Welcome to the Emerald Water Anglers Seattle fly fishing reports page for all your local, western Washington and PNW region fly fishing information. We cover more water as an outfitter and guide service than anyone in Washington and as a retail store we want to be your portal into the sport with honest and current fishing reports so your upcoming time on the water with or without us can be planned as well as possible for maximum enjoyment.
Thank you for visiting and if we can ever be of assistance, please do not hesitate to ask. To receive special reports and news on upcoming events, new destinations and products please sign up for our newsletter here or call the store with questions, even while on the water — 206-708-7250.
August 13th, Cascade Creeks
Working our way up a beautiful Cascade stream, I look over at Christy as she gracefully hops boulder to boulder rod doubled over fighting a nice rainbow. Unfortunately, my own boulder hopping stopped going so well earlier when I slipped on what looked like a good foothold and went for a cold swim. it was a refreshing break to the summer heat we have been having here in the PNW and a good chance to watch as she pulled in another solid fish.
The Cascade creeks are some of the most beautiful streams I have fished. Boulder strewn and gin clear, the fishing has been consistently good. Dry flies are the name of the game and watching native trout rise to these patterns in such a stunning location is a great way to spend the day, even if you do it soaking wet.
Dry fly patterns: 14 and 16 Never Sink caddis, 14 and 16 Rubber leg yellow stimulator, 16 Chubby, 14 and 16 Para Madam X, 16 Hippy Stomper purple
Photos: Ben Panico
August 10, 2017 Greenland and of Course Local
Well, just returned from our 2 week adventure to Greenland and Iceland in pursuit of Char and Atlantic Salmon, my what an experience! It is rare we travel somewhere and wish the fishing wasn’t as good as it was but in this case, Greenland just makes things a bit too simple but who are we to complain.
Arctic Char as chrome bright as any fish you will find as they are within literal feet of the saltwater they just left and stacked in the small streams connecting glacial fed lakes to the ocean. Go if you can, it is unlike any experience we have had in the fly fishing world!
Puget Sound continues to be alight with resident coho and SRC’s in such good numbers we have been pinching ourselves, its been that good. Some pinks around as well. A quick notice to all beach anglers, a new land owner has moved into the area at Southworth and has threatened us with calling authorities for trespassing if caught on the beach south of the ferry terminal. New signs are up so be warned, it wasn’t a pleasant email and he doesn’t sound like a pleasant person. Anyway, have fun out there, plenty of other shorelines to chase fish from.
Creeks are in the shape you would expect this time of year, low and clear. Water is warming so fishing earlier is always better for the fish but there shouldn’t be any reason to be doing anything but dry flies right now. If water is super clear, put the fly in a bit faster water, those fish are extraordinarily hydro dynamic so they can stay in fast water without much effort. This provides them cooler, more oxygenated water with more cover from predators…think like a fish!
Summer steelhead has boiled itself down to the Cowlitz for the most part. There are a few, a few fish in the Skykomish and OP rivers so if those are convenient for you or are traveling to these areas, definitely hit them, worst case scenario is you have a great day swinging flies!
Carp tournament is Saturday at Banks Lake and we are pumped to see who comes away with the big prize as winner of our first tourney. Costa, Echo and Casey Underwood sponsored with some great prizes for the top few anglers.
Enjoy the rest of your summer and as always, never be shy about asking questions about anything as close as Greenlake or as far away as Greenland, we likely know and are willing to answer them for you.
photo Dave McCoy
July 26, 2017 Puget Sound and More…
Well, what can we say; choose your adventure! If you are bored with one switch to another. EVERYTHING is fishing well right now.
In the last few days we have seen Salmon coming in good numbers and size. As many may know, targeting early mornings and late evenings can increase your odds of connecting with these special fish. Albeit, those who can only fit in a mid day trip shouldn’t shy away just because of the old adage. One of our guides had the best 2 hours of fishing in the last 20 years during the MIDDLE of a blue bird day.
FLIES:Small clousers in Chartreuse or Olive and Pink Commits.
The creeks are beginning to warm and flows are dropping. The fish are slowly working closer to the heads of runs, plunge pools and more oxygenated parts of the river. We are trending towards smaller flies. If you are having trouble seeing your fly, try dropping a second dry fly roughly 18″ behind your first fly.
FLIES: Smaller Chubbys, Madam Parachute X, Simulator’s in size 14, Parachute Adam’s in size 16, The Better Foam Caddis in size 16
Photo: Ben Panico
July 9, 2017 Pink Season is Upon Us!
We can talk about the little blue lines up in the Cascades and the true fact that a few steelhead have made their way into several of the local rivers but the real news is the Pinks have arrived in Puget Sound!
Every two years these salmon arrive in mass (albeit not the mass of the past few seasons) and are willing participants for fly anglers around the entire Puget Sound.
Very quickly here is what we recommend…
1. Intermediate sink or sink tip lines
2. 6-7 wt rods
3. Beaches near their path to spawning rivers or near the estuary
4. PINK FLIES
Any questions please come by the store and let us know, otherwise we look forward to hearing stories of your escapades over the nest couple months.
July 8, 2017 It’s Game On All Over WA!
Where to fish is the question we are hearing in abundance right now and the answer is generally just about anywhere you like! Over the next couple of months all of these will be in shape:
Mountain Streams - wild cutthroat and rainbow trout
Snoqualmie Forks - cutts and rainbows
Cedar River - cutts and rainbows until end of August!
Puget Sound - cutts, pink and coho salmon
Steelhead - Skykomish and Cowlitz immediately
Carp - Banks, Tapps, Green, Columbia River and others
Yakima - flows are high but hoppers are around the corner
Come in and ask questions, email or call if this isn’t an option and if you are hoping to become better at some of these listed above then book a trip or a school and let’s get you out there to help figure them out.
Photo Reid Curry
June 28, 2017 CREEKS and Cedar!!!
Just spent the day up on some of our favorite little blue lines in the Cascades and they are just about there. Some are still a raging torrent but others have dropped to a place where water is clear and if you know where to go, the fish are waiting.
To this day it astonishes us that more anglers don’t value these small streams within in an hour of Seattle. Not another person up there yesterday and we fished 3 different streams. Water was diamond clear and fish were feeding both on top and sub surface.
Bugs of choice would be Parachute Adams sizes 12-16, Rubber Legged Stimulators sizes 10-14 in yellow or orange, Lightning Bugs, Copper Johns in red, copper and brown in sizes 14-18. Caddis and other attractor patterns will also work.
Wading can still be a bit aggressive these days on all the smaller waters so take steps cautiously and when getting out there, way out there tell someone exactly where you are headed.
If you would like to figure these waters out, please be in touch or book a trip as we are happy to help you find your next little piece of mountain paradise.
June 24, 2017 Forks of the Snoqualmie
Take a quick look at the size of this fish caught on today’s guide trip with Karlie Roland on the South Fork of the Snoqualmie River!
Cascade Creeks - WE ARE SO CLOSE!!! We have had success fishing the upper stretches of some of the I90 rivers and are counting the minutes until the HWY 2 rivers are ready to rock. Dust off those 2wt rods, grab your attractor fly box, and find your Aquel! Size 10 and 12 stimulators or rubber legged stimulators.
Puget Sound - The sound has been fishing well during low light conditions. Do your best to set your alarm early and beat the sun. If you have time after work, the last hour of light can turn on as well. We have seen success on topwater patterns before sunrise but the fish quickly find shelter from birds of prey as soon as the sun comes up. We have seen large numbers of sand lance so grab your long skinny baitfish patterns!
Yakima - With warmer temperatures, the mid day and afternoon float tube hatch is INSANE! In all seriousness, there are lots of bugs in the system right now. With consistent may fly and caddis coming off, make sure to have a variety of sizes and colors ready to go. Fishing chubby’s to droppers will get both sub surface and top water eats. Double dry fly patterns will also help you see the smaller trailer flies. Targeting shady zones can be effective. - PMD’s, Emergers, and your favorite bead head nymph size 14-16, lightning bugs.
Steelhead - The Cowlitz fish numbers are still low. However, we are expecting things to heat up in the next few weeks!
The Sky will hold onto these early summer swinging conditions for another few weeks as the snow packs continue to melt.
Carp - For those of you looking to fish carp, the time is here. Start to scout out Banks Lake for our Carp Tournament August 12th. With a limit of only 40 anglers call the shop to find out more and to reserve your spot today!
June 16, 2017 Raining Again!
While we wait for clear water to arrive, we are in the store helping outfit angler after angler for Alaska for these beauts shown above.
For those who moved to Seattle in the past couple years hoping all they hype about gray and rain were just myths attempting to keep the world at bay, well, they have been proven to be true!
Here we are amid what should be the onset of summer and we are again reaching for rain jackets and watching river levels rise and the color go on on some of them. From the perspective of the fish, they likely enjoy the lack of early season harassment by us fly anglers so maybe they will be more will participants in the coming months…maybe!
All of this said we do have some positive points to make, the Yakima River is down at a reasonable flow at this hour anyway so for Father’s Day weekend, hopefully some of you can get out and take advantage. Caddis in the evenings are going to the key if you have to pinpoint a particular time to hit the water.
Puget Sound is always there but will be at times a bit more difficult due to sun, tides and kelp but the SRC’s are still there so be persistent. Go with flies you are confident in and fish accordingly.
Creeks and the Forks of the Snoqualmie are almost there. Water is still a bit high (bit more now with this rain) and still a wee bit cold but we are literally days away from the start gun going off so find your next project water and start scoping it out.
Skykomish is in fantastic shape right now for swinging flies so if you want to check this out now is the time. Cowlitz will be on our radar in the next couple weeks too and this is a fabulous river to learn to spey cast on and we love to teach people this facet of our sport, LOVE IT!
Happy June everyone, let us know how we can help make this summer a success for you.
June 12, 2017 Puget Sound, WA
SWEET! According the new 2018 regs, we will indeed have a salmon season in areas 10 and 11, check the latest regs and know what is legal.
Other areas up north of Seattle will have some restrictions this year so check those out as well.
June 8, 2017 Sound, Creeks and Steelhead
Summer has been showing some glimmers of hope around here which has ignited the local fly fishing community into a frenzy of “Where should I go?” Great question, here are some ideas….
The Sound is warming up, kelp is quickly developing into its summer time nuisance which while annoying is good for the small food forms looking for cover. This is the time of year is when a stripping basket is very helpful for the Sound regardless of type of line being employed. Fish are still actively looking up but sun and light on the water can push them down and out so start your day early and pay attention to the tides, outgoing will take much of the kelp away from you. Have flies in all shades, sizes and sink rates for this time of year as baitfish will take many forms out there from small and linear to big and broad across their sides. Check our Food Forms page for more images of what is out there.
The small waters of the Cascades are beginning to show some signs of life. We like to use the South Fork of the Snoqualmie as a barometer of what might be happening elsewhere. This past week, trout were paying attention to dry flies there and on a couple other small streams within in hour of Seattle that opened on Saturday. While some will remain high here for a bit, there are a few where access is already available, now we just need water temps to help usher in those hatches to encourage fish to come to the surface. In faster water on these small freestone streams, we like slightly larger flies that appear to be of more caloric value to the fish hence having them leave their underwater sanctuary for a surface take. Stimulators, large caddis and other attractor patterns are good choices with maybe a small dropper if you feel you must.
We are excited to see the Skykomish River at a fishable level already. In these water flows, steelhead will be close to the bank in many swinging runs and this first month of summer is a great time to find late arriving winter fish or early summer fish before low, clear and warm water sets in. The Cowlitz is already showing summer fish arriving as well, in both of these cases, employing some sinking tips here for the next month or two is not a bad idea as water temps will remain cool until the snow pack recedes a bit. Up to you whether you want to size down on flies from the winter, we likely would but then again we don’t fish huge flies while swinging anyway. Drawers are stacked with flies so drop on in and we can discuss.
Lastly, we are very excited to announce we are hosting a Carp Tournament on August 12th. $60 to enter, dinner on Friday, tourney hat, prizes for 1st through 5th place maximum of 40 entrants. Call the store to sign up 206-708-7250