Fishing Report March 3. 2023
We are slowly beginning to make our way to warmer days, though we need to get out of the icebox firstly. Soon we will have plenty of fisheries available producing fantastic opportunities to catch trout, bass, salmon and steelhead. From the Puget Sound and lowland lakes, to eastside lakes and the Yakima River, its time to get ready for the upcoming year!
We are on the cusp of the time of year many anglers anticipate, the turn to Spring! While we have transitioned to meteorological spring, the weather may not indicate as such. Though, the change of the seasons will lead to warmer water/ambient temperatures, active trout, and various hatching insects.
On the docket for the coming months will be Skwala Stoneflies, March Brown mayflies, and BWO mayflies. With the cooler weather adult bugs will be limited, so keep an eye out for warmer temperatures in Eastern Washington and plan accordingly. Otherwise nymphing will be the name of the game for the time being, with #8-12 Olive/Brown or Coffee/Black Pat's, Mayfly nymphs to mimic March Browns and BWOs such as Pheasant tail #12-18, Psycho Mayflies #12-16 and Perdigon style nymphs namely Rio's Rain Drop and Solitude's Tungsten Jig Baetis. As with the cooler weather we haven't seen much influx in river flow on the Yakima, lending to generally less production with with San Juan Worms. As temperatures rise and clarity decreases from snowmelt and rainfall, make sure you are ready with worm patterns to get those fish keying in on worms.
The Westside lakes will progressively fish better as we experience warmer water temperatures through March. Few lakes have been stocked with trout this time of year, though many others will have holdover trout to chase. Trolling with a Wooley Bugger or a Leech will be productive, but you can also cast and retrieve these around structure too. Fishing chironomid patterns underneath an indicator is also another technique to consider employing. Eastside lakes are still inundated in ice, as well looking for warmer temperatures to free up their surfaces. Be on the lookout for warmer, sunny days in order to kick start this process.
Having a float tube or a boat can greatly increase success on lakes regardless of species you are after, though you can very well find fish from shore. Come check out our stock of inflatables if you are in need, we have float tubes and even the Outcast Clearwater in stock!
As we transition to Spring, though it might not feel like it currently, the Puget Sound becomes an ever enticing option to fish for Cutthroat trout. We will begin to see juvenile salmonids migrating to the brine, providing trout with a reknowned food source. Chum fry specifically seem to be a favorite food source, and we have plenty of patterns to imitate these fry. Finding habitat where fish will most likely be is half the battle, make sure to look for rocky structure, oyster beds, and points where you will find current breaks. Moving water is your friend! Typical flies entail Clouser Minnows in various colors (we prefer pink/white, olive/white, chartreuse/white), baitfish imitations such as Rio's Just Keep Swimming or Precious Metal, and smaller shrimp/squid patterns. If you intend to imitate Chum Fry, a few patterns to consider are Rio's Fry me a River, Chumbody's Baby, and Skeriks Hatchery Smolt. Intermediate lines tend to be the most productive, though a floating line (possibly with a sinking leader/poly leader) can be utilized to fish the shallow waters the Cutthroat inhabit.
We have had a relatively average winter, allowing for good to great conditions for chasing steelhead! With ample amounts of precipitation and cool temperatures, this has allowed for ideal streamflow conditions in many fisheries. Not too high, not too low, just right. Though the Puget Sound rivers have mostly remained closed for winter steelhead fishing, there are still places to scratch the itch. The available opportunities entail some Southwest Washington Columbia tributaries, such as the Cowlitz and Kalama, and Peninsula rivers (you can find info on Peninsula below). Grab some Hoh-Bo Speys, Intruder's, or a recent favorite of ours the Rio Trailer Trash and swing them through some enticing waters before its too late!
There is still opportunity to encounter a steelhead on the Washington coast, though the WDFW has implemented closures on certain streams to protect wild fish. A detailed list of the streams that have altered regulations or have been closed can be found here: OP Winter/Spring regulations A number of these streams have closed as of March 1st as well, make sure you're informed on the status of the fisheries! We have had guides and customers finding beautiful fish on the currently open streams, with good amounts taken on a swung fly.
If you are looking for a guided trip, we have guides looking to get you on some fish! Whether its Trout, Salmon or Steelhead, you can call Chris Senyohl of Intrepid Anglers @ (425)-890-1681, or Brett Wedeking of Tailout Anglers @ (425)-443-3782