up my mind to go I just plain go.

I guess I have it over you as I'm retired so most of the time I can just go. I see your point I just did the figuring and from Tacoma coming to the Upper Sky would be quite a jaunt. About three hours on the road and that's freeway part of the way.

Oh, and a map really does help. I use two of them because if one doesn't show it the other does. Jim S. :THUMBSUP

o mykiss

Active Member
Fly15 (and Grover): I have never fished it, but I've heard that the Deschutes near Olympia is pretty decent. Can't be much more than 1/2 hour from where you are, Fly15.

I would agree that fishing the Westside streams doesn't measure up to the Yakima, which is the only "blue ribbon" stream that I'm aware of that's remotely close to Seattle (maybe the only one in the state). If you have to catch large numbers of decent-sized trout to have a good flyfishing experience, generally you shouldn't expect it on Westside streams. I consider it a minor success to catch a couple of trout on most of the rivers in the N. Puget Sound area in 3-5 hours of fishing. What that implies, of course, is that I've had more than my fair share of days when I've been skunked.

The exception (if you hit it at the right time, are the Forks of the Snoqualmie). Snobs will refer to the Snoqualmie as the Sno-crummy, and there's probably some truth to that as a trout stream, but if you don't have to have a Henry's Fork experience every time you go out try fishing the N. or Middle Forks of the Snoqualmie in the late summer. That's when the bugs finally start coming out in force and the snowmelt drops off and multiple fish days are possible. The fish won't be big, so if you have a smaller rod it will be more fun.

Try the Deschutes down here in Olympia. There is a lot of access to the river. Anywhere there is a bridge on the gazateer you can usually get access. The fishing can be good for Cuts up to 16". While people catch bigger, 16" is fairly common. Most of the river is now catch and release, open year round. Depending on where you live and what stretch your fishing, your probably 45 min. to an hour away.