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Pacific North West Fly Fishing Report

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Brett Wedeking reports on 8.23.18

After weeks of wilting in heat and choking on smoke, conditions are finally starting to shift to “normal”
summer weather and we’re even beginning to think about fall in the PNW. I even heard it might rain a bit… 


Water temps and flows have been high—which is normal for the dog days of summer—but fishing remains decent to good. Nocturnal stones are the biggest thing going, and early mornings the fish are looking up for foam. In high water, the closer to the bank you can put your bug, the more fish you will hook. Think 2 inches from the grass, not 2 feet. Caddis hatches are waning and sporadic but evenings are the time to try a caddis emerger off the back of a hopper. Nymphing remains the default method of trout capture and streamers are a good option every day. Looking ahead, flows are beginning to drop for the fall, and with a few cool nights ahead, fall conditions will be here soon. The fish will move off the banks and into riffles, shelves and mid river structure.

Craneflies, mahogany duns, BWO’s and October caddis are on deck. Start tying. 

Puget Sound: 

Cutthroat fishing is game on right now! North to south cutts are spread out along most beaches of the Sound. They’re hammering sand eel and herring patterns. Anything orange/tan or pink/white will get ‘em too. While sea runs generally patrol shallow water near the beach, summer is time to check the drop offs and a bit deeper water. Sometimes the larger fish will hang off the edges, ambushing prey in cooler, darker water, more like 4-12 feet deep.

This is the most vast, unique and underrated trout fishery in the country. Give it a try. Salmon fishing is heating up too. While we’re headed for another weak coho run this year, the fish are starting to show up on beaches throughout the north and mid-sound. Pink and chartreuse are the main
colors that put coho on the end of the line, but don’t forget about olive, brown and always white! 

Summer steelhead:

 Puget Sound streams are pretty weak at the moment and probably will continue to

be so in the future. There’s a few fish around in the Sky, Snoqualmie and Stilly however, so if you’re
itching to get out and throw the two hander, get up early and take your dry line.
Columbia/Snake returns are looking slightly lower than predicted, which isn’t good, since the preseason
forecast was for another dismal run. Let’s hope all the hot weather and warm water just has them biding
their time. I’ve heard a decent report from the Deschutes and the Klickitat is worth fishing too. Fish won’t show up in Snake River tribs for another few weeks but it’s time to plan your trip to Lewiston.

Mountain Streams: 

If you want to catch fish in a pretty place without spectators breathing on you, head for the Cascades or the Olympics. A plethora of mountain creeks and rivers from the Canadian to Oregon
boarders are low, clear and cold and full of scrappy, dry fly happy fish. Most of these fish are small cutts and rainbows. But, put in your time and you might find something surprising, maybe even an
anadromous fish…


Largemouth and smallmouth across the state are active and filling up on Clousers, poppers and jigs. Highlights include the Columbia and Snake Rivers, Potholes Reservoir, Scootenay Reservoir and even Lake Washington right in Seattle. For those anglers who don’t discriminate, carp inhabit just about every bass fishery and they will take you for a ride.

I’m have a few openings on Puget Sound and the Yakima before Sept 17 th . I’ll be in Alaska from the 19 th until the end of October. Late fall can host excellent fishing on the Sound and Yakima as well as chums
dollies on the Sky and Skagit. Hit me up for a day on the water.
Brett Wedeking

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