Skykomish fishing during the winter

I'm a novice and this is my first Winter fly fishing. I've been catching trout on the Sky during the summer but not much at all over the past month or so. Today I went to the Tye, Foss, and Beckler rivers and got NO ACTION, not even bites. I was using both dry and wet flies.

Are the fish somewhere else these days because of the cold weather? Any insight is helpful.

Thanks.
 

Matt B

...
WFF Supporter
I'm a novice and this is my first Winter fly fishing. I've been catching trout on the Sky during the summer but not much at all over the past month or so. Today I went to the Tye, Foss, and Beckler rivers and got NO ACTION, not even bites. I was using both dry and wet flies.

Are the fish somewhere else these days because of the cold weather? Any insight is helpful.

Thanks.
The water gets cold and the trouts’ metabolism slow down. They don’t feed as much, or as aggressively. Try to find deeper slower water and probe that. Or fish around salmon. A lot of times trout are looking for snacks stirred up or dropped by salmon. Or, find a different fishery. Or, get used to slow action and enjoy the fresh air. Good luck!
 
Oh damn, you're right, they were closed on 10/31! Oops.

Without giving away any top secret spots (unless you want to), are there any rivers/streams/creeks you all recommend for the winter?
 

jaredoconnor

WFF Supporter
There aren't really many good winter trout fishing options on the west side of the cascades. I believe the lower Snoqualmie and middle fork are open all year. You're probably best off driving over to Yakima River.

You also need to change your tactics significantly. Winter makes trout lethargic and they won't move very far to take a fly. Midges and small mayflies do hatch during winter, but the fish often won't rise for them. Your best bet is nymphs and streamers. You can match the hatch, but it's often better to consider food items that are available all year. Egg patterns are also important, in rivers where there are spawning fish.

Many folks switch over to targeting SRC, Steelhead and Salmon. That opens up a lot more options.
 
Last edited:

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
I’d pass on the the dries and nymphs and throw some meat in west side systems open to fishing for gamefish this time of the year.
SF
 

Old Man

A very Old Man
WFF Supporter
I believe the three forks of the Snoqualmie are open for CnR. Or RFC is also open all year.
 
Thanks for the replies, lots of good info on here so far. I can't do much more than day trips right now so Yakima will have to be an 'in the future' destination. I can try for salmon and steelhead, not exactly sure how to target specific fish, just use more steamers? I did find a spot that was full of salmon but I think they were just sitting on their eggs and dying. I thought the salmon season was over too. I've only ever fished for trout and caught mainly small ones 8"-12". I also don't have any waders so that limits my access, looking for some though.

What are SRC, CnR, and RFC?
 

flybill

A collector never stops collecting!
WFF Supporter
Beads, eggs and roe! Tiny spinners or big chunks of rabbit on the spey rod!! Go gettem'! Assuming the Sky is open, haven't checked, but think it is....
 

Zak

WFF Supporter
Thanks for the replies, lots of good info on here so far. I can't do much more than day trips right now so Yakima will have to be an 'in the future' destination. I can try for salmon and steelhead, not exactly sure how to target specific fish, just use more steamers? I did find a spot that was full of salmon but I think they were just sitting on their eggs and dying. I thought the salmon season was over too. I've only ever fished for trout and caught mainly small ones 8"-12". I also don't have any waders so that limits my access, looking for some though.

What are SRC, CnR, and RFC?
The WDFW "Fish Washington" mobile phone app is working again and lets you click on waterbody to bring up the regs currently in effect. It's useful for determining whether a section of river open, and for what species.
 

JACKspASS

Active Member
Beads, eggs and roe! Tiny spinners or big chunks of rabbit on the spey rod!! Go gettem'! Assuming the Sky is open, haven't checked, but think it is....

@flybill gets it. Hit Reiter Ponds at first light, get there early. Bring good quality tennis shoes and a pair of wading boots. You'll need the tennis shoes for the foot race to the mouth of Hogarty and wading boots for when you lose the race and have to wade downstream. 10' of t14, #2 hook with cherise yarn and sandshrimp tail. 1 fish at Reiter is worth 1,000 trout on the Yak or in any Montana stream....go get em' kid!!
 
Good idea, I'll check out the app, the pamphlet was a little confusing to read. Just watched a youtube about Reiter pond zone, some big fish there. I've driven by that turnout on HW2 a bunch of times saying I'd check it out 'next time.' So, next time...
 

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