Category Archives: Locations

The forks are ON but the rivers are LOW


Middle Fork, South Fork and North Fork cutthroat

Over the last four days I fished the three forks of the Snoqualmie and did well on each of them. Fished the Middle Fork on Thursday afternoon, it was running at 489cfs and definitely was in the best shape of the three water wise.  Since then it has been on a steady decline though down to 439cfs today.   Fished the South Fork on Friday briefly, just an hour, it was running at only about 63cfs that day and was low.  Unfortunately it has dropped down to 53cfs in just two days, that is not much water for May.   I fished the North Fork today, it is sort of in between water wise still running at 113cfs today but also on a  sharp decline flow wise.   On all forks I caught plenty of fish on a #12 GRHE Sakasa Kebari fishing either my Sato or Rhodo.

Just to put our low water into perspective, here are the average flows for today and the current flow on our local rivers.

                      Average   Today
Middle Fork           1800        439
South Fork             550         50
North Fork             700        110
Tolt                   600        192  

So you can see the South Fork is at less than 10% of its normal flow whereas the others aren’t quite that bad.  I don’t think I’ll be fishing the South Fork too much this year because of the low water, just too much stress on the fish.  Hopefully the Middle Fork and Tolt can remain at about 25-30% of normal and remain fishable but I have my doubts that will hold.

Help the Middle Fork

Middle Fork at Pratt Confluence

Middle Fork at Pratt Confluence

Those of you who have driven up the Middle Fork road to fish know that the road needs some serious work.  Each year it seems to get a bit worse with washboarded sections, huge ruts and potholes that could swallow a Mini.   The road was bad enough last season that I only drove all the way to the Middle Fork trailhead one day and I drive a Subaru that is made for these types of bad roads.

Well, now you can help.  I just read an article in the Snoqualmie Valley Record (one advantage of living in the valley now) about the projects going on along the Middle Fork.   Multiple recreation and conservation organizations have banded together and started a crowd-funding campaign to raise money for work on the road and trails up the Middle Fork.  You can access it on Indiegogo here.

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A Season on the South Fork

The South Fork with the water I fished this season highlighted

The South Fork with the water I fished this season highlighted

After discovering tenkara at the Seattle Fly Fishing Show in February I had two goals in mind for the upcoming trout season.

  1. Put away my western fly rods for trout fishing and only use tenkara
  2. Explore and fish as much of the 36-mile length of the Snoqualmie South Fork as I could

Both, it turns out, were pretty easy to achieve given that we had a perfect summer with a lot of opportunity to get on the water and the South Fork happens to be a pretty ideal tenkara river.  I ended up spending over two dozen days fishing the South Fork this summer and covered quite a bit of river miles as shown the map above.

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