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Sammamish Lake Report
King County, WA



31° - 35°
Cutthroat Trout

Not sure whether to give this trip a 1 or 5 rating but figure any day fishing must be at least a 5 and I did catch some fish! Sammamish reports lately havent been real encouraging. Lake is very cold and the fish just arent actively feeding obviously. Marked a lot of fish but couldnt seem to find much magic today.

Launch was 35 degrees when I got there and a stiff wind blowing. Whitecaps most of the day. Dang it was a little bumpy and lord love a duck cold. Boat canvas got wrecked in the snow so fishing like a kayaker out in the open.

Fished from noon until about 5. Covered a lot of ground and threw a bunch of gear. Bottom line is I didnt catch any cutties but did catch 4 really nice kokanee 12-14" like the one in the pic. C&R all. Feisty little buggers. Great fun. All 4 kokes were between 20-40 feet on the cable.

Judging by the weather and water temps I think it might be a while before this lake comes back to life. Or maybe not, who knows.

Think I should be thawed out next week sometime.

Tight lines!!!


2/27/2019 8:11:06 PM
Thanks for the report Randy, I was thinking about hitting Sammamish this weekend but based on your chilly experience I think I'm gonna give it at least a week or two. Yeah the snow wrecked my canopy in the backyard that my boat sits under so I feel your pain. :-(
2/28/2019 9:36:41 AM
Wrecked boat was mostly self induced pain. Too lazy to spend 5 minutes removing snow and thats what I get. Wrecked it pretty good. All back together yesterday. Got full canvas, got heat and time to go chase blackmouth this weekend. I'm about to lose my mind!!!
2/27/2019 10:00:29 PM
To rmrauscher:
Randy, good report but with not so good news on the Cutthroat fishing which does not at all surprise me a whole lot given what I've also picked up from friends who have recently fished Lake Sammamish. Its interesting that you say you caught and released 4 nice sized Kokanee. That indeed would be very, very good news for those of us who have worked extra hard through TU and other local agencies to resurrect that once wonderful fishery on Lake Sammamish. Its a fishery I very fondly recall from my days of fishing the lake back in the late 50's, 60's and 70's. On that note, I'm assuming the fish you have referenced are indeed Kokanee ratther than the much talked about Issaquah Salmon Hatchery residualized Coho which not so long ago failed as smolts to move out of the lake and to the salt water. Those two fish species tend to look very similar but do have subtle differences. As for myself, I experienced some decent Cutthroat fishing in the north half of the big lake, Lake Washington, recently in the area of Champaign Point to Juanitta Bay and have wanted to get back up there again to give it another whirl with my fishing partner, however,, our early morning freezing weather of late has had us thinking twice about it. Here is wishing you good luck on your next outing.
2/28/2019 9:32:54 AM
Hey sharphooks. I dont remember the last time I caught 4 kokes on Lk Samm. Think it was probably prior to the 2015 drought. The head, mouth and back said kokanee, the tail maybe said otherwise. I'm not sure. Whatever they were it was fun. The big lake is just down the hill from my house so if you are catching down there I may just have to go give it a shot. Thanks for the heads up.
2/27/2019 10:45:11 PM
Enjoy your reports Randy. My boat suffered the same bad luck. I removed all the snow after the first big snowstorm, but the second one with the heavy snow and rain broke one of the main supports on my Stryker's top. I repaired it today...a bit of copper tubing from McLenden's, and an oak insert into the broken tube. I need to either hit Lake Washington or Sammamish soon before I go bonkers this Winter.
2/28/2019 9:25:34 AM
Just got boat all put back together yesterday. It was pretty wrecked, cracked side window, bent window frame, broken headlights, torn canvas, broken struts, what a mess!! Time to hit the salt!!
2/28/2019 12:37:46 PM
To rmrauscher:

Randy, if you dare attempt to do any Lake Washington fishing with morning temperatures now hovering around freezing and you hit the waters where my partner and I have recently experienced decent but not fast fishing, before you even begin to fish, see if you can find areas utilizing your fish finder where small bait fish are working the waters and then use a lure that best imitates those bait fish at those depths. Fish the periphery around those schools. That's where you will find the best luck for the Cutthroat. Once you locate bait fish, stay there and work those areas real hard. Up until very recently, my fishing partner and I were proponents of the Silver Horde Ace Hi Fly Junior #344 while fishing the previously described waters. During our last outing and out of curiosity, we immediately started our fishing day using the God's Tooth lure half/half gold/silver in a tandem configuration as suggested by the manufacturer. It produced some nice results so we stayed with the God's Tooth in that configuration during our last outing. Basically and from what we can tell, both described lures seem to work well for the larger size Lake Washington Cutthroat when used with a 4 1/2 inch sling blade with silver plating on one side and silver plating on the other side with a multifaceted silver overlay. Good luck and we will look forward to receiving another one of your good reports.
2/28/2019 12:55:50 PM
Thanks for the info!!! For some unknown reason I havent tried the Gods Tooth. Maybe pick up a couple and see what happens. My heart is really in the saltwater but the big lake is just down the hill. Ahhh so many choices.
nerka nailer
2/28/2019 3:11:01 PM
Nice kokanee, they are fragile though and if you land in a net and bring them in a boat they will most likely die after being released due to the stress.
2/28/2019 4:29:56 PM
Yeah I know. This one was well hooked but got him undone and no blood. Swam away happily. The other three didnt even come in the boat.
3/2/2019 12:18:58 AM
Its been a few years ago, but I ran into a mass of angry kokanee near the weather buoy. Caught 0 cutts and 4 kokanee. Unfortunately, I think most of them died.... some had hooks through the gills, eye balls, etc... It was around this time of the year also, and they were definitely feisty. Good to see that some still exist!
3/2/2019 10:11:10 AM
Before 2015 drought Kokanee were think on Lk Samm. Now not so much.
3/2/2019 10:49:47 AM
To Sideburns:
Your comments regarding the brutality you witnessed some time ago by Kokanee that you "caught and released" on Lake Sammamish is one reason why my fishing partner and I always fish Lake Sammamish with barb less type hooks so as to best minimize injury to not only to Kokanee but to Cutthroat and other species of fish found within the lake waters. Although fishing with barbed hooks is currently highly legal, its a hot button for me as a TU member as well as for other club members who practice "catch and release". I could discuss this subject matter at length, however, I suspect this websites editor would not want it displayed here.
Mike Carey
3/3/2019 9:05:30 AM
Sharphooks, the discussion of using barbed vrs. barbless hooks would be very much appreciated - on the forum, not on someone's personal report comments thread. I look forward to your post on the Forum.
3/3/2019 10:49:48 AM
Hey Mike/sharphooks/whoever I think a Lk Sammamish discussion on the forum re this fishery would be a great idea. The are definitely some differences of opinion!!!!!
3/3/2019 2:20:59 PM
To Mike Carey:
Mike , thanks very much for your direction with regards to a further discussion on the use of barbed vs barbless hooks especially as it applies to Lake Sammamish. I will head in that direction at my first opportunity because I feel there is a real need for it. If I don't get there first, perhaps one of our other fine commentators here will get it started regardless of viewpoint - - - pro or con. On that matter, Mike, let us welcome you to that discussion as well as I'm sure a lot of us would like to hear your voice.
3/3/2019 6:48:42 PM
Guys! I know everyone wants to resurrect the kokanee in Sammamish, and really want to believe that catch and release is making an impact, but the marine biologist in me says it makes no difference - the collapse there wasn't effected by fishing pressure one way or another - it's ( and always is) about the abundance of food source and competition for that plankton! So many other lakes have the same issue - The fish population needed to support great fishing can't be sustained over long periods, but it WILL return, as witnessed by the recent success!
3/3/2019 11:40:03 PM
To Smokey34:
Lets continue this discussion as this website editor/owner has requested using the "Forum" provision for this website. Just so you know, I got that started this evening and we already have had a number of responses. I would love to debate your point of view.
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Available Guide

Available Fishing Guide:
Website: Fast Action Guide Service

Phone: (425) 753-5772