Welcome to the EWA fly fishing reports Seattle, WA 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.
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May 3, 2016 Yakima River, WA
The Yak is back! All be it still slightly higher than we would prefer, flows on the Yakima have stabilized and clarity is excellent right now. Flows in the Lower Canyon have finally dropped below 5000 cfs and are hovering at 4800 cfs right now. We are crossing our fingers that these flows will continue to drop somewhat. But either way, the good news is that the river is at a fishable level and should remain so for the rest of the spring into the summer.
Unfortunately, the high flows tend to make wade fishing pretty difficult throughout most of the river. However, if you have a drift boat, have a buddy (insert uncle, inlaw, guy next door that owes you a favor) with a drift boat, or are heading out with one of our guides you are in great shape. For those not so fortunate, there are a handful of places that are still accessible to wading anglers even in these higher flow conditions (with caution). Stop by and we would be happy to share some of these spots.
Over the last few days we have seen decent bug activity on the water…March Browns, Blue Wing Olives, Caddis, and even a couple of Salmon Flies have been spotted. We found a few risers in softer currents on the inside seems of faster water and along the banks, but most success has been had stripping big-ish streamers and dead drifting stoneflies and generic mayfly nymphs (ie. pheasent tails, lightning bugs, prince nymphs, hares ears).
Overall, fishing on the Yak has been very “hot and cold”, with some days netting many fish and others pretty slow. With the flows stabilizing, we should see a window of consistently good fishing before the summer heat hits.
As always, let us know any questions you may have about the Yak or elsewhere. Interested in hitting the Yak with one of our guides? Check out our Yakima trip page here or give us a call 206-708-7250.
photo and report: Reid Curry
April 24, 2016 Spring in WA
Fresh back for the final week on the Olympic Peninsula, what a great way to end the season. Fantastic clients, very few other anglers on the water and some fish willing to chase the swung fly. It ended a bit like this followed by a couple celebratory fist bumps and maybe a quick nip of some brown water. That said, water was low and clear but some cloud cover proved to be the ticket.
Yakima continues to experience a roller coaster of water flows making those hoping to walk and wade the spring left to watch from the sidelines or find a boat to fish from. In all honesty, it has been so so over here despite what others might say. In the right place at the right time, sure but consistency has yet to arrive.
Puget Sound has a bit of a wrestling match on its hands. Current state is if WDFW and their co-managers can’t come to an agreement on how to deal with the projected low returns of coho, the ENTIRE Sound will be closed to fishing. If you had hoped to do anything in the Sound, you better show your support for finding an agreement. More to come on our Facebook page…
The warm weather of the past week even blew out the South Fork of the Snoqualmie, this will likely happen again so pay close attention to the links above our report where we highlight ideal flows on various rivers before launching yourself towards any of these fisheries.
Had a great time at Greenlake of all places the other day. While teaching some casting lessons, carp casually swam through our legs prompting us to grab a few flies and just see what if…well they ate as expected and as they continue to cruise the shallows, one would be foolish to not head down and try your hand in this urban fishery, why the heck not! Small brown crabs, crawdads, black and brown rubber legged stonefly nymphs and similar bugs/crustaceans caught plenty of attention.
Questions, don’t hesitate to come in and ask, call and inquire, write and find out or even text…we are here for you!
photo Dave McCoy
April 19, 2016 Saltwater Anywhere!
Getting to that time of year where more people begin to dust off and shake the spider webs off their fly rods so a small bit of advice going into the season…rinse your gear off! Take it from several of us who spend a tremendous amount of time in the salt both locally and internationally the better your take care of your equipment the more friendly it is with you!
Puget Sound - We just can’t say enough about this fishery, we have been guiding it since 1999, love it dearly and are seeing a return of fish to some of our favorite beaches around the Sound. Still in the honeymoon period for a bit longer where time of day isn’t a huge difference yet but certainly early AM and later in the evening when the sun is lower are going to be prime. Moving tides, go subsurface if you feel you need to on flat, calm sunny days, otherwise pick up and move, find beaches with shade on the water or estuaries of rivers and streams where water will have some cooler and moving characteristics. Flies are up to you. Dave fishes on the surface nearly all the time and doesn’t seem to have issues catching fish. Jason and Alex are subsurface quite a bit with small clousers in tan and gray, Chum Baby is still working as is the Cutt Bugger. Last bit of advice…get out and fish the Sound, it is so close there just aren’t excuses, not many anyway.
Yakima - Beginning to fish like we enjoy seeing it. This warm weather heading our way should help considerably by warming water temps and forcing some of these hatches to occur. March Brown’s are one of our favorites as large mayflies emerge in the shallow gravel shoals and trout hang just below picking them as they bump shoulders with each other. Caddis will be here shortly so break out the elk hair and start tying or get in and pick some up so you are prepared at the drop a hat to get over there.
Steelhead - O.P. season is winding up and it has been a pretty good one from our standards. Since all we do is swing flies, we have found some fantastic days out there the past few weeks. Warm weather is going to likely throw some color into the Bogi, Hoh and Queets so plan early AM jaunts to take advantage of some slightly clearer water. Can probably go a bit lighter on your tips if you haven’t already. T-10 should be sufficient to get done what you need done. Flies? Fish what holds your confidence, thus far we have landed fish in the past couple weeks on blue, black, black and blue, orange, olive and white…
Creeks/Snoqualmie Forks - Forks look great but water remains pretty cold. Going underneath will work with standards like Copper Johns, Pheasant Tails and so on. Pay attention in the evenings to the slower moving water for little noses poking up though…
photo Dave McCoy
April 15 Puget Sound, WA
Richard Hoffmann chasing some actively feeding sea runs in absolutely beautiful conditions. Several fish to the net on this day, including 4 or 5 in about 8 casts. When you find them, you find them.
This time of year starts to also bring back some bigger tide swings on Puget Sound, so target those big swings as it should get fish moving. The South Sound and Hood Canal have both been churning out good numbers of fish, with almost all of them crashing the surface for either top water patterns or lightly weighted ones.
If you’re looking to get out this weekend we’d recommend checking out some new beaches in the South Sound or Hood Canal as you have some low tides in the mornings and Saturday afternoon that will give you a chance to see the structures you fish over at higher tides. Since the weather is also calling for some clouds, it should produce some really good fishing conditions. Smaller, thin profiled flies have been the go-to patterns as well as the Sound Searcher on top as well.
Additionally, the O.P. season is still in swing until the end of this month on select rivers. The Hoh and the Queets River both close at the end of today, April 15th. The Quillayute system rivers are open until the end of this month, these rivers include the Quillayute, Bogachiel, Sol Duc, and Calawah Rivers. All rivers are at fishable flows right now, with fairly low and clear conditions. Consider downsizing flies to match the clear water and reach for slightly more natural colors than you might otherwise during the higher winter flows. Some favorites for these conditions would be Hoh-Bo speys in black/wine or black/green butt or classics such as Winter’s Hopes, Orange Herrons, or Lady Carolines. We are still finding some steelhead on the swing right now, with increased encounters with cutthroat and dollies. Want to change things up a bit on the OP? This is the time of year to stash a 4wt dry fly rod along with you and entertain yourself with the frequent hatches and eager cutthroat found throughout the OP rivers this time of year. Get out while the gettin’ is good, as the majority of OP rivers will close on April 30th (with the Hoh and Queets closing today, 4/15).
Unfortunately the Yakima most likely won’t be in shape for a little while because of high water flows being released to make room for the snow melt in the mountains.
The Forks of the Snoqualmie on the other hand are still a touch high, but are close to fishable levels if you are itching to get out on some trout rivers. Flows on the South Fork are right around 300, and the Middle Fork is around 900. With those flows, you might find a few fishing willing to look up to dries, but if not, nymphs and small streamers on slower water should find some fish. With warm weather coming on Monday and Tuesday, that should bump these flows back up to unfishable conditions with snow melt so get out this weekend while flows are pretty good for this time of year!
Let us know if we can answer any questions, or point you in the right direction for some fisheries this weekend!
Photo: Alex Collier
April 10, 2016 Puget Sound, Washington
As we move into spring, the fishing only improves on many of our local fisheries including Puget Sound. Chum fry are spread far and wide by this point bringing SRC’s to most beaches. Good tides right now are rendering most access points in perfect shape too. Chum Baby flies working well as are small tan clousers.
Forks of the Snoqualmie are actually in pretty good shape right now too. Water temp is pretty low, around 44 degrees so will require going sub surface most likely though late in the evening there have been some great hatches coming off, baetis and midge in particular.
Yakima River has been seeing some fluctuation in flow due to the warm weather lately leading to some run-off. Again baetis hatches have been pretty solid along with some March Brown’s if in the right place at the right time.
O.P. steelhead season is heading to an end but the water has been in great shape and fish have been quite happy to pick up the swung fly lately. Hoh and Queets will be done on the 15th of this month so better get in your last licks here soon.
Rattlesnake Lake has been a fun fishery lately as well with evening risers to dry flies. Boat is obviously a great way to access most of this lake but we did manage a few from shore the other night so don’t let not having a boat deter you. Parachute Adams among other flies were perfect, eaten with no hesitation.
We are happily guiding all of these right now which means you should be on the water yourself, let us know how to help.
photo Dave McCoy
April 1, 2016 Jardine’s de la Reina, Cuba/Puget Sound, WA
Crazy climate change has finally seen its day in the fly fishing world as this bonefish was just caught off a beach in the south Sound yesterday…blew our mind!
Actually, south Sound has been on fire the past few days for cutthroat and we know this sounds like a broken record but very few anglers out after them. Small tan and grey clousers, Chum Babies and the infallible Sound Searcher all garnering some attention.
Consistent weather has also rendered the rivers on the O.P. in great shape and for those who swing like us, it has been productive, finding fish in several rivers. T-14 with your choice of intruder patterns have been the ticket. We have a few dates remaining for the rest of this month so let us know if we can help you find your way into one more or your first chrome head of the winter season. We would love it. Happy April Fool’s Day everyone, get out there and laugh a bit, it is good for you.
photo Dave McCoy
March 24, 2016 Puget Sound, WA
Turns out that while it is spring, winter can still show its crazy head around here. Windy, rainy and cold conditions persist in the Puget Sound region, fortunately those are conditions us humans must endure as the fish reside in their relatively constant saltwater and look for food, fake or otherwise.
Small tan and grey clouser’s have been favorites of some of our guide staff lately out here as well as our surface fly the Sound Searcher. Chum fry have spread themselves around the Sound pretty far and wide at this point. Success is going to come with consistent attention out here. A day a month or so is going to be challenging if you are new to the fishery to find your first fish.
The O.P. has been pumping out some fish as well especially with the stretch of lower water we had last week. Rain is back but expected to be brief and rivers should drop back down quite quickly. Plan your days accordingly and be ready to go at the drop of a hat…or river flow!
photo Dave McCoy
March 16, 2016 Jardine’s de la Reina, Cuba
Fresh back from our hosted trip to Cuba and already looking to go back. Fishing was pretty good but we did experience pretty severe wind for at least half the trip. Bones, tarpon and permit were around so everyone had shots which was great.
We also took the time to spend a few days in Havana checking out art, dancing at clubs and otherwise immersing ourselves in the culture which we will absolutely do again upon our return. Look for a presentation in the store in the coming few months as we will be planning a trip back here again soon.
photo Caldwell Rohrbach
March 11, 2016 Olympic Peninsula, WA
We received some rain on the Olympic Peninsula this past week. To be more exact, we received nearly 3″ of rain on Wednesday alone. It was wet, it was windy, and it spawned a new hashtag…#NoahsArk2016.
The above photo was taken Thursday morning in the aftermath of #NoahsArk2016. To orient you, the Bogey is to the left, the Quillayute to the right, and the Sol Duc directly below. Yeah, the rivers sorta blew out.
The good news is that the rivers are dropping like a rock right now and next week’s forecast looks absolutely perfect with mostly sunny weather. Next weekend we should see some of the best river conditions of the year…well deserved after all of the high water we have had to tolerate so far.
photo Reid Curry
March 4, 2016 Olympic Peninsula, WA
OP Conditions Update:
Well, this will be one of the shorter conditions reports for the OP. Winter steelheading is notoriously conditions dependent…and this winter is certainly proof of that. As of today, all major Olympic Peninsula rivers are blown out and will likely stay that way for at least the next couple of days. We are supposed to receive a heavy amount of rain over the next 12 hours, and then the forecast becomes much more mild thereafter. Fingers crossed, we should have some fishable options by Monday or Tuesday, and should be looking pretty good for the remainder of next week . The silver lining is that all of this water is very good for our wild fish as it aids there upstream migration.
Looking to get out this weekend? Hit the Puget Sound! The chum fry are showing up in greater numbers throughout the South Sound and the Sea Run Cutthroat know it! Stop by the shop to pick up some chum fry patters before heading out.
Have a great weekend!