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Looking for a great spot to go salmon fly fishing Washington? Whether you’re filling your freezer, bagging that Instagram trophy, or just spending some time on the water, you’d be remiss to skip out on the Evergreen State. Washington’s diverse terrain makes it a veritable buffet of salmon fishing choices. You can choose salt-water or fresh and take your pick of rivers, lakes, and ocean. The state also boasts numerous popular salmon varieties: such as Pink, Coho, Chum, and Chinook.
Best Spots for Salmon Fly Fishing Washington
The Yakima river remains one of the most popular rivers to go salmon fly fishing in Washington. While some holes can get crowded, the river’s 214-mile length ensures that there’s always a quiet spot somewhere. The Yakima is known for Chinook and features big hatch events in the summer as Mayflies, Caddisflies, and Stoneflies emerge. Simply matching these hatches can bring you big yields, but stoneflies in general work all summer long.
The mouth of the Columbia River makes a choice spot for hauling in massive Cohos or Chinooks. Locals recommend flies with a lot of movement and bright colors like pink, orange, and white, with smaller flies for Chinook in the summer. This spot really blows up in late summer, so make sure to book any August travel plans well in advance.
If you’re looking for something a little more rugged, the Hoh River is known for its breathtaking scenery. Passing through snow-capped peaks and temperate rain-forest, the Hoh river is famous for steelhead and miles of easy wading. It's also home to an impressive silver salmon run. Since the Hoh is a glacial melt river, you may want to check the weather in advance. A few days of heavy rain in the mountains, and suddenly it’s harder to wade.
Finally, the Skagit River is one of Washington’s largest salmon fisheries, where you can find all five species of Pacific Salmon. The summer months offer your best shot at salmon, and roe, caddisfly, and stonefly nymphs are the choice flies. The Skagit River is even home to a yearly salmon festival in September, so you know this spot's good.
When should I plan my Trip?
The best times to go salmon fly fishing Washington depends on what you’re looking to catch. Fortunately, the variety offers a broad window stretching over three seasons. For Chum Salmon, you’ll want to hit late fall or early winter, from October to December. Late summer is the peak time for Pink Salmon, July through September. Chinook and Coho each have longer seasons: Chinook is available from April through October and Coho from August to December.
Make sure to get the most out of your trip to go salmon fly fishing Washington by planning ahead. In addition to some deeper research on your spots of choice, make sure your fishing license is up to date, as Washington requires it across the board. Finally, plan for the weather. Washington has a national reputation for damp, rainy days, so rain-gear is a must. The winter months are especially chilly, so dressing in layers is advised.
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