Samish River east of I-5

I live in Anacortes and have been Stillwater fly fishing the local lakes for about 8 months now. But after crossing the Samish River on I-5 several times I finally did a little research. I simply want to fish a stream that is fairly close to my home (for trout). It seems that "combat fishing" is done at the mouth at times but I am much more interested in fishing for cutthroat upstream. Roger #2 south and Roger #1 North (whatever that means) seem to be access points. It appears that this stream is opening for "trout" so I have some questions for you folks . Is this a fishing opportunity ? What kind/type of flies? Is the Bayside-Edison bridge a possible spot and are there any possibilities farther up towards Friday Creek? Any input or guidance (as always) would be much appreciated from this total newbie, Jim

Old Man

Just an Old Man
Lots of Searun Cutthroat in there when the Salmon are running You can access it at most bridges And there are a few public fishing access east of the freeway. But they are hard to find. Give hedburner a PM. He know that little river pretty good.


Active Member
The Samish has a good population of wild winter steelhead (though above I-5 it is closed in the winter) as a result the vast majority of the "trout" are juvenile steelhead (3 to 7 inches). As OMJ mentioned there is a decent population of coastal cutthroat and as the norm for sea-runs the fishing is seasonal (late summer/fall); be sure to check the regs. There are a few resident rainbows but hard to find for all the juvenile steelhead.

With the dry weather the last month or so the Samish has been flowing at extremely low levels (about 1/2 of normal for this time of year). From now until the fall rains while called a "river" the Samish is really low elevation creek.

Mouth to upstream about a mile you have to play the tide.Lots of seaweed clumps on incoming plus access is almost non existant except for a few pay to access points.The combat king fishers ruined it due to garbage and pollution and the wdfw didnt put porta potties so with the problems farmers are having with samish health and shellfish closures they don't want to put up with disrespectful snaggers leaving garbage and crapping in there fields.I live near the samish and the access problems are not going to get better judging by the neighborhood talk.
Anywhere its is influenced by tide, take notes in a journal. The fishing will go from good to non existent in a matter of 5 minutes when the tide starts to change. If you dont catch anything, be sure to try again at the opposite tidal direction.

Jakob B

Active Member
This river has an incredible amount of cutthroat. I learned this floating eggs for kings last fall. Get your shortest 1,2,3 weight rod and some attractor dries or nymphs. Park at the bridge in Bow and walk upstream towards I-5 I’m certain you will find plenty of cutthroat. If you get to a very deep pool and log jam head to the “rapid” that runs into it. Tight lines.

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