Seasons are important for species of fish that make migratory spawning runs in Washington's rivers. Salmon and steelhead are the most popular migratory fish, and they make runs in every season but not in every body of water. The Olympic Peninsula and the Columbia River Drainage are popular steelhead and salmon fisheries.
Weather is an important factor when considering the best fishing days in Washington. Migratory fish tend to move during rainy weather while trout will actively feed in a variety of conditions. If the water is warm, the fishing can be better on cool overcast days, and extremely cold water can require warm days to stimulate activity.
Most fish species will become active when there is an abundance of food available. In saltwater, it is beneficial to locate schools of baitfish before casting. In freshwater, look for insect activity and attempt to spot feeding fish.
The geography of the area you intend to fish, combined with the season and the weather, can influence the outcome of your trip. High-elevation areas are best attempted during the summer months when the threat of snow is minimal. Coastal areas can be fished year-round, but be weary of dangerous spring flows during runoff.
There are many factors involved when determining the best fishing days. Some days may seem optimal but the fishing will be slow while poor conditions can result in great days. Fishing is an unpredictable event, but you can become more consistent by following the weather, knowing the seasons, becoming familiar with the area and targeting a specific species of fish.