SW Washington fishing report - Terry Otto

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Chinook photo by Terry Otto

SW Washington Fishing Report​

Buoy 10 is heating up, and a few Chinook are showing in the Vancouver Area hog lines. Tributaries remain slow, but the fall fish are on the way.

Vancouver Metro Area

A few fall Chinook have been taken in local hog lines near Vancouver, although we are still a week or two from the real numbers. On some days the fish show, and on others they don’t. The tributaries are still slow, but there have been a few reports of fresh salmon, and the first good catches are on the way Chinook photo by Terry Otto
.
Warm water fisheries are hot everywhere, but the walleye bite on the Washougal Reef is still slow. Catfish, bass, and panfish are biting well just about everywhere, according to Stacie Kelsey of the WDFW Inland Fished Program. She also reports that high-country trout fishing is beginning to improve.

Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report—It’s still slow fishing on the Lewis River, but there have been reports of a few salmon being caught already. We are still a week or two away from the better fishing, but with a few Chinook showing in the Columbia already, the first good catches should come fairly soon. Steelhead angling is still very slow, and the most recent WDFW survey found 11 bank rods with no catch, while six boats/13 rods kept one steelhead.

The Washougal River is still low and clear, and the WDFW has installed the fish weir. There will probably not be much to fish for here until the first of the Chinook enter the river.

Merwin and Yale Lakes Fishing Report—According to Kelsey, the fishing at Merwin picked up some this week. The fish are still in the same patterns, from 20 to 60 feet deep, but they have been holding a little higher in the water column on the cloudy days. The schools have been a little more consistent this week, and more anglers are doing well.

Longview Area

Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers Fishing Report—
Fishing for steelhead in the upper river continues to slow down, and there have been few reports of any salmon being caught as of yet. Fishing pressure has been less, probably as most boats are out fishing Buoy Ten. Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 108 summer-run steelhead adults, 56 spring Chinook adults, six spring Chinook jacks, 143 spring Chinook mini jacks, 25 cutthroat trout, eight fall Chinook adults, and one fall Chinook jack during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

The lower river fishing is still slow, but a few fish have been caught by anglers plunking. Anglers are reminded that the river is closed to steelhead below the Lexington Bridge to protect summer steelhead bound for Idaho that enter the river to escape warm temps in the Columbia.
Chinook anglers have started fishing the mouth of the river, but just a few have been taken so far.

The Kalama is fishing very slow for the poor summer steelhead run, and anglers are looking for the first salmon of the year in the lower river.

Columbia River Gorge

Drano Lake Fishing Report
—A few thousand fall Chinook have crossed over Bonneville, and that should improve the fishing in Drano. During the last creel survey, four bank rods had no catch, while 25 boats/51 rods kept five Chinook, one jack and released one jack and 31 steelhead. Anglers are reminded that fishing for, or retaining steelhead is not allowed this year.

Check out Terry’s detailed report (he crushes it every week!) and forecast in this week’s paid version for SW Washington Members!

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