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.
April 25, 2017 Puget Sound, WA
Well as we write this we are still looking at the Yakima sitting at over 4000 cfs but the Cle Elum River has dropped back down to a walk and wade flow level around 200 cfs. That being said, more weather is coming so we expect to see fluctuation in these rivers in the near future.
All the while, Puget Sound has continued to be the bright spot in local trout fishing as the Chum fry has spread throughout the Sound, getting sea run cutthroat excited from Hood Canal and Olympia to Kayak Point and beyond.
Lincoln Park, Kopachuk State Park, Bridge View Park, Purdy and Belfair State Park to name a few have all been producing fish. Small tan or grey clousers, Chum Baby, Foul Free Herring, Sea Run Cutt Bugger and all forms of surface flies have all been working well. Some of the staff have been enjoying the new Airflo Beach line with both intermediate and floating heads on them. We have a load of these in stock so come on in and get ready for the rest of the season.
Spring is here, let’s get you on the water!
April 21, 2017 Puget Sound, WA
Well, as much of the local fly fishing industry sits around awaiting the Yakima River season to begin when the high water hopefully recedes, we are out hitting the Sound because it is fishing well right now. Cutthroat and resident Coho are both roving around and showing their faces on many beaches throughout the Sound.
While some of our staff fishes surface flies much of the time, many are fishing the new Airflo Beach intermediate shooting heads with Foul Free Herring and Fox Fur Glass Minnows as well as standard clousers and such.
We have our big spring event coming up on June 3rd here in West Seattle where you can cast nearly every rod made by Redington, Sage, Scott, Winston, Gloomis, Echo and Epic with the line you would want to use on it.
Don’t wait, fish now…Puget Sound!
Photo Dave McCoy
April 19, 2017 Winter Steel Winding Down, Spring Trout Winding UP!
Here we sit just past mid April and still swinging beautiful, fresh wild steelhead up on the lower stretches of the O.P. rivers that remain open. We noticed this hen still had a couple sea lice on her tail as she swam off after being the inaugural steelhead for Christy after having moved here from Colorado just a few months ago and picking up the spey rod for the first time. Not sure who was more excited, Jason and Christy! Anyway, still some days left to find one more of these for you this year, water is in great shape.
Yakima and Cle Elum Rivers - While the Yak has mostly been in fluctuation with exception of the upper river but the Cle Elum is at the moment in great shape. March Browns, early AM baetis and some afternoon PMD’s showing their faces so come prepared.
Puget Sound - Salmon fry has worked its way throughout most of the Sound at this point so we are watching cutts and resident silver salmon trouncing them accordingly. Chum Baby still working well as are small clousers in tan and gray. For those into the surface don’t be there without the Sound Searcher. We are starting to find light for longer portions of the day, it won’t be long before you will want to be on the water as early as possible when the sunny days begin to be more frequent.
Eastern Lakes - Chironomids have been producing on many of the basin lakes such as Nunnally and Lenice to name but a couple. Look for all those lovely hatches to begin here very soon. We are also going to be bringing a carp tournament to the region this summer so stay tuned for that.
Creeks - Looking ahead, with our snow pack, expect many of your favorite small streams to be a bit late to come into shape this season. We often use the Middle Fork of the Sno to help gauge when some of the other small waters will be ready for their first visit. We are expecting late June to begin seeing water levels at a place where we can get up in there and start fishing dry flies for our favorite little trout.
June 3rd we are hosting our 3rd Annual EWA Fly Fest at Me Kwa Mooks Park here in West Seattle. At no other time will you have the ability to cast GLoomis, Sage, Winston, Echo, Epic, Scott all side by side with a staff of IFFF instructors and sales reps on hand to answer questions. Free clinics on double hauling, steelhead opportunities and a boat comparison by our staff. 10am-4pm, food and beverages will be on hand.
April 2nd, 2017 - Puget Sound, Washington
The Sound has been en fuego the past month or so and will continue to be a terrific fishery for locals and traveling anglers into Seattle. Chum fry are everywhere which means Chum Baby, Gray Clousers, Oil Slicks and other small baitfish patterns will work quite well now and for the next month or more. No time like the present to learn and find a few of these for yourself.
Olympic Peninsula steelhead will continue to be fresh from the ocean all month long and the weather looks as though it is going to cooperate as well. Warmer temps mean warmer water which means you can likely put the T-18 away and stick with the easier to cast and mange T-14 tips and lighter flies. That is if you were fishing down and dirty before if not stay with what was working!
Yakima River is trying very hard to begin its spring leap into regular and accountable hatches though it is still getting a few punches from Mother Nature keeping water temps in flux and halting hatches on colder days. So, pay attention to the days you are hoping to get out and know you may see everything from March Browns and Baetis to Skwala and PMD, it will just depend on where you are and when.
We have some fabulous hosted travel coming up over the next year or more including Russia, Christmas Island, Tierra del Fuego, British Columbia and Iceland. Check it out and let us know if you would like to be on our newsletter list or if you want to join one of our staff on a trip you won’t soon forget!
Photo Dave McCoy
Mid March Fishing Around Seattle
Here we are hitting our stride into the spring season and while it is raining pretty hard outside, many of our local fisheries are in great shape. Here is a brief look and some suggestions to consider for the next month or so.
Steelhead - Nobody is going to deny it has been a wet and cold year in the area. What the rain seems to bring to everyone is a doom and gloom regarding being on the water in search of steelhead which is unfortunate.
Yes, rain brings high water but high water does not always mean not worth fishing, in fact it can mean just the opposite. Knowing which rivers and which runs on those rivers are going to allow for standing, casting and swinging flies is part of each anglers quiver of knowledge that helps them be successful.
High water often times bring the steelhead closer to the bank where longer casts are unnecessary. Some rivers clear faster or don’t color at all. Yes, high water will mean things such as back cast space, wading depth and favorite runs are not ideal, having to work a bit harder for your time out there will always make the success fishing feel that much better. Get to know which these and don’t be afraid to take notes when in the store talking with us, we are here to help. That said, we have a ton of April dates still open if you want to get out with us and learn how, where, when, why and with what from us.
Puget Sound - With all this rain, the Sound remains steadfast in its ability to stay clear and provide a terrific fly fishing experience when all else is shot. In addition, it has been fishing extraordinarily well of late so really no excuse for not wetting a line this weekend. Lincoln Park, Saltwater State Park, Meadowdale Park and Bridge View Park have all been turning out consistent fish to anglers. Blackmouth, resident Coho and cutthroat have all been greeting anglers willing to grab their 5,6 or 7wt rods with floating lines and couple streamers.
Yes, it isn’t the Yakima but with the Yakima flowing at about 5-6K cfs, this would be a great time to get to know your local saltwater fishery. It is close and easy and more than likely the equipment you have will work no problem, just provide a nice freshwater rinse after use. Any questions let us know.
Yakima - A few Skwala stones have been showing themselves on the Yakima. This means trout are on point looking to gobble up those calories after having been deprived all winter of big juicy bugs. At this time the Yak is pretty high but the Cle Elum is down and clear and the cutthroat in there are just as willing to play the game. Pat’s Stones, LIghtning Bugs, Copper John’s, PT’s and if you are just a little bit crazy throw some Skwala dries, just in case!
Photo Reid Curry
February 23, 2017. Olympic Peninsula and Puget Sound…Again!
For the first time in some time it does appear the entire WA coast will be in shape this coming weekend for those steelheaders looking to find one of these. Fishing during the past week has been quite good with steelhead coming to the swung fly every day on a number of rivers. We just had a lat minute cancellation for Friday through Sunday so we have a rare weekend opening if anyone was hoping to get on the water with us on short notice.
Puget Sound - What we wait for every new year has already begun, the Chum fry migration. Small little Chum salmon have officially started to enter the Sound which means every sea run cutthroat will be acting as if they are at an all you can eat buffet for the next couple months. If you have ever even once thought of getting yourself out on our local saltwater to just try it out, now would be the time to do so. Joining the fiesta have also been some very good sized resident Blackmouth and Coho salmon. Small tan and gray clousers, Chum Baby and for those with an affinity for surface flies the Sound Searcher have been working very well. Hood Canal to Lincoln Park and beaches every where in between are seeing fish so no excuses right now!
Yakima River - Another time of great interest to fly anglers in the region is the presence of winter stones Skwala;s. They are climbing as we speak out of the water and onto the surrounding rocks, grass and logs, bringing trout to the banks in search of them. As usual subsurface will be most effective but the occasional opportunistic trout may pay your dry fly some attention if you persist. Blue winged olives continue to impress during the morning and evening too.
All in all, good time to be fishing around Seattle right now so don’t be bashful. Ask us where, when, how and why so we can help you find success this weekend.
Photo Tom Mahan
February 6th, 2017 Puget Sound and Olympic Peninsula
This Resident Coho was landed on the top water Cutty Buddy fly. The South Sound is fishing well, if you are willing to battle against the elements and find some moving water. We have had some extremely high tides lately which can limit back cast area. Although most anglers try to cast as far out as they can, during these high tides, fish are more willing to eat close to shore. Therefore, casting parallel to the beach or just slightly off can be a great way to fish when limited backcast room presents itself. Also, knowing the individual beach’s structure can help you navigate shallow water which allow you access farther away from the bank. If you are unsure of the structure of a given beach find a low tide and take some notes!
Although the SRC, are fewer and farther between, we are seeing remarkable numbers of resident Coho willing to hit top water flies. These fish have been in small schools and remaining pretty localized so if you see a rise, jump or slash it would behoove you to get your fly over there.
Come check out our Cutty Buddy, Sound Searcher and the Pan Fish Spider for some great top water flies this time of year.
It is important to start filling your boxes with chum fry patterns like Bob Triggs Chum Baby among others. These flies will be very important further into spring when the salmon smelt begin to enter the saltwater. It is important to have a variety of sizes because the fish can be selectively eating and it pays off to “match the hatch.”
If you are interested in learning a new fly, we are offering private fly tying classes as well as Tuesday Tying nights. Please call the shop with any inquiries.
The Washington Unicorn… Those who are putting in the time swinging fly’s have found success. Numbers are starting to increase and more encounters are happening on a daily basis.
With the push of rain we saw on the 4th, rivers are coming back into shape and should bring with them a fresh push of fish. Looking ahead, we are expecting another push of rain later in the week so keep an eye on the gauges for the most up to date information when choosing where to fish.
Call the Shop today to book a day with one of our Guides on some of the famed rivers of the Peninsula.
January 21st, 2017
Recent heavy rains throughout the Olympic Peninsula have increased flow levels on all of our targeted OP rivers. With the exception of only a few, hard to reach stretches, the rivers will remain blown out for the weekend. Looking forward, moderate rainfalls and generally acceptable OP winter weather bode well for the week to come. As the rivers come back down and get in shape, get out there and swing for steelhead. We have experienced success on all of the keystone rivers within recent weeks and the numbers should only continue to rise into February and March. Be cognizant of each watershed’s weather patterns as you plan a trip out to the area. Precipitation and run-off will dictate which rivers you should hit. With that said, be ready for a change of plans. Conditions can change quickly and you need to be ready to adjust. Winter flies are working! Call the shop for up to date information on all of our OP rivers and advice on how to target these legendary fish.
January 8th, 2017
It’s that time of year ladies and gents. Get out to the Olympic Peninsula and start swinging for steel. Wintry weather and variable rain falls have made the various OP rivers fluctuate in flows and productivity, so be mindful of which river you choose to target in order to have the best shot at linking up. If traveling from the greater Seattle area, or traveling into town to target this fishery as a destination, this becomes even more important as foresight and planning can make or break a trip to the OP. The fish have been responding well to winter flies, so don’t be afraid to whip out the Jan-April fly box. Be cognizant of where your fly is moving in the water column, and change tips accordingly. As you work down stream, your “targeted” depth is bound to change frequently, so don’t hesitate to change your tips and terminal tackle several times within a section. Emerald Water Anglers has up to date discharge figures and river reports, so please use us as resource to give yourself the best shot to hook up to one of these legendary fish. 206.708.7250
January 2nd, 2017 Puget Sound, WA
HAPPY NEW YEAR! We’ll begin this report with a double dose of SRC and resident Coho from the south Sound. It has been written in places in the past that fishing this time of year in the salt isn’t worth it. Well we are here to bunk that statement. It can be downright phenomenal. While these were both taken on the Sound Searcher, many other fish were caught on a variety of patterns from small shrimp patterns to larger baitfish on a very fast strip. So, go get yourself your first bent rod of the New Year…if you haven’t already!
Steelhead - Olympic Peninsula has been turning out some early winter steelhead already on the Sol Duc, Bogi and Hoh. With air temps as low as they have been, water conditions have been pretty good, its the frozen guides slowing things down a bit. Water is clear, so some of us fish sparser patterns while others fish the same old large winter flies as in high water conditions. Being cold, slow your swing down across the likely water and maybe lighten your tip if ticking the bottom too much.
Yakima - Been cold, hatches have been few and far between but though lethargic the trout remain hungry. Nymphing through a variety of water with stones followed by Lightning Bugs, Copper Johns and Pheasant Tails among others will bring at least something to hand…
As always, be safe, have fun and call, text, email or stop in with any questions. We are here to assist in your success on the water!