Road trip fishing suggestions

SilverFly

Active Member
Back in summer of 2019, we picked up the book "The Pacific Northwest's Best Trips". Several of the 32 road trips looked fun, but our cars at the time weren't exactly trip worthy. Then the effing virus hit. Possibly the only good thing that came of that debacle, was my wife's Outback finally died at the perfect time to replace it. We got a smoking deal on a 2017 lease return Mazda 6 Grand Touring. Basically a just broken in $35k new car for half price. We both love this car and have been dying to take it on a real trip since.

Fast forward to this week. FINALLY we're both fully vaccinated and things are open enough to hit the road and my wife surprised me with a road trip for my 60th. She picked Trip #3 "Mountains to Sound Greenway". The trip starts in E-burg, head up the Yakima, over Snoqualmie Pass (splurging one night at Salish Lodge $$$) and a night in Downtown Seattle (cringe?) to check out the Glass Museum, Pikes Place, Space Needle (never been) etc...

So, not really a fishing trip, buuut, I've never wet a line in the Yakima, or anywhere in central WA for that matter. Right now I'm not itching to fish but I know for a fact I'll be thinking stuff along the way like "OOH, I gotta float an EHC along that seam", or "that rip-rap has GOT to be holding some smallmouth". Not looking for favorite rocks to stand on but I'm definitely open to any easy-peasy road-side suggestions where I could wet a line for a bit. Some bare minimum fly selections would help too. Doubt I'll take my waders since they'll stink up the car being well-marinated in tuna gore - but if having them would make a big difference, I could always double bag.

I'm also totally open to warm water stuff. Love catching bluegills, perch, ditch-pickles and such. On that note we'll be driving up the CR Gorge, probably the WA side, before turning north to E-burg. So thinking I'll throw in the 7wt with an intermediate and some smallie flies. I have some idea of what I'm doing with CR smallies but also wouldn't object to any tips. No worries about me hot-spotting, or frequenting any honey holes shared - it should be evident my obsessions lie offshore.

Thanks in advance!
 
Last edited:

SilverFly

Active Member
Thanks Jim, and I get it. Not exactly a big city type myself but I do want to see the Glass museum and figured I should experience Pikes Place and the Space Needle at least once. Also have family and a good friend in West Seattle so there's that also.
 
Last edited:

SilverFly

Active Member
Old Man said: (Quillybilly said mocking OM)
I don't know why anybody in their right mind even wants to go to Butte...
Only experienced Butte one time as a kid when we "stopped in" for a bite when driving cross-country. My Dad liked us to experience "authentic" places and remember him finding some ancient diner in downtown. Judging from the looks we got, I don't think many (or any) tourists from the interstate patronized the place. 50 years ago and still remember the toughest cube steak I ever ate.
 

cabezon

Sculpin Enterprises
WFF Supporter
Hi SF,
In spring, fishing the Yakima depends on timing. The flows are ramping up, likely in support of hay irrigation. The flows have been increasing steadily this week and are currently at 3200cfs which means few opportunities for wading (not much wading over 2000cfs). You either need to drift the river or fish off the banks in a few likely pockets. There should be some caddis around for another week or two. And some pmds too. But contact one of the shops for more current intel. [Frankly, I suggest skipping the Yakima (and Ellensburg) entirely and heading a bit further east for some wine-tasting in the Tri-Cities area. It depends on how much driving you want to do.
It seems that you might be limited on time and focusing on downtown Seattle would seem like the best plan for your urban adventure. In addition to the Chihuly Garden, the Museum of Pop Culture (aka Experience Music Project) is also open in the Seattle Center Complex. While it is closed at this moment (though I suspect that it will soon open), there is also an iMax theater in the Seattle Center if it is rainy and the Olympic Sculpture Park closer to the waterfront would be worth a stroll if it is a sunny day.
Pike Place is always interesting when there is energy there. And you will be very close to the Seattle Aquarium (just opened). After you explore the aquarium, you can grab some Ivar's clam chowder and fries and stroll along the waterfront. And take in the Seattle Wheel in the evening (or go for a ride).
Enjoy your experience,
Steve
 
Last edited:

Scott Salzer

previously micro brew
WFF Supporter
Cabezon:

With all due respect, I would avoid Seattle like the plague. Yes, there are some very nice places to visit but, I would worry about personal safety and car break-ins. We have not even ventured into Seattle since it has become place “where anything goes” and there is no recourse. (This even prior to the current pandemic.)Our regular thing to do was the National Geo series at Benaroya. Not anymore.
BTW - I have lived since 1956, not a newbie. I value my life and property, so don’t visit the city at all anymore.
I could suggest a ferry ride across the pond.
Sorry to speak badly about a city I loved but, it is not the city I grew up with.
Just my opinion .
 

IveofIone

WFF Supporter
I'll add to the chorus of don't do Seattle if you don't have to.

But on your trip up the Gorge I can endorse 2 places. The first is Rowland Lakes. The highway runs between these lakes and the one on the south side is a sleeper. The north lake has a boat ramp and is a popular put and take lake but the south side lake has a bit of shore access where you can scramble down and make some casts. The south lake is open to the Columbia so you might catch anything in there that is in the main river. I have caught immature chinook there on their downstream migration-always a rush when you expect crappie! Lots of panfish and bass with the occasional really decent trout.

The other, depending how far east you go before heading north, is Crow Butte. It is a state park on an island in the Columbia and has a fine dock to fish off of. The biggest crappie i ever caught-18''-came from that dock and I have spent many an hour lifting nice panfish out that water. Almost any slough that you can park beside along the Gorge is going to hold smallmouth and many offer decent bank access.


But please-not Seattle! Think of it as a third world city where almost anything can happen-most of which isn't good.
 

SilverFly

Active Member
I'll double check on where she has us staying in DT Seattle. Might be too late to cancel the hotel but not worth it if things are really that bad. Especially parking isn't secure Normally we'd stay at her sister's in West Seattle but this isn't a family trip.
 

Freestone

WFF Supporter
I'll double check on where she has us staying in DT Seattle. Might be too late to cancel the hotel but not worth it if things are really that bad. Especially parking isn't secure Normally we'd stay at her sister's in West Seattle but this isn't a family trip.
You could always leave your car in West Seattle at her sister’s and take an Uber downtown to your exact destination. Much safer for you and the vehicle.
 

Support WFF | Remove the Ads

Support WFF by upgrading your account. Site supporters benefits include no ads and access to some additional features, few now, more in the works. Info
Top