Stillaguamish River Guided Trip

Patrick with a Stilly Pink Salmon

Patrick with a Stilly Pink Salmon.

Scott With A Bright Stilly Silver Salmon

Scott With A Bright Stilly Silver Salmon.

Scott With A Stilly Tidewater Chum Salmon

Scott With A Stilly Tidewater Chum Salmon.

The Stilly is a beautiful river that is moderate in size and can be easily fished in the summer with a 5 wt or 6 wt rod. A float in the Stilly usually lasts all day. During the float, we stop and fish the runs that are holding fish using a 5 wt or 6 wt rod that really show off the strength of summer steelhead, sea run cutthroat, and salmon.

Late Summer (August, September, October)

This is a great trip with typical beautiful weather and moderate to low river flows. We meet on the bank of the mainstem or North Fork of the Stillaguamish River and float a fairly large section of the river. During the float, we stop and fish a number runs that provide good holding water, but we also do some fishing from the boat. We fish with 4 wt to 6 wt rods that show off the strength of summer steelhead, pink salmon (odd years), and sea run cutthroat. Typical gear includes floating lines, 9 foot leaders, and tippet between 6 lb and 10 lb, depending on what we are targeting. Flies include spiders, skaters, and wakers for surface presentation. We also use weighted marabou type flies for sub-surface presentation.

We generally meet in the morning, then float and fish the river until noon. We stop for lunch, then continue with the same float. We use 9ft personal pontoon boats for transportation. They are easy to maneuver, very stable, and a blast in the chopy water. They are also an excellent boat for this river as the boat launches are crude and the boats can be easily pulled across the shallows, if necessary.

Fall (November, December)

Fall on the Stillaguamish River brings large runs of chum and silver salmon in addition to some late returning sea run cutthroat, dolly varden, and hatchery summer steelhead. On a typical float trip on the Stilly, we meet on the bank of the river and float a large section of the river. During the float, we stop and fish almost a dozen runs that hold fish and provide execellent fly water. We fish with 7 wt or 8 wt rods that can wear out these big fish as fast as possible. Typical gear includes Type III to Type VI sink tip lines, 3 ft to 6 ft leaders, and tippet between 8 lb and 10 lb. We may also use floating lines with 9 foot leaders, and tippet between 6 lb and 10 lb, depending on what we are targeting. Flies generally include weighted marabou streamers and leach patterns.

We meet in the morning, then float and fish the river until noon. We stop for lunch, then continue with the same float until we reach the take-out. We use 9ft personal pontoon boats for transportation. They are easy to maneuver, very stable, and a blast in the chopy water.


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