Des Moines, WA

Hiking and Fly Fishing the Marine View Park Trail Washington

Steve B Howard

For several years I lived in a house in Normady Park and I used to do this hike to fly fish the beaches in Des Moines. Marine View Park was close to my house and I spent a lot of time exploring it and the beach. This is a four mile hike round trip from the parking lot about 1200 feet above the beach. Much of it is actually paved road, so you don't have to worry about any difficult trail conditions. From the parking lot though, on the backside there is a dirt path that runs along the edge of the ravine that will get you about half way down to the beach. This is a nice little side trail to take if you want to walk through the woods for a short distance on the way down to the beach. In the summer time there are black berries and huckle berries to munch on during your hike if you want to. If you decide to take the path through the woods mind the nettles in the summer time that can sometimes grow across the path. Also, mosquitoes can be a problem sometimes too.

At the bottom of the trail/road there is a wooden stair case that leads down to the beach. You can also go up to the third story for a better view of Puget Sound. You can fish the beach for a little ways to the north and as far south as the Des Moines Pier if you want to add an extra mile or so to your hike.

Depending on the time of the year Coho and Pink Salmon as well as Sea Run Cutthroat Trout are possible. Also, various types of bottom fish, especially Flounders, if the tide is right and they are in shallower water.

If you are willing to pack your waders in the water near the beach is fairly shallow, so you can wade out pretty far. If it is summer on warm days you can also wet wade. I mostly fished it in the evening during the incoming or high tide. Though I imagine the morning high tide would be possible as well.

The beach itself doesn't offer a lot of clues as to where the fish will be. I mainly watched for jumping fish, scattering bait fish and any riptides where Sea Run Cuttthroats like to hang out. The beach and water here are pretty rocky, so the structure is also a good spot to try for bottom fish.


Fly Rods: I had a cheap six weight and cheap reel at the time that I used for this spot mostly, but I think a good six or seven weight rod with a proper salt water reel aren't a bad idea. If you happen to be there when the Pink and Coho Salmon are in you will probably want at least a seven weight.

Fly Lines: If I'm fishing close to shore for Sea Run Cutthroat I'll probably just use a floating line and bring some sinking flies in case I need to get a little deeper. If there are Pink or Coho Salmon around though, I'd use an intermediate sinking line or bring a sink tip set up.

Flies: I would bring bait fish patterns in different colors and different sizes. Also, shrimp patterns. Clousers in blue and white, pink and white, and green and white would be a good option as well. Bring bait fish patterns with pink or orange if the Pink Salmon are in.

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I mainly write about fly fishing in Washington State, Classic Muscle Cars, and Stand Up Comedy.

Seattle, WA

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