Copyright 2019 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Sauk River Washington
The Sauk is a Wild and Scenic River that's formed in the
Glacier Peak Wilderness. It's an undammed, freestone
river that's a tributary of the Skagit River. The Sauk
River is one of the best wild steelhead streams in

Glaciers provide the clear, cold water but heavy rainfall
from runoff caused by the clear cutting of timber can turn
the river into a muddy mess. Steelhead fishing is usually
best in March and April and that coincides with the
heaviest rainfall of the year. Catching the river just right
is a hit and miss proposition that should be taken into
account prior to traveling there to fish. Fly fishing the
Sauk River can be a very rewarding experience, but
timing is very important. The wild steelhead range
upwards to fifteen and twenty pounds but probably
average ten pounds.

The Saulk is a rough and tumble river. Fly fishing the
Sauk River can be done by drifting the stream but it can
also be dangerous in areas. Access is fairly good.
Highway #550 runs along the river and provides access
in several areas. From a drift boat standpoint, the Sauk
River is generally broken down into three areas
accessible from three public boat launches. The
launches are located at Darrington Bridge, the  Suiattle
River tributary, and above the South Skagit Highway  
Bridge. Faber's Landing is the takeout for the last drift.

The upper area below Darrlington down to the Suiattle
River is a small stream with limited access. The section
below the Suiattle River confluence has heavier flows,
faster water and is full of large boulders. The lower
section levels out some as it flows through a valley. It's
wider and even meanders some with sand and gravel
bars mixed in with the deeper runs.

Also see "Seasons" on the left side of the page
The season opens June 1.
There are a few Bull Trout taken in the Summer.
Fall fishing can be good for Dolly Varden after the
Glacier freezes and before the winter rains begin. Chum
and Coho salmon are in the river during the Fall.
Hatchery Steelhead enter the river in January. March
through April is prime winter steelhead time

Saulk River Fishing Report:
12/24/14 One customer reporting catching two
steelhead. Others are reporting catching Dolly Varden.
Right now the stream levels are high. Keep a close
check on them.
Type of Stream

Steelhead (native and hatchery)
Bull Trout
Chum Salmon
Coho Salmon
Dolly Varden Char

Small to Medium

Northwest Washington

Nearest Towns

Winter steelhead, Jan-April: (March
and April Catch and Release Only)
Fishing season open June 1-April 30


Non-Resident License
State of Washington

National Weather Service Link

Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle and Flies
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10/27/19 Fishing Report
(bottom of page)
Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.

2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.

3. Email us (
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $100 are shipped via
Priority Mail.  
USGS Stream Level Data:
Saulk River near Saulk
01/10/15 Anglers catching a few Dolly Varden but few
steelhead. It is doing better than the Skagit.
01/24/15 Reports from two customers wasn't very good. They didn't catch anything or see
anyone that did.
02/07/15 The river is blown out but falling; however, there is still more rain in the forecast.
02/21/15 Just received two good reports of steelhead catches on our Spey flies. Stream levels
are fine right now. Using both light and dark shades of colors - dark early and late and light,
during the middle of the day.
04/11/15 Season Closed until June 1st. Check back with us then.
05/23/15 Send us an email and let us help you plan your next trip.
06/13/15 No reports of any fish caught yet. It is usually July.
06/27/15 One report of Bull trout C&R.
07/21/15 Water temps are high and few fly fishing opportunities exist.
08/08/15 The Saulk river is closed to all fishing due to low water levels and high water
temperatures. Hopefully, that will change soon.
08/29/15 Still closed but hopefully, the rain and cooler temperatures will change this soon.
Keep in touch and shoot us an email so we can help you plan your next trip.
09/05/15 The restrictions have been removed and the stream in much better condition.
09/26/15 Two reports of Dolly Varden but that is about it for the past two weeks.
10/24/15 Catching anything is tough. The river continues to be very low and clear and holding
only a few fish. We recommend choosing another location. There is some rain in the forecast.
10/31/15 Stream levels are up from recent rain and that will move a lot more fish in the river. It
is still very high but should fall out fast.
11/14/15 Fishing has been good but the river is way up again. It is falling: however, there is a
good chance of rain about every day. You will just have to keep a close check on the levels.
11/28/15 Wild Coho should come into the river soon. The stream levels are low but there is
a lot of rain in the forecast for this coming week. A few Dolly Varden have been caught.
12/06/15 The river is headed up fast with a week of rain ahead. This will help the fishing later
but for this week, expect very high flows.
01/09/16 The stream is finally down. It is down below normal actually, with lots of snow on the
way from Monday through Friday. No reports have come in from anyone yet. There should be
some hatchery steelheads being caught.
Perfect Fly Steelhead Flies
01/23/16 The river is very high and there is more rain in the forecast. It is falling but has a long
way to go to be at a decent level for fishing.
02/06/16 Some bull trout were caught since the water has been down but it is on the way back
up right now.
02/13/16 The river is still very high at 8700 cfs and 6.47 ft. Normal is 2970 cfs.
02/27/16 The Saulk river is closed to fishing and will reopen on June 1, 2016. It is never to early
to start planning that next fly fishing trip. Send us an email and let us help you do just that.
03/26/16 Just a reminder that is is about two month before the season opens, but not too early
to let us help you plan that next trip. Send us an email to the address just above.
06/18/16 Yes, the season is still closed. We will let you know as soon as it is opened.
07/02/16 We haven't received any reports. I think most anglers are fishing the Skagit.
07/23/16 There are a few summer run steelhead being caught. It should get better provided
the stream levels come up some.
08/06/16 Still receiving reports from customers catching summer runs. Flows staying around
1910 cfs, low but okay.
08/20/16 The water is low and clear and the "catching" tough. The Skagit is a better option
right now.
11/12/16 The stream levels are down to 4390 cfs at 4.95 ft. This is just a little above normal. A
few Bull Trout have been caught ut that is about it. Some coho are in the river.
11/26/16 Still high but falling. No reports from the past week.
12/24/16 We haven't received any reports yet from anglers catching steelhead. We are
expecting it to pick up soon.
01/14/17 The have been some bull trout caught this past week. No reports of steelhead yet.
02/11/17 The stream levels are down and okay but no reports of fish caught. There were
some Bull trout being caught before the rain.
05/27/17 The season opens June 1st. We will be making regular reports. Check back with us.
07/01/17 There are a few summer run steelhead being caught. Sea-run cutthroats are just
starting to show up in the lower river.
07/29/17 We are getting some good reports on sea-run cutts and some steelhead are being
caught. Fish for the sea runs from the mouth upstream a few miles.
We are resuming reports:
03/12/19 Good numbers of steelhead being caught. Fish above the Skagit confluence. Use
longer, lighter leaders and tippet. The water is low and clear.
03/22/19 We received more good reports of steelhead being caught. Shoot us an email and we
will give you a list of recommended flies. Swinging, steelhead nymphs and eggs are working.
10/01/19 The rise in water levels about a week ago brought some fish into  the river. It is at a
normal level now, which is lower than desirable.
10/21/19 The river levels are above normal which should bring in more fish. Several hatches
are taking place and we are getting good reports from our customers.
10/27/19 The river is still running above normal which should bring in more Chum and Coho.
Good hatches are still taking and we continue to get good reports.