Fly fishing gear

The Best of Fishing and Sailing Experiences in the Pacific Northwest

In and around the city limits of Seattle, Washington, there is an abundance of fishing opportunities. From halibut and salmon to lingcod and trout, there’s a season for every fish.

Whether you’re a beginner or a serious angler, Seattle is a world-class fishing destination that offers incredible natural beauty. Puget Sound, Lake Washington, and Green Lake are just a few of the Seattle-area areas that should be explored, regardless of your skill level.


Fishing adventure off Seattle, Washington (Photo via Tegra Stone Nuess Photography)

As someone who had never fished before, I jumped at the chance to be part of the Women Making Waves initiative of the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing brand. RBFF’s goal is to spread the joy of fishing and boating to everyone, of all ages, genders and cultures.

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For this year’s campaign, Women Making Waves, the focus is on expanding the diversity of the industry, specifically increasing the number of women down the line in the sport. Nearly 19.4 million women went fishing in 2021, a slight increase from 2019 (before the pandemic), and the hope is to continue this momentum.

First, whether you decide to venture out on your own or book a charter or excursion (more on that below), you’ll need a fishing license. When it comes to the right gear, layering is key and be sure to bring protective gear for wet weather.

The Pacific Northwest is home to five different species of salmon, including Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, Chum Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, and Pink Salmon. When it comes to salmon fishing, Cut Plug Charters is one of the best companies to help you not only catch a fish, but also show you the best that Puget Sound has to offer.

Just minutes from downtown, their fishing charters help you plan the perfect day on the water. As soon as you leave the port, you’re greeted with stunning views of the Seattle skyline, giving you a new perspective on the bustling city.

It’s a hands-on adventure where you learn to fish for salmon using mooching, an active technique and style of fishing where everyone gets their own rod, and you continually work your bait to attract fish.

With this technique, anglers entice the fish to bite and they will feel it when it happens. The bite and the fight of the fish are felt from beginning to end. Cut Plug Charters makes sure that even if you don’t catch any fish, you have a rewarding experience on the water.

Another popular fishing excursion is fly fishing. It can seem like a daunting sport, but with the right guides, you’ll get used to it in no time. With the help and instruction of Emerald Water Anglers, Seattle’s top fly fishing experts, our group successfully learned basic fly fishing techniques, including casting and safety guidelines. .

Fishing off Seattle, Washington
Fishing off Seattle, Washington (Photo via Tegra Stone Nuess Photography)

Tours start in an area where you work on proper technique until it becomes second nature. Once anglers are familiar with rod and casting, they can test their skills in the water.

While this method of fishing can be strenuous and not for the faint of heart, the staff at Emerald Water Anglers are exceptionally experienced and knowledgeable, making even a fly fishing excursion fun for beginners. Physically entering the water to cast can be daunting, but with the right technique and support it can certainly be a leisurely and unique experience.

Whatever excursion you choose to take on the water, there is more to fishing than what you catch. As someone who has just experienced their first fishing trip, I can say that fishing is a quiet, peaceful and even meditative activity. I felt a real connection to nature and with that a sense of ease and calm. Fishing is as much about the overall experience and connection with the people around you as it is about technique and catching the fish.

And even if fishing isn’t your thing, being on the water in and around the Seattle area is a treat. Keep your eyes peeled as the area teems with wildlife, from seals and otters to a variety of whales and eagles. From your boat, the views of the islands, landscape and mountain ranges in the distance make for an interesting fishing trip no matter what gets on your line (or not!).