SW Washington fishing report

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The Guides Forecast

The Guides Forecast

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SW Washington Fishing Report by Terry Otto


Columbia back on for Chinook above Warrier Rock, and catches have been good in local hog lines. Tributary fishing is picking up, and blessed rain is on the way. This weekend should be very good to salmon anglers.


Vancouver Metro Area

Hog lines in the Vancouver area are getting Chinook on wobblers, but if you aren’t on the water at daybreak, you will miss the bite. Most anglers are fishing until about 8 and then going home, but the early bite has been excellent. The tributaries are really kicking out a lot of coho, even with the low water. The Lewis has been the best bet.


Warm water fishing is excellent as the fish prep for winter, and trout are beginning to get active. Once the water cools off a bit more the stockings will start at local lowland lakes.


Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report—The Lewis continues to produce lots of coho for both bank and boat anglers. The hatchery has been the best area, with the fish concentrated in the Meat Hole. Twitching jigs has been the best method, and the salmon egg bite has slowed a bit. Just about any jig with some pink on it will draw bites. In the faster water anglers are getting the fish by drifting corkies, sometimes tipped with bait.


The Chinook are slowing down and have spread throughout the river. Anglers may not keep any un-clipped Chinook until October 1.


The river is really low, so the fish are stacked up in just a few deep holes. They can be found in the faster water early morning but move off these spots once the sun climbs.


The Washougal River is still prohibitively low, but the lower holes have schools Chinook in them, and a few anglers are getting them to bite. Most of the fish in the system are tules, but there are bright fish as well, and those are more likely to bite than the tules. Bait and bobber is working, and a few have fallen to other methods.


Merwin and Yale Lakes Fishing Report—John Thompson of Sportsman’s Warehouse in Vancouver, (360) 604-8000), reports that anglers have begun getting the kokanee to bite by jigging, and the schools are beginning to move toward the bays where they will spawn. The Speelyai Bay area should produce well over the next couple weeks. Anglers are still getting the fish to bite trolled baits, with the depths varying some whether or not the sun is shining. The best depths are reportedly from 20 to 60 feet. Kokanee flashers trolled ahead of hootchies tipped with corn is still one of the best ways to get the fish to bite. Most anglers are leaving with limits.


Longview Area
Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers Fishing Report—
Fishing is slow and spotty, at least for keepable salmon, according to Thompson, and the most recent creel surveys backs that up. Below the I-5 Bridge four boats/16 rods kept one coho jack and released 17 Chinook. Chinook retention is closed on the Cowlitz this year. Above the bridge fishing is very poor, and only a few anglers are fishing up there. The river’s early coho are mostly headed to the Toutle River, and reports are that anglers are now gathering where the Toutle meets the Cowlitz. Even though the releases are a shadow of what they once were, with this year’s strong return the fishing could be decent. Drifting has always been the favored method here, but other coho methods can work sometimes.


The lower Kalama River holes are full of coho, and anglers are getting their share. It seems that just about everything will take the fish, including jigs, bait, spinners, and drift gear in the fast water. The fish are stuck below the fish collection weir below the Modrow Bridge, and will be until the river lifts. Fishing pressure has been fairly strong, and most mornings late comers may have a tough time fishing room to fish. Remember the river is closed to fishing for 1000 feet below the weir, and the river has a fly-fishing only reach, from the natural gas pipeline crossing to the deadline at the intake to the Fallert Creek Hatchery.


Columbia River Gorge

Anglers continue to do well for Chinook and a few coho at the mouths of the White salmon River, where jigging with wobblers has been effective, and the Klickitat River, where more anglers are trolling. The Chinook are slowly entering the lower Klickitat River, but low water has prevented much of a run, and the river has been brown. The rains predicted for this weekend could change that. If you fish the Klick, give Carl Coolidge of the Klickitat Canyon Market 509-369-4400 a call. He will let you know if the river is in fishable condition. Coolidge also offers a shuttle service.


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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