Best time for Steelhead fly trip to the Skagit.

Hello all, I'm just wondering when the run peaks on the Skagit. I fished it several years ago, as I recall in late February, and had a very good day. Is my memory deceiving me? And if my friend BoB Lawless reads this, a huge hello from Big Al. (Bulkley trip)


Active Member
Late febuary will indeed see the arrival of the largest individuals in the basin. Most of these fish are Sauk males, which are passing through the Skagit. The greatest abundance of newly arriving fish is a little later though, depending on water conditions, anywhere from mid-march to mid-april. This should be pretty close to accurate, although others are welcome to pipe in. Your best bet at a big fish is mid-feb to mid-march, while your best chance at #'s is mid-march through the end of the season.
-Thomas Buehrens

(also....I heard rumors that they might close it for the C&R season this year...dont know if they are true, but that is something to think about as well).


Active Member
Tom , I think is correct in his assessment- ah baby! those Sauk bucks- big shouldered beasts is what they are.I would put a Sauk fish up against any in the world-BC or otherwise.

isn't that just grand? Close all of our C&R seasons(no Sky again I heard as well) and then let the Columbia gillnetters kill even more wild steelhead.Guess I will cancel my Clarks cabin reservation again.

Come in late Feb though--get a bigun!


Well-Known Member
Wild steelhead begin showing up in fishable numbers in mid-February, IF the run size is substantial. Run sizes are generally down, and you can expect scratch fishing prior to March. For that matter, you can expect scratch fishing throughout the season, meaning it's become unusual to average even one fish per day for all fly anglers I know.

Peak run entry timing is March, but the peak fishing time correlates more with optimum water conditions, which can occur any time during March and April.

Water height averages 17 or 18 feet on the Concrete gage, about 15,000 or 16,000 cfs. It's fishable up to 19'.


Salmo g.