Snohomish River Fishing

Snohomish River fishing offers excellent lower river opportunities.

The Snohomish River is formed by the confluence of thecoho6 Skykomish River and Snoqualmie River just outside Monroe, WA. The Snohomish River flows northwest entering the Puget Sound in Port Gardner Bay, between Everett and Marysville. The Pilchuck River is its main tributary and joins the Snohomish River in the city of Snohomish, WA. The river system drains the west side of the Cascade Mountains from Snoqualmie Pass to north of Stevens Pass.

Measured at Monroe, the Snohomish River has an average annual flow of 9,500 cubic feet per second.  In comparison, the Columbia River, which is Washington’s largest river, has an average flow of about 265,000 cubic feet per second.

The Snohomish River is often called, “The Sno” by local anglers.  The Snohomish River is the gateway for salmon and steelhead headed toward the Skykomish or Snoqualmie River to spawn.

The Snohomish River is affected by the tide just above Douglas Bar at Crab Bar.  Migrating fish tend to enter the river on the incoming tide.  Careful attention to the tides in combination with other factors should be considered when fishing.  The Snohomish River itself is a very short river at only 20 miles long from the mouth to the confluence of the Skykomish and Snoqualmie Rivers.

Fishing Opportunity

The Snohomish River has abundant fishing opportunities.  The runs include;

  • Chinook – which are known in Washington as King Salmon, Blackmouth, and Springers
  • Coho – which are also known as Silvers
  • Chum – which are known as Dogfish
  • Pink – which are known as Humpies
  • Steelhead – Winter & Summer Steelhead
  • Cutthroat trout

Snohomish River fishing can be done by walk in, drift boat and river sleds.  Walk in opportunities are limited, since most of the property is privately owned.  Boats with lower units can generally navigate the lower river with no issue.

We have several boat launches we use to launch and start our fishing trips.  Depending on the time of year, we will launch at the following boat launches;

  • Snoqualmie High Bridge Boat Launch
  • Rotary Park / Lowell Boat Launch
  • Langus Park Boat Launch

The Snohomish River is generally a conventional gear fishing river.  In the lower river, a variety of techniques can be used, although trolling, back-trolling and plunking are the most common.  Above the Pilchuck River, anglers can also drift fish and side drift.

In the fall, Coho Salmon and Pink Salmon (in odd years) crowd the river.  Chum Salmon arrive sometime in November with numbers building to a peak around Thanksgiving.


  • The name Snohomish is taken from the name of the dominant local Native American tribe “sdoh-doh-hohbsh”, whose meaning is widely disputed.
  • The Snohomish River was used to float logs to Port Gardner Bay.
  • In the late fall of 1892, heavy rains filled the rivers of western Washington. The water rushed down the Snohomish River, sweeping away logs which were en route to Everett area lumber and shingle mills. A huge log jam formed upstream from the Great Northern Railway bridge .  In spite of the fact that the high water and moving logs threatened to damage the railroad bridge, spectators from nearby Snohomish lined the trestle to look at the sight.
  • Steamships once carried passengers and goods up and down river to the City of Snohomish.
  • The Snohomish Valley was once a vast, forested wetland boasting Sitka spruce, western red cedar and lodgepole pine. In 1879, townfolk began draining it with ditches to take advantage of the rich, alluvial soils.

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