The Yakima river is currently low, though still quite fishable! We had a few days of cold temperatures which did slow fishing down to some extent, though with some rainfall and above-freezing overnight lows we should see trout activity increase. Accessibility to most of the river is ample, with current flows @ Cle Elum of 550 CFS and @ Umtanum is 780 CFS. With the cooler weather the bug life has begun to wane, we will still see BWO's hatching. With any cloudy days the BWO's should be present, so make sure you have Parachute Adams, Purple Haze, Comparaduns, or Quigley Sparkle Flags in size 16 to target any sipping trout! Whether you're on foot, a single-person boat, or a drift boat/raft, there is still time to get out on the river before winter sets in. If you are planning on fishing the 'Yak', other flies to consider are; TNT Baetis, Pheasant Tails, Psycho May's, and Copper Johns all in #16 for BWO nymphs, Stonefly nymphs #6-10 in coffee/black or all black, zebra midges #16-18 in black, red or olive, and streamers! The streamer fishing has been productive throughout the system, with a range of flies bringing fish to the net. Sculpzilla's, Dolly Llama's, Wooley Buggers and the Rio Precious Metal are patterns to consider if you are looking to throw streamer patterns for larger trout. If you need to restock flies or have any questions about the Yakima this time of year, stop by the shop for some information.
We have seen another season on the Cedar come and go, with some decent to great fishing found through the Summer few months. Numbers of fish was great, though size of fish wasn't quite as productive as it has been historically though a few fish in the mid-high teens were caught! We look forward to getting back out on this local gem of a stream come next Memorial Day!
The Snoqualmie Forks are currently below average for streamflow, leading to slightly tougher than usual conditions. During the cooler days of last week, the fishing slowed down on the Forks. Generally fishing subsurface will be the ticket to finding fish, with nymphs and streamers providing the best success through the cooler months ahead. Smaller streamer patterns can entice the larger fish in the system, so ensure you have Wooley buggers/leeches, small Sculpzillas, and soft hackles such as the Carey Special or Six-Pack. Nymphing will be the most successfull technique almost assuredly, with mayfly nymphs #14-18, stonefly nymphs #10, caddis pupa #12-16, and zebra midges #16-18. When the snow starts falling in the mountains the Snoqualmie Forks quickly slow down, so make sure to get out there before the weather gets too cold!
Puget Sound Rivers:
Recently we have seen an opening of the Snohomish River tributaries, allowing significantly more options to target Salmon around the area. There are still fish to be found, with some great reports of fishing on the Skykomish River for Coho. We will continually wind down the Coho returns, while Chum will be quickly filling their places in the rivers, and December marking the beginning of the return for hatchery steelhead as well. In addition to salmonids, you will have opportunities to find Cutthroat trout intermingling with the salmon species, so don't be surprised if you encounter one while fishing for salmon! If you need equipment different from your typical trout setup we have the flies, terminal tackle, and rods/reels necessary to target these larger critters.
While the time to target Columbia River Steelhead is winding down, there are numerous streams to consider before December, namely the Grande Ronde, Klickitat, John Day, Deschutes, and Cowlitz Rivers. Though a decent drive from the Seattle area, these rivers are well worth the trip if steelhead are your desired species, especially if you have yet to experience summer steelhead fishing. Though weather has become more intermittent, stream flows have maintained fishable and allow a chance to find an anadromous fish. Though the weather will need to be watched this time of year to ensure a frontal system won't blow the rivers out. Chasing summer fish is generally less demanding than their winter counterparts in terms of weather and river conditions. Grab a two or single handed rod, some skaters or swinging flies, and experience what swinging flies for steelhead has to offer, it truly is a once in a lifetime experience!
Local lakes are an option for trout fishing this time of year, while productivity will be spotty as many lakes haven't been stocked for some time. Checking the stocking report through the WDFW is a good measure to find more consistent fishing in lowland lakes. Eastside lakes will slow down significantly as well, due to the cooling temperatures moving through the month of November. While chironomid fishing can still be productive, trolling leech and bugger patterns will continually work to expose your flies to more fish. Olive/Black leeches are good fly options, though we are partial to the Rio Gold Jigger, Olive Willy's, and Thin Mints. For indicator fishing, fly patterns include; snow cone chironomids and a couple new patterns from Rio called "The Red Assasin" and "Hanging with My Chromies". Stop by the shop to get some updated reports on lowland and eastside lakes!
The warmwater fishing should progressively wane as overnight temperatures decline, limiting opportunities on the fly for bass and other warmwater species.
The saltwater fishing for trout has been consistent, with some nice trout being encountered off the beaches! The weather is more of a concern this time of year, as frontal systems can bring breezy to windy conditions on the Puget Sound, so keep an eye on the wind forecast before you head out. Some fly patterns to consider for trout are Clouser Minnows in olive/white and pink/whit, shrimp patterns (euphasiids), Sand Eels, and Sculpin patterns. Fishing near creek and river estuaries will be a good practice, though the trout can be found generally around structured areas, in 5-15' of water with some sort of current (near points are good places to find current during moving tides). Generally a light sinking line, or a sink tip is all that is necessary to target the saltwater species, with a 5wt being the lightest rod necessary for trout. Grab your gear, find a likely beach, and present your streamers to some hungry cutthroat, and if you need any suggestions or advice, stop by to get some reports!