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Best fishy place to live in WA

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, all. New member here - just moving to Washington in April/May from the Midwest. I'm looking for opinions... Where should I live?

I work from my home, will be driving around the PNW for work frequently, but also fly on occasion... could live almost anywhere, as long as I'm near a major transportation corridor & within an hour of a regional airport. I need somewhere with social options (I'm in my 30s, single), FISHING within 30 min (trout preferred, smallies, bucketmouth, salmon, carp are acceptable... but trouts trump).

And that's about all I need:
  • People
  • Fish
  • Proximity to Major Roads
  • Within an hour of an Airport
  • Doesn't break the bank
  • ... maybe some good Food options.
  • Oh, and this thermos!
Spokane and Tri-Cities are high up my list... cost of housing, proximity to some fishing. I'm considering places like Ellensburg & Yakima as well. I'm open to hearing pros, cons, other suggestions... overlooked communities, etc.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
Chad
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tri-Cities is a great place to live, but I wouldn't want to be single here.
Thanks, cmann... this is the kind of stuff I'd like to avoid finding out firsthand. I've managed to do some research on Tinder (yeah yeah, let's hear it), but it's hard to get a feel for a place before you've actually set foot in it. I have limited time to look for a place to live, so I was hoping yall could help me cut some of the red tape.

Is there any trout to be had w/in 30 min of Tri Cities? Spokane is kind of leading my search right now. I know the Spokane River isnt a 10/10, but I like the river being there... and the proximity to Idaho. Realistically w/in 2-3 hrs, you have a lot of options there... from ID to Missoula area... Omak, Kettle, Yak... or am I missing something about Spokane?
 

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Looking at your list of fish I'd say E-burg area, you're close to a lot of trout and bass fishing and just a bit outside the hr window to major airports. Spokane is also a good choice.
 

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Steelhead and bass fishing is very close. One can fish for bass and Salmon on the way to work in September/October. Trout fishing is 1-2 hours away. I have never lived in Spokane but love fishing in the area especially the St. Joe in Idaho. Spokane will be rougher in the winter than the tri-cities, but cooler in the summer as well.
 

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If you will need to travel (for work) primarily within Washington, and a mix between Eastside and West side, stay close to the I-90 corridor. Further, if the above is true, Ellensburg is close to the center of mass, the Yakima river and plenty of small streams and lakes.
 

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Sculpin Enterprises
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Hmmm, interesting set of criteria. Both Spokane and Tri-Cities are generally "spoke" airports; to go to somewhere else (except SeaTac) will mean a flight to SeaTac, a "hub" and then a plane change. Also, it would be interesting to see how often flights are delayed out of Spokane in the winter. And there truly isn't much fishing on the dry side from Novemberish until Marchish, especially with the anticipated loss of winter steelhead fishing. You cannot flyfish frozen lakes....
On the wet side, your requirement of being an hour from SeaTac leaves you still in the Pugetopolis urban zone with diminished fishing opportunities (except for the gem of fishing in the salt for searuns). I live in Olympia and with no traffic can drive to SeaTac in an hour, but "no traffic" is a pipe-dream and I typically budget at least two hours for the drive. From Olympia, you are two hours to Forks and the west-end rivers, an hour to the Cowlitz, and 2 - 3 hours to the Yakima.
You could "split" the eastside / wetside difference by looking at places like Cle Elum or Roslyn or the outskirts of Ellensburg. Provided the pass is open, you can be at SeaTac in under two hours, the Yakima is open year round, and you can hit the basin lakes.
Steve
 

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If you like anadromous fishing, Oly is about as centrally located as you will get. Close to the SW rivers, Peninsula, rivers and jetties of the Raymond/Aberdunk area, plus all that Puget Sound stuff.

It's a great town with a reasonable amount of good food and shopping, etc. An hour from Sea-Tac, two from PDX. Better weather than the coast. Lots of Subarus and flannel.
 

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If you like anadromous fishing, Oly is about as centrally located as you will get. Close to the SW rivers, Peninsula, rivers and jetties of the Raymond/Aberdunk area, plus all that Puget Sound stuff.

It's a great town with a reasonable amount of good food and shopping, etc. An hour from Sea-Tac, two from PDX. Better weather than the coast. Lots of Subarus and flannel.
That was my first thought too Kyle, but he said "trout trumps" so I went east.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Looking at your list of fish I'd say E-burg area, you're close to a lot of trout and bass fishing and just a bit outside the hr window to major airports. Spokane is also a good choice.
Ellensburg seems like a logical choice... Yak, access to the mountains... YAK airport in case the pass closes. How's the social scene in Eburg?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Steelhead and bass fishing is very close. One can fish for bass and Salmon on the way to work in September/October. Trout fishing is 1-2 hours away. I have never lived in Spokane but love fishing in the area especially the St. Joe in Idaho. Spokane will be rougher in the winter than the tri-cities, but cooler in the summer as well.
Thanks again. Would love to be closer to trout, but year-round fishing is also a consideration!
 

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How's the social scene in Eburg?
I'd say slim to none unless your a college student, but I'm an older guy from Belliwash so what do I know?
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hmmm, interesting set of criteria. Both Spokane and Tri-Cities are generally "spoke" airports; to go to somewhere else (except SeaTac) will mean a flight to SeaTac, a "hub" and then a plane change. Also, it would be interesting to see how often flights are delayed out of Spokane in the winter. And there truly isn't much fishing on the dry side from Novemberish until Marchish, especially with the anticipated loss of winter steelhead fishing. You cannot flyfish frozen lakes....
On the wet side, your requirement of being an hour from SeaTac leaves you still in the Pugetopolis urban zone with diminished fishing opportunities (except for the gem of fishing in the salt for searuns). I live in Olympia and with no traffic can drive to SeaTac in an hour, but "no traffic" is a pipe-dream and I typically budget at least two hours for the drive. From Olympia, you are two hours to Forks and the west-end rivers, an hour to the Cowlitz, and 2 - 3 hours to the Yakima.
You could "split" the eastside / wetside difference by looking at places like Cle Elum or Roslyn or the outskirts of Ellensburg. Provided the pass is open, you can be at SeaTac in under two hours, the Yakima is open year round, and you can hit the basin lakes.
Steve
I don't need to be within an hour of a *major* airport... Yakima, Tri-Cities, etc would be perfectly acceptable!
Not having fishing Nov-March wouldnt be a huge obstacle either. I'm out of town at trade shows most of Jan & Feb. Is there any fishing (even pond panfish) near Spokane?
I always like the Cle Elum / Rosalyn area... may be smaller towns than I considered initially, but will keep em on the list.
 

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I don't know much about the social scene in Ellensburg, but some here do I am sure. Seems like it's a big enough city to have a decent assortment of restaurants and pubs. Central Washington University is there so there must be some intelligent young women around to meet.
 

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I definitely can hang with sea run fishes. Olympia though... how is Olympia for a single guy?
I definitely can hang with sea run fishes. Olympia though... how is Olympia for a single guy?
I followed my wife here so I can't speak with any personal insight into the social scene; we're more interested in outdoor activities anyway. However, as the state capital and center for many state agencies, there is a well-paid, educated work force (and their attendant lobbyists) that supports a variety of good restaurants, there is a club/music scene, and the Washington Center for the Performing Arts (see http://www.washingtoncenter.org/) has an active schedule.
Steve
 
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