San Juan Islands Washington Fishing, Fly Fishing

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Fishing

San Juan Islands fishing can be fantastic. The islands are part of a vibrant marine ecosystem that can support strong fish populations. However the islands have historically been overfished so salmon, halibut and other fish are still recovering.

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  • Fish the small lakes that are scattered throughout the islands. Many are regularly stocked and have surprisingly vigorous bass populations. 
  • Let an experienced local guide take you to all the best fishing spots for hassle free fun. 
  • Fishing from the shore can be frustrating due to kelp beds but you might also get lucky, either way the views are worth it.

Where should I go fishing?

Fishing in the Salish Sea from the shore can be challenging due to large tangled kelp beds. However several local lakes are stocked and easily fished from the shore. Sea going vessels of any kind are a great way to fish the rich deep water around the San Juans, just be ready for the strong currents.

Hummel Lake
This small weedy Lake is a popular fishing spot on Lopez Island. There is good fishing from the shore or the dock. The Lake is also lovely for an evening paddle. 

  • Location: Hummel Lake is about a mile from Lopez Village. Simply head out of town on Hummel Lake Road, which will lead you straight there. 
  • Seasons: The mild climate means this lake is accessible all year. 
  • Boat Launch: There is a small beach for launching boats at the north end of the lake. The dock is at the south end of the Lake. 
  • Boat Restrictions: Best accessed with human powered craft. 
  • Fishing: You can catch rainbow trout, catfish, bass and bluegill here.

Sportsmans Lake
This 66 acre Lake on San Juan Island can be fished from the shore or from a small boat. Even if you don’t catch anything it’s a relaxing paddle. 

  • Location: The Lake is only about 3 miles from Friday Harbor. From town head northwest on Roche Harbor Road, which will pass right by the edge of the Lake. 
  • Seasons: This Lake is open year round. 
  • Boat Launch: There is a small boat launch along Roche Harbor Road. 
  • Boat Restrictions: Best accessed with human powered craft. 
  • Fishing: The covering of lily pads and pondweeds make this a great habitat for bass. The lake is also stocked with trout in the spring.

Iceberg point
This beautiful rocky bluff has plenty of shore to cast from. Just watch out for the huge beds of kelp and seaweed. 

  • Location: Iceberg Point is on the south end of Lopez Island. From the village head east on Hummel Lake Road, then take a right on Center Road. This will turn into Mud Bay Road, take another right on Mackaye Harbor Road. Park at Agate Beach and keep walking south along the dirt road to the trailhead. 
  • Fishing: Salmon have been caught from the shore. You can also fish for rockfish and other species that enjoy the kelp habitat. 
  • Permit/license: You do need a fishing license for fishing the Salish Sea around the islands. Be sure to check out all relevant restrictions from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, 360-902-2464.

Cattle Point
The views alone make it worth the trip. It’s a great spot to cast a line and then get lost in your thoughts until you feel that fateful tug. 

  • Location: To get here from downtown Friday Harbor take Mullis Road until it turns into Cattle Point Road and stay on it till you reach the point. 
  • Fishing: This rocky point sticks out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, one of the best fishing spots in the San Juans. If you can avoid loosing every hook on the kelp you might get lucky. 
  • Permit/license: You do need a fishing license for fishing the Salish Sea around the islands. Be sure to check out all relevant restrictions from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, 360-902-2464.

I am looking for a fishing guide

The San Juan Islands have many skilled local guides. Let these experienced guides take you to all the best spots. Leave the hassles to them and focus on relaxing and catching the big one. Check out the many options below.

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