Washington Fly Fishing Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All,
Going to be heading up to the Skagit this weekend staying in Newhalem area. Never fished it. Can anyone tell me if there are native rainbow/cutthroat or am I going to have to go after salmon?
Also, is the river above the Ross Dam powerhouse fishable? I understand it is pretty steep.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,541 Posts
Natron_a,

The Skagit River in the Newhalem area isn't open to salmon fishing. There are small numbers of rainbow trout in the river, but I can't say that there are enough to target them. Gorge reservoir upstream of Gorge Dam is stocked with Ross Lake rainbow trout, and the upper part of it is accessible from shore. The Skagit River upstream of Ross Dam is more than steep; it's about 26 miles up the Ross Lake reservoir to where you encounter the free flowing upper Skagit River. Also, it's in Canada, so you need a B.C. fishing license. And you cannot drive there from Ross Dam or Newhalem. You'd have to drive around and enter B.C. at Sumas or another border crossing. If you just want some stream fishing for resident trout near Newhalem, drive up to the Newhalem Creek hydro diversion dam. It's on the gravel road past the NPS visitor center. Park at the end of the road, cross Newhalem Creek and hike upstream for a mile or so for decent fishing for rainbow trout averaging 9".

Sg
 

·
Jasper hickman
Joined
·
325 Posts
I would make a side trip and head up the Cascade river road, and once get a few miles up the road and keep your eyes peeled for some spur roads that drop down to the right youll find some sweet river access, there are two briges your looking for. Caught some dollies up there a few weeks ago, not to mention about the coolest drive youll find, anywere. The most important note, bring bug spray
 

·
Ignored Member
Joined
·
12,111 Posts
wow, looks like a pontoon is a great way to cover some river miles and camp out. I was thinking of heading to the skagit tomarrow but think i'll wait. I'm dyin to get on some good looking big water like that.
If you are thinking of floating the Cascade in your pontoon, don't. If you are lucky you will only destroy your boat. Unlucky, it will be your last float. Big water for very experienced kayakers only.
 

·
Bigfoot is blurry
Joined
·
1,914 Posts
I posted pictures of the Cascade a few weeks ago on another thread. Lots of wood, lots of boulders. I've fished with a guy who used to be a whitewater guide. There's 2 rivers he said he'll never float again: the Cascade and the Suiattle.
The upper Skagit below Newhalem is another one not to mess around with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,079 Posts
The upper Skagit below Newhalem is another one not to mess around with.
Goodell Creek downriver on the Skagit...known as the the Shovel Spur to locals and the S-bends to the whitewater folk is a gorgeous stretch of water. At below 5000cfs, it is rated Class II-III. I would probably say Class III Washington style but not even on the map in Idaho. However, above 5000 cfs, it does indeed become a bit more formidable. At 9000cfs, it is pretty big water.

I'd run the Suiattle but wood would definitely be my primary concern. A prime example of Class II water that could kill you. I'll pass on the Cascade thanks.

Everything seems small after the MF at 8.6 on the Middle Fork Lodge gauge.

"A Guide to the Whitewater Rivers of Washington" by Jeff and Tonya Bennett and "American Whitewater" on line are excellent resources.

Be safe out there.
 

·
Jasper hickman
Joined
·
325 Posts
Ok this is the lowdown on the Cascade, dont float past Minerial creek campground, your golden. Past the campground your toast. Above the campground is an easy float. If everyone just had a copy of " A guide to the whitewater Rivers of Washington" by Jeff and Tonya Bennet or do some actual research people woud not classify a river as a death trap from one view from the road. The book has nearly every creek,stream, or river in Wa listed, pretty much a bible for new water

the upper skagit run from goodall campground to FS road 23 is the easist whitewater section people run, Ive got nearly 50 runs on that streach and 0 swimmers, but the "s" turns are a whitwater run to be done in rafts.

The Suiattle is not really close to your area, might as well hang out on the Sauk, the Suiattle is pure glacier water, not nice on the toes or conducive to flyfishing
 

·
Ignored Member
Joined
·
12,111 Posts
Ok this is the lowdown on the Cascade, dont float past Minerial creek campground, your golden. Past the campground your toast. Above the campground is an easy float. If everyone just had a copy of " A guide to the whitewater Rivers of Washington" by Jeff and Tonya Bennet or do some actual research people woud not classify a river as a death trap from one view from the road. The book has nearly every creek,stream, or river in Wa listed, pretty much a bible for new water
Thanks for the additional information. Perhaps I over stated the danger of floating the Cascade but I have done more than a casual glance from the road, having spent many a day fishing the river. That said when someone asks me about taking a pontoon boat down the river my suggestion will still be the same; don't. I am a fisherman not a white water expert and as such I will always error on the side of caution. The Cascade river has already claimed the lives of some who did not know what they were getting into. Perhaps not a "death trap" but a dangerous piece of water none the less.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top