Category Archives: Trout

Fishing Season Opening Day

Opening day of the Washington trout season is quite a spectacle, as people from all over the state head to their local lake to wet a line. Fish & Wildlife touts the last Saturday in April as the “biggest fishing day of the year”, and with and hundreds of lakes across Washington stocked with catchable-size trout, it is a great time of year to own a fishing rod. I enjoyed the morning on my local trout lake, Pine Lake up on the Sammamish Plateau. I have a special place in my heart for this peaceful suburban lake, it is the place where I caught my very first fish many years ago, which was the start of my lifelong passion for fishing. To spend a morning catching trout with ease, on a beautiful spring day was a thrill. I headed out with my pal Ray, who specializes on kid’s fishing this time of year.

The beauty of lake fishing is in its simplicity. Many salmon fishermen shell out thousands on equipment, steelhead anglers sometimes over think everything, but even the most novice trout fisherman can have an exceptional day with only a few bucks worth of bait & tackle.

It was a great morning, it was awesome to share a few laughs with Ray as we caught & released trout every couple minutes. We trolled around the center of Pine Lake in Ray’s drift boat utilizing his electric trolling motor. We trolled with a small fly/bead/spinner blade lure behind a trout dodger. Once the gear was deployed, Ray worked to keep the dodgers wobbling at just the right speed. Between our two rods, we probably hooked 40 trout and landed half as many. One nice holdover caught our attention as it screamed line off the small spinning reel, but we landed it!

It was a great day to be out, with plenty of jovial cheers coming from the public fishing dock at the park. Lots of folks caught their first fish today, I am sure.

If you are interested in learning how to fish for trout, especially if you want to share a great fishing experience with your kids, I would highly recommend a trip with Ray! Fishing for an Experience

Washington Trout Season 2014

Saturday April 26 2014 (yeah, that’s tomorrow!) is the official kick off to a beloved Washington pastime, it is the opening day of fishing on hundreds of Washington State lakes. There are a few brave souls that spend blistery winter days on the water, but for most folks around here fishing is a fair-weather sport, and the sunny spring days of late April and May are best spent on the shore of a local trout lake. Whether you are a self-proclaimed trout fishing expert or a complete rookie, catching fish will not be any easier than it is during the first few weeks of our local lake fishing season.

Washington State has such a great number of productive trout lakes that choosing one can be quite the task. The beauty of this great fishing opportunity is that regardless of where you live, you need not travel far to experience great fishing. Pick a local lake, one that has been stocked recently, grab some basic fishing gear, and enjoy yourself. Not only is your local lake a great place to unplug for a few hours from a hectic schedule, but also a phenomenal place to introduce friends and family to the joys of fishing. Heck, even if you yourself are still trying to figure this “fishing thing” out, what better than to share the learning experience with others. So drag the neighbor along, yank the Xbox controller out of your kid’s hands, invite a coworker, bring a positive attitude and just go fishing!

The experience of witnessing someone catch their first fish is such a thrill. And the camaraderie between the folks that share the public fishing dock on your local lake is something that isn’t experienced anywhere with average strangers in daily life.

In the next few paragraphs, I will share a few important things that a beginner might find useful. Also, if you find this interesting, feel free to sign up for email alerts (right sidebar) or like our Riptidefish.com Facebook Page for updates. Keep an eye out for other informative articles in the next few weeks.

Where to go trout fishing in Washington State

Washington State has such a great variety of fishing locations that narrowing it down to find a fishing spot can be daunting. Is it the right time of year? It that lake open for fishing? Are there actually fish in there? Is it worth the drive? There are plenty of questions that arise, just remember that there is plenty of information out there and half the fun with this whole “fishing thing” is the thrill of discovery.

In the distant past, opening day was a HUGE DEAL. There were very few trout fishing opportunities before the opener, so when the last Saturday in April came around, frenzy ensued on the shores of every public lake. Nowadays, we have been given plenty of opportunities to fish for trout year-round. Many lakes in the state are open to fishing for the entire year. Check the current fishing regulation pamphlet for the season on your favored lake. Please take note that if you don’t see your lake listed (most lakes are listed in the “Special Rules” area), then it will fall under the General Statewide Season (for lakes that means open to fishing year-round).

A little research will go a long way. Look at a map to pinpoint local lakes with public access. Check out online references such as WashingtonLakes.com (I use this one all the time). Call a local tackle shop to get the most up-to-date information; shops such as Sportco in Fife, Outdoor Emporium in Seattle, Holiday Sports in Burlington, Three Rivers Marine & Tackle in Woodinville, Bob’s Sporting Goods in Longview, Hooked on Toys in Wenatchee, and Defiance Marine & Tackle in Bremerton among others are great places to get personalized service and help with tackle and rigging.

Anyways, here are a few links that will help you on your journey…

Fish Washington
WDFW Fishing Regulations
WDFW Online Fishing License Sales

Fishing Licenses in Washington State

You will most likely need a fishing license. Washington State offers three annual licenses, Freshwater, Saltwater, Shellfish. You can also get a combination license if you prefer. There are also 1-day, 2-day and 3-day licenses. There are a variety of add-ons, but for simple lake fishing all you need is a Freshwater Fishing License. If you are really ambitious, the state offers a 2-pole endorsement that is valid on most lakes (check the regulation pamphlet to see where it is valid). Everyone that is at least 15 years old needs a fishing license. Kids under age 15 do not need a basic fishing license for trout fishing. Get your licenses at a local sporting goods shop, online at WDFW Online Fishing License Sales, or at any Fred Meyer.

Basic Trout Fishing Gear

The beauty of local trout fishing is in its simplicity. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get the required gear. A basic trout fishing rod and reel setup can cost as little as $20. While I would recommend that a beginner invest slightly more on a setup, if you are on a tight budget… don’t feel like you can’t afford to go fishing. A lightweight trout rod 6’ to 7’ in length rated for anywhere from 2-8 pound test fishing line will be perfect, most are two-piece rods. I would recommend 6 pound line for beginners; going lighter than that can mean more lost tackle or lost fish, and going heavier inhibits your ability to cast a great distance. Regarding the fishing tackle and bait, that will depend on whether you plan to fish from shore or from a boat.

Basic Fishing Tackle for Shorebound Anglers

Most folks that are new to fishing will be fishing from a dock or the shore. With literally millions of trout planted in lakes across the state, fishing from shore will be a successful venture with the proper gear. The three basic techniques used are…

  1. Still Fishing with Weight & Bait
  2. Still Fishing with Bobber & Bait
  3. Casting & Retrieving Lures

Consult your local tackle shop on proper setup for these techniques, expect to find diagrams & write-ups on Riptidefish.com very soon!

Basic Fishing Tackle for Boatbound Anglers

Anyone fishing from a small boat, raft, canoe or kayak can utilize the same three techniques used by shorebound anglers. Boat anglers have a few advantages. The biggest advantage is the freedom that a boat affords, boaters can access any and all parts of the lake and get away from the crowds that line the shore on opening day. The second is the ability to slowly troll to cover water. Trolling with Small Lures or a Lure & Dodger Setup can be extremely effective.

Consult your local tackle shop on proper setup for these techniques, expect to find diagrams & write-ups on Riptidefish.com very soon!

Your Catch

While I am an avid supporter of Catch & Release when it comes to wild fish, the stocked trout in our local lakes exist so that we can enjoy a day’s fishing, but also so that we can procure a meal from time to time. Kids love bringing home a few fish, and there is a lot of pride in enjoying a family meal that you yourself catch out of local waters.

Know the daily limit before you head out to the local lake, and have a plan for your catch before you keep any fish. Did you bring a cooler with ice? Did you bring a stringer? Make sure that you act as a responsible sportsman by respecting your catch. When you keep a fish, cut or tear the gills so that the fish bleeds out (it will pull blood from the meat and offer you a better product). I like to bleed out my catch on a stringer, then transfer to a cooler. If you plan on releasing anything you catch, be aware that many fish will swallow any bait and can be possibly difficult to revive. There is actually a rule that any fish you catch with bait counts as part of your daily limit even if you release it (so catching & releasing 20 trout with bait is a big no no).

Anyways, I hope you all have a chance to head to your local lake this weekend for some great fishing! If you want any advice on a great place to go fishing, feel free to add a comment to this post and I will do my best to give you a great recommendation. Good luck out there everyone!

Snoqualmie-Falls-July-15-2008-(1)

Snoqualmie River Fishing

The Snoqualmie River is regarded as a special place to many Seattle area fishermen due to the ample public access and generous winter steelhead plants. Because its famed pools and runs are so close to the city, it’s an easy river to hit after work or for a few hours on the weekend.

The Snoqualmie’s three forks (North, Middle and South) originate deep in the heart of the Cascade Range. They feed off the mountain range’s snowpack and lowland rains. The forks converge near the town of North Bend to form the mainstem Snoqualmie, which meanders through the upper valley for a few short miles before pouring over Snoqualmie Falls. The waterfall is 268’ tall and acts as a natural boundary for sea-run fish like Salmon, Steelhead or Cutthroat Trout. The river from Snoqualmie Falls through Fall City is a steelheader’s paradise. Its runs, pools and boulder gardens are full of character and offer quite a bit of holding water for the angler to assault.

Geographically, it is the closest steelhead river to Seattle and Bellevue. The lower river receives a return of hatchery born winter Steelhead, wild winter Steelhead, Coho, Chum, Chinook, Pink Salmon and Sea Run Cutthroat Trout. Above Snoqualmie Falls, the North, Middle, and South Fork host healthy populations of Rainbow, Cutthroat and Brook Trout.

While many of the famed steelhead holes become crowded during the prime steelhead months of December and January, productive steelhead spots away from the hordes can be found with a little gumption.

Snoqualmie River Winter Steelhead

The Snoqualmie’s first winter Steelhead are caught in November, and by the first week of December fishing really heats up. Fishing usually closes in February to protect returning Wild Steelhead.

Steelhead Fishing near Carnation

Fishing can be productive in the Carnation area, although the Tolt River no longer receives steelhead plants, and most of the hatchery fish travel through this area quickly. While most of the fishing pressure in the Carnation area is from bank anglers, it’s common to spot a few jet sleds that launch at the Tolt Hill Bridge launch and side drift bait downstream through the Carnation area.

Favorite Steelhead spots near Carnation

One of my favorite plunking areas is located in Carnation. While I don’t plunk that often, I have witnessed the locals catch plenty of steelhead plunking with sand shrimp/eggs/spin glos’ near the Carnation Farms Bridge. As you drive over the Carnation Farms Bridge towards town, hanging an immediate right (south) on 310th Ave NE will lead you to a King County Nature Park, with riverside trails that offers a great place to bank fish. I personally spend most of my time bank fishing at Chinook Bend Nature Park, located between Carnation Farms and the bridge. The Snoqualmie River flows around three sides of this 59 acre public natural area.

Steelhead Fishing near Fall City

There is more fishing effort from Tokul Creek downstream to Fall City than anywhere else on the river. The entire area is inhabited by fly fishermen, gear fishermen, drift boaters and jet sleds. Most of the steelhead caught in this large river system are caught near Fall City. The Tokul Creek hatchery releases about 150,000 winter steelhead smolt, and they all return in a two month period. Fishing in Tokul Creek isn’t for everyone. Tokul is a very swift moving creek, and most anglers drift fish with a tuft of yarn and a foot of leader. I have attempted to fish it once, and I assume that most of the steelhead that are caught here are lined (snagged in the mouth). I would consider it a pretty low quality experience, with many fishing shoulder-to-shoulder. The creek empties into the Snoqualmie, forming the Big Eddy. This area is a fun fishery if you don’t mind company. Plum’s Landing is below Tokul Creek, and is the drift boat put-in for the upper float. Some anglers make the short float down to Fall City, and others make the full day float below Fall City to Richters (Neal Road below Fall City Farms).

Favorite Steelhead spots near Fall City

I love floating the Snoqualmie River in my drift boat, regardless of how many people are on the river. It is my home river, I live about five minutes from Plum’s Landing. I often float Plum’s to Richter’s, beaching the boat in Fall City and walking across the street for lunch at the Raging River Saloon is one of our favorite winter passtimes. On any given winter day, plunkers set up their rod holders and build their campfires right at the Fall City bridge. These guys catch plenty of fish. The run just above the bridge up to the mouth of the Raging River is perfect for anyone swinging flies or spoons. For the bank bound angler, there is a bit of access off Fish Hatchery Road (leading to Plum’s & Tokul). On the opposite side of the river from Plum’s, David Powell Road parallels the river for a mile with multiple pullouts. I also enjoy bank fishing from Big Eddy to Snoqualmie Falls, but the road is currently closed so access is difficult.

Snoqualmie River Summer Steelhead

Fishing for steelhead on the Snoqualmie was once my favorite summer passtime. I loved going down to Snoqualmie Falls, Plum’s Landing or Fall City for the first light steelhead bite, but summer steelhead are no longer planted in the Snoqualmie River. Believe it or not, Skykomish River summer steelhead do travel up into the Snoqualmie and can still be caught, although the numbers of steelhead in the Snoqualmie during the summer are a fraction of what they once were.

Snoqualmie River Coho Salmon

The Snoqualmie River has a healthy run of wild Coho; they spawn in the main stem, the Tolt, the Raging, Cherry Creek, Griffin Creek and other smaller tributaries.

The most popular places to fish for Coho are boat access. The High Bridge launch just upstream from the confluence of the Snoqualmie and Skykomish Rivers is the most popular place to put in a jet sled to fish the upper Snohomish. Boaters catch plenty of Coho by drift fishing Dick Nite spoons and by casting wiggle warts and spinners.

Once the first October rainstorms start to push Coho up the Snoqualmie, Coho begin to stack at the mouths of the Tolt River and Griffin Creek (just upriver from the Tolt Hill Bridge launch). Trolling or casting wiggle wart style plugs can be very productive here.

Snoqualmie River Trout

The Snoqualmie offers resident and sea-run trout plenty of great habitat. While the lower Snoqualmie River watershed’s primary catches are Sea Run Cutthroat Trout, there still are some resident Rainbow Trout and Cutthroat Trout that can be found. The Snoqualmie River upstream from Snoqualmie Falls offers phenomenal fishing for trout in an almost alpine setting. The North Fork, Middle Fork, South Fork and Upper Mainstem Snoqualmie each offer a fishing experience that is unique unto itself. The North Fork being the most remote, the Middle Fork being the largest, the South Fork being the easiest to access and clearest, and the Upper Mainstem being the slowest and filled with drowned timber. Above the Falls, the river’s trout population doesn’t have to compete with Salmon or Steelhead younglings for food, so the trout-per-mile count is higher. Expect to see a healthy mix of Cutthroat, Rainbows and possibly Brook Trout above the Falls.

Snoqualmie Valley’s Best Fishing Lakes

The Snoqualmie Valley is located just east of Seattle and Bellevue; it is well known for its country charm, small farming towns and multitude of outdoor recreation options. The Snoqualmie Valley’s lakes offer great fishing close to the city yet away from the hectic pace of urban life. Lakes in the valley feature a nice mix of Largemouth Bass, Cutthroat and Rainbow Trout.

Whether you are looking for great lake fishing close to Issaquah, Redmond, Bellevue, Seattle or Kirkland… the lakes of the Snoqualmie Valley are a great nearby option!

Fishing Season

Most lakes in the Snoqualmie Valley open to fishing on the last Saturday in April and remain open through October. Several Snoqualmie Valley lakes are open to fishing year round.

Lake Margaret in Duvall

Lake Margaret is one of the more popular fishing lakes in the Snoqualmie Valley. It is located about 5 miles northeast of Duvall, Washington. Fishing is a popular pastime for lakeside homeowners, but most of the folks out on the lake access Lake Margaret from the public fishing access located on the lake’s southern end. The public fishing access offers good bank fishing and a place to launch a small boat. Lake Margaret is opened for fishing from the last Saturday in April through October. The lake is heavily stocked with Rainbow Trout and also has a healthy population of Cutthroat Trout that spawn in Margaret Creek on the north side of the lake. While this lake offers Largemouth Bass fishing, very few anglers target them.

Lake Joy in Duvall

Lake Joy is located about five miles southeast of Duvall, Washington. The lake offers no public access, but is a local favorite for those that have access via a friend with a lakefront home. The lake is very woody; its shoreline is ringed with a thick mat of lily pads by early summer. Lake Joy is a Largemouth Bass fishing paradise. Fishing for Largemouth Bass starts in April and remains good through September. Fishing is open year round.

Mud Lake in Duvall

Mud Lake is a small pond located on the eastern edge of downtown Duvall, Washington. It is a very murky lake that has public access, is rarely fished but offers Largemouth Bass. Fishing is open year round.

Lake Marcel in Duvall

Lake Marcel is located about four miles southeast of Duvall, Washington. It is a private lake with a park designated for local residents only. Fishing for Rainbow Trout and Largemouth Bass is decent. Fishing is open year round.

Cottage Lake in Woodinville

Cottage Lake is located four miles east of Woodinville, Washington. Cottage Lake County Park is a large public area with a fishing dock, car topper boat launch and plenty of bank access. The lake is heavily stocked with Rainbow Trout in the spring and has great Largemouth Bass fishing. The lake is opened for fishing from the last Saturday in April through October.

Sikes Lake in Carnation

Sikes Lake is located north of Carnation, Washington and borders Carnation Farms Road. Sikes is a long, narrow lake and surrounded by fields. This lake is well known by locals for its trophy Largemouth Bass. This lake is open to fishing year round, but fishing is best from March through September.

Lake Langlois in Carnation

Langlois is one of the most popular lakes in the Snoqualmie Valley. This beautiful lake is located about one mile south of Carnation, Washington. There is a public fishing access on NE 24th Street (Lake Langlois Road) which is a great place to launch a boat but doesn’t really have any bank fishing opportunities. It is a deep lake that is full of bass fishing structure (docks, downed trees, logs, ect.). The lake is open for fishing on the last Saturday in April through October. The lake is heavily stocked with Rainbow Trout, and also hosts a population of very big Largemouth Bass.

Ames Lake in Redmond

Ames Lake is located two miles west of Carnation, Washington. This lake has no public access. For those that have access to the lake, fishing for Perch, Largemouth Bass and Trout is good from April through October. Ames Lake is open year round.

Lake Alice in Fall City

Lake Alice is located south of Fall City, Washington. The lake is ringed with homes, but has a small public fishing access; this access point is primarily a boat launch site, and offers little bank fishing opportunities. Lake Alice is opened to fishing year round, and is stocked with Rainbow Trout. The lake hosts a fair number of Largemouth Bass as well. This is a great place to fish in the early spring before most of the Snoqualmie Valley’s best lakes open in late April.

The Millpond in Snoqualmie

Borst Lake (The Millpond) is located ¼ mile east of downtown Snoqualmie. It is accessible from Millpond Road, where there is ample bank access and a few great places to launch a canoe, kayak or small skiff from the road. The Millpond is a very large and shallow lake that quickly gets choked by lily pads as the water warms in the late spring. This lake offers great Largemouth Bass fishing yet few actually fish here. Borst Lake is opened for fishing year round.

Rattlesnake Lake in North Bend

Rattlesnake Lake is located about six miles south of North Bend, Washington. Access to the lake is from 436th Avenue SE which leads right into Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area, a popular access point for backpackers, day hikers and fishermen. The lake is open year round for catch & release fishing. It is heavily stocked with Rainbow Trout. Expect light crowds as the non-retention and barbless rules have left the lake to a few dedicated anglers, mainly fly fisherman.

Spring Fishing Thoughts

Spring does not make a great first impression here in the Pacific Northwest. She always teases us with a beautifully warm weekend early in the month of April. We blissfully fill our spring schedule with springtime activities like planting the garden, dusting off the patio furniture and preparing the boat, ready for a warm weather paradise that will stretch clear into fall. But every year, she catches us off guard. Overnight frosts that kill our fragile little garden starts, weeks of gray rain laden clouds, and heavy seas that dash our fishing plans. And although spring toys with our emotions, depriving us of that much needed sunshine we have oh so missed, fair weather eventually arrives. Us folks here in the upper left hand corner of the country know how to capitalize on the short summer we do have. And if you fish, you know that it is merely a struggle to choose how to manage your time, our options are many. My interests usually steer me toward the Sound.

As spring approaches, we have so many great places to fish that it is only the limiting factor of time that forces us to pick and choose our favorites. I am always eager for April’s Razor Clams, Coastal Lingcod and Hometown Trout.

I find myself beaming with joy at the chance to head west and enjoy our early morning clam digs on the beach. As folks step onto the sand at Long Beach, Grayland, Ocean Shores and Copalis, the amount of great enjoyment seen in the smiles of so many really shows how a little trip to the coast can wipe away the memory of a wet and dark winter.

A chance to fish for Lingcod and Rockfish in the Pacific is one I won’t miss, and every spring I make a concerted effort to head to Westport. I think it is an amazing opportunity we have, to hop on a Charter and explore the open ocean, and to carry home fillets from a dozen healthy bottomfish for under a hundred dollars.

As April surrenders to May, that final weekend is one of many firsts. I should say, many first fish. Hundreds of thousands of folks grab the tackle box and poles and head to their local lakes. It is an impressive feat to stock thousands of lakes across Washington with millions of trout, but the state does that to give families the chance to enjoy easy fishing near home. Many lakes are stocked well, and fishing can remain good into early summer, but that first weekend is a real slam dunk. The fish might not always be the biggest, but they bring a lot of joy and create plenty of memories for young anglers.

The rule book is mailed out and immediately every boat owner in Seattle has requested time off to go shrimping. Our Sound has a great abundance of Spot Shrimp, but the popularity of the fishery allows for only a few shrimping days a year, lest we over harvest our tasty resource. A Saturday here, a Wednesday there and it seems that it ended as quickly as it began. But the resource managers know that it takes a lot of work to go shrimping, so when it is open, we each get a healthy limit of 80.

Just as folks are readying their shrimping gear in anticipation, Halibut and Lingcod seasons open up in marine areas from Astoria to Bellingham to Olympia. May is a heyday for fishermen in the state, and the chance to keep Lingcod one day, Spot Shrimp the next and Halibut the day after that keeps us plenty busy. So even though the Great Northwest is defined by Salmon, us fishermen have plenty to keep us preoccupied before they arrive. Good luck out there!

Green Lake Trout Fishing in Seattle

In the center of Seattle’s most visited park is the city’s best kept fishing secret. North Seattle’s Green Lake is a watery oasis that is planted with trout by the tens of thousands. While most folks think that Seattle’s best fishing is found beyond its saltwater shoreline in the Puget Sound, many anglers quietly sneak away to Green Lake Park to catch a limit of good-size Rainbow Trout.

Green Lake is located four miles north of Downtown Seattle, so close that the Seattle skyline is visible from the lake’s north shore. The lake is 259 acres; its average depth is 13 feet, it is 30 feet at its deepest. It is completely surrounded by Green Lake Park, featuring plenty of parking, play areas for children, a small boat center, restrooms and its most popular feature, a paved 2.8 miles walking path that circles the lake and is used by thousands of health-conscience Seattleites every day.

Green Lake is planted several times each year with catchable-size Rainbow Trout. While the lake is open to fishing all year, it fishes best in the springtime, especially after it is stocked. This year (2013) it was first stocked in mid-March, and anyone that wandered down to the waters’ edge found out just how easy it is to catch planted Rainbows.

When Green Lake is first stocked with trout in early spring, fishing can be easy and extremely fun. Many of Green Lake’s trout fishing enthusiasts fish around the lake’s Southwest corner near the Small Craft Center. There are multiple docks just a stone’s throw from the parking area. The best fishing action can be found here for weeks after the trout are put in the lake.

Fishing with Powerbait is the best method to catch Green Lake trout. Use a small amount of Chartreuse, White, Yellow or Rainbow Powerbait dough or Power Eggs (Powerbait’s rubbery and less messy cousin). I use a lightweight trout pole matched with 6 pound test line.

Powerbait Fishing Set-up

Trout may only strike at a lure, but they will fully swallow Powerbait. I use a sliding egg sinker threaded up my line, then I tie on a swivel.

This allows the trout to grab your hook & bait and swim away, without feeling a fixed sinker holding them back. Use a 3′ to 5′ leader of 4 pound to 6 pound line and a small hook.

Remember, Powerbait floats, so while your sinker will lie on the lake bottom, your Powerbait & small size 10 to 6 hook will float up a few feet from the bottom. As a trout gobbles up the bait and swims along, you will notice that the portion of your line laying on the water surface will move well before you notice any sign of a bite in your rod tip. Stay alert!

I cant find Green Lake in the Fishing Rule Book!!!

You might be wondering why Green Lake isn’t listed in the fishing rule book. It confuses many folks every year. After all, you would think that they would have it in the regulations since a million folks live around it, well it actually is in there!

Many anglers search in the Westside Lakes portion of the Washington Sport Fishing Rules. The actual name of that section is Westside Lakes – Special Rules. Green Lake doesn’t actually have any special rules and falls under General Statewide Rules.

While I recommend becoming familiar with the Sport Fishing Rules on your own, here are some basic rules that you want to know…this is out of the 2012 pamphlet.

  • Green Lake is open to fishing year-round.
  • The daily limit for trout in Green Lake is 5 each, no minimum size.
  • Because fish that eat bait (versus lures) tend to not survive, all trout caught on bait are counted in your daily limit, whether kept or released.
  • All anglers 15 years or older need a Washington Freshwater Fishing License, children under 15 years old do not need a license.

Remember, always consult the Rule Pamphlet before heading out. I hope this post helps all of you Seattle trout bums, now get out there and have some fun!

Washington Stocks Spring Break Trout Lakes

While the general Opening Day for most Washington State lake fishing occurs each year on the last Saturday in April (April 27 this year), Washington DFW has been busily working on planting a whopping 47 Western Washington lakes early!

The kids will be out of school for spring break before you know it! Many parents search for the perfect family passtime during this time, and fishing for trout on a local lake is the perfect springtime activity. Many of the lakes that are being stocked early are local favorites, and with the WDFW upping the ante by planting each of them with thousands of easy biters, this is a slam dunk option if you are looking to have your children experience the thrill of fishing.

Check out the OFFICIAL WDFW NEWS RELEASE for details.

Note: Some of these lakes carry special rules such as no bait or youth only, so always consult your fishing regulations before heading out!

    Grays Harbor County

  • Duck Lake, 1,100 trout, Planted Week of 3/16
  • Lake Sylvia, 1,500 trout, Planted 3/28-3/29
  • Vance Creek Pond #1, 1,000 trout, Planted 3/28-3/29
    Island County

  • Cranberry Lake, 6,500 trout, Planted 3/12
  • Lone Lake, 3,000 trout, Planted 3/6
    King County

  • Alice Lake, 1,200 trout, Planted 3/12-3/15
  • Angle Lake, 3,000 trout, Planted 3/28
  • Beaver Lake, 7,000 trout, Planted 3/18-3/22
  • Green Lake, 17,400 trout, Planted 3/13-3/19
  • Meridian Lake, 10,000 trout, Planted 3/14
  • Sawyer Lake, 1,500 trout, Planted 3/14
    Kitsap County

  • Kitsap Lake, 5,000 trout, Planted 3/6
    Mason County

  • Kokanee Lake, 8,000 trout, Planted 3/5
  • Lost Lake, 5,000 trout, Planted 3/26
  • Nahwatzel Lake, 5,000 trout, Planted 3/7
  • Spencer Lake, 11,000 trout, Planted 4/1-4/5
    Pierce County

  • American Lake, 12,000 trout, Planted TBD
  • Bonney Lake, 1,000 trout, Planted 3/13
  • Bradley Lake, 1,000 trout, Planted 3/29
  • Florence Lake, 3,900 trout, Planted 3/18
  • Harts Lake, 6,480 trout, Planted 3/19
  • Louise Lake, 2,340 trout, Planted 2,340
  • Spanaway Lake, 18,000 trout, Planted TBD
  • Steilacoom Lake, 5,000 trout, Planted TBD
  • Wapato Lake, 1,680 trout, Planted 3/13
  • Waughop Lake, 1,500 trout, Planted 3/26
  • Whitman Lake, 2,000 trout, Planted 3/12
    Snohomish County

  • Ballinger Lake, 6,400 trout, Planted 3/12
  • Blackmans Lake, 4,000 trout, Planted 3/18-3/22
  • Cassidy Lake, 4,000 trout, Planted 3/18-3/22
  • Chain Lake, 2,000 trout, Planted 3/25-3/29
  • Flowing Lake, 6,000 trout, Planted TBD
  • Gissberg Ponds (Twin Lakes), 2,000 trout, Planted 3/5
  • Ketchum Lake, 2,000 trout, Planted 3/5
  • Loma Lake, 1,700 trout, Planted 3/19
  • Lost Lake (Devil’s Lake), 1,100 trout, Planted 3/18
  • Martha Lake, 2,500 trout, Planted 3/5
  • Panther Lake, 1,500 trout, Planted 3/18
  • Shoecraft Lake, 5,000 trout, Planted 3/18
  • Silver Lake, 6,000 trout, Planted 3/13
  • Tye Lake, 2,000 trout, Planted 3/25-3/29
    Thurston County

  • Black Lake, 25,000 trout, Planted 3/15 & 3/21
  • Long’s Pond, 2,000 trout, Planted 3/28
  • Lake St. Clair, 9,500 trout, Planted 3/21 & 3/28
  • Lawrence Lake, 10,000 trout, Planted TBD
  • Munn Lake, 500 trout, Planted 3/27
  • Offutt Lake, 4,000 trout, Planted TBD

Shore Fishing at Meadow Point in Golden Gardens Park, Seattle

For city dwellers looking for a great place to catch salmon and searun cutthroat trout from shore, Meadow Point is the perfect spot!

Meadow Point is located at the northern boundary of Golden Gardens Park in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. Throughout the year, anglers catch Coho salmon, Pink salmon, resident Chinook salmon plus searun cutthroat trout.

The Season

Meadow Point is smack dab in the middle of Marine Area 10 (Seattle/Bremerton Area).

Resident “feeder” Chinook salmon swim along the shorelines of Puget Sound. Resident Chinook are also known locally as “blackmouth” and vary in size from 6 inches to 20 pounds.

Pink (Humpy) salmon start to show up around the first week of August during odd numbered years (2011, 2013, 2015). These “Humpies” migrate back to Puget Sound rivers in huge numbers and are easily caught. Use small metal jigs and light tackle when Pink fishing at the beach.

Coho (Silver) salmon flood into Puget Sound around the third week of August and remain an option for beach anglers until the first major rains of fall arrive. During years with no measurable rainfall, Coho fishing can remain excellent through the second week of October.

Sea-run Cutthroat Trout are available from April through October. Most of these fish migrate up the Lake Washington Ship Canal into Washington and Sammamish for the winter months.

Shilshole Bay is typically closed from July 1 through August 31, so fishing at or North of Meadow Point is required.

Always consult the WDFW Regulations before planning a fishing trip, as gear restrictions and fishing seasons are subject to change.

Fishing Gear for Meadow Point

Fishing for Resident Chinook
Gear: 8′-9’6″ medium action rod rated to cast up to 1 ounce
Line: 10#-15# line or 15#-40# braid
Tackle: Pline lazer minnow (1/2oz-1oz), Point Wilson Dart (1oz)
Fly: 7wt-8wt, floating or intermediate sink line, 1x-0x leader, #4-#1/0 candlefish or herring imitations, clouser minnows

Fishing for Coho
Gear: 8′-9’6″ medium action rod rated to cast up to 1 ounce
Line: 12#-15# line or 15#-30# braid
Tackle: Pline lazer minnow (1/2oz-1oz), Buzzbomb holographic (#2-#3L), Krocodile spoon (1/4oz-1oz)
Fly: 7wt-8wt, floating or intermediate sink line, 1x-0x leader, #4-#1/0 clouser minnows

Fishing for Pinks
Gear: 8′-9’6″ medium action rod rated to cast up to 1 ounce
Line: 8#-12# line or 10#-20# braid
Tackle: Pline lazer minnow (1/2oz-1oz), Buzzbomb holographic (#2-#2.5)
Fly: 6wt-8wt, floating or intermediate sink line, 2x-0x leader, #8-#2 clouser minnows

Fishing for Cutthroat
Gear: 6′-7’6″ medium-light action rod rated to cast up to 1/2 ounce
Line: 6#-8# line or 10#-15# braid
Tackle: Roostertail spinner (1/8oz-1/4oz), Krocodile spoon (1/8oz-1/2oz), Kastmaster spoon (1/8oz-1/2oz)
Fly: 5wt-7wt, floating or intermediate sink line, 3x-2x leader, #10-#6 candlefish or herring imitations

To reach Meadow Point via Golden Gardens Park, follow Market Street west through Ballard continue nortward as it becomes Seaview Avenue past Shilshole Marina. The park entrance is due north of the marina and parking is ample, yet can be scarce during sunny summer days.

Opening Day of Washington Trout Season

Opening Day of Trout Fishing Season: Cottage Lake, Woodinville, Washington 2012

Folks from the Northwest deal with some pretty bleak and miserable weather through most of the winter; and so, we all eagerly await the arrival of Spring. Warmer weather, the sounds of a neighbors’ lawnmower on a Spring evening, and dare I say…a sunny day here and there bring us all the realization that it’s only going to get better and better for the next 6 months.

For many folks, avid anglers or not, a highlight of Spring is the easy catches found on the opening day of trout fishing. Opening day for most of Washington’s lakes is traditionally the last Saturday in April. I am proud to say I was able to join the masses of people heading to their local lake in search of easy fishing amongst the company of great friends.

On Saturday afternoon I headed up to Cottage Lake Park in Woodinville to wet a line for a few hours with my friends. We launched our boat and trolled around the lake with home-made Spinner/Fly and Wedding Ring combinations, slow trolled just under the surface, and had an amazing afternoon of nonstop fish catching!

Most of the lake’s fish are planter trout averaging 7-8 inches, but we did manage to catch a few holdover trout. Our largest was about 14 inches.

Cottage Lake is planted by the Department of Fish & Wildlife with thousands of keeper sized rainbow trout, and for the first few weeks of the season fishing can be very good. This opening day was by far the best trout fishing I have ever experienced. We landed around 30 within several hours. The lake wasn’t crowded by any means, there were probably a dozen small boats on the lake, and bank anglers spread out along the water’s edge of Cottage Lake Park. Everyone caught fish! This park is a great place for anyone without a small boat. It offers easy bank access and a nice fishing dock.