Howdy all. This is my first post on this board. I moved to the Puget Sound area in april (LOVED the closure... Not!) and since the opening of the rivers have fished the Sky at least 8 times since I live 30 minutes from sultan. My biggest problem is access to the river. I've found all 4 of the "public fishing" access points. Ben Howard is too scary (car with freshly broken window and two separate carloads of pot smoking teenage males who drive down the boat launch and park on the bar and skip rocks in the river), Tualco didn't look too promising and I was hesitant to hop the electrified cattle fence and this supposedly public access point. the bridge in sultan is pounded by the sled crowd, and I need to explore more in GoldBar where I raised a "trout" to a skated bomber at dusk last night Not looking for super secret places or "theres a rock at the head of the run. 30 feet down from that there's a boil where a fish will hold" type info. Just want to find some fishable fly water where if there are fish present, and I do everything right, I may luck into a fish... Thanks for listening...
I'll toss in a couple of suggestions and anything more detailed will go to your private messages inbox.
Time of day...
> Ben Howard Bridge's access to the riffle at the top of the Sultan rip rap has produced summer fish for me but it happens between o'dark thirty and 7-8 am tops. The pot smokers aren't out at 4am unless maybe they are on their way home ;-)
> Head downstream from Reiter and poke around every good looking nameless pocket, pool and riffle with a muddler or a skatable caddis pattern a little later on in the season, again from dawn to 8am.
> Fish upstream from the High Bridge.
I purchased a bucks bag 'Bronco' pontoon boat and it opened up the rivers for me. Although you still need a ride back up to the rig, you can thumb because it's small enough to fit on anyones luggage rack or drop into a pickup truck. Better yet find a partner with a vehicle and a pontoon boat too.
Try other area rivers...
The Snoqualmie gets way less pressure and I have had years of great success there, like Brian (Doublespey) and others on this board. The Stilly gets a lot of pressure but go off the beaten path and there are great pools to fish. People ignore the Green but it was one of my home waters and I have had so much success there over the years with no one around. Once they get up into the geyser park (which they have long reached by now), the gorge and start to stack at Horseshoe (Palmer State Park) there are many ways to skin that cat. I loved fishing the Headworks area too, you'll see only one or two other cars and a dozen fish or more from the road as you walk.
I don't know if my advice is any good, but thanks for the opportunity to walk down memory lane.
Welcome to the area. I don't mind sharing a few of the well known access points. I'm really not sharing much as all you need do is look for the cars and do a little exploring.
Most of these are on the lower river; great for the next few weeks but then you will want to go upriver.
1) Hansen's Farm-- At the end of the Reformatory road in Monroe. It now costs $2 to access but the riffle is often productive for early fish.
2) Reformatory -- Upstream from Hansen's. This can also be good water but requires some work getting into it.
3) Buck Island -- This is just upstream of the the old rail bridge as you are leaving Monroe. Also not one of my personal favorites to fish but I do believe that it holds fish more days than not. There is also a long bar that can be accessed below the bridge from the other side at lower flows.
4) IRS -- Halfway between Monroe and Sultan. Not my favorite water but a lot of guys love it. The nice thing here is it fishes well at high water. Park at the hole in the guardrail and follow the path through the field to the river.
5) There is also a nice bar 1/4 mile upstream from the put-in at Sultan which can fish well if the sled traffic is not too heavy. The bottom end of the Cracker Bar -- the long bar across river from the Sultan put-in -- also can fish well at the right river level.
These are the ones everyone knows about so I am not giving up anything. The important thing is just to get out and explore and see what you can find on your own. Juro gave you some good advice for summer-runs as well. Up around Reiter at first and last light.