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Nisqually Questions

937 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  AlaskanDan
I have some questions about the Nisqually. My wife and I are looking to buy a house in the Yelm area once we finally get up to Ft Lewis in september. We may inherit an old Avon raft, and I would like to float the Nisqually to get back into paddling and fly fishing. I was wondering where to put in, how the float is, how long it takes, and how the trout fishing is. I was stationed up there a few years ago, but the only fishing i really got a chance to do was on the Little D (caught lots of cuts up there).

I've been out of the fly fishing game for a couple years now due to flight school and being in the south. What size trout are the average for Nisqually? Should i plan on fishing a 3wt, 4wt, or 6wt (my 3 trout rods)? I do not plan on keeping any trout, rainbows and cuts have been catch and release only since i was very young.

What should i be looking for on the river to fish? What flies are working on the river? Is there any dry fly fishing on the river?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Also, if there are any easy (class I-II) floats in the area as well, I would really appreciate some help getting back into the river systems.

Thank you in advance,
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I've only floated the Nisqually twice. There is a good launch site at the Centralia hydroelectric powerhouse just NW of Yelm. You can take out at the public access known as the handicap access just upstream of the Pacific Hwy bridge over the river. It's about a 6 mile float, is not difficult, assuming you know a bit about handling a boat on a river. I caught a few small cutts while searching for early sea runs. I found better cutthroat fishing on the little D, for comparison, but the Nisqually float is very scenic and enjoyable. You should try it at least once.

I will definitely plan a float down the river. What about McKenna to the Hydroelectric plant? Is there a place to put in around McKenna?

I think there is some technical water from McKenna downstream to the hydro plant. I haven't tried it, so can only report the hearsay. It is navigable, but should be left to skilled boatmen.

There is a boat ramp in McKenna. It's in the park beside the bar. Access is through the park parking lot.

I can't help with the floating but if you have access to Ft. Lewis there is a nice section of pocket water (about a 1/2 mile or so) that runs across the back side of post that will produce some nice action for Rainbow and a few Cutthroat early morning or late evenings from late July until closing in Oct. I use this area as my go to place after work when I only have an hour or so to hit the water.

Flies that always produce in this section are a Bead-Head Pheasant Tail 14-16 and Elk Hair Caddis in brown or black 14-18. At times there are also some nice hatches in the late evenings.

Hope this helps, good luck.

That is very helpful, I appreciate the info that you provided. I've been out that way before, but it has always been for training. I will definitely check it out.

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