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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Seems people get a little touchy on this site if you open a set of WDFW fishing regs and target what is legal.

So, where to catch some edible fish in this state that don't get all you Washingtonian panties in a wad?

I bet no one offers any good advice. New guy here trying to learn and I tell ya, you guys sure are inviting.

Can't wait to get back to the Bighole, Beaverhead, and the Jeff. Miss those rivers where no one gets all crazy if I bring a 3-5 pounder home to feed the family.
 

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The Skagit for coho. Bring a baitcaster, some small dick nites. No one has really figured out the Skagit silvers on a fly yet. Perhaps you could be one of the first. The Samish for kings. Again use a bait caster and some jigs, fly casting would be frowned upon by the other fishermen. Several of the put and take lakes should be cooling enough that the fish will begin to get active again. This is where you will do better using a fly rod and matching up some bugs. Sorry this is all I got for you. Take a look at OMJ's posts. He gives out some good info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
LOL, Well. I just don't understand rudeness and figured I would try to join ya all and see if I got better results.
NO REALLY
Didn't mean to offend anyone. Just like to fish and keep a few every now and then. Family enjoys them and makes spending money on my gear easier to swallow for the wife.
 

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Now hanging at the other, better new place
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In a word, trout fishing kinda sucks in Western WA compared to the rivers you named. The rivers are short and steep compared to MT. The theory goes that's why we have (had?) anadromous fisheries. And many of those aren't doing so well, or worse, and so even if WDFW doesn't distinguish sea-going trout with resident ones a lot of anglers and biologists do.

Near Sammamish, there's a lake called Beaver Lake that is heavily stocked with put-n-take trout in the Spring. A little further out, since you specifically asked for rivers, there are a handful of rivers on the east side of the Cascades that recently opened for hatchery steelhead. You can (and are required to should you catch them) keep 4 fish a day. They're right about that 3-5 pound size you named so that's a lot of fish, trust me. Just be sure you can tell the hatchery ones (clipped adipose fin--near tail) from the wild ones (intact fins), and be careful with the wild ones.

Also consider fishing the saltwater for food fish.

Bear with some of the 'tudes and you'll learn a lot about the fisheries in this area on this site. It's complicated.
 

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Family enjoys them and makes spending money on my gear easier to swallow for the wife.
This isn't the best time of year for keeping fish. Silvers are starting to run but I have never figured them out with a fly rod. Perhaps someone else has. You might also take a look at the Methow and/or Wenatchee. They both opened for steelhead recently and WDFW encourages you to harvest the hatchery brats. Matter of fact they threaten you if you don't harvest them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Matt-Baerwalde. I live right next to Pine Lake in Sammamish. I have fished it with bait and caught plenty of not so great tasting trout. LOL I have not figured out how to fly fish stillwater yet. Still learning this new trade.

Again everyone, Sorry, did not mean to offend. I just enjoy fishing and eating them but completely understand catch and release efforts are important for some fish species. Learning that thanks to this forum.

Hope all have tight lines this weekend.
 

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Keeping fish is cool, but many here have issues with the management of the resource by the state. Just as limits have been reduced in Montana, they have been reduced here. Many on this site would like to have them reduced further, particularly wild steelhead and wild cutts. I can promise you that should you bonk a wild steelhead, legally caught, you will be ripped to shreds here. That being said, most people here embrace the idea of bonking all the hatchery fish you catch. So look for the rivers where you can keep silvers and kings. Try some of the salt water areas. Wait for the pink salmon run next year!!! Lots of fish to bonk and they are even natives, but because there are so many of them they can withstand some bonking. Try to find some lakes and ponds with bluegill, bass and crappies in your area, they taste great. Toss spinners for some of the salmon and steelhead if you are not ready to try them on a fly.

Good luck
 

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Joe Streamer
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I think people here mostly get their thongs in a wad when someone keeps a wild steelhead or generally breaks a rule, and rightly so.

As Kerry says, keep the hatchery steelhead. You probably know how to identify them already, but for the benefit of the lurkers, they're the ones with clipped adipose fins (the little fin between the dorsal and tail).

Other'n that, trout fishing sucks if you want 3-5 pounders, but it is good if you are OK with small herring-sized 6"-12" fish. The ecosystem in western WA is too sterile to grow them as big as Montana or most other parts of the western US. But Matt's suggestion to fish Beaver Lake is one exception to this rule. In fact, many lakes in the state are stocked as put-and-take fisheries. Check the WDFW stocking page to see where they've dumped fish recently. They have a search tool that gives you pretty up to date info: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/weekly/
 

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You ask a perfectly valid question so I hope this helps:
http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/plants/steelhead/2008.html

These fish were planted to be caught and harvested. A fair general rule of thumb is to go for river systems that have very large plant counts. There are a couple of remote tribal ones where you have a ton of fish to be harvested (e.g. the Salmon) but you will need to pay a tribal guide.
 

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Team Umiak
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Sorry dude if you found my post as rude..not intended. Frankly, I have no problem harvesting some put and take trout for consumption..I just don't like em. Just go fish and enjoy yourself..post a report and pics on how you prepared your fare..and I think everyone here will be fine with that.
 

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With the recent rains there are some viable options. The Skykomish should have a push of fresh hatchery steelhead and salmon coming into the system.

The Cowlitz is another viable option with hatchery steelhead, salmon and hatchery cutthroat.

A couple of patterns that sometimes work on the Coho
A varegated olive/black marabou leech style fly tied on a size 4 or 6
A Comet with yellow and orange hackle tied on a 6
You can swing them or hang them under a float.

Quite often Coho/Silvers take a fly very softly and the take can be hard to detect.

The Snoqulmie from December 1st until it closes will have some hatchery winter run steelhead. The summer fish in the system are for the most part wild fish and have to be released. Though for winter runs the Sky is a better option with a boat.

Dave
 

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You're really not going to find any spots on the west side of the mountains to keep fish from streams. As stated above, the streams are generally more sterile. A lot of these streams offer only a couple of fish per hole, if that. The sterility of the stream makes the fish that do survive, very willing to take a variety of offerings. This means that it is very easy to fish out a stream, or a section of stream. To keep fish from these places, though it is perfectly legal to do so, is unadvisable. The fish are small and skinny, too. Around highway 2, a lot of people camp and keep stream fish and the fish population suffers because of it.

There are sea run cutthroat in most rivers this time of year. Some people will catch and eat them because they run a little larger, but it is highly frowned upon. It's illegal to keep them in saltwater, but legal to keep them in fresh. Go figure. As for Coho, go for it if you want to hate yourself. Every time I go coho fishing, I see them surfacing all around me. I think before I get my line in the water that it's a sure thing. But I never catch any. And not many people really do. Most that are caught are foul-hooked. The ones that are fair hooked are often the result of foul-hooking them directly in the mouth when the line slides through (lining or flossing). There are some fisherman who have it down. It generally requires near-perfect conditions. Most of the people that consistently catch them fish out of a boat with gear and definitely have their game down.

Steelhead fishing is a lot of fun though. You won't catch many, though. You'll likely spend ten times more money fishing for them than paying for them in a grocery store. It's definitely nice to bring home a hatchery brat once in a while to prove to family and friends that you really do go fishing, and are not just a serial killer with the perfect alibi.

If you can stand a little bit of hiking, higher elevation lakes are a lot of fun to fly fish. You can generally keep fish from them with a free conscience, as almost all of them have been planted at some point in time and the fish are overpopulated anyway.
 

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For trout to eat the upper Yakima River, above Easton, has a good number of Brook Trout. With the flows dropping and fall in the air that may be a good place to explore. Brookies caught and put on ice, later fried up in bacon grease with some corn tortillas, life is good.

At most it is a 40 minute drive from Sammamish. I seriously doubt if you will find any crowding and the river will probably be all yours. Well, thinking about it you may have to kick me out of the way!

Dave
 

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Galpster -
If you want some good eats from the lakes you might try yellow perch. Lake Sammamish has some really nice sized ones. Probably can still catch them on flies - small leeches, woolly buggers,etc in blacks, olives, brown fished on sinking lines. They will still be scattered along the weed lines in 15 feet of water or so. However as the temperatures cool they will bunch up in larger schools and move deeper. At that point spinning gear(with small jigs and bait or just a piece of nightcrawler or piece of perch) is probably more appropriate. Having a depth finder is a huge aid in locating and staying on top of them is a real plus.

If you are looking for a salmonid then the coho suggestion is an excellent one. I find that they respond to a fly pretty well at times however it may take some looking to find the ideal location. I find it best to target froggy water with sinking lines. Some folks use weighted flies (jig-like) though I have some excellent success with unweighted flies. Coho seem to respond best to a stripped fly (some days they like a fast pace and others a slower approach). I have more consistent success with smaller flies than larger ones though as with all things coho you will find it pays to experiment with flies, colors, sizes and retrieves.

While I caught one this morning in a "S" rivers there doesn't appear to many in the rivers yet though numbers should build in the coming weeks.

Tight lines
Curt
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Now gents, This is why I joined this forum. Thanks for the advise and will be wetting a few whoolys tomorrow on the Yak.

See you out there and hope to have a few pics and stories to tell.

If anyone is ever out this way let me know, I am always up to wet a fly.
 
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