I moved to Washington from a region of Nevada with little attention to fishing seasons. The river I cut my teeth is on is open 365 days a year. Certainly some days are more enticing than others, but you are able to try your luck on Christmas, Memorial Day, or your wife’s birthday should you dare (you should not).
After reading many blogs and magazine articles I have understood from a short distance that seasonal regulations impact most in the fly fishing community across the world. That special care and attention are given to when this body of water opens up, and when that body of water can no longer be explored.
In lieu of years of personal Washington data, strewn together from a lifetime of outings and journal entries (that is what this is, after all), I try to say yes to as many invitations as possible. I watch for my own patterns around prime times to get out. The thing is…there’s no absolutes. Some openers are your best shot at a great day on the water, others open up long before the best experience is likely. Friends give advice. Blogs give ultimatums. So on and so on.
Simply put, getting amped up to hit the river you enjoy and then realizing that you legally can’t is a new experience for me. I don’t care for it.
One of my new favorite rivers recently opened back up. It’s a walkable stream that feels similar to the Truckee in many regards. It affords me a piece of why I love this sport; the focus and peace found in thigh-high crystalline water and the adrenaline of stalking these simple predators. That makes for a pretty special morning.
Finding a grab or bump in every slot that you’d expect is the best kind of day on the river. Most of the fish on this particular day weren’t monsters, but they were where they were supposed to be. That’s an agreeable day to walk the river…and it’s even the right season.