SW Washington fishing report

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The Guides Forecast

The Guides Forecast

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by Terry Otto

Buoy Ten off to a good start, ocean coho still good but the schools are out in deeper water. Tribs still slow, trout fair, panfish and bass excellent.

Vancouver Metro Area
Good tides produced a better than usual bite for the opening of Buoy 10, while ocean salmon has been plagued by warm waters near shore. The schools of bait fish have moved off the shore to find cooler water, and the salmon have followed.

The Columbia is fair for steelhead, although catches are still poor in the Vancouver area, and the mark rate has been disappointing. Most warm water fisheries are still kicking, except that the Camas Reef has been poor for walleye.

Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report—No changes here for either river. The Lewis continues to fish poor to fair for summer steelhead, with the latest creel surveys finding 10 bank rods with no catch, while three boats/ six rods kept one steelhead. Pressure is light to fair.

The fish are hard to pattern, because there are so few in the system, but bait and plugs have taken a few fish.

The Washougal is still too prohibitively low, clear, and warm for any kind of decent fishing, and there is still little to no fishing pressure.

Merwin and Yale Lakes Fishing Report—Both lakes are rated as fair to good by the WDFW and multiple sources. Anglers are finding the schools by fishing 20 to 60 feet deep with kokanee flashers and hoochies tipped with corn.

Longview Area

Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers Fishing Report—
When the most recent work on the Barrier Dam outflow was completed, the river was raised to almost 8,000 CFS. That pulled a burst of summer steelhead into the upper river and made fishing very good for a few days, according to Dave Mallahan of Dave’s Guide Service (360-201-9313). He reportedly was doing very well until they dropped the water, and since then he has struggled to get one or two fish a day. Above the I-5 Bridge in the last creel survey 11 bank rods kept one steelhead. 24 boats/77 rods kept 33 steelhead and released one jack and one steelhead. These catch rates are lower than has been the case over the last month or so, and reflect the lower river flows that are happening right now.

Anglers are reminded that the USGS hydro for the Mayfield Dam has been rendered inaccurate due to the changes in flow caused by the work at the dam.

Mallahan got his fish by bobber-dogging in the first few miles below Blue Creek. Bobber-dogging has been the most consistent method for both summer and winter steelhead, and if you are not doing that, you are not likely to do as well as the anglers that are. Salmon eggs have been the favorite, but sand shrimp, coon tail shrimp, and beads can all be effective at times.

Reports for the Kalama River still show very few summer steelhead coming to hand. During the latest creel survey, 12 bank rods kept one steelhead and released one steelhead.

Columbia River Gorge

Drano Lake Fishing Report—
Anglers are finding a few Chinook, and in the latest creel survey, four bank rods kept one Chinook. Eight boats/15 rods kept two Chinook and released one Chinook, one jack and 11 steelhead. Anglers are reminded that steelhead are off-limits. With fishing already fair, the lake may be looking at a good fall season. Numbers should climb over the next few weeks, and fishing should improve.

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