I am flying up to Sea-Tac to meet a great old buddy for a fly fishing trip. He is pretty new - having been to the Yakima and got some casting lessons in recent years (shhh! I haven't told him he is doomed to be obsessed for life and that his wallet is in severe jeopardy of being rather thinner than before.)

This will be my first fly fishing trip outside of my home state (CA) and I am quite as happy/excited as a 10 year old on Dec 23rd.

We have a cabin booked, (upper?) Cowlitz between Randle and Packwood WA for 5 days early July. He's been before and liked the area, especially its lack of crowds.

Any info, advice, anecdotes, limericks, tall tales, warnings or utter nonsense you'd like to share about the area is welcome, however I am particularly interested in the following:

  • Info on tributaries that are fun to fish for beginners i.e. w/ hungry, eager, non-discriminate, numerous, eat anything thrown kinda fish.
  • Info on sections of the Cowlitz or its tribs with easier access/wading for my pal who isn't in great shape as well as inexperienced.
  • (please don't leave out any more difficult fun places for yours truly)
  • Good restaurants nearby or along the way from Renton WA
  • Good fly shops
  • Places of interest, either natural or historical
  • Fly selection - especially dries but the rest too
  • p.s. we are not steelheading - mostly dry fly for non sea-run stuff is my fave.

I am also hoping it is a good time for hunting mushrooms in that area.

If you have specific fishing info please private message it - I believe we do not allow "hot-spotting" here. General info or any info will be appreciated. Please know that I will be glad to reciprocate w/ advice about my state.