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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Took a cruise in my trusty-rusty-tercel last weekend and spied a few folks on the waters fishing.

From what I am able to translate from the State Regs. book, the season isn't open until June.

Was/is there sumthin *special* about the South Fork area that we can wet a line before June and not get thrown in shackles?


Thanks
 

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Remember when you could remember everything?
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If you're asking about the SF Snoqualmie, it's closed to catch and keep right now, but open to catch and release year 'round.

K
 

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My under standing is that if a riiver or stream is closed it's closed and you can catch and release if and when it's open. You are supposed to keep any injured fish and you couldn't do that if it is closed. Any one fishing when a river is closed would be poaching. The spey classes at Fall River and Ben Howard are checked for time to time and reminded that if we have a hook on our line that we would be ticketed. I know that Aaron watches closely that we only have a piece of yarn on to cast with so he doesm't lose the ability to hold the classes. If you want further clarification call the WDFW. And report the poachers too.
 

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Kent is right (of course). North & South Fork Snoq is open year round but has a specific season for catch/kill - First Sat in June to Oct 31st. The rest of the year it's like the MF, catch & release only. However, it's more suited to whitewater kayaking than fly fishing right now.

Below the Falls is a completely different set of regs.

Old man will chime in any minute for y'all to read the regs...
 

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I finally found it and it doesn't make much sense but they are allowed to catch and release game fish, selective gear rules, no fish may be kept so any injured fish will die anyway. I find it hard to belive many of the confusing regulations in this state, and how they seem not too care that the runs are in such bad shape. I know, I know there are no runs above the falls.
 

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Love da little fishies
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Holly & Bob,

I too have been confused over the regs on the South Fork, thanks for bringing this up. You inspired me to do a search on the regs.

I looked the regs up on line, but could not find the Snoqualmie, South Fork listed under the "Westside Rivers, Special Rules" Section.

So I then dug out the paper version of the "2010/2011 Sportfishing Rules Pamphlet". There is a section called "Puget Sound and Strait Rivers".

In the "Puget Sound and Straiit Rivers" section I located the "Snoqualmie River" section, but it ended at Snoqualmie Falls, no mention of the forks about the falls - argh, so I fliped past theTolt and Raging rivers to find the Snoqualmie river tributaries above Snoqualmie Fallls. The following is from page 40 of the reg book.

SNOQUALMIE RIVER (King Co.) from Snoqualmie Falls upstream including North and South forks
(852)

All SPECIES - selective gear rules. Internal combustion motors prohibited.

TROUT First Sat. in June-Oct. 31 Min. size 10". Daily limit 2.

Other Game Fish First Sat. in June-Oct. 31 Statewide min. size/daily limit.

All Game Fish Nov. 1-Fri. before the first Sat. in June Catch-and-release

The fishing from Nov 1 - Fri before the Sat in June is catch and release for GAME FISH. "Game fish" includes TROUT and steelhead, so we can legally catch and release Trout in the S Fork during the off season.

People can catch and bonk 2 trout 10" and over during the regular season as long as they are following selective gear rules.

Meat fishermen will have a difficult time finding fish 10" or over in the upper section of the S Fork. In the 10 years I have been fishing the upper reaches of the South Fork I can cannot remember catching any trout 10" or larger.

A 6" cutthroat rising to a dry if is a monster of a fish on that river. See my avitar, that represents a large fish on the S Fork.

By the way, I cannot wait for July to roll around. I bought a new 2 weight echo rod last winter especially for the S Fork. I started with a 6 wt years ago (the only rod I owned at that time), then downsized to a 4 and now a 2 wt.

The South Fork is my favorite place to fly fish hot summer days for many reasons.
*Dry fly fishery (I have never had to go subsurface in the summer time)
*Small, dumb, aggressive cutthroats willing to hit small, unpretentious elk hair caddis flys on the surface.
*Many times the little fish will try to hit the fly coming out of the water, then try hitting it again on their re-entry into the water.
*Beautiful scenery and plenty of pools to dip when the summer sun gets too hot. Fish hit even in the heat of the day.
*2 hour hikes without seeing anyone else on the river.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks all,

As I am still really new to the board aswellas WA State, all I could name this was South Fork, I think it's far past the Falls as it is really close if not running under 90 (?) . I believe it was exit 38 or near that, I was on the fire school's road with the gate.

So if the fish are that small, where would I go to get the bigger bows? UP the river?

thanks
H
 

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Holly,

Most of the fish in that river are not rainbows, but coastal cutthroat. For larger fish ( a relative term here) go either further downstream, or hike into the high lakes that feed into that system later in the season as the snow melts and the trails open up. Most of the high lakes are still inaccessible this time of year.
 

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Why would the South Fork of the Snoqualmie be listed under Lake Washington tributaries? I believe you'll find it listed under "Snohomish", under the sub-heading "Snoqualmie River (King County) upstream of Snoqualmie Falls including North and South Forks" (page 40). The North and south Forks are open to retention from the first Saturday in June - October 31st, open for catch-and-release the rest of the year. Holly, I would suggest that you find a good map in order to be able to know where you're planning to fish. The South Fork runs northwest from near Snoqualmie Pass, staying close to I-90, to join the Middle Fork between the towns of North Bend and Snoqualmie.
 

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I finally found it and it doesn't make much sense but they are allowed to catch and release game fish, selective gear rules, no fish may be kept so any injured fish will die anyway. I find it hard to belive many of the confusing regulations in this state, and how they seem not too care that the runs are in such bad shape. I know, I know there are no runs above the falls.
Bob- The only way I can interpret that statement is that you don't believe in C&R fisheries, because if you accidentally killed a fish you'd have to leave it in the water (where, presumably, something would eat it)? So...better to have a catch & kill fishery and for sure increase the mortality rate? I'm not sure you thought that through. That same thinking would apply to the Yakima, for instance - C&R only for trout - can't keep it even if it swallowed your streamer. :confused:
 

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Why would the South Fork of the Snoqualmie be listed under Lake Washington tributaries? I believe you'll find it listed under "Snohomish", under the sub-heading "Snoqualmie River (King County) upstream of Snoqualmie Falls including North and South Forks" (page 40). The North and south Forks are open to retention from the first Saturday in June - October 31st, open for catch-and-release the rest of the year. Holly, I would suggest that you find a good map in order to be able to know where you're planning to fish. The South Fork runs northwest from near Snoqualmie Pass, staying close to I-90, to join the Middle Fork between the towns of North Bend and Snoqualmie.
Sorry, meant Snohomish Tribs. I think I was thinking about the Cedar while typing about the SF.
 

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Northern , thanks for commenting, I 'm just takingouot my frustrations with the fishing situatioons in this state and the fact that I''m getting old and that just makes it harder to fiind a place to fish a stream or river, I'm not really a still water fisherman but I may have to start getting out the float tube. I am all for catch and release and have kept only one fish since I thinnk 1978. My kids and I caught a mess of fish that were for their great aunt and uncle from Badger Lake on Mt. Hood. We drove them down to their home and back to the lake. At that point we thought that we had most of the week left and certainly didn't need the fish so from then on I've been catch and release. The one fish I kept was from Riffe Lake and was requested by a neighbor last year, He would have preferred several but that was all I caught. I'll try to catch onto fishing the salt for SRC'sand maybesome of these little catch and relase fishuntill I can't get out anymore. But I do miss Oregon for the fishing.
 

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So if the fish are that small, where would I go to get the bigger bows? UP the river?
Holly, the sad truth about trout fishing in streams on this side of the Cascades is that most of the native fish are small. Streams that flow west out of the mountains tend to be high gradient (steep), shaded and with low nutrient levels, meaning low insect and invertebrate populations. While anadromous fish like steelhead and salmon find them ideal for spawning, generally the only native trout populations you'll find are above barriers such as waterfalls or dams. Every year, regular fishers of streams like the Snoqualmie forks will land a FEW larger fish (ie. over 12"), but by and large, they're the exception, not the rule. If you need to scratch your larger trout itch, journey over the pass and learn to fish the Yakima or take a closer look at the many stillwaters on both sides of the Cascades.

K
 

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If one was to go exploring the Wet side skinny water you would be surprised as to what is out there. At certain times of the year you can score on some nice fish. But like I said, it took me a whole lot of exploring to learn all of this.

While the bigger fish that I got out of the skinny water might of been jacks. They were fun to catch and release.
 

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Holly,

I would not let the dinks discourage you.

Fishing for small fish with small rods is really fun.

But if you must get fish over 6" on a consistant basis the South Fork will be a dissapointment.

I have had more luck with Yakima river or still water fishing in central and eastern WA. I have caught fish from 14" to steelhead size in places like Rocky Ford spring creek, Lenore, Dry Falls, Nunnully, Leinece. The problem with these fisheries is the distance to drive and popularity of the fisheries. Never expect to be alone at any of these popular fisheries during he peak season.

Bye the way, exit 38 on I-90 is the South Fork of the Snoqualmie. Little fish, but very eager to smack a dry fly.

If you do a lot of boulder and downed tree hopping you can get away from the crowds, even on hot summer days. The more remote, upper stretches seem to get less traffic than nearer to North Bend or the easy access off the freeway or Forrest service road.

Expect to bang your shins and get a little bruised to find your own private water on this river. I bloodied my knees/shins several times last summer sliding down big downed timber, but it was worth it.
 

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The spirit and context of the rule about releasing injured fish relates to anglers who catch to kill for two reasons: First, most of the folks in this state who catch to kill use bait or gear, meaning swallowed hooks and/or treble hooks - and such injuries to a fish have a high mortality rate. Second, folks who catch to kill are legally allowed only to keep a certain number of fish, and they would thus be motivated to release a small fish so it didn't count against their limit. The rule essentially targets people who fish with bait and treble hooks to prevent them from killing fish that they don't keep, and thus killing over limit. The selective regs on the South Fork call for single hooks, and those are rarely going to cause a mortal injury to a trout, even if barbed. The point is that the rule is irrelevant for those who catch and release, because they are nearly always using single barbless hooks and a high degree of care in handling/releasing their fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
journey over the pass and learn to fish the Yakima or take a closer look at the many stillwaters on both sides of the Cascades.

Yeah I am learning this fast! And it makes sense to me now, the bigger fish being in the higher and before dammed areas. I didn't run into this at all in the High Rockies in CO! But I do miss them, I also worry about hiking up alone. First I am older and somewhat less agile in this decade of my life, and the Bear Cougar worries around these parts!

I guess I am a victim of the TV reports, but heck if a woman goes out to garden and gets her head eaten by a bear! Well, it makes me really afraid to be alone.

Do any of your guys venture up and out alone? Do you carry a gun or anything in the event of a Bear Lunge?
 
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