Camping and Fishing Washington.

Teenage Entomologist

Gotta love the pteronarcys.
If I were to take a trip to Washington, and I wanted to camp and fly fish for a week or two, were should I go? I want to catch some Westslopes, and maybe some Coastal Cutties, and I like high elevation small creeks. Would Mount Rainier National Park be a good place to catch Westslopes? Maybe the Yak? Any input would be great. Thanks

Evan Virnoche

i would say the yak. You will have to take hwy 12 if you plan on being near ranier and heading to the yak. it will also be brutally cold this time of year, and high mountain lakes will be frozen over till may or june.

The upper yak has some kick ass cutt fishing. Give MCnasty there a pm he knows the dirt mcgirt in that area.

Kyle Smith

DBA BozoKlown406
If you wait until July, the Stevens Pass area (Alpine Lakes Wilderness) is incredible small stream fishing. Sadly you can't have a campfire up there thanks to some hippies. I've also heard of some great possibilities in the Gifford Pinchot N.F.
You have a while to get ready. I'd get on some web sites about camping in Washington and get a map. What I would do is plan a tour so you could experience the west side small streams and then drive across to the Eastside and fish the Yakima and others. A state map will help see the routes and get on the WFDFW web site and check the regulations for opening dates. In other words, if you want to be successful, do some research and then in general terms run your choices and questions by some of the forum members. The issue is that there is a real variety here and everyone doesn't fish the same places or types of water. Narrow you stuff down to something you can handle efficiently in the time you will be here.

zen leecher aka bill w

born to work, forced to fish
I hit more brook trout in Mt Rainier than I did westslope cutts. There are a bunch of lakes in the Snoqualmie Pass and Stevens Pass area that have plenty of cutts. There are a few lakes that hold goldens but they are definitely off the beaten path.


Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
If you can get two weeks, start on the coast and work your way east. That would give you a real flavor of the fishing, scenery, geography, weather etc that both sides of the state have to offer.


Active Member
Lots of good suggestions - one thing you will learn that Washington has lots of diverse fishing opportunities.

Another area that you might find interesting would be the North Cascade Pass/national park. Spectacular scenery and decent camping in the area with enough streams and alpine lakes in the area to keep one occupied for years. The east side of the Pass should produce your westslopes while on the west side with some home work and exploring should find both westslope and coastal cutthroat is doable. In additional native rainbows and bull trout would add some spice to the fishing. For those kinds of opportunities late summer/early fall would be the best timing (August/September). One word of warning is that some of those North Cascade Creeks would classified "rivers' in other areas.


Evan Virnoche

the yak will be puking during the summer flows, so a boat is mandatory for the lower stretches, i will row your ass one day if you like.

As stated above there is a lot of fishing opportunities.


Active Member
Westslope cutthroat in Washington are only native to a relatively small area of the east slopes of the north Cascades including the Chelan and Methow River basins. They were, however, widely planted in formerly barren alpine lakes (beginning as early as 1903) and established breeding populations not only in the lakes but in streams draining them. The Yakima River basin is a notable example.

If I were to plan a Washington fishing/camping vacation my first choice would have to be the Olympic Peninsula. Camping opportunities range from beach sites like Kalaloch to the Hoh River rainforest. Sea-run cutthroat are available along the beaches of Hood Canal on a nearly year-round basis and cutthroat, steelhead and salmon are still abundant in the west end rivers, particularly in the late summer and fall. If you have any specific questions feel free to pm me.