Finally, here we are officially in June and that means the proverbial world has opened up to us. Fly anglers rejoice as now we can spread out, fish where and how we want for every species this wonderful state has to offer. There is no better time to explore than now. Tons of daylight, lots of options, new species, new locations and guess what? We are here to help you figure all of it out so ASK US QUESTIONS! Here we go...
Cedar River - Good news, Cedar is already sort of down at a barely approachable level and fish are looking up where you can get a fly to them. Bad news is this is early so we expect the latter part of the summer to be difficult with low water and high temps. So get your licks in now. Caddis, PMD's and mid sized Stimulators would be the trifecta of choice unless you want to fish streamers against log jams, cut banks and rip rap banks. The Cedar is slippery so be careful, make good decisions and be respectful of the water. If you are not comfortable in faster moving water, maybe wait another couple weeks. We said "barely approachable"!
Urban Lakes - This isn't new but with the amount of pressure on the few local streams, we want to encourage you to explore new, nearby watersheds that are fun. Bass, they just so happen to be pretty darn fun. Aggressively take topwater flies, fight hard and there are tons of places to get out and chase them close to town. Should you have a canoe, kayak, SUP or single person watercraft, these are absolutely a fantastic way to get out and chase these fish within 30 minutes of home, maybe less even. Basically, name a small local lake, it likely has bass so go get on it. Another week or so and the larger smallmouth should be off their beds and up on top predating on frogs, mice, baby ducks and other mid sized proteins. Don't underestimate carp either. Most get into fly fishing because they love the idea of a hard fighting fish on light equipment. If we were to blind fold you and hand you a rod hooked into one, we believe you would be pretty stoked. For those who like a challenge, these are not easy fish to catch, spooky, smart and fickle so go test your skills.
Puget Sound - Sorry to hammer this again but the Sound has been fishing quite well, especially early in the morning. It is that time of year when low light is beneficial and with more sun comes more kelp so whether a floating or intermediate line, a stripping basket is going to be something to maybe look into. We have a couple options, here is one from S/A and the other from Take will be here in a week or so. Fly wise, baitfish of all species are growing, getting larger. This means the profile of your bugs should be also getting bigger to better imitate. This is a pink season and they should begin to show here in about 6-8 weeks so be prepared for that. Hint, they like pink flies! Get out there...
Steelhead - Pretty rough around here so look to travel a bit or if you are like us and simply enjoy the process and are not horribly concerned with a result, they get on your favorite river and swing away. We offer spey casting classes all year and really the summer is a terrific time to learn. Lighter flies, floating tips and nice weather all make learning something new more fun. The Cowlitz River will have their summer run hatchery steelhead begin to show up about now and this river has a plethora of fantastic swing water and is very easy to row. Yes, the boat ramp is a bit daunting but once past them, it is quite a peaceful experience. We also guide this river so if you would like our perspective on it we would love to take you. Flies, your choice. We like olive and black anywhere from traditional summer patterns like Skunks to small or mid sized intruders. New to this game, ASK US QUESTIONS because we want to help you figure it out.
Snoqualmie Forks and Mountain Creeks - The gems of WA. We sometimes refer to them as "Blue Lines" as many will simply be a small blue line on a map and likely doesn't have a ton of reference to it on Google...we love that! For those not wanting to share the outdoors this can be paradise. Small streams, air clear water, wild trout eating dry flies, old growth forest and few other people...shangri-la! Caddis, mid sized Stimulators and no need for droppers, just stay on top. This is how to perfect your trout game, taking your time working upstream, assessing water and working on presentation at your pace. Not huge fish for the most part but fun and beautiful. Many are closer to home than you might think and most would be perfect for a smaller sized rod, like a 2-3wt, a glass rod or even a bamboo rod.
Yakima River - We do guide the Yak, know it well and are not poo-pooing it but there is just so much noise out there about it, we are trying not to add to it much. Yak is open all year, bugs are officially out and flows remain relatively low so good time to be here. There will be a ton of anglers here, everyone knows about it which is why we are trying to present other options for you to consider. It is mostly all about caddis right now especially in the evenings but have PMD's (Pale Morning Dun, a mayfly) on hand in the morning and some stonefly patterns as well. Come late June, flows will increase and they will remain there until mid September which makes it mostly a boat access river. Not entirely but mostly.
We said it a few times above but we will mention it again. We as a fly shop are indeed here to outfit you for your fly fishing needs. BUT, we at least EWA is also here to provide you with good, quality information about where, when, how and why to use what you already have or just purchased. We are here to help and we are more than happy to point you in the right direction because we want you to have fun and be successful whether here in Seattle, elsewhere in the PNW or great U.S. or globally.
Call, email, message, facetime, write a letter or even stop in, we look forward to seeing you and have a great summer.
EWA Staff - 206-708-7250