Summer SteelAugust 10, 2016
Summer here in the PNW has been quite mild this season. Water flows took awhile to drop and with so many days starting off overcast, it has helped keep some of the steelhead waters cooler through the mid summer.
Washington is a unique steelhead area and can confuse many who travel here. We have what we consider 4 distinct steelhead regions within Washington:
1. Puget Sound watersheds - Nooksack, Skagit, Sauk, Stillaguamish, Skykomish, Snoqualmie and Green Rivers, some of the most legendary in the sport.
2. Olympic Peninsula/Coastal watersheds - Hoh, Bogachiel, Sol Duc, Queets, Quinault, Satsop and many others.
3. Lower Columbia River Tribs - Cowlitz, Kalama, Lewis, Toutle and Chehalis are the larger ones.
4. Upper Columbia River Tribs - Klickitat, Grande Ronde, Methow, Wenatchee and others.
Each of these systems receives fish at various times through the year some hatchery based and others wild. What it boils down to is we have good steelheading nearly 12 months of the year. Not a bad place to live if you have chrome in your blood.
As summer fades into fall, look for some fresh steelhead to arrive in the Skykomish system and late adopters to continue to pour into the Cowlitz. Not as well known but certainly worth some attention is the small summer run of wild fish that come to the O.P. rivers such as the Queets.
Water will be low and clear in nearly every river this time of year so smaller flies and at times longer leaders to smaller tippet will be helpful in a stealthy approach. For the two handers, this is a time to love your compact Scandi head with poly leader to precisely present your sparsely tied fly of choice.
Should you be headed hear already or just thinking about it, don't hesitate to call or email us and ask, we would be happy to clear your way to one or more of our rivers.