Sometimes, when fly fishing a Puget Sound beach in the early morning half light, it is nearly impossible to believe you are only a few miles as the crow flies from a major metropolitan area. With over 2,500 miles of shoreline, there’s a lot of water to explore in Puget Sound. Feeding into the Sound are numerous creeks, streams, and rivers which support a variety of salmon and trout species. This would include Pacific salmon such as king, coho, sockeye, chum, and pink as well as other salmonids such as coastal cutthroat trout, steelhead, and bull trout. All eight mentioned species spend a portion of their life in their home freshwater streams as well as part of their life in Puget Sound and/or the Pacific Ocean.
For fly fishers in the Puget Sound area, some of these salmon and trout species are of particular importance and interest, but not all. Certain species are not reasonably accessible to the fly fisher because of the fish’s diet, life-cycle, stock health, closed seasons, depth at which they are found, and distant proximity to the shoreline. For the purposes of this article, to encourage you to get out and fish, we will address the primary fisheries that are available fly rod targets in the Puget Sound area.
Sea run cutthroat call the waters of Hood Canal along the Eastern Olympics home, and offer a year-round fishing opportunity. With hundreds of miles of shore and numerous State Parks, a drive along Highway 101 gives you numerous beaches to explore with a fly. Seasonal opportunities for salmon make this saltwater fishery a unique and diverse option only an hour from Gig Harbor. Case, Dyes, and Carr Inlets, the Narrows, and the Colvos Passage also represent excellent angling opportunities all within a 15-30 minute drive from Gig Harbor.
Puget Sound Saltwater (location maps for some of our favorite Puget Sound access locations)
Puget Sound Rivers (information and updated flow charts for some of our favorite Puget Sound rivers)
Image: James Harrington’s Spring Break Sea Run Cutthroat / Bill aka freestoneangler