When Derek calls to tell you that he will be at your house at 4 AM it is hard not to be angry. Then you think that you might, you just might, finally catch a steelhead. The weather is terrible for fishing, hot and sunny. But you set your alarm and do it anyway.
Leland taught me the importance of naps, but I was glad to wake up and take a picture of Derek as the sun was rising over our first spot. Even when the fishing is slow, it is nice to see the absolute beauty of the outdoors.As the sun climbed higher, the naps were initially more enjoyable, but at a certain point in the day it becomes uncomfortable to nap in waders. The water was low and as the clocked ticked onward, I began losing hope in my chance for my first steelhead. Derek pulled in a few non steelhead fish. He was not as impressed as I was. I have thought that the Skykomish is as barren as it gets. On the way back to the car, I got the biggest surprise of the day. I brought in a king salmon. What?! Out of nowhere we landed this little guy. Thanks for a great day Derek!We are now ready to get that steelhead!
Looking for a ton of fun? Go fish the Hex hatch at Merrill Lake. We arrived a little before 7pm and not much was happening. Both of us on float tubes allowed to explore the deeper parts of the lake, but we knew exactly where to be when the sun goes down.
Every year, like clockwork, when the sky really starts to turn dark, the splashing starts. It sounds like kids throwing rocks from shore. The big Hex bugs are coming off. The fish are eating them. The bats are eating them. The birds are eating them.If you want a real adventure, it is just a 3.5 hour drive from Seattle. Driving for 7 hours just for 1 hour of good fishing. Typical.
Woodland Park Zoo (just a short bike ride away) has a wine tasting with more than 30 wineries and distilleries. Animals were nearby and live music was playing. Summers are great!
We packed up the fishing and bouldering gear and headed out for a local adventure. Everyone was asking what Amanda had on her back. They thought I was such a jerk making her carry the biggest pack. I thought it was funny all of the way there.The first stop was Bridal Veil Falls. It is worth the uphill climb to a beautiful big waterfall. The opposite direction were fantastic views of Skykomish river and the mountains in the background.
A bit later, we arrived to Lake Serene. We were blown away by the raw beauty. A lot of people were walking away from the lake when we arrived. We realized it was because the sun sets early high up in the mountains. It got cold quickly, but there were willing fish and amazing views.
If you are looking for a longer uphill hike and want a good reward at the end, I highly recommend this one. It gets crowded even during the week so be prepared to hang out with lots of people. Happy trails!
If you aren’t following my Instagram, you are missing out on the #waterfallselfie barrage that is occurring. Find me @roryseiter.This tributary to the Stillaguamish has had fantastic fishing this summer. The flows are starting to finally drop so much that I will avoid this area for a while. There is small stream fishing and there is fishing that is detrimental to the fish.Instead, I am taking my friends on bushwhacking adventures and occasionally hook into some small fish.The places that fly fishing takes us is well worth it. Sometimes it is sketchy, sometimes it is uncomfortable, most of the time it is just absolutely beautiful.
I had never really been to the Olympic Peninsula. A couple of stops at the ferry terminal in Port Angeles doesn’t really count. I still have not been to the Olympic National Park. Until I am allowed to take my dog wherever I want in the park, I probably won’t be going there. I found out about the Klahowya Campground and had to visit it. It is on the Olympic National Forest land making it cheaper and dog friendly. The drive along US 101 wasn’t very impressive until I turned off the highway and into the campsite. Tall trees shaded the whole area. The beautiful, low, clear, and cold Sol Duc River was flowing near a bunch of the campsites. We arrived hot and ready to fish. Before unloading the car, Lando and I need to see the water and take a selfie.The trees are as enormous as you would expect them to be. With so few inhabitants, there aren’t many (if any) trails beside the rivers. This is half of the reason I went. Even though there are places where it is easily accessible, most people aren’t willing to leave the campgrounds. Ferns, moss, and berries were everywhere. the smell of Christmas was everywhere. It felt 20 degrees cooler once you were in the forest.Following the river, I came to a very deep hole. It would have been a great place to swim if it weren’t full of fish. I was sight casting to some of the largest wild trout I have seen in Washington. It was a bit of sketchy hike to get to this area. I had to remind myself that if either one of us got injured, it is a long walk back to the car and there still wouldn’t be cell service for another 15 miles.
It is always good when you can’t hold the camera far enough away to get a decent picture. Watching this fish eat my fly, swim upstream, jump, swim downstream, and force me to scramble over logs and rocks was a thrill I won’t soon forget. Thanks for reading and feel free to leave your comments!