Snohomish County is one of the most populated counties in Washington, just north of Seattle in the heart of the busy Puget Sound area, but don’t let that fool you when it comes to fishing.
Anglers will find plenty of places to go fishing in Snohomish County’s many lakes filled with trout, bass and other fish, rivers and streams with salmon and steelhead, and saltwater fishing and shellfishing just out the door.
Most of the county’s residents live on the western end of the county, close to Puget Sound and the Interstate 5 corridor, while farther east is more rural and mountainous, climbing high into the Cascade Mountains.
Everett is the biggest city in Snohomish County, while residents also live in Arlington, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Marysville, Monroe, Snohomish and other communities in this county of well over 800,000 people.
The fishing spots in Snohomish County range from the salty Puget Sound to the pristine high mountain lakes of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, with tons of fish-filled lakes and rivers between.
What follows is a quick look at some of the best fishing spots in Snohomish County, with links to additional information where available.
This small lake near Arlington opens to fishing in late April, when it will typically be stocked with some 3,000 hatchery rainbow trout.
Fishing is best in the spring. Some trout may survive the season and carry over to the following year as larger fish.
The 31-acre lake is located about two miles north of Arlington off East Lake Armstrong Road.
There is a WDFW access with a boat launch and restrooms at the south end of the lake.
Lake Ballinger is a popular fishing hole.
It’s close to Seattle and open to fishing year-round fishing, plus it is very nicely stocked with hatchery rainbow trout both spring and fall, including some larger fish.
Coastal cutthroat trout are year-round residents but not as numerous as the rainbows.
The trout action will cool into the summer but the fishing at Ballinger will heat up for various warmwater fish species, including largemouth bass, yellow perch, black crappie and bullhead catfish.
There is good bank and fishing pier access on the 100-acre lake, as well as a place to launch a boat at a city park in Mountlake Terrace, which is located barely inside Snohomish County and easily reached from King County as well.
More: Lake Ballinger Fishing
This modest-sized Snohomish lake is generously stocked with both rainbow and cutthroat trout.
The lake is open all year but trout fishing will pick up in the spring, especially after WDFW plants some 7,000 catchable rainbows in the April and May time frame.
The 60-acre lake also is stocked with thousands of younger cutthroat trout during the fall, and those fish grow to catchable size on location, adding to the following year’s fishery.
Other fish you might catch here, especially when trout fishing is slower in the summer, include largemouth bass, yellow perch, common carp and several more panfish species.
Blackmans Lake is located within the city of Snohomish just east of State Route 9.
You will find both a WDFW boat launch as well as bank access on the south end at Ferguson Park.
There also is additional lake access including two fishing piers that are accessible for anglers with disabilities located at Hill Park on the east side of the lake.
Lake Bosworth produced Washington’s record largemouth bass in 2016 but what most anglers are likelier to catch are lots of trout.
The lake near Granite Falls is very nicely stocked with catchable rainbows (in the vicinity of 10,000 trout) during the spring, typically in time for the late April opener of this seasonal lake.
The lake also has some resident coastal cutthroat trout.
Trout fishing definitely will be best early in the season, but anglers who return from late September through the season’s end in October can also find some pretty good fishing for larger trout of both species.
Coho salmon may also be present, along with the potential for big bass and a smattering of other warmwater fish that might include pumpkinseed sunfish.
There is a WDFW access on the northeast side of the roughly 100-acre lake off East Lake Bosworth Drive, where you can launch a boat but will find very limited bank fishing. Gas motors are prohibited.
Bosworth Lake is minutes south of Granite Falls and only about a half hour’s drive east of Marysville.
This year-round lake near Marysville offers a mix of cold and warmwater fishing opportunities.
The 125-acre lake is stocked with a modest few thousand catchable rainbow trout during the early spring (March at last check).
Trout fishing will be best for the weeks and couple months following the annual planting.
The other trout species here are resident coastal cutthroat trout, which are available all year but will tend to bite best in spring and fall.
Other fishing opportunities here are for largemouth bass and a wide variety of panfish including black crappie, yellow perch and bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish. There also are brown bullhead catfish.
WDFW has a gravel boat launch with a bit of bank fishing access on the southwest shore.
Bank anglers also can get to the bank and a fishing pier from a county trail on the eastern shore.
The largely undeveloped lake is less than 10 minutes east of Marysville.
This small lake near Monroe is stocked with a modest number of rainbow trout in the spring and also offers fishing for resident warmwater fish species.
The 20-plus acre lake is open year-round, but the best fishing will begin in the spring.
Mid-spring is also about the time the lake’s largemouth bass, black crappie and pumpkinseed sunfish will really start to bite, which will continue throughout summer into early fall.
There is a WDFW boat launch on the south side (and a little bit of bank fishing access), but it’s so small that launching a trailered boat will be tough.
Car-toppers, kayaks, float tubes and the like will work great on the small lake and are your best bet to reach more fish. Gas motors are prohibited.
Chain Lake is less than 10 minutes north of Monroe out Chain Lake Road.
This smallish lake a quick drive northwest of Marysville is very nicely stocked with both rainbow and cutthroat trout.
Fishing is seasonal here, and trout fishing should be good from the late April opener because WDFW tends to stock it with about 3,000 catchable rainbow trout for the occasion.
Crabapple also is stocked with a larger number (10,000 at last check) of young cutthroat trout, which grow on site into feisty and challenging catches.
If WDFW makes a spring planting of small cutthroat trout, as its recent schedule indicates, fall fishing for cutthroat could be a good option after these fish have grown up a bit and the cooler weather brings trout back on the bite.
Trout fishing is likely to slow down in the summertime, but that’s when the fishing for resident species including largemouth bass and yellow perch will be best.
The WDFW access on the north side has a bit of shore angling and a boat launch.
Crabapple Lake is in the vicinity of the Lake Goodwin area also sometimes called Seven Lakes, thanks to several fishing holes bunched together. See also Lake Goodwin, Lake Shoecraft and Lake Ki in this article and links to fuller articles about those locations.
Echo Lake (Maltby)
Given that it’s roughly 16 acres, this little lake near Maltby has fairly easy pickings after being stocked with a couple thousand rainbow trout for the late April opener.
Trout fishing will definitely slow in the summer, but the lake is deep for its size and allows trout a better chance of surviving the summer.
Those trout that remain in the fall will be eager to bite again in late September and throughout October before the fishing season closes.
You’ll find an unimproved boat launch and a bit of bank angling at the WDFW access on the east side of the lake, while private homes cut off access to the rest of the shoreline.
Echo Lake is a fairly common name for lakes in Washington, but this one is about 10 minutes driving southeast from the Maltby area and only about 15 minutes from Woodinville.
See a separate listing below for nearby Lost Lake (Devil’s Lake).
(Note: There is another Echo Lake in Snohomish County in the hills north of Sultan in the Pilchuk River drainage. It reportedly has some rainbow and brook trout.)
Flowing Lake (Three Lakes)
This is a nice-sized lake is close enough to Everett for an easy trip but just far enough to feel like a getaway out of the city.
Flowing Lake (also known as Three Lakes) is nicely stocked with rainbow trout, both in the form of some 7,000 or more catchable rainbow trout and a larger number of young trout that can grow to nice size in the 135-acre lake.
Besides the trout, Flowing Lake is quite good for warmwater fishing, with largemouth bass to 4 pounds and decent-sized yellow perch and bullhead catfish.
The lake is easily reached from the more populated areas of Snohomish County, about six miles north of Monroe and about 16 miles east of Everett.
It is the middle lake in the Three Lakes area, between Panther and Storm lakes (see separate listings).
There is a lot of access at Flowing Lake Park (Leckie’s Beach) on the north end of the lake, where there is bank and pier fishing access and a boat launch.
WDFW also maintains a boat access on the southeast corner of Flowing Lake (near Storm Lake), where there is a small fishing pier.
More: Fishing at Flowing Lake
Fortson Mill Pond
Also called Fortson Pond 2, this kids fishing pond is between State Route 530 and the North Fork Stillaguamish River, between Oso and Darrington.
Fortson Mill Pond is sometimes stocked with a thousand or so rainbow trout in the spring.
The 2-acre pond opens to fishing in late April and is set aside for anglers younger than age 15.
Gissberg Ponds/Twin Lakes
These two small rectangular ponds located on the north side of Marysville are a nice family fishing destination with a variety of angling opportunities, including for trout stocked during the spring.
The smaller north pond is open only to juveniles, while the south pond is open to all licensed anglers.
The lakes also are one of a limited number of area lakes that are stocked with channel catfish, a great game fish that keeps the angling opportunity going after trout fishing has faded.
Other fish species in the lakes that are fun to catch include some largemouth bass and bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish.
The former gravel mining pits are right along Interstate 5 about seven miles north of downtown Marysville.
The ponds are in Gissberg Twin Lakes county park which has basic amenities.
One of the largest lakes in the area, Lake Goodwin offers excellent fishing opportunities for stocked rainbow and cutthroat trout as well as other fish species.
Goodwin gets a fairly modest (for its 500-plus acres) planting of about 5,000 catchable rainbow trout per year, but it also gets some 70,000 trout fry or fingerlings in both trout species that can grow to good size in this fine fishing lake.
The lake also offers good fishing for resident warmwater fish, including both largemouth and smallmouth bass, yellow perch, black crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish and brown bullhead catfish.
Wenberg County Park on the east side has a good boat ramp, fishing piers and nice park amenities including picnicking.
This smallish seasonal lake in the Seven Lakes area northwest of Marysville is nicely stocked with both rainbow and cutthroat trout.
At just 27 acres or so, the lake not only gets some 3,000 catchable rainbow trout each spring for the late April opener, it also gets about 10,000 young cutthroat stocked as well.
The trout can grow to nice size in the lake.
You might also catch warmwater fish species here, especially in the summer when the trout fishing tends to be slow. Largemouth bass are year-round residents.
Be aware that Lake Howard is primarily a boaters’ lake, as bank access is limited to a small WDFW access site on the northwest end of the lake.
Much of the rest of the lake, which is about 25 minutes driving from Marysville, is surrounded by private homes in this semi-residental area.
See separate listings for Lake Goodwin, Lake Ki, Lake Shoecraft and others in the local area for more fishing information.
This large hike-in mountain lake (about 170 acres) is notable for the wide range of potential catches, including a shot at catching a big mackinaw (lake trout) in Snohomish County.
The lake also reportedly holds the more commonly found brook, rainbow and cutthroat trout and kokanee salmon in its 200-foot depths.
It’s in the Gold Bar area off Highway 2 (east of Monroe).
One challenge is that mackinaw and kokanee are often best fished from a boat, and this is a lake that requires a hike to reach.
Jennings Park Pond
This tiny pond in Jennings Memorial Park in Marysville is open only to young and senior anglers, as well as those with a disability and the appropriate state-issued card.
It has been stocked with trout at times and may host a kids fishing event some years.
This 20-acre lake near Stanwood offers excellent prospects for trout fishing in the spring.
Lake Ketchum is typically stocked with a couple thousand catchable rainbow trout during the early spring (possibly March), and trout fishing will be best in the spring months here.
The lake also is home to a variety of warmwater fish species, including largemouth bass, bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish, yellow perch and brown bullhead catfish.
The small lake is located in the far northwestern corner of Snohomish County, about 10 minutes north of Stanwood via 76th Avenue NW to S Lake Ketchum Road.
There is a WDFW access on the south end of the lake.
This is a decent-sized lake at nearly 100 acres, another of the waters in the somewhat residential Seven Lakes area northwest of Marysville.
Lake Ki is a seasonal fishing lake that the WDFW generously stocks with some 10,000 catchable rainbow trout for the late April opener.
Trout fishing will by far be best here during the spring and will fall way off as the fish get caught and the warm weather arrives.
Warmwater fishing will tend to take over in about May or June and continue into early fall.
Largemouth bass and yellow perch are two of the year-round species that entertain anglers when it’s hotter outside.
More: Fishing at Lake Ki
Lake Loma is one of the smaller and shallower lakes in the Seven Lakes area northwest of Marysville.
While Lake Loma has been stocked with hatchery rainbow trout in the past, recent WDFW planting schedules have included most of the other lakes in the area but not Loma.
Anglers report good action on largemouth bass (mostly smaller ones) as well as some crappie that can reach good size.
Lost Lake (a.k.a. Devil’s Lake)
This small Maltby area lake is open all year but most enthusiastically fished during the spring, when WDFW tends to stock some 1,500 catchable rainbow trout into its compact 13 acres.
Other fish here include native cutthroat trout and resident largemouth bass.
This Lost Lake, also known as Devil’s Lake, is off State Route 522 and close to suburbia just a few miles east of Maltby.
The shoreline is moderately developed, but anglers can get access from a WDFW site on the west shore off Lost Lake Road. There is a boat launch and a bit of space for bank fishing.
See a separate listing for nearby Echo Lake.
Lost Lake (near Sultan)
Lost Lake is a very popular name for lakes.
This Lost Lake at the rural northern end of the county is only about 14 acres and not currently on WDFW’s stocking schedule.
However, we’ve listed it because it can offer a successful and somewhat secluded (but not too hard to reach) fishing experience for resident trout including cutthroats, rainbows and browns, and we thought you ought to know.
There is a fishing pier but WDFW suggests a float tube or other small watercraft because other than the pier, bank access is tough in wetland conditions. Fly fishing can be good here.
The lake is located about six miles northwest of Sultan. It is near Lake Chaplain, but the latter reservoir is part of Everett’s drinking water system and is closed to fishing.
Martha Lake (Alderwood Manor)
George Washington must be a little jealous, because there are three Martha Lakes with fishing opportunity in Snohomish County alone.
This one near Lynnwood Is 59 acres and very nicely stocked with hatchery rainbow and cutthroat trout.
WDFW plants some 7,000 catchable rainbow trout here, typically for the late April opener.
But that’s not all, because the agency also may very well stock the water with about 10,000 young rainbows and another 10,000 young cutthroats each year.
The survivors among the smaller plants grow to catchable size while spreading out the fishing season here.
Expect spring to be excellent for trout, but think seriously about returning with cooler weather in September and October, when trout tend to go on a feeding binge.
While summer tends to slow down for trout, this Martha Lake also has resident populations of largemouth bass, yellow perch and brown bullhead catfish, all of which tend to bite best in warmer months.
Martha Lake is located in a very residential setting north of the Alderwood Manor area, just east of I-5 on 164thSt. SW past the Walmart.
Martha Lake County Park, the former Martha Lake Resort, located at the south end offers nice bank fishing spots including large fishing piers and access for anglers with disabilities.
Just east of the park, WDFW has an access that includes a boat launch.
Martha, Lake (Warm Beach)
This nearly 60-acre lake is similar in size to the Martha Lake listed above, but instead is located in the Seven Lakes area northwest of Marysville and offers a more unique trout fishery.
At last check, this Lake Martha was stocked with a modest number of brown trout fingerlings, a rarer find in this county, as well as a larger number of cutthroat trout also planted as fingerlings.
Lake Martha also has been stocked with rainbow trout at times, so the trout options here can be varied.
The lake is open year-round, with the best prospects for trout during cooler weather in spring and fall. At this low coastal elevation, winter fishing is an option between weather fronts.
In addition to trout fishing, this Lake Martha also has resident populations of warmwater fish such as largemouth bass, yellow perch and black crappie.
There is a public WDFW access on the northwest shore along Wayne Avenue.
This Lake Martha is located just inland from the Warm Beach community on Port Susan and about a 25-minute drive northwest from Marysville.
Martha Lake, Little
Not surprisingly from the name, our final Martha is quite small.
It is located just north of Lake Cassidy (see separate listing) near State Route 9 just east of Marysville.
Not stocked with trout, so not heavily fished, Little Martha Lake does have warmwater fish including largemouth bass, yellow perch and other species.
This year-round fishing lake in the Three Lakes area northeast of Snohomish is modestly stocked with catchable rainbow trout in the spring, possibly in March.
Trout fishing will be best at the nearly 50-acre lake during the early season.
As trout catches fall off and the weather warms, fishing opportunities increase for resident populations of largemouth bass, pumpkinseed sunfish, black crappie and brown bullhead catfish.
WDFW maintains a paved boat ramp and other basic facilities on the west shore, off Panther Lake Road. Leave your gas motor at home because you can’t use it here.
The lake is only about 20 minutes east of Everett.
Just in case, don’t confuse this with the more heavily stocked Panther Lake on Kitsap Peninsula.
There are quite a variety of fishing and shellfishing opportunities that we’ll only brush on here.
Several species of salmon (including Chinook, coho and pinks), rockfish, flounder, perch, smelt, herring, squid and other fish are caught from several piers and boats leaving the ports.
Crabbing and shrimping can be good at times from the piers, and several species of clams are available.
There are popular public piers in Edmonds, Everett and Mukilteo.
Saltwater fishing and shellfishing seasons and other regulations would take a full article to explain and may change, so the best approach is to study up on your particular interests before going.
This is a small Arlington-area lake that offers a good shot at catching rainbow trout once it opens in late April.
Riley Lake is stocked with about 3,000 catchable trout for the opener, when trout fishing will be the best.
Once the heat of summer comes around, the 30-acre lake’s anglers will transition more to catching warmwater species, primarily largemouth bass.
WDFW maintains an access that includes a boat launch and limited parking on the southwest corner of the lake.
While a boat is very useful in terms of access, leave your gas-powered motor at home as it is not permitted here.
Riley Lake is located on the northern end of Snohomish County, about a 20-minute drive east from Arlington.
This is a large lake north of Monroe that is known for both rainbow trout and kokanee fishing.
While Lake Roesiger doesn’t get a ton of catchables – just 3,000 for its 300 or so acres – it is planted with more than 10,000 younger trout and some 40,000 younger kokanee each year, according to recent WDFW stocking plans.
The lake also has a reproducing number of kokanee to boost the lake’s population of these lake-bound sockeye salmon.
Roesiger also offers a nice warmwater fishery with largemouth bass, black crappie, yellow perch, bluegill and brown bullhead catfish that will be most active from mid-spring, throughout summer and into early fall.
Lake access is good at Lake Roesiger County Park on the eastern shore, and WDFW also has a boat ramp with limited parking and restrooms on the south end.
More: Lake Roesiger Fishing
The upper sections of this river flow through Snohomish County before flowing into Skagit County to join the Skagit River.
The Snohomish County section, popular with fly anglers, offers a good amount of trout water as well as some steelhead fishing.
Native trout species predominate here, with cutthroat and protected bull trout (which these days aren’t legal to target, but you can bet anglers catch and release them).
The Sauk also gets runs of steelhead, and fin-clipped strays may be kept, but its fishing season currently closes too early for anglers to get much access to its big wild winter steelies.
More: Sauk River Fishing
This Lynnwood lake should offer some pretty darned good early season trout fishing, thanks to the more than 4,000 catchable trout WDFW plants in a lake of just over 40 acres.
Lake Serene is open seasonally for fishing starting in late April and should be excellent for stocked trout during the early weeks before fishing tapers off into summer.
As the weather warms and the trout fishing fades, try switching off to fishing for resident largemouth bass.
Lake Serene is located in suburban neighborhoods west of the intersection of State Routes 99 and 525. Take Shelby Road west off SR-99 and then Serene Way to reach the WDFW access on the west end.
The access includes a concrete boat ramp, toilet and parking lot on the west side of the lake, which otherwise is ringed with homes.
Despite the developed ramp, you can’t use your gas-powered motor here so leave the bigger boats at home and get around with an electric or people-powered craft.
Lake Shoecraft is pretty good-sized at more than 130 acres, but it looks small next to the large Lake Goodwin just across the road in the semi-residential area of Seven Lakes, northwest of Marysville.
While this lake is open all year, anglers will be most enthusiastic about fishing here starting in about April, when WDFW typically trucks in some 5,000 catchable rainbow trout.
The arrival of warmer weather should encourage the lake’s population of largemouth bass, black crappie, yellow perch and pumpkinseed sunfish to start biting more agreeably than they do in colder water.
A boat is very helpful here, because the lake is largely surrounded by private homes, and WDFW maintains a boat ramp on the southwest corner of the lake.
This year-round Everett lake is easy to get to and should be easy to fish for trout during both the spring and fall seasons.
For its approximately 100 acres, Silver Lake gets quite a few trout.
Recent WDFW stocking plans called for a big planting (about 7,000) of hatchery rainbow trout in April and then several thousand more “jumbo” trout in the fall in about November.
While the summer will bring the slowest fishing for trout, that’s the time of year anglers are most likely to catch warmwater species including fairly decent numbers of panfish such as rock bass and yellow perch.
The largemouth bass fishery has been fairly modest.
Kokanee also have been part of the lake’s fishery at times, but a WDFW survey some years back didn’t look encouraging for fans of these landlocked sockeye salmon.
While there isn’t a developed boat launch, you can carry in a car-topper or other small boat at the southeast corner of the lake.
Bank anglers will find room to cast at several city parks, including the larger Thorton A. Sullivan Park on the west side, and also along State Route 527 (19th Avenue SE) that curves right around the eastern shore.
Both areas have bank access including multiple fishing piers.
Silver Lake is located in a residential area just east of I-5 on the southern end of Everett.
Skykomish River and Forks
The Sky is easily among the best (if not THE best) steelhead rivers in the Puget Sound area and also offers good salmon fishing when the runs are decent.
The Skykomish along with the Snoqualmie River join forces to form the Snohomish River, the county’s major river system, but much of the best fishing is up in those two major forks and their tributaries.
Now, clearly anadromous fish runs aren’t what they used to be, and the runs in the Skykomish aren’t like the heyday years several decades back, but this is still a good place as any in the Puget Sound region to come to do battle with large fish returning to spawn.
Hatchery summer steelhead start appearing in May, often peak in June and July, with a few caught into late summer and early fall.
Hatchery winter steelhead available for harvest start showing up in good numbers during the holidays and stick around well into January. Wild winter fish come on in force in the late winter but must be released.
Most steelhead in both runs are caught in the mainstem rather than the forks. The Wallace River also produces a few (see a separate listing).
Fall runs of salmon start with spring Chinook and then move into fall runs that include coho, chum and sometimes pink salmon.
Check regulations including possible in-season closures carefully for all of these anadromous fish.
The Skykomish River, its forks and tributaries also are home to several species of native trout: rainbow, cutthroat and protected bull trout. There are sea-run cutthroat trout runs as well.
The upper river system also have plenty of mountain whitefish, which aren’t the Northwest’s most popular game fish but which can provide a fun fishery.
Major tributary streams include the Sultan and Wallace rivers.
The Snohomish is formed when major tributaries Skykomish and Snoqualmie rivers come together just upriver from the State Route 522 crossing, southwest of Monroe.
The Snohomish is a low-elevation river partly influenced by the tides in Puget Sound, which give it a far different character than its tributaries.
The Snohomish River can be pretty good for salmon fishing.
The two major salmon catches in the lower river are hatchery coho, which start in September and peak in October, and pink salmon, which can return in force during odd numbered years when the runs are good.
Chinook and chum salmon also make spawning runs up the Snohomish.
Check current regulations (including in-season updates) carefully because salmon rules are ever-shifting.
The Snohomish produces only modest catches of steelhead, both summer and winter fish making their way into the major tributaries, where steelhead fishing is more popular.
The Snohomish gets some migratory trout besides steelhead, and there are minimum length requirements of 14 inches for cutthroat (including sea-runs) and rainbow trout and an opportunity to keep a Dolly Varden or bull trout if you can catch one at least 20 inches.
The lower river up to Highway 9 (city of Snohomish) may be fished catch-and-release for sturgeon that make their way into and out of the river from Puget Sound.
The other big Snohomish River fork is primarily located in King County, although the lowest section passes into Snohomish County and carries runs of salmon and steelhead upriver.
See the King County entry for more information.
This is the biggest lake you might not have heard of, located off the beaten track an hour east of Everett.
Spada Lake is a municipal reservoir that the WDFW clocks in at nearly 1,700 acres, making it well larger than the much better-known Lake Stevens. (Other size figures we’ve seen for Spada vary widely.)
The thing is, Spada Lake is open seasonally to fishing but not really managed for the masses.
The shoreline is undeveloped, you can’t use your gas motors, and angling usage is fairly low given so much water. There are places to launch your electricity- or human-powered watercraft.
That said, the big reservoir is still home to both naturally reproducing rainbow and cutthroat trout (and some hybrids of the two, WDFW reports), and these fish have plenty of space to grow to decent size here.
There are selective gear rules in place here, with no bait fishing is allowed and flies and lures must have single barbless hooks.
You can harvest five pan-sized trout (up to 12 inches), but the trophies go back for the catch-and-release sport fishery.
The above factors tend to make the lake popular with fly anglers and not a whole lot of others, but it’s an interesting prospect.
The bullhead catfish that share the reservoir with the trout are hard to catch without bait.
Lake Stevens is one of Snohomish County’s best overall fishing lakes, thanks to its massive size and its variety of fishing opportunities.
The 1,000-acre lake near Everett is best known for being perhaps Snohomish County’s best kokanee and smallmouth bass fisheries, but you also can catch a number of other fish there.
The kokanee are a really popular fishery.
They are stocked in huge numbers (more than 160,000 at last look) in the spring and grow to catchable size in the lake, and anglers have a generous 10-fish bag limit for these landlocked sockeye salmon.
Smallmouth bass fishing is excellent here, and these hard-fighting fish are the dominant bass while largemouth bass also inhabit the lake and can grow to good size.
Other warmwater species here include yellow perch, black crappie and brown bullhead catfish.
Lake Stevens is not currently managed as a hatchery trout fishery, although it has been stocked in the past. You might occasionally catch resident cutthroat trout or possibly even a remnant rainbow.
Access spots to this big lake include several public parks. Among them, Willard Wyatt Park off N. Davies Road on the southwest shoreline, where you’ll find a boat launch, fishing pier and other facilities.
WDFW also maintains an access in the city center of Lake Stevens at the northeast end on 17th Place NE, just south of the library and North Cove Park. There is a boat launch and more fishing piers at the access and park.
Lake Stevens is only 10-20 minutes from much of the Everett and Marysville areas, depending partly on what destination you have on the big lake.
This smallish seasonal lake near Lynnwood is nicely stocked with trout for the opener in late April, and fishing will be best in those early weeks.
At last check, WDFW was stocking about 2,500 catchable rainbow trout in Stickney Lake, and an occasional resident cutthroat trout might appear in your catch.
Trout fishing tends to fall way off by summer, but that’s a fine time to catch the warmwater denizens of the lake, such as largemouth bass, yellow perch and black crappie that call this 20-plus acre lake home.
Lake Stickney Park on the west end has typical playground and park facilities but also a good bit of wild areas and trails, although it’s not managed for fishing access and is shallow and weedy anyway.
Boaters have the best opportunities here and they will want to instead head to the WDFW boat launch on the north shore, where there is a small bit of bank fishing access.
The lake is easy to reach for local residents, sitting in a residential area just east of State Route 99 and not far off I-5. It’s only about 10 minutes north of downtown Lynnwood and about 15 minutes south of Everett.
This “Stilly” River system pours into the Puget Sound into Port Susan west of Arlington on the north end of Snohomish County, but it’s the forks upriver that get much of the fishing attention.
The North Fork is perhaps the best known, as it has primarily fly fishing only rules that bring anglers looking for the challenge of landing an insanely hard-fighting steelhead on a fly rod.
While the runs here have suffered in recent years (and decades) along with other Northwest streams, the modest catch statistics of fish in the dozens during recent seasons may not sound like the stuff of fame.
However, those harvest numbers may not quite reflect the fact that most steelhead are released here, and the runs are being bolstered by pretty good plants of both summer and winter smolts that could result in better returns when these cyclical runs swing the other way.
The South Fork isn’t planted with hatchery smolts and has far fewer steelhead.
The river system gets some salmon returns but other than some coho in the mainstem, these meager runs are largely off-limits.
While this is not a famous trout river, sea-run cutthroat can be caught in the mainstem and lower forks, and a few wild cutthroat and rainbows can be found well upstream in the forks.
Sturgeon may poke into the lower sections of the mainstem and occasionally get caught, but they must be released.
For having just 75 acres, give or take, Storm Lake east of Snohomish is stocked with a large number of rainbow trout for its late April opener.
Spring is by far the best time to try to catch some of the roughly 10,000 catchable trout WDFW is likely to plant at this Three Lakes area lake. Early season limits should be quite doable.
You might catch the occasional resident cutthroat trout while targeting the rainbows in the spring, and these local trout tend to bite again in the fall.
When the trout fishing is slow in the summer, try catching largemouth bass.
WDFW maintains a boat launch on the northwest shore, almost within casting distance of the boat launch on neighboring Flowing Lake (see separate listing).
This is an unimproved ramp best suited for boats you can carry to launch. Also, no gas motors are allowed on this lake.
The lake is less than 20 minutes driving east from Snohomish or north from Monroe, and not much longer from Everett.
More: Fishing at Storm Lake
This Monroe lake offers quite a bit of trout-fishing for its 40 acres.
The small reservoir is open all year but the peak fishing times are in the spring, when the WDFW tends to stock several thousand catchable rainbow trout, and again in the fall (around November), when the stocking truck returns with some 2,000 “jumbo” trout.
When the trout fishing isn’t quite so easy during the summer, you still have a very good shot at catching largemouth bass, pumpkinseed sunfish and brown bullhead catfish.
The lake is a very family friendly location that sits along the west side of Monroe and is just 20 minutes from Everett heading out the Stevens Pass Highway.
There is lots of bank access, but the easiest place to start is Lake Tye Park on the south end.
This is another small lake in the Monroe area that is stocked with rainbow trout.
Wagner Lake is seasonal, and the trout will be the most plentiful and willing to bite in the early weeks after the lake opens in late April.
When the trout fishing fades, which it will do as the fish get caught and the weather warms, you’ll still have opportunities to catch warmwater species such as largemouth bass.
The lake is only about 10 minutes driving northeast on Woods Creek Road to Wagner Road.
You’ll find a narrow boat launch and a bit of bank access at the southwest corner of the lake. A small boat will serve you well.
You’ll need to hike to reach this lake of just over 50 acres in the Wallace Falls State Park.
Located at moderate elevation (about 1,850 feet), the lake is open year-round and has populations of mackinaw (lake trout), rainbows and brook trout in its depths to 100 feet.
Wallace Falls State Park offers camping, hiking, swimming and other wildland activities in addition to fishing in a couple lakes and the Wallace River.
The lake and Wallace Falls State Park are located north of Gold Bar (Highway 2) and northwest of another hike-in mackinaw trout spot, Lake Isabel (see separate listing).
This Skykomish River tributary near Gold Bar offers some wild trout fishing, mostly for wild cutthroat trout.
Try some of the hike-in areas in Wallace Falls State Park to find more and larger fish.
The Wallace also can have some pretty decent fishing for hatchery coho salmon, particularly in October when the runs are good.
The Wallace gets steelhead as well, including a small summer run but a decent winter run. Try in December and January for best winter fishing.