It is always a little amusing how we look so forward to summer through the winter and spring and then about mid way through, we are looking forward to fall. Maybe because we live in the PNW for the cooler temps and actual seasons or maybe it is because so much of the fishing is sooooo good around here this time of year. Either way, here we are and there are ample reasons to be out fishing right now so don't put the equipment away, keep it rigged up and ready to go!
Yakima River - This is THE season to be fishing the Yak. Because we are in Seattle and do not depend on this river entirely for our livelihood we are able to be more objective in regards to when to fish here unlike those who are 100% dependent on it. That said, fall is when flows are predictable, low, easy to wade and water temps bring back some of the hatches we love so much like BWO's/Blue Winged Olives, probably our favorite. Access is everywhere so grab a spot and work the water over. Pay attention to where you see bugs emerging from and slowing move that direction with the appropriate angle for a suitable presentation. October Caddis are also out so big orange Stimulators and similar flies can bring big trout to the surface. This is also the time of year where trout spey can be the most fun way to fish the Yakima. Swinging soft hackles into tailouts or skating big Caddis can electrify your experience. Don't know how to spey cast yet, let's get you a lesson, this is such an integral skill for any fly angler for nearly any situation, it can almost always be useful. We have a good 6-8 week period here where the Yak is in prime form so use the snowless pass and get over there.
Puget Sound - Also in prime form for SRC's/sea run cutthroat but sprinkled with some large flakes of silver. Yep, Coho/Silver salmon are here and they will aggressively take the very same flies you are fishing for the cutt's with so be prepared. Fish 0x - 2x tippet at about 7-8ft and be buckled in. A migratory Coho of size is going to show you your backing so be prepared for that. Much of the kelp is beginning to disappear so that is good news but there is still some around so take a gander at the beach before you head down and decide if you should relocate or take the stripping basket. This time of year as the sun dips lower in the sky for most of the day, we are less concerned about time of day and more about tide. Bigger moving Spring tides will produce necessary current on all beaches but some more than others. Neap tides or the ones with less fluctuation will still be ok on beaches with a lot of water exposure like LIncoln Park, the Narrows or Brown's Point but will not move the water much at beaches like Kopachuk. Either way, fish when you can fish, that is most important.
Snoqualmie Forks and Creeks - The swan song is almost here for them for the season. Water is cooling quickly which is making the trout much more lethargic early to rise for dry flies so late AM to mid day PM is ideal. We really don't see any need to put nymphs on in these streams. They are dry fly sanctuaries in our opinion so practice up on your presentation skills. Caddis, Stimulators, PMD's/Pale Morning Duns and other attractors will all be good choices. Have fun, about 2 weeks or so left up there for the most part and almost all of them close at end of October, except the Snoqualmie Forks.
Steelhead - Well, some places are still closed like the mainstem of the Skykomish unfortunately but the Cowlitz, Klickitat, Skagit and Sauk as well as a few others are good places to start looking around. This time of year, we really can't suggest strongly enough to skate flies on these rivers and bring one of those chromers to hand on a surface take...it will literally change your world!
That is it, congrats, you finished the Friday report now hopefully that gets you out there fishing.
We remain diligent in helping you so figure out what you don't know or can't work out on your own and come ask us. Happy to tell you what rock to stand on, which fly, what tide or beach, how to cast or mend better and when just give up and come have a beverage with us...it's what we are here for!
Have a great weekend,