Fly fishing for steelhead has become more popular over the past 10 to 15 years and for good reason. There is nothing like the pull of a summer run steelhead on the end of your fly line in the early morning or late in the evening. These fish are generally leaner than their winter cousins and they are smaller, averaging 4 to 8 pounds. They take flies well and generally make a good accounting of themselves when hooked.
Most of the streams around the Puget Sound region have runs of summer run steelhead with the Skykomish and Snoqualmie providing most of the action. The runs in these rivers generally start when the rivers open in June, have a lull period during the heat of the summer in August, and then pick up again mid-September when the water cools and the fall rains start.
Eastern Washington also provides some excellent summer-run fishing, although most of the fishing takes place in the fall due to the distance these fish must travel to reach their destination. The Methow and Grande Ronde river provide most of the desert steelhead fishing in Washington state and the Methow only when it is opened due to good numbers of fish. These are dry line rivers, especially in the early fall when daytime/night time temperatures produce water temperatures that keep the fish active. Other excellent rivers for summer run fish are the Deschutes in central Oregon and the Clearwater river in Idaho.
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