moving to Sky Stilly or Cow [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: moving to Sky Stilly or Cow

10-16-2004, 08:44 PM
Ok guys, I have to be out of my house in Prineville by the middle of November. so I am moving back up to Washington. How are the Sky and the Stilly fishing ?

This week I will be looking at houses along the Stilly, Sky and the Cowlitz. I know the Cow will have fish all the time but it can be a Zoo. Thought of looking at some on the Skagit, but not till it gets better.

Yes the fishing is the deciding factor on where we will live.

Skilly :confused:

Big K1
10-16-2004, 09:24 PM

Nice to here your moving up here. The Cow would be a good bet. As far as zoos go the Sky gets pretty crowded also. Any of the S rivers would be good and they are all relatively close to each other. Come on up and fish them see which one tickles your fancy. If you do get some river front spread I was wondering if you needed a new friend. :lildevl:

10-16-2004, 10:05 PM
Man, I was a kid fishing my uncles glass rod and automatic reel (borrowed it while he was at work so no one would fuss about it) last time I fished the Stilly. Must have been 12 or so. Sure wish I could move back up there. Consider yourself blessed with those options!!

10-16-2004, 10:58 PM
Can't speak fdor the Stilly as I rarely fish it but he Sky might not be your best option. Since the advent of the buy a double-wide trailer get a free deep-V jet sled, it has become quite the racetrack. The lower river especially can be a freaking zoo when the fish are in. The last three years the catch and release season (March and April) has been closed due to sub-par returns. The same goes for the Stilly.Both rivers have some decent summer-run fishing but the last two years have seen those returns down significantly as well.

10-17-2004, 01:12 AM
The Skagit is a winter steelhead river that has a small number of summr runs using it for a highway to get to the tribs they spawn in. The NF Stilly can be good for summer fish if you learn the river; however, it gets a lot of people in its upper reaches, many who are new or nearly new to fly fishing so it can be crowded at times. The winter fishing on the NF Stilly can be crowded and until the slide gets fixed, it is pretty much confined to the top 6 or so miles and you have to share this smallish river with gear and bait during winter. The SF Stilly is also good for summer fish at time; but you have to spend time out on its upper reaches to learn the water and holding areas, and the upper reaches are pretty far from major roads.

As much as I like fishing the Skagit, NF Stilly (my home rivers), and Sky, if I could live anywhere in WA without having to worry about earning a living, I'd live in or near Forks and fish the west end Oly Pen rivers where yuu have a choice of 13 different rivers within an hour's drive, and can be on three of them in less than 15 minutes from town.

10-17-2004, 08:17 AM
I used to fish all the rivers listed. Started fly fishing the Stilly, Sky, Green, Puyallup and Carbon in 69 when I came back from Nam and was stationed at Ft.Lewis. Thats when I decided that the PNW was home for me. I have also thought about moving back down to the Rogue. But I can get better health care at Madigan. Sorry to hear about the buy a double wide and get a free jet boat. Maybe I can do that on the Cow.

Had thought about Forks, guess I will have to see whats there for houses. The wife might not like it there becasuse of the soggies. I will take realtor . com for a ride to Forks.

I will be comming up tomorrow and looking at some places on the Cowlitz. Then Up to the Sky and Darrington. The place on the Sky is river front above Index. The one in Darrington is not on the river although I will look at some bare land on the river. Trouble is most of it on the Stilly and Skagit is recreational only. There is some on the Sky. The Cowlitz has over a dozen not on the river but close in Toledo and then up by Salkum.


10-17-2004, 10:00 AM
If I had the option I'd like to move to the Snoqualmie area. From there the Green, Sky, Cow, Stilly, Skagit, and oh yeah the Snoqualmie would all be within a reasonable drive, and I like the area overall for it's convenience and beauty. It's right on 90, hwy 18, and 405.

I wouldn't mind living in Sequim's rain shadow either, sure makes those runs to the rain forest easy and you can still get to Safeco for a big game fairly easy. I am sure there is a fantastic coastal coho fishery waiting to be discovered on that part of the strait as well and I have a deep love of the Elwha and would love to see it set free in our lifetime.

Finding something on hwy 12 west of Olympia would put you in Wynoochee / Satsop country with the Hump and Chehalis fisheries right there, also an hour to the Cow with lots of city amenities nearby.

But if catching was #1, then the Cow would be hard to beat. Living with her as a home river could lead to triple digit years on the fly.

Still I would like to live somehwere near hwy 18 and I-90, and the Snoqualmie area strikes me as the place to be.


10-17-2004, 12:11 PM

I used to live in Auburn on 18 fished the Green all the time. Still have a son in Bonney Lake.

For now I want less people and a home river with fish all year no more than 10 minutes away.

Wife said Forks and the OP is out, we used to spend some time there with friends that have gone on to the happy hunting ground. Says she doesnt want her mud boots to be the only shoes she needs.


10-17-2004, 05:54 PM
Be very careful about any river front property on the Sauk because the river moves around some with each high water, and when it floods, it can make a major move. Many folks have learned the hard way about how much the Sauk can move when it floods and have had their sometimes very expensive homes washed down the river from bluffs they thought were safe.

10-17-2004, 07:00 PM

Hey thanks I didnt think about that. Already scratched some on the Sky beause of bing in the flood plain.


10-22-2004, 04:52 PM
Did the deed,,,,

Made an offer on a home in Winlock and will know Monday if they accept it. Its not right on the cowlitz, but it is only 15 minutes from the boat ramp at the trout hatchery. (Blue Creek) Another 10 minuts up to the barrier dam.

It was the first place we looked at the only place we really like.

I hate to fish alone , so if we get it just holler and we can wet a line. A couple of weeks and the boaters will be saying stay clear of the old fool with the spey rod.


10-22-2004, 04:56 PM
Good Choice!

My parents are 10 minutes from Blue Creek and I fish the area often. I think you will be happy with the fishing opportunites and you can easily get down to other Columbia tribs. The fishing up here is nothing compared to southern washington.

I usually try and make it down at least once a month and I am sure we will run into each other.



10-22-2004, 06:00 PM
I sure like living 12 minutes of back roads to the snoqualmie high bridge launch. Good for launching my devil jet sled before or after work for a couple hours of fishing.



Brian Simonseth
10-23-2004, 02:25 AM
Here one for ya, a couple from Cal bought a place this last winter on the Sauk only seeing a video of it. And the flood of last year took the house and half of the property down river; the couple never saw the house in person! :Eyecrazy:

10-24-2004, 08:48 AM

I will let you know when we get settled and I can start fishing. Maybe we can hook up for a day. I will be hitting all the bank access spots I used to know and see if they are still accessable and any good. I know the old pay access on the south bank is cloesd off now, but will look at the others. Used to be pretty good at the Toledo bridge and the the boat ramp under I-5.