Fishing Report -

Spring Fishing Report 2021

- Fishing report spring 2021

Yakima River: Lots of bug activity recently. Skwala's, March browns, caddis, and terrestrials are just a few things to try if your looking to fish dries.  Temps are on the rise and so are the fish. The first dry fly opportunities of the year are upon us. Coffee colored stones and worms in pink/tan are the ticket subsurface. A trout spey is a great tool along with a euro specific rod in a 10’-11’ range. Flies to have this spring; streamers in olive, browns,  black, white, in a 2”-3” range #-4-6, with streamers don’t get hung up on patterns as it’s all about movement. Nymphs ranging from small perdigons, hare’s ear, P.T, Small dark #14-18 range will find fish. You will want to get this down with a heavier point fly so a T. J hooker or anything jig eyed and with a heavy bead in the #8-14 size. Dark browns, olives, black and light tan are good colors to try. Rainbows are spawning all spring so eggs become available and well placed bead or egg imitation might find some interesting things. Whatever you choose to do keep it simple, cover water, and don’t be afraid to experiment.

Puget Sound: The cutthroat fishing has been consistent with some good reports of fish around in the central and south sound. Chum and pink salmon fry are emerging and hanging in the shallows. The south/central sound is always a consistent producer in the spring months. Resident Coho along with resident kings (Blackmouth) and cutthroat can all be found in the same school at times if you are lucky enough to experience this! Baitfish patterns will be your best bet but anything resembling a small squid/shrimp is something to experiment with. Honestly cutthroat are the least pickiest  species of salmonid so anything small, slightly transparent with some flash retrieved in a stop go fashion will gen really produce. If you don’t get what you’re looking for on your first beach in about an hour head to a backup location and continue searching. Full intermediate lines along with an aggressive full floating line are the only two lines needed. Grab your 5-6wt and go explore our local gem.

Westside Lakes: Local area lakes have been planted recently and are fun early season, here’s a link to explore what lakes have been planted   https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/reports/stocking/trout-plants/all. The lakes that are not planted yet will still have decent opportunities but they tend to be slower as the numbers of fish are much lower in our naturally reproducing lakes. Chironomids, leeches and baitfish will be the most common food sources this time of year.

Eastside lakes: The Basin lakes are open and ready to fish. Bobbers and chironomids will be the main food choice for the next few months as the weather warms. Leeches, dragon fly nymphs, damsels, waterboatman and callibaetis are also around depending on what lake you are fishing. Get the float tube ready for some good hike in water!

Snoqualmie Forks: The forks will be slooooow but they are open and you will generally have a good amount of solitude though as a trade- off. Streamer fishing and nymphs will be your best bet. Don’t get hung up on patterns as much as covering water correctly and getting out and exploring new water for those warmer months. Sculpin imitations, leeches, and a box of attractor nymphs is all one needs to be dangerous on the forks.

Bass/Warm-water: Spawning time is around the corner Bass will be going deep looking for more consistent temps and food. This time of the year the salmonid fry and baitfish are migrating so the bass will follow the food and or relate to heavy structure with deep water near. Panfish, crappie, perch etc. will still all be around but generally very slow so when targeting them go small and take your time. We have good warm water fishing in most of all our local lowland lakes including carp and tiger musky so get ready for warmer temps. 

Olympic Peninsula:  Closed April 1st due to low wild steelhead returns. Look here to stay up to date on what is open and closed https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=2640. WDFW recently updated our regulations on the peninsula to include no fishing from  a boat, and catch and release all rainbow trout. Keep up to date here: https://www.fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/erule.jsp?id=2611.  Like all west coast anadromous fish stocks the OP is experiencing significant run loss and severely depressed fish populations. At this point as anglers we need to fish for these fish in manners and ways that greatly reduce our impact on them. Getting your “one fish for the day” is a great way to look at it. If you hook up and or land a fish hang it up for the day and take pictures, work on your cast, explore a new area etc. anything but continuing to pressure these fish after you get one is just greedy.  Giving them a chance to spawn and thrive is what is needed and hooking as many of these beautiful fish in a day is just plain careless and causes fish to not spawn and prematurely return to the ocean. Here is a link to the most up to date run sizes and info: https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/score/score/species/steelhead.jsp?species=Steelhead

Pass Lake: Chironomids, leeches, and baitfish patterns presented down deep on a full sinker or deep on an indicator rig are good bets this time of year. The browns are always looking for meat to chase and the rainbows will be eating midges all spring to stay fat. Good time for a spin around the lake in your float tube. Think low numbers but the possibility at some of the biggest fish of the season.

Puget Sound steelhead: Closed Jan 31. Local rivers will open in June!

Skagit System: We will have a 2021 C&R season on the Skagit and Sauk system! "The Skagit River steelhead pre-season forecast is 4,297 steelhead. According to the Fishery Resource Management Plan for Skagit steelhead, federally approved in April 2018, when the pre-season forecast is greater than or 4,000 and less than or equal to 6,000 Skagit steelhead, there are enough impacts available to safely provide some catch and release opportunity. The fishery will be four days a week allowing the fishery to be 100 percent monitored without catch expansions. Fully monitoring all days of the fishery allows for the most accurate estimate of catch and helps ensure the catch and release fishery does not negatively affect the run - WDFW".  Same rules apply here though pertaining to etiquette and fishing pressure. If somebody is in a run move above them or wait until they sufficiently move far enough down the run to start in above them. If you do go below somebody make sure you are 100 yards well below them before you start fishing. Most runs are not this long but some are 200 yards plus and in these cases it is not considered rude to step in well below (100+ yards ) of the angler. If the run is less than 100 yards wait at the top to start. Stay positive, be a steward of our resource, and remember to keep your impact  minimal. https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/rules_all_freshwater.j

Montana: We are well versed in the waters of Montana; from the Clark Fork to the bighorn we know a thing or two. Stop on in as we can get you setup for a trip anywhere out west. Check out these reports for the Beaverhead and Bighorn https://www.sunriseflyshop.com/montana-fishing-reports/ 

Alpine Lakes: Time to call it a day up high so get those boxes and boots ready for this summer! A good box of terrestrial dries and leeches are all one needs to find success on our local alpine lakes. Remember to adhere to leave no trace principals when you spend time in our back country.