Be safe, be well and we hope to see you back on the water shortly. Our fishing season got pretty well gouged by Covid last year during the fishing closures in the height of spring lake season so I've got gaggles of new chironomid patterns just begging to go for a dip soon!
The Skagit and Sauk Rivers remain open Saturdays through Tuesdays until April 13th, so we still have some good local steelhead opportunity knocking at the door. As of right now, the rivers are pretty low and clear, so stick to your smaller presentations like Hoh Bo's and Marabou GP's until we get a bump in water. I'll be honest, the Skagit and Sauk have been pretty busy of late. Folks are finding some really nice fish but there's been no shortage of effort. I was on the Olympic Peninsula at the end of February and found a few fish. Plenty of people out there too, but at least you've got a bit more water and room to spread out.
If steelhead aren't your game, the Skwalas and BWO's are coming off on the Yakima and it could be worth your while to head east for a few days. We just got a big order of new euro nymphs patterns in as well, so if you want to give that a shot on the Yak, we've got some trick new patterns to take for a swim. The lower Skagit below the Memorial Hwy. bridge in Mount Vernon to the mouth opened March 1st for trout/char. Make sure you've got some BH Chum Babies, black or olive BH Woolly Buggers and Rolled Muddlers on hand. This is a super fun spring fishery on a 4, 5 or 6 weight, though shore access can be limited.
With the gradual warming trend, we're beginning to see chironomids coming off on Lone, Pass and Squalicum. Black Ice Cream Cones, ASB's, Black Sallys, Chromies and Vidmids in #14-16 as well as bloodworm patterns early and late in the day. Small leech patterns, Gold Jiggers in black or olive, black/red Simi Seal Leeches and White Bunny Leeches are also working in the absence of a visible hatch. We've had some lovely days this week with mild temps and light wind, tailor-made for a productive excursion to your favorite local stillwater. March 1st also marked the opener for several popular eastside lakes, including Lenice, Nunnally and Lenore. Look for chironomid hatches to really pick up later this month and continue strong into April and May, when we'll see more damsel, dragon and callibaetis mayfly activity join the mix. If you're chirono-curious and want to learn more about leader set ups and techniques for presenting these highly effective bugs we can help you get started!