I'm new and looking for good places to fish in the north west

Are you a fltfisherman????If so you should first find your local flyshop and investigate the possibilities lake or stream or sound.Then just go and see who you meet and ask a lot of questions.I for one have worked very hard developing my local knowledge and found the research part of the experience.Few of us will pass on hard earned info.very easily.Get off your rock and go fishing you can't catch fish or develope fishing relationships sitting in your living room.Good Luck!!!!

Chris Scoones

Staff member

Welcome to the area, hopefully your not for Cali. ;)

To start off with go by your local fly shop and pick up a copy of Flyfisher's Guide to Washington (The Wilderness Adventures Flyfisher's Guide Series)


If there are no waters on the list that fit your needs (local or ??) then let us know a specific area of Washington your looking to get your fly wet and maybe we can give you a pointer. Northwest is a little broad. ;)



I am also new to the pacific northwest and looking to join local fly fishing clubs. Where are you from and where are you now. I am from Michigan and find that most of the people here fish lakes in belly boats. I understand the reason for this is that the rivers are rather sterile. However, I really loved the stillagwamish about 25+ miles east of Arlington, but the steelhead have to be running. The sea run cutthroats are due in and I live on Whidbey Island. It is supposed to be great fun on a dry fly because they run just off shore. If you want to explore this together it would be great because I am having a really hard time connecting with other fly fishers and it is in my soul! Hope to hear from you.
Claudia (cjflylady)
I am in the Navy, and will be moving to Whidbey Island next spring, I am currently in Maine, excellent fly fishing here, got three brookies over 16 inches yesterday on a mayfly hatch that you would simply not believe, could have caught a dozen, but ran out of time, anyway I am an ametuer fly fisher been doing it for a couple of yrs now, going from the northeast to the northwest I hear is like night and day in fly fishing terms, I dont have the opprotunity to get out to those fly shops that everyone is talking about until next spring so i figure this is a good place to start. I am looking for a place to get detailed maps and fishing info on the area surronding whidbey, where can I go for that???
Hey there Shipmate!
I'm stationed in Whidbey Island right now, in VQ-1. I've been here for three and a half years. I am fairly new to the sport of fly-fishing myself, but I have had a lot of luck around this area. If you've never been up to this area, it is quite a place. First off, we have a small State park, on the North end of the island (about a 20 minute drive from NAS whidbey on HWY 20). Contained in the state park is a nice little body of water called Cranberry lake. This lake is open year-round and offers a nice veriety of trout. From February to the end of April I fish this body of water a lot. The last week of April brings the anual trout stocking to most area lakes and then the last Saturday all the lakes in the area open for our short fishing season from April to October. This means to us fly-fisherman that most of your fish will be the small, yet lively, "stockers". Just two weeks ago I did manage to take a couple of nice rainbows out at Cranberry. The bigger of the two was 18 1/2 inches and went 2lbs 9oz. These fish were cought on an olive wooly worm in a size 10. There are some very nice brown trout in the range of 5 to 7 pounds in this lake as well. The best fly's I've found to use is an Olive wooly bugger (great on good size rainbows before the stocked trout are planted) also purple wooly bugger for the brown trout. I learned these secrets from an old man who used to own a fly shop up here. And judging by the 8-12 pound browns he had on his wall, he made me a believer! One other suggestion I will give you is to purchase a good quality float tube set up. From fishing many small local lakes (within 30-40 minutes drive) there is no better way to cover this water! The reason I say that is because outboard motors are not allowed on many of these lakes, and some lakes nearby are barbless hooks and fly-fishing only! These lakes offer some great oportunities for us as fly-fisherman. Though these types of lakes are catch and release only, there is nothing like fighting a 24 inch german brown trout on a 3 or 4 weight set up! Please feel free to email me at any time for any other questions, my mail gets checked almost daily!
I hope this will help and point you in the right direction.
A fellow sailor,