Bigger trout beckon Father's Day fishers


Lake Padden, out on Samish Way south of town, has received 250 triploid rainbow trout in time to take Dad fishing on Father's Day.

These robust fish are running one and half pounds a piece and stretch out on a ruler to between 15 to 17 inches.

Earlier this spring Padden also got 20,000 smaller rainbow trout for opening day and many of those should be growing and still available to anglers.

Any sport angling method from trolling to still-fishing or fly-casting will take these fish.

Practitioners, according to their preferred personal use technique, can use trout fishing lures (such as Miracles, Dick Nites, small Rooster Tails), bait (single eggs, garden worms and Powerbait) or fly patterns including carrot nymphs, Woolly Buggers or Mayfly nymphs or emergers.

Triploids may be kept as part of the five-trout-per-day bag limit.

If dad has a $14.80 ($6 for persons age 70 and older) two-pole endorsement besides his basic license, he can fish with two rods at Padden to catch his five fish.

This angler-friendly, city limits lake has two fishing docks (on its east and west sides) (courtesy of Bellingham Parks and Recreation), a fully accessible water's edge revetment located near the tennis courts on the northwest side off Wilkin Street) plus plenty of spots tucked around its banks. A city park trail parallels the entire Padden shore.

A concrete puncheon boat ramp with good maneuvering room is located on the northeast shore off the main golf course entrance.

If you feel like taking to the water in your trout quest, foot paddle Hobie kayaks and NuCanoe fish kayaks are available for rent by the hour or day on weekends starting Sunday, June 15, courtesy of Yeager's Sporting Goods in Bellingham.

The rental booth is at the west entrance swim beach and is open from noon to 7 p.m. each weekend day.

Always check on line and brush up on the 2014-15 personal use (sport-fishing) regulations at or stop by a hunting and fishing license dealer to get a hard copy.


Lake Samish, which has an excellent crop of hefty naturally produced kokanee, also has a county park at the bridge on the lake's northwest side where kicker (small) boats may be rented daily beginning Monday, June 16.

Watercraft rentals also will be available Sunday, June 15 between noon and 7 p.m.

There also are a couple of fishing spots on the trail from the main area out to the park's west boundary. Anglers are asked not to fish off the boat rental dock or around the swim area.

Do bring your fishing rod/reel/gangtroll rigs and troll for Samish's chunky land-locked sockeye as well as a nice selection of other finny species.

For other feet-dry Father's Day angling treats, look to Lake Terrell, west of Ferndale, and its relatively new, still-gleaming fully accessible fishing pier and Toad Lake where there also is smaller somewhat tippy floating dock that's no-less good for the stocked rainbows.

Gear up with stout leaders and good knots for both these waters as they, too, get annual doses of triploids.

Further afield, a second Whatcom County park at Silver Lake has a wonderful accessible fishing dock, a boat launch and boat rentals for up-lake excursions.

These angling amenities are in the park complex at the lake's south end off Silver Lake Road. Silver, too, gets a good supply of rainbow trout for the April opener that carry over well into the summer.


Lake Campbell in nearby Skagit County out on Fidalgo Island also got a similar dose of hefty rainbows for Father's Day and later fishing.

This shallow lake is a haven for largemouth bass for which spinnerbaits, popping bugs or worms are effective terminal offerings.

Other waters of which triploid rainbows are tenants include our local fly fishing mecca, Squalicum Lake, and two other fly fishing reserved waters Vogler, north of Concrete, and Pass, the second lake beside Highway 20 on the way to Deception Pass.

Grandy Lake, on the way to Baker Lake, Clear Lake, south of Sedro-Woolley and lakes Heart and Erie on Fidalgo Island south of Anacortes also are fortified to the big, sterile rainbows.


Until Saturday, July 20 anglers if they already possess either an annual freshwater or saltwater grade fishing license, may upgrade them to combination status, thereby broadening their fishing options.

Freshwater or saltwater license restrict their bearers to fishing just one flavor of water, but Washington's annual combination license permits angling in any waters of the state plus it bestows basic permission to harvest shellfish including crabs and razor clams.

The cost is relative to basic price of the license a person does not have i.e.: a freshwater holder pays just $26.75 to pick up the marine chit and the saltwater license holder pays $26.20.

Puget Sound Dungeness crab seekers, if they don't have one, also must buy an $8.75 endorsement to ply inland marine waters for crabs. And another endorsement is required of fishers who want to probe greater Columbia Basin streams.

To fish with two rods on many freshwater locales, a $14.80 two-pole endorsement is required the proceeds of which fortify the state's hatchery program.

Catchers of salmon, steelhead, halibut and sturgeon also must get a free, but mandatory catch record card.

Puget Sound crabbers need either or both a summer and winter Dungeness crab catch record card as well.

See your local fishing and hunting license dealer for the upgrade or log onto


The fish and wildlife department's game management plan for 2015-2021 is the focus of six public meetings the last half of June and an on-line comment period lasting through the middle of July.

The closest public meeting to Bellingham at which agency officials will take public input on what's included in the draft plan will be in Lynnwood at the Convention Center, 3711 196th Street Southwest on the evening of Wednesday, June 25 from 7-9 p.m.

To catch up on the process, review major elements of the proposed plan and log in to the on line survey portal, visit

You also can look in on a review of the 2009-2015 game management plan and accomplishments on the Web page as well.

The Survey Monkey poll link on WDFW's Web site dedicated to public input on the draft plan will be up through Friday, July 18.

Doug Huddle, the Bellingham Herald's outdoors correspondent, since 1983, has written a weekly fishing and hunting column that now appears Sundays. Read his blog and contact him at

Bellingham Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service