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Fly Fishing Seattle

Seattle is a beautiful city, a city known for great coffee, progressive music, and headquarters to hi-tech companies. Seattle is also known for its rain, lots of rain, and for being surrounded by a whole lot of water. And with water comes fish and with fish comes the fly fisher.

While the steelhead runs on infamous rivers like the Skykomish are well documented, there are many opportunities that are within a stone’s throw of Pike’s Place that go under fished every day. If you are willing to think past trout and steelhead, you literally have year round fishing in a major metropolitan area; just do not leave your raincoat at home.

The Sammamish River which flows through downtown Redmond (perfect if you have business with a certain iconic software publisher) has been re-engineered from the formerly ugly laser straight thoroughfare to a more natural flowing connector of Lake Sammamish and Lake Washington. Teeming with smallmouth  and a seasonally decent population of cutthroat.

The beaches around Seattle are known for having great sea-run cutthroat fishing.  Some of the most productive beaches in Puget Sound are within Seattle City Limits.  

Green Lake is another urban favorite with lots of smallmouth, some rainbows, and browns. The relatively new sport of fly fishing for carp is receiving some play here as well, look for tailing carp.

Or grab a paddle craft and hit the arboretum. You can rent a canoe from U of W around flinging poppers wherever looks bassy; which you don’t have to paddle too far to find.

The Cedar River has been a management nightmare for WDFW but when it is open there are trout and big trout at that. The river is managed to protect sockeye and steelhead and fishes differently from when it opens usually in June to when it closes usually around Spetember 1. Big streamers are always a good bet, move upriver as the season progresses and fish deeper as the season moves on as well. After the sockeye arrive fish below them with egg patterns. The trout can be quite big upward of 20” or more.

And finally there are beaches, with sea-run cutts not far from shore. Alki Beach is a favorite and easy access. Find likely spots like structure, or run-offs after rain or look for bird activity or mottled sea floor that baitfish school in. Sea runs are not overly particular; most baitfish imitations work well, and they can be caught close to shore. There are other species to target as well including salmon, and fishing can be done year round.

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