Fishing in the True PNW With Pacific Fly Fishers
Author: Richard Porter | Illustrator: Sierra Rozario
The Salish Sea is one of the rare places in the world where fishermen and fisherwomen can walk to a gravelly beach or seaside pier, cast a line, and catch sea-run cutthroat trout or a salmon. The ocean’s bounty is here for your sporting pleasure—and protection.
If you’re a novice, consider chartering a guided tour through local company Pacific Fly Fishers, based in Mill Creek, Washington. Your fishing guides are well-experienced in “swinging for the bruisers” in the cool water seas and rivers of Western Washington. If you book in the springtime they’ll even escort you in privately-chartered boats to fish for bass.
The Pacific Fly Fishers retail store—a short drive north of Seattle—sells literally everything you could imagine for fishing. Their inventory of 7,000 products fits neatly in their store: organized bins filled with 1,500 colorful varieties of ornate fishing flies, stacks of inflatable frameless boats with pontoons, and racks of waterproof and insulated hip waders.
If you’re looking to get deep into fly fishing, this is the place where you can invest in jars of fly head cement, faux bucktail lures, and fly tying vises. Fisknat rubber nets, made locally in Tacoma, have durable lacquered wooden handles and will hold up for years to come.
Pacific Fly Fishers has all the tools you need to go from amateur sportsperson to a robust Hemingway of the true PNW.
BEST BETS FOR LOCAL FISHING
Picnic Point Park in North Lynnwood is made for maritime recreation. Visitors must tread gently on the beaches, keeping an eye out for oyster beds and tangles of eelgrass. But fishing from rocky spits can yield a large catch for the experienced angler. Ditto Kayak Point—up on secluded of Port Susan—a scenic and rocky inlet on the Salish Sea. You could easily spend a week here doing stand-up paddle sports, fishing and camping.
According to the knowledgeable experts at Pacific Fly Fishers, there are “endless opportunities” for trout fishing in the alpine lakes of the Cascade Mountains. You can hike for weeks and never reach all of the fishable gems that have been seeded with trout.
The upper forks of the Stillaguamish were an early beacon for outdoorsmen of yore, including famed Western writer Zane Grey, who used to take a pack mule up the Stilly to angle for trout. The Stillaguamish is still a great “locals only” spot.
Cast a line in stunning backwoods north of Seattle: even if you don’t catch a single fish, you’re still guaranteed a breathtaking view.
PACIFIC FLY FISHERS
1018 164th Street SE, Ste. A-22, Mill Creek, WA 98012
Learn more about their guided tours and reserve a spot here.