Cedar River, WA
Water level & flows
The Cedar River is about half an hour from Seattle and truly represents an urban river. This river, which drains into Lake Washington, is open to catch and release fishing from just below Landsburg Dam upstream of Maple Valley all the way down to the mouth at the city of Renton. The river is only open during June, July and August and is closed for the rest of the year to protect weak runs of sockeye and winter steelhead. As such, the fishing is limited to resident rainbows and cutthroat.
The Cedar hosts some bragging size rainbows and cutthroat for a river on the westside of the cascade mountains. These fish are not numerous, but there are enough available to make fishing for them a very viable option. Fish that are 16" to 19" long are relatively common, with larger fish up to 25" and 5 pounds a possibility. They are not present behind every good looking rock, however, and a diligent angler will hike many miles of river searching for these trophy fish. They can be taken on all types of flies, with streamers and large nymphs generally being the most productive.
The Cedar also hosts a good population of smaller fish that average 8" to 10" and that take dry flies well. These fish can be found throughout the river in most of the riffles, pockets and pools.