SW Washington fishing report

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The Guides Forecast

The Guides Forecast

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by Terry Otto

Tributary coho photo by Terry Otto

Tributary coho photo by Terry Otto

Chinook has slowed in the Columbia but is still fairly good. Bonneville and the Kalama area produced best this week. Local hog lines are still getting some action, too. The tributaries have been plagued by a tough bite, but the coho are there in droves.

Vancouver Metro Area

The Fishing has slowed, but just a bit, in the local Columbia River hoglines. The Chinook just keep on coming. Anglers are now getting coho to bite trolled spinners behind 360 flashers as well. Sturgeon fishing has been slow during recent retention openers.

The tributaries are loaded with salmon, but the low water has made for a tough bite. However, this week’s rains may have helped bring in more fish and driven the coho to be more aggressive.

Local lowland lakes are beginning to pick up for holdover trout, with Battle Ground and Horseshoe showing signs of life ahead of fall trout stockings. Panfish have slowed a little but are still biting well in places.

Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report—The Lewis River is still loaded with coho, but the bite has gotten tough this past week. For example, in the latest creel survey 33 bank rods kept two coho and released one Chinook and one coho. 4 boats/8 rods kept four coho jacks. These are catches well below what they were just two weeks ago. The water is a little too low for twitching jigs, but some anglers have found success with the method. Other methods have worked better, such as bobber and eggs, spinners, or drift fishing in the fast water.

Boat anglers are targeting the Meat Hole at the hatchery, and bank anglers have been doing the same. While the numbers of fish drop as you move downstream, there is less pressure, too. Some anglers are working from the golf course up, and a few fish continue to be caught near Woodland. There is not much going on above the hatchery right now.

The Washougal has a lot of Chinook pooled up in the lower holes, but they are skittish in the low, clear water. Recent rains did help some, but more is needed. Still, there are a few bright Chinook mixed in with the tules, and those Brights bite better. A few anglers are getting some of those bright fish by throwing bobber and eggs in the deep holes. The best access is in the lower three miles of the river, and that is where most of the action is taking place.

Merwin and Yale Lakes Fishing Report—Anglers are still doing very well on the kokanee, although the crowding has been less recently. Many anglers have switched to chasing salmon in the Columbia and the tributaries, leaving more room on the kokanee lakes. The fish are still biting well ahead of the spawn, which should begin in earnest this month. Right now, the schools are holding near the mouths of the bays where they will eventually spawn. Fishers have been getting them to bite by trolling hootchies tipped with corn behind kokanee flashers, while some anglers have found success by jigging for them.

Longview Area

Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers Fishing Report—
Fishing picked up in the lower Cowlitz this week, with a few more retainable coho showing up in the mix, while fishing in the upper river remains slow. The coho being caught are mixed in with Chinook, which can’t be kept in the Cowlitz this year, and steelhead. The early returns are driven by the hatchery coho headed to the Toutle River. During the latest WDFW creel survey below the I-5 Bridge, three bank rods had no catch. 39 boats/102 rods kept 13 coho, six coho jacks, one steelhead and released 29 Chinook, 16 coho and one steelhead.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 1,786 coho adults, 700 coho jacks, 507 fall Chinook adults, 13 fall Chinook jacks, 27 spring Chinook adults, one spring Chinook jack, 27 summer-run steelhead adults, and 24 cutthroat trout during five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

The lower Kalama is fishing well for salmon, according to reports that John Thompson of Sportsman’s Warehouse in Vancouver, (360) 604-8000), has been hearing. Last week’s rains did lift the river for a bit, but most of the fish are still below the fish collection weir located just below the Modrow Bridge. Unfortunately, Thompson said the word has gotten out about the good fishing, and the pressure has increased. Anglers are getting the coho to take spinners, bobber and eggs, jigs, and plugs.

Columbia River Gorge
There are still lots of Chinook being caught at the mouth of the White Salmon and Klickitat Rivers. Jigging wobblers works best at the White Salmon, but trolling or hover fishing is the go-to at the Klickitat.

Find our complete Oregon and SW Washington summary for the week right here.
 

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