Like fishing for compliments, fishing for fish requires the right line and a friend who is willing to exaggerate. Reel it in with today's Groupon: for $39, you get a 2.5-hour fly-fishing lesson including a dozen custom-tied flies to Dickson Flyfishing (a $111 value) in Arlington.
Owned by father-son duo and angling enthusiasts Mike and Dennis Dickson, Dickson Flyfishing invites visitors to explore abundant river wildlife as they learn new fishing techniques or amass ecological knowledge. Patrons pick from a spate of locations within an hour from Seattle for a 2.5-hour fly-fishing lesson with up to five fellow anglers. Seasoned instructors patiently hone roll and single-handed casts while doling out tips about catching expedient swimmers or couture galoshes set adrift. Provided flies and other trapping tools fill tackle boxes during classes scheduled at least four times per month.
Mike Dickson plunks his keyboard as he stares into his work computer. But in his mind, he holds a fly rod and looks out onto a river teeming with steelhead. For someone who grew up fly-fishing—including guiding at a river lodge in Alaska and teaching fly-fishing on the weekend—Dickson couldn't endure more than a year at his office job, which he landed out of college. He shuts down his computer one last time and then joins his fisheries biologist dad, Dennis, at Dickson Flyfishing.
Today, the father-son team guides and teaches fly-fishing to all levels of anglers on the waters of the Olympic Peninsula. Conscious of their environmental impact, the Dicksons lead eco-rafting trips throughout the year on the Skagit, Sauk, and Queets Rivers to fish for steelhead, cutthroat trout, and salmon with scales made of gold. For more adventurous clients, Mike and Dennis guide winter fly-fishing trips for tarpon on the flats of the Caribbean and lead three-day campouts on the Grande Ronde River. Additionally, scenic rafting tours bring visitors up close to wildlife such as eagles. The Dicksons also run a virtual fly shop, where they sell their own line of equipment.
Blue Stilly Park
Arlington, Washington 98223