The question looms — “what to do and where to fish” — over the Fourth of July weekend. It is understandable that fishing may not have been high on the radar of many on the Fourth; but there is still a chance some will be fishing over the weekend especially since the Fourth falls on a Friday. By now, most have already made a plan as far as fishing goes.
I would expect the greatest fishing interest would be the pursuit of salmon in the ocean. Westport will be a busy place this weekend. Charters, motels and restaurants should experience their best days since all the stars have lined up, namely: a long weekend, the fishery itself and a holiday added.
The next activity which could include fishing would be camping alongside a river and focusing on the early morning or evening bite. If rivers are in the plans, the Wynoochee River or Humptulips River could yield a steelhead. Certainly, one does not need to camp to engage this fishery. The commute to the river is doable and anglers can fit this in among other Fourth of July weekend plans.
Of course, if camping at Lake Sylvia is in the works, there are lake trout waiting to be caught. Again, no one is limited to this lake alone for lake fishing.
Another fishing interest could include Alpine Lakes. These high lakes offer the outdoorsman both a day hike or an overnight outing. The hiking and camping option is always enhanced when a hungry trout is located. These fish readily strike and offer some fine food value while in the mountains.
Of course, all fishing occurs around water. Water, while it can be a great source of enjoyment, can also include some hazards. Anglers should use due caution when enjoying the sport. This caution may be needed this weekend. A number of people will be out and about. Remember, alcohol and water sports are not a good combination.
Furthermore, since boats are a big part of our enjoyment whether fishing or otherwise, it is noteworthy to urge anglers to be careful and responsible on Washington waterways. Recreational fishing accounts for about half of this state’s boating fatalities.
Therefore, it is advisable for anglers to wear U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets, understand, and be alert for weather or tide changes. Boaters should carry all required a safety equipment and never “push your luck” when it comes to safety on the water.
Since this would be a weekend when families engage the outdoors; and in particular the water, provision needs to be made for children to be properly attired with life jackets that fit them.
So, as this weekend will surely provide many interests, fishing could very well be at the heart of many plans. To do so wisely and safely will yield the most pleasure for the occasion.
Who knows, barbecues with salmon, trout or steelhead could be a common occurrence this weekend. Sharing your best recipe with others can make for a special event. Whatever you do — do it safely!