Winter and Summer Steelhead, Cutthroat Trout, and Mountain Whitefish
Northwest of Fall City
Take I-90 to Preston and drive north four miles to Fall City, or take Highway 202 from Redmond east 14 miles to Fall City, cross the river, and either turn right on continue on Highway 202 upstream or turn left and take Highway 203 downstream.
Boat ramps are located near the mouth of Tokul Creek and just upstream from Fall City. Food and gas are available in Fall City. Lodging and tackle can be found in the town’s of Snoqualmie and North Bend.
Fishing the Snoqualmie River:
Hatchery bound winter steelhead headed for the steelhead facility at Tokul Creek are the biggest draw to the Snoqualmie, and much of the fishing pressure occurs from Fall City upstream. The short stretch of river from the mouth of the Tokul to Fall City often produces hundreds of winter steelhead from December to March, with both bank anglers and boat anglers sharing in the fun. Many of the boat anglers back-troll Hot Shots, Wiggle Warts, and other diving plugs, but drift-fishing with roe, shrimp, and various drift bobber setups also produce winter steelhead action. The bulk of the hatchery run returns early in the winter, and December and January provide the best fishing. The Snoqualmie receives about 150,000 winter steelhead smolts a year to keep things happening.
Hatchery plants of summer steelhead aren’t so liberal, totaling only about 30,000 smolts a year, but that’s enough to provide anglers with a chance to catch 400 to 500 of these fish every summer. Unlike many Northwest summer steelhead streams, the Snoqualmie provides fair action from June to October, giving anglers plenty of time to get their summer fishing fix on.
Although anglers in search of bigger game don’t think much about it, there’s a fairly productive trout fishery on the upper reaches of the Snoqualmie, above the Snoqualmie Falls. Salmon and Steelhead don’t get past the falls, and the fisheries in the Upper and Lower Snoqualmie are as different as night and day. Interstate 90 crosses the South Fork of the Snoqualmie near North Bend and parallels it much of the way to the Snoqualmie Pass summit. The North Fork of the Snoqualmie is accessible via the Weyerhauser Company’s roads out of Snoqualmie, while the middle fork is reached by logging roads, running from North Bend.
As many westen Washingtn rivers, Mountain Whitefish are fairly abundant but generally overlooked. There’s a special winter season (no trout allowed) from December through March for them on the upper river and all of its forks.