Ok, believe it or not the Holidays are actually upon us and if we are of value to you either via this report, face to face in the store, the myriad of unique events we bring to the community, our guiding or the info we provide via our other social media channels like @ewaflyshop_seattle or @ewa_women or @emeraldwateranglerswa on Instagram...we need you to spend holiday dollars with us, here...spending is voting in the small retail world. We want to be here to serve you so please help us continue to do so.
Off our chest and on to the report on this lovely, wet and cold Friday morning. Been raining hard since about 3am but it is cold in the mountains so high elevations, for now are getting much needed snow which means rivers here will flex their flows a bit. Hoping however that for the weekend they remain fishable here on the west side and on the OP.
Puget Sound - The local saltwater has been fishing well at times providing you were on the right beach and fishing the fly they wanted. While we love to fish surface flies, the SRC's have been showing their ability to be finicky by focusing on small, shrimp/euphausiid patterns, stripped very slow. Mitch has been tying up some of his favorite patterns for the shop but they are in limited quantities so get them while you can. Daylight is of course at a premium right now so get out and simply fish when you can. Moving water always a bonus but if you have a beach 5 minutes from you, get on it! We have a selection of Puget Sound flies that we choose based on current conditions which also makes a great gift for someone.
Steelhead - With the cold and the rain, those who enjoy self inflicted punishment immediately start to think winter steelhead. There are a few places around that have been showing some fish this time of year and some will get better as we move through December and into the new year. Skagit, Sauk, Hoh, Sol Duc and Bogachiel are ripe for the taking right now...that means they are open and because of that, there might be some fish in them for you to dangle a swung fly in front of. Doesn't always mean you will catch said fish, regardless of what others out there may tell you. This sport remains one of mostly "fishing", particularly for wild steelhead. That said, keep an eye on flows as the rain/snow comes and how the temperature may affect those flows. Snow now in the mountains while cold is good but a warmer rain a bit later will produce big water, nearly or totally unfishable water. Questions about this, please ask, we don't want you to waste your time or play a dangerous game of floating or wading to fish when it isn't worth it. Fly wise, we love black, purple, blue but we also encourage fishing what you have confidence in. 7-8wt spey rods will be ideal and while some on our staff adhere to a more summer/fall set up as far as the head goes, water temps and flows are going to welcome heavier tips requiring different heads appropriate for easy delivery. We carry a great assortment of Skagit, Scandi and Rage-like heads and have been spey casting for over 20 years so if you have questions, let us know.
Yakima River - It's cold but low at the moment and should remain there so now is as good a time to explore with the trout spey as you can possibly get. Small soft hackles and nymphs swung through buckets and tailouts is a fantastic way to bring some fish to hand. Lightning Bugs, small Pheasant Tails, Copper John's smaller olive leaches are terrific choices. With any luck, mid day, no wind and a bit of sun might bring about some midge or Blue Winged Olive hatch that can warrant some dry fly attention here in the late fall or early winter. Fall into early winter is our favorite time of year to guide this river so let us know if you would like to see the Yak through our eyes.
That's it, we are mostly limited to this for awhile. A few winter opportunities on some lakes around the state and of course Rocky Ford for some spring creeking but otherwise, no better reason to learn the Sound, it's close and open all year.
Happy Holidays to all of you, safe travels, fun fishing with family and friends we hope are on your list for the season and we would love to assist with all of it. Any questions, as always please call, email, facetime, message on IG or even, wait for it...come in and ask! We are HERE FOR YOU!