Best Place to Catch Salmon in Washington

So, you’ve decided to explore Washington waters in search of that beautiful Salmon. You ask a few fellow anglers, only to discover that Washington has 37 fishing lakes.

What strikes your mind more is that you can find Salmon in around 30 of these, and that’s not even mentioning the rivers!

So, what should you do? Test your luck in 30 lakes? Truth be told, most experienced anglers will eventually do that, but you don’t want to start your fishing game on hard mode.

That’s where we come to help; we played the game on hard mode and sorted out five spots to make it much easier for you to find those prized Salmons.

Keep on reading to find the best place to catch salmon in Washington!

Green River

Running proudly in King’s County, the Green River runs 65 miles in Western Washington. It provides the citizens of Tacoma and Seattle with fresh water and many fishing opportunities.

You can Find Chinook, Coho, Atlantic, and Pink Salmon in the Green River. If you ask the experienced Anglers about fishing there, they’ll tell you that the runs may not be as rich as they once were.

It’s true that things aren’t as good as they once used to be. However, that doesn’t mean you should scratch the Green River from your list, especially its lower section as the river gets to its mouth.

Salmon fish must pass through the mouth of the river before going upstream, making the Lower Green River section the most popular fishing area there. If you want the best chances to get yourself some big Salmon, go to the Green River around September and October.

On September 22nd, 1999, Ron Howard caught the largest Atlantic Salmon in Washington State from the Green River. It weighed 14.38 lbs.

Wind River

The Wind River runs a humble 30 miles from the Cascade Mountain Range until it joins with the Columbia River near Carson.

It’s one of Washington’s best fishing landmarks for the Chinook Salmon. Its popularity makes it normal to see over 200 boats every day looking for that prized catch.

The best fishing area is between the State Highway #14 bridge and the White Buoy line, which separates Colombia and Wind River.

You can still get access to many other fishing spots in the Wind River because the Wind River Highway runs parallel to the majority of the river.

Elochoman River

Wahkiakum County’s Elochoman River is a short 14-mile river that originates in the Soggy hills of Southwest Washington. It keeps flowing until it meets with the Columbia River northwest of Cathlamet.

The Elochoman River often flies under the radar because it’s not known for having high counts of Salmon. That’s not incorrect, but on October 5th, 1992, angler Mark Salmon showed us an interesting fact.

Elochoman River may lack the quantity, but it certainly delivers in the quality department. Mark fished out a whopping 68.26 lbs-Chinook Salmon, which remains the state’s biggest Chinook Salmon yet.

If you feel lucky and fancy some quiet fishing without 20 other anglers in your peripheral vision, the Elochoman River is a spot worthy of your time. Just make sure to visit between September and October to maximize your chances of getting the big ones.

Quinault River

Quinault River is a 69-mile-long river in Grays Harbor County with some unorthodox rules for fishing.

The upper section of the river is in the Olympic National Park. That means that the park’s fishing rules apply as long as you fish around that area.

The River continues until the National Forest between Lake Quinault and the park. Fishing in that area is regulated by the state. You need to know the rules before heading out there.

Last but not least is the lower part of the river. It lies in the Quinault Indian Nation Lands, where again, a new set of rules is in effect. You’d also need a tribal fishing permit and a Quinault guide.

The lower section of the river has an abundance of Salmon, and it’s mostly where you’ll fish. So get your fishing permit and that Quinault guide, and you may just be able to get as lucky as Brad Wilson.

On November 11th, 2001, Wilson caught the biggest Coho Salmon in Washington to this day. It weighed 25.27 lbs, which is a few pounds lighter than the world’s largest 33 lbs Coho Salmon.

Lake Washington

Lake Washington

King County’s Lake Washington is the second largest natural lake in the state. This 34-square-mile lake is located east of Seattle, and it’s a well-sought fishing spot.

The lake is rich in Chinook, Coho, and Sockeye Salmon, especially through September and October.

Two-pole fishing isn’t allowed in Lake Washington, but you may practice water chumming to attract your desired fish.

It’s worth mentioning that Sockeye Salmon aren’t abundant in Lake Washington, but they come in large sizes. On July 20th, 1982, Gary Krasselt managed to fish out the state’s record Sockeye Salmon fish.

It weighed 10.83 lbs, and it’s still the largest Sockeye Salmon caught in Washington to this day. To show how great that feat is, the World Record Sockeye Salmon weighed 15 lbs and 4 ounces—just around 5 lbs more.

Lake Washington may be a good fishing spot for big catches, but we advise against consuming fish that you catch there. The lake suffers from high levels of urban and industrial pollution.

Where to Catch Salmon in Washington – The Wrap Up

It’s difficult to point somewhere and say that it’s the best place to catch Salmon in Washington. The seasons, tides, change in the environment, and the overall population of all fish changes every year.

Those five locations, though, are sure to reward you with some great catches if you’re persistent enough.

There are state records in 4 out of 5 of these locations, making it some of the best salmon fishing in North America. So these areas are definitely worth your time. Visit at the right time, and don’t be afraid to ask more experienced anglers for help. You’d be surprised how friendly anglers are towards each other.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.