7/3/2024, Time To Hit The Rivers

Fishing Report, Fly Fishing, Issaquah, Middle Fork Snoqualmie, Puget Sound, Seattle, Snoqualmie, South Fork -

7/3/2024, Time To Hit The Rivers


Yakima River:

The "flip-flop" on the Yakima River is underway which entails water release from some of the headwater reservoirs, raising the river flows through the summer. This makes wading access difficult below the Cle Elum River, though not impossible as there are still certain inside seams, side channels, and gravel bars still accessible. While boat access will be the best way to fish, the river above the Cle Elum confluence will remain accessible on foot most of the summer. Water temperatures should remain adequate for the near future, but keep an eye on the temperature through the summer months if we have extended periods of warm weather. Generally fish will get pushed tight to banks with the high water, though seam lines, drop-offs, and structured areas with boulder and logs will still harbor trout.


Dry fly fishing has been successful with Golden Stone adults, Yellow Sallies, Caddis in the evenings and on cloudier days the PMD's have been rising fish. We have started to see hoppers arrive so any day we should see fish targeting this land borne food source. Especially in the lower canyon, the stoneflies and caddis need to be fished tight to structure along the banks, as fish will be holding in the eddies and behind structure in these areas. Otherwise look for risers targeting mayflies around seamlines! Dry flies to consider will be; Chubby Chernobyl's in tan/orange//purple/royal, Gypsy Kings in brown/royal; Yellow Stimulators; Big-Bone Caddis, Rio's Foam Run Caddis, and the Egg Laying Caddis; Sparkle Flag PMD's, Purple Haze, and Extended Body PMD's. Nymphing will always be successful through the summer with various stonefly patterns and sizes such as the TJ Hooker and Pat's Rubberleg's, paired with either Pheasant Tail's, Lightning Bug's, or Caddis larva nymphs to increase your success. Do not overlook streamer fishing if you are inclined, with the higher flows trout oftentimes struggle to withstand ambushing a well presented streamer. While salmon smolt imitations are to be considered, sculpin patterns are always on the menu as well.



Puget Sound Streams:

Many of our freestone Cascade streams are now just getting into shape for wade fishing, due to the prolonged cooler weather we've seen. The Cedar and Green (both dam controlled) have been in shape since the latest rain event, and have been good to great fishing with dries and nymphs! Occasionally streamers have been productive, either sculpin or baitfish patterns have been able to turn some of the larger fish. Otherwise your stoneflies, mayflies and caddis are all candidates for aquatic insects food sources with terrestrial bugs such as ants and beetles becoming increasingly prevalent through the next couple of months. This time of year is also great to go check out smaller tributaries and creeks, as snowmelt has ceased in most places and the trout are hungry looking for any food source they can procure! Whether the headwaters of larger streams or creeks in the Cascades, these fisheries provide great solitude and you may be surprised at the fish you can encounter!



While we transition from lowland lake trout fishing in the heat of the summer the warm water species, namely bass, are around and willing to eat the fly! Small baitfish patterns, crappie and crayfish imitations are all great flies to utilize on local waters, but don't forget to have a few poppers to target around structure and foliage!


Alpine lakes are another great fishery through the summer months, with many providing great views and great trout fishing to boot. Fish in these areas aren't terribly picky, though leeches and buggers are always on the menu, dry flies will include gnats, mosquitos, and terrestrials as well. If you haven't experienced watching a trout in gin clear water rise for you dry fly in a picturesque setting of an alpine lake, you should check it off your list!



Fishing the salt water of Puget Sound is a great alternative to your usual haunts in the summer! While the fish will generally be around creek and river estuaries, many beaches with sufficient habitat in the North and South Sound will harbor fish, so don't be too picky which one you land on. Ensure you are on the lookout for moving water when fishing the sound, which will be present during moving tides, as well as near land outcrops such as points. Most importantly, if the current beach is devoid of life change your location to another local beach. Some of our favorite flies for the salmon fry are the Chumbody's Baby, Rio's Fry Me a River, Skerik's Hatchery Smolt, and Rio's Just Keep Swimming. While imitating the small salmonids can produce trout, other food sources are always present such as Euphasiid's, Sand Eel's and Sculpins.



We are seeing decent numbers of fish returning over Bonneville Dam, while not ideal numbers they are in excess of years past. While still slightly early in the season, fish will continue to return to their natal streams over the next couple months into the fall. While fishing with sink tips and wet flies will be a more productive technique, there is always the chance to raise an active fish to the surface on a waked fly as well! Grab your two hander, Skagit or Scandi shooting head, and swing some flies for some steelhead on the Eastern Washington streams!