The forks converge near the town of North Bend to form the mainstem Snoqualmie, which meanders through the upper valley for a few short miles before pouring over Snoqualmie Falls. The waterfall is 268’ tall and acts as a natural boundary for sea-run fish like Salmon, Steelhead or Cutthroat Trout. Its runs, pools and boulder gardens are full of character and offer quite a bit of holding water for the angler to assault.
Geographically, the Snoqualmie is the closest steelhead river to Seattle. With famed steelhead holes, the prime steelhead months are December and January. The Snoqualmie’s first winter steelhead is caught in November, and by the first week of December fishing really heats up. With heavy rains in the winter, the first hatchery winter steelhead appear and fly anglers invariably find themselves attached to one of these chrome fish. The hatchery run peaks in December and early January, but winter steelhead are taken up until the end of February when the river below the falls closes for March, April and May. The summer steelhead fishing continues until heavy fall rains raise the river to winter flows. Although the numbers build during the summer, great fishing also occurs after the first fall rains or slight cold snap.
The forks also host four species of Pacific Salmon. Silvers and pink salmon predominate with a few Chinook and chum joining the mix. An excellent run of sea-run cutthroat, rainbows, and possibly Brook Trout are also available from August until high water raises the river in late fall. During late summer, sea-run cutthroat, silver salmon and pink salmon begin their ascent of the Snoqualmie River making the fall a time where an angler could easily catch four different species of fish in the same day.
Snoqualmie fork fish average 8" to 9" and a larger fish would be 12" long. A few larger fish exist, but anything over 12" should be considered a trophy. This being the case, lower flows concentrate the fish a bit more and allow for predominately dry fly fishing. These fish are eager as none of the forks is particularly food rich, so a well-presented dry fly generally produces interest from a majority of the fish.
Guided fishing tours of the Snoqualmie River are available from the following vendors: