As we prepare this Seattle fly fishing report this morning from here at the store, the last 7 people in have been headed to 7 completely different places to chase almost as many different species of fish. We live in a mecca for those curious and adventurous about where and what to fish for.
Here is the rundown for the weekend...
Forks of the Snoqualmie are a bit high yet again. We had a couple of days with warm weather and we still have snow to melt. And so it is doing. That being said, the fish will be looking up more and more, especially in the afternoons and evening as water temps rise during the day hours.
The Yakima River is in maybe perfect shape flow and water color wise for caddis activity, especially in the lower reaches of the river, in the canyon. Upper river still expect to see a bit of a smorgasbord of bugs from PMD's to March Browns and Drakes with caddis and stoneflies tossed in for good measure.
The Cle Elum River is up pretty high for wading now and it may be that way for the remainder of the season so be careful and choose your access points wisely. Similar bug and fishing expectations as the upper Yakima but with a few more cutthroat trout in there, would hedge our bets on surface flies first...we always do that anyway! Employ the trout spey on both rivers with streamers, this is why you have one and if you don't yet, let's talk!
Cedar River is still a bit high was well but if you pull up google earth you will see a ton of public access points to get onto the river. Streamers in the scour holes below log jams are a great way to move some of the bigger trout in here. Definitely a skill not widely needed in WA but a good one to have so come in and we can give you some pointers. We also recommend having a bike and utilizing the path to more quickly and easily get to places on the river some anglers on foot won't get to as easily. Bring it down to the water and lock it to a tree.
Puget Sound is fishing so so right now. Kelp is working against you to some degree and can definitely be frustrating. Stripping baskets and intermediate lines can make a huge difference but more than anything, know your beaches, fish ones with a relatively fast moving current across it and as often as possible, fish outgoing tides as often as you can. Not because it "takes" the kelp away but because on incoming tides, it lifts the kelp resting on the shore back into the water and then you are surrounded by it! We are entering the time of year where early and late are usually better if possible and there are more and more baitfish of varying sizes out there so have a variety of fly patterns as well. Build your library!
All the lakes and warmwater species are active right now in more lakes that we can begin to mention. Callibaetis in the east side lakes for trout, frogs, mice and baby duck imitations working great for all else on our west side ones. Carp are an increasingly fun species to chase if you enjoy sight casting, stealthy approaches, subtle reaction to your fly and ultimately a visual refusal!
Steelhead rivers are actually in pretty good shape and this is a great time to encounter an early arriving summer run or late arriving winter fish. With water still a bit turbid, we recommend staying for the moment with what you would use in the winter. T-7 should be fine with smaller winter like flies in color of choice would likely work well. We would hit the Skykomish or maybe the Sauk/Skagit but really any would be good right now including the Green, Snoqualmie and Cowlitz.
Mountain creeks are a bit big and unruly but some are approachable now. We usually encourage people to wait until late June at the earliest as water levels can fluctuate during the day on some of these and water will be COLD still so the fish won't likely be looking up just yet. Give it another week or two and we should be green light go on these little gems.