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PNW fly fishing hot spots tested and approved for you! (Image: Zoe Pappas / Seattle Refined)

A Seattlelite's Guide to Fly Fishing West of The Cascades

The majority of Seattleites are clueless to the fact that local fly fishing is even an option west of the Cascades. Just east of the Puget Sound is home to several neighborhood rivers and opens a secret hub to nearby plentiful rivers, creeks, and lakes that will keep you fly fishing year round. As an avid fisher myself, I’ve made it my mission to find local spots, and I’m here to share them with you.

With winter upon us, let's hunker down and prepare for what less rainy days will soon hold.

Number 8

The Green River is an urban body of water that regularly house salmon and Sea-run trout. A great spot to start is at Bicentennial Park. Once there you can follow the Green River Trail to a number of great fishing spots along the bank. Pro tip: Use heavier line, drift a San Juan and a Woolly Bugger combo.

Number 7

The north fork of the Snoqualmie River offers Rainbow and Cutthroat trout. North Bend Road runs along the river with plenty of parking spots to jump out and fish. Pro tip: I strongly advise Caddis and Parachute Adams.

Number 6

Snoqualmie River Middle Fork, my personal favorite weekday fishing getaway offers a quick drive and well paved path that runs along the river. Trust in your caddis here and enjoy the experience, this river yields smaller trout but they are no less fun to hook!

Number 5

Fall City South Fork Snoqualmie

Number 4

Fly fishing the Puget Sound from Lincoln Park or Alki in West Seattle. Sea Run Cutthroat trout and Seasonal Salmon are the main target. Pro tip: Try a Clouser Minnow or Chumbody's Baby in the end of your line, otherwise view an extended list of fly patterns.

Number 3

Skagit River in northwest Washington offers Steelhead June through January. Expect large winter steelhead and Coho salmon in October-November. Take I-5 North to the Skagit Valley Highway and drive east along the river. Any spot you see fit to fish will work! Pro Tip: Heavy lines and heavy fly rod. Try Streamer Flies and drifting San Juans.

Number 2

Cedar River In Maple Valley, holds large Rainbow trout. Be prepared to catch and release here and to note the seasonal closures. Park near the golf course and walk the river. Pro tip: Use tungsten head pheasant tail nymphs size 14-18.

Number 1

Finally the renown Yakima River, a blue ribbon fly fishing river that flows into east into the Columbian river, known for its large trout and tactical fishing. The Yakima covers 75 miles of beautiful, fishable, trout waters. Tip: your luck with caddis, stoneflies, or mayflies depending on the season.