SW Washington fishing updates

The Guides Forecast
Vancouver Metro Area

A few late coho are scattered through the tributaries, but the fishing is quickly dropping off and the run is almost over. It was the best fall fishing in years in both the Columbia and the tribs. Prospects for a strong winter steelhead run are poor, and there are few options for early run steelhead in southwest Washington.

Black Friday trout fishing was very good in all locations, and those fisheries are still doing very well. Trout stockings in local lakes will be pretty regular this winter.

Watch for fresh trout plantings HERE

Most warm water fisheries are over for the year.

Lewis and Washougal Fishing Report—The Lewis River has recovered from the high flows that resulted from the “atmospheric river”, and the flooding it caused, but anglers are not finding many coho left in the river. Most of the available fish have most likely pulled into the hatchery trap, leaving little to fish for in the river. That’s the word from John Thompson of Sportsman’s Warehouse in Vancouver, (360) 604-8000).

So far there have been no reports of winter steelhead being landed in the river. The Lewis does get one of the few early winter steelhead runs left in southwest Washington, with the fishery usually producing decent catches by now. Few anglers or biologists expect a very good winter steelhead return this year, but there should be a few steelhead around by now.

The Washougal River late coho run is mostly over. There may be a few stragglers around in the lower river, but the reports indicate that what coho are left are up in the upper sections, where there is little to no pubic access. Fishing was very good prior to the high water.

Merwin and Yale Lakes Fishing Report—The kokanee in both lakes have been active lately, even though the lakes are still a little dirty from the recent high water. However, Dave Mallahan of Dave’s Guide Service (360-201-9313), who usually fishes the Cowlitz, took clients out on Merwin recently, and they did very well. Mallahan said they hooked about 100 kokes, and landed about half of them. The fish were taking scented corn fished with a small spinner, and the fish were reportedly up high in the water column. He was running his baits a good distance back from the boat, and flat-lining most of the rods.

Local Lakes Fishing Report—Both Klineline Pond and Battle Ground Lake fished very well on Black Friday, and have stayed good since. The fish at Klineline are moving around quite a bit, according to Stacie Kelsey of the WDFW Inland Fishes Program, so she advises anglers move if they aren’t getting bit. Boat anglers did the best at Battle Ground, but bank anglers did well, too. Lacamas Lake was stocked with over 6,000 catchable rainbows recently.

Longview Area

Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers Fishing Report
—The Cowlitz River is in bad shape right now, with a mudslide in the upper system fouling the water from Mayfield Lake on downstream, according to guide Dave Mallahan. Also, the numbers of late coho in the river have fallen off after weeks of strong numbers. Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 1,654 coho adults, 208 coho jacks, eight cutthroat trout, seven fall Chinook adults, and one summer-run steelhead adult during six days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. The hatchery trap saw returns of over 6,000 coho a week until recently. Mallahan figures that if the river conditions were decent, there are still a few fresh coho to be caught, but there are few to no anglers fishing the river right now. He reports that angling effort at the Barrier Dam has dropped off to almost nothing, too.

There are still some coho available in the Kalama River, but like the Cowlitz, this system’s run of late coho are finishing up. However, Thompson has heard reports of a couple winter steelhead turning up already, and a few late coho, so the fishery is still providing some action. The coho were spread through the entire river just a week or so ago, so anglers may still get some to bite. They will take everything from spinners to plugs, salmon eggs, and jigs.

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

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The Guides Forecast
Tributary fishing is dropping off sharply. The late run of coho is finishing up, and there are few options for early steelhead in southwest Washington. Trout angling is excellent in local waters.

Vancouver Metro Area


The tributaries are pretty much done for late coho. The lone exception is the Klickitat River, which is still giving up some fresh fish. A few steelhead may be trickling into a few rivers, but most streams won’t get good for steelhead until next year.

Black Friday trout fishing was very good in all locations, and most of those fisheries have received additional stockings. Trout stockings in local lakes will be pretty regular this winter, and the state is getting ready to plant out trophy-sized rainbow brood trout soon. Watch for fresh trout plantings, as well as big broodstock trout plantings HERE

Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report—Fishing has slowed in the Lewis, with the coho run over, and the first winter steelhead slow to show. The most recent creel survey from the river had four bank anglers with no catch. Last year’s steelhead run was poor, and this year is beginning to look like a repeat. The river is high, but in good condition, running at around the 12.5-foot stage.

Fishing pressure has slowed from the crowded coho season, with a few anglers targeting the hatchery. With the water running high the steelhead are moving through the river fairly quickly and pulling into the area around the hatchery. Still, there are only a few fish to be found.

Likewise, the Washougal River is in the same condition, with the late run coho having finished up, and few winter steelhead pulling in yet. The river is in good shape, and running at about the 6.9-foot stage. There may be a few steelhead around, but there have been no reports of any steelhead being caught as of yet.

Merwin and Yale Lakes Fishing Report—Not much change here, with both lakes fishing fair to good. The lakes are still a little dirty from the recent high water. However, Dave Mallahan of Dave’s Guide Service (360-201-9313), reports that fishing has been very good for him. The fish are near the surface, so flat-line trolling or fishing with just a little lead has been effective. The fish are taking scented corn fished with a wedding ring, spinner, or hootchie behind a kokanee dodger. The fishing pressure is fairly strong on the nicer days, with Yale being a little less crowded then Merwin.

Local Lakes Fishing Report—Both Klineline Pond and Battle Ground Lake fished very well this week, and have had recent stockings. Lacamas Lake was stocked and is fishing well near the boat ramp and around Round Lake.

Longview Area

Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers Fishing Report—
The Cowlitz is fishing poorly right now, and there are few anglers hitting this river. The coho run is mostly over, even though a few late-comers are still hanging around, but the fishing, and pressure, have dropped off a lot. The steelhead run is a late run, and except for a few strays, there are too few to target right now. The river is also still in poor condition, with dirtier than usual color. The upper river did not generate any action this week. Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 1,204 coho adults, 186 coho jacks, 16 cutthroat trout, one fall Chinook adult, and one winter-run steelhead adult during six days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

The Kalama River has slowed up for coho, but there are a few fish still around. This river does get a modest early run of hatchery steelhead, and a few have been caught in recent weeks. However, anglers are having to work hard to find a fish or two. Anglers targeting coho are using a wide variety of offerings, including spinners, bobber and bait, and jigs. Plugs have also been effective. Most boat anglers are working the middle sections, between the Red Barn and the Modrow Bridge, and bank anglers are fishing the canyon. The steelhead have been taken on bobber presentations. Bait, beads, and jigs are all good choices. The river fishes well for anglers pulling plugs, too.

Columbia River Gorge

Local Lakes Fishing Report—
Rowland Lake has been very good for trout since it was stocked, and is still fishing excellent.

Check out Terry's detailed report (he crushes it every week!) and forecast in this week's SW Washington Member's version!

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The Guides Forecast
SW Washington Fishing Report by Terry Otto

Vancouver Metro Area

For those souls brave enough to weather the recent storms, steelhead fishing is improving in most local tributaries. Trout fishing is picking up in lowland lakes, and Gorge sturgeon retention begins Saturday.


Hatchery steelhead returns to some streams have been almost triple what they were last year at this time feeding hopes for a better steelhead year.
Sturgeon retention starts in the Gorge pools on Saturday, but The Dalles Pool is open only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, to prevent the quota being reached too soon.

There were fresh stockings in most local lakes prior to Christmas, and some lakes, such as Ice House Lake in the Gorge, were planted for the first time.

Watch for fresh trout plantings, as well as big broodstock trout and steelhead plantings HERE

Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report—Steelheading has been fair to good on the Lewis River in recent weeks, with anglers finding the fish up near Merwin Dam, and at the Meat Hole. There are steelhead scattered spread through the river from Woodland up to the hatchery, too. Boat anglers are getting some fish by bobber-dogging with beads or small bits of salmon eggs. A few anglers are getting some fish by pulling plugs, too.

Bank anglers have been doing okay, mostly by fishing beads or jigs below a bobber, or by drift fishing. A few are finding takers by plunking in the lower river. The river did drop from the 14.5-foot stage down to about 13 feet over the last week.

You can read Terry Otto’s recent article in The Columbian on fish passage issues on the Lewis River dams HERE.

The Washougal has been on a steady drop this week, and some anglers have braved the conditions to give it a try. The fishing has been fair, with winter steelhead falling for bobber presentations and drifted gear or bait. Most of the fish have been taken in the lower three river miles.

Merwin and Yale Lakes Fishing Report Both lakes are fishing fair to good, for those anglers that have been able to get to the lake. the fish have been near the surface, so flat-line trolling or fishing with just a little lead has been the most effective. The fish are taking scented natural-colored corn fished with a wedding ring, spinner, or hootchie behind a kokanee dodger. With the recent bad weather, the fishing pressure has been lower than usual. Yale has been a little less crowded than Merwin.

Local Lakes Fishing Report - Trout fishing at Klineline Pond was fair to good this week, while Battle Ground Lake is rated as excellent for trout. The hot bait at Klineline recently has been the Powerbait Mouse Tails. The fish are still moving around quite a bit, so anglers should move if they aren’t getting bit. Boat anglers did the best at Battle Ground again, but bank anglers are also getting a few. In both lakes the bite has been best on bait. Lacamas Lake has been well stocked and is fishing well near the boat ramp and around Round Lake.

Longview Area

Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers Fishing Report—
Dave Mallahan of Dave’s Guide Service (360-201-9313), gave the Cowlitz a try this week, and he reported catching one steelhead. “If there were many steelhead around, I would have caught more,” he reported. He also said he was the only boat out there. His fish fell to a bead fished via bobber-dogging. He does not think the river will get to be much good until at least mid-January. Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 211 coho adults, 20 coho jacks, three cutthroat trout, one fall Chinook adult, but only seven winter-run steelhead adults during four days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

The lower river has been no better, and few, if any anglers, are giving it a try. There are very few steelhead moving through right now, certainly not enough to draw plunkers to the banks.

The Kalama has been fishing fair for steelhead, and has been on the drop all week. The river is in good shape, and anglers are getting some steelhead. They moved through the entire system recently, drawn up by the recent high flows, so anglers are finding a few fish scattered all through the system. Boat anglers are finding a few fish in most of the popular drifts, and bank anglers are doing fair up in the canyon.

Local Lakes Fishing Report—Lake Sacajawea was given its annual stocking ahead of Christmas Day, and should be fishing well. The fish planted in Sacajawea averaged one pound each. Kress Lake is still producing some trout and excess steelhead. The steelhead have been biting very aggressively at Kress this year.

Check out Terry's detailed report (he crushes it every week!) and forecast in this week's SW Washington Member's version!
 
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The Guides Forecast
Vancouver Metro Area

Sketchy weather continues to keep many anglers at home, and some local rivers look to be going into flood stage this weekend, the result of forecasted heavy rains. Trout fishing is good for anglers that can reach the water.

Although angling activity has been down recently due to winter weather, hatchery steelhead returns and catches in some streams have been good, feeding hopes for a better steelhead year overall.
Sturgeon retention started in the Gorge pools on Saturday, but anglers are reminded that the Dalles Pool is open only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, to prevent the quota being reached too soon. Winter weather has been an issue.

Not many anglers have dared the weather and roads to trout fish, but some die-hard anglers have made it out. Watch for fresh trout plantings, as well as big broodstock trout and steelhead plantings HERE

Be safe out there! The weather may make for dangerous conditions on local roads and rivers. Practice safe driving and boating if you get out this weekend!

Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report—Steelheading continues to be fair to good on the Lewis River. Some anglers are finding the fish up near Merwin Dam, and also at the Meat Hole. There are steelhead throughout the river from Woodland up to the hatchery. Boat anglers are getting some fish by bobber-dogging with beads or small bits of salmon eggs. A few anglers are getting some fish by pulling plugs.

Bank anglers have been fishing beads or jigs below a bobber, or drift fishing, with the best action coming from the hatchery area. A few are finding takers by plunking in the lower river. The river has dropped some, and is in good condition, for now.

You can read Terry Otto’s recent article in The Columbian on fish passage issues on the Lewis River dams HERE.

The Washougal has continued to give up a few steelhead, according to John Thompson of Sportsman’s Warehouse in Vancouver, (360) 604-8000). He reports he continues to hear of some steelhead coming to hand in the lower river. The fishing has been fair, with winter steelhead falling for bobber presentations and drifted gear or bait.

Longview Area

Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers Fishing Report—
The Cowlitz has been fishing very slow, according to Dave Mallahan of Dave’s Guide Service (360-201-9313), and very few anglers have tried the river during the recent winter weather. The river gets no early return, and the late run is not expected to show in any good numbers for a few weeks. This past week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 330 coho adults, 18 coho jacks, and just seven winter-run steelhead adults during four days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

The lower river has been a bust as well, and once again, very few anglers are trying their luck down low. Few anglers, few steelhead, and poor weather have kept things quiet.

The Kalama had been fishing fair to good for steelhead, although fishing pressure has been a little light due to the winter weather. Anglers had been getting their fish through the entire river, with boat anglers getting their fish by bobber-dogging with beads or bait. Bank anglers have also been getting their fish on beads or bait fished below a bobber, although some fish are falling for drifted presentations and hardware. Plugs can also be effective.

Local Lakes Fishing Report—Lake Sacajawea was stocked before Christmas with trout that averaged about a pound each. The fishing has been good for anglers fishing Powerbait on the bottom, but these fish will also fall for spinners. Mayfield Lake was rated as fair for trout, but will probably get dirty following this week’s rains. This may be the weekend to give that lake a pass. The South Lewis County Park Pond is fishing well for trout.

Columbia River Gorge

Sturgeon retention started in the Gorge pools last Saturday, but heavy snow has kept most anglers from sturgeon fishing this past week. The Dalles Pool is open only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, to prevent the quota being reached too soon. The quotas for the three pools that are open are as follows: Bonneville Pool-500, with only 8.2 % of quota caught. The Dalles Pool-190, with 8.9% of quota caught. John Day Pool-105, with 7.6 % caught.

Travel in the Gorge has been difficult, and both I-84 and SR 14 have been closed at times due to heavy snow and ice. The weather may clear by the weekend, but anglers should check on road and ramp conditions before trying to pull a boat up the Gorge and launch it.
 
The Guides Forecast


Vancouver Metro Area

Winter weather and flooding nixed river fishing this past week, but the systems are dropping back into condition. The heavy rains even affected local trout fishing, which has slowed and is poor to fair.


Many streams were pushed into flood stage this past week by the rain on snow event, but the smaller systems should fish well by this weekend. The larger rivers may take a little longer to come back.

Even the trout fishing, usually immune to heavy weather, has dropped off considerably. Some lakes even have dirty water, which can slow the bite. Watch for fresh trout plantings, as well as big broodstock trout and steelhead plantings HERE

Sturgeon fishing success was better this week, especially in the Bonneville Pool, and walleye fishing is improving in the Gorge as well.

Drier weather forecast for the coming weekend should delight anglers of all kinds.

Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report—The Lewis topped out at over 18 feet last week, but it has since dropped to about the 14-foot stage. The river is still high, and still dirty, with debris being an issue. The water was high enough to produce unsafe boating conditions, and the river was well up into shoreline vegetation, leaving both bank and boat anglers frustrated. With the river out of condition, there have been few, if any, anglers giving the stream a try.

The Washougal was also out of shape for most of last week, and although there had been reports of steelhead coming from the lower reaches, there have been no reports of angler activity this week. The river reached action stage last Thursday, and then bumped up again a few days later. It is now on the drop.

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

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The Guides Forecast
Rivers return to fishable condition, and steelheading is fair. Trout are once again biting in local lakes, and anglers are finally getting out to fish after weeks of disruptive weather.

Vancouver Metro Area


Most rivers have come back into shape and should fish well this weekend, although we are in that quiet phase between the early and late steelhead runs, but fishing should improve over the next couple weeks.
The trout lakes have recovered from the effects of the winter storms, and the bite has improved. Most lakes were restocked with catchables recently, and the fishing is once again good. Watch for fresh trout plantings, as well as big broodstock trout and steelhead plantings HERE

Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing report—The Lewis River hatchery steelhead run is pretty much over, although the river still has a few early run fish available. The river does get a sizable wild run of steelhead, and they will be around for a couple months at least. Boat anglers have been doing well by bobber-dogging with beads or salmon eggs, and bank anglers have also been doing okay with bobber presentations, but the fishing is now beginning to slow.

The Washougal dropped back into shape and had been running at about the 6.5-foot stage, but by Thursday the river was on the rise again. Anglers have been finding a few steelhead in the lower sections of the river when it has been fishable. Most of the fish have been taken on bobber and beads or bait, but some fish are taking drifted gear.

Merwin and Yale Lakes Fishing Report—Both lakes are clearing out after being trashed by heavy rains and snowmelt, and the fishing is getting good again, according to reports from Stacie Kelsey of the WDFW Inland Fishes Program. Kelsey rated Yale as fair to good, and Merwin as good. The fish are near the surface, within the top 20 feet, so flat-line trolling or fishing with just a little lead has been the most effective. The fish are taking scented natural-colored corn fished with a wedding ring, spinner, or hootchie behind a kokanee dodger. With the improved conditions, most anglers are getting their fish with a little less effort.

Local lakes Fishing Report—Klineline Pond and Battleground Lake were recently stocked with trout, and are fishing well.

Longview Area

Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers Fishing Report—
The Cowlitz was pretty much un-fishable this past week, as a fresh landslide on the Tilton River threw muddy water into Mayfield Lake and the Cowlitz below it. That’s the word from Dave Mallahan of Dave’s Guide Service (360-201-9313). He did think the upper Cowlitz should be fishable by this weekend, since he noticed the Tilton had already started to clear out by the early week. Once the dirty water flushes through the system the river should be in good fishing condition. However, there have been few steelhead pulling into the river as yet.

The Kalama River fished well this past week after it returned to a good condition, but anglers are finding only fair fishing right now. The river is between the two steelhead runs, and that usually means a short lull in the action. Anglers are finding a few steelhead in most sections of the river, although boat anglers are fishing mostly the middle river drifts, while bank anglers are hitting the entire river, including the upper sections in the canyon

Columbia River Gorge

Sturgeon fishing in the Columbia River pools has been good, especially in the Bonneville Pool, where 355 (71%) of the 500 fish quota have already been caught. Anglers that want to fish this pool better get with it. The quota will not hold up for long. In The Dalles Pool 50 sturgeon (26%) have been kept of the 190 fish quota. Anglers have retained 17 sturgeon in the John Day Pool, or about 17% of the 105 fish quota.


Check out Terry's detailed report (he crushes it every week!) and forecast in this week's SW Washington Member's version!

Get this in your email box earlier and a lot more!
 
The Guides Forecast
SW Washington Fishing Report by Terry Otto

Steelheading has been good this week, with late runs building up well. Bonneville Pool sturgeon will close as of January 30, and walleye are biting in the Gorge.

Vancouver Metro Area


Local rivers with late runs of steelhead are already fishing well, while the early runs are finishing up strongly. Local trout fishing has been excellent this week, with most lakes giving up limits fairly easily.

The Bonneville Pool is closing this weekend, after fishing improved quite a bit in late January, and the quota is almost used up. The John Day and The Dalles Pools will still be open.

Walleye fishing has been excellent the past week in all three of the Gorge pools.

Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report—The Lewis River is still giving up some hatchery steelhead, with fishing rated as fair to good. Bobber and beads are dominating the game, although a few anglers are plunking or drift fishing. The river has dropped and is in excellent condition. Boat anglers are doing well from the golf course up to the deadline at Merwin Dam, while most bank anglers are targeting the hatchery area. Wild steelhead are starting to show up, and will eventually replace the early run of hatchery steelhead, which will end soon.

The Washougal has fished very well since it dropped into condition after the holiday storms. Anglers are getting bit with bobber and beads or jigs in the lower sections, and those anglers with access to the upper river are also doing well. Some anglers are drifting baits, or fishing plastic worms in the high water. The access along the Washougal River Greenway, and other points in the lower river, are where most of the fishing is taking place.

Merwin and Yale Lakes Fishing Report—The water level at Merwin Reservoir has been dropped for yearly maintenance, and the lake’s boat launches are unusable. The lake is not expected to be brought back up to full pool until early February. The lake was drawn down starting January 19, and there are no places to launch at the lake right now. Yale Lake is fishing fair to good, although the fish are smaller than at Merwin. The fish are near the surface, within the top 20 feet, so flat-line trolling or fishing with just a little lead has been the most effective. The fish are taking scented natural-colored corn fished with a hootchie behind a kokanee dodger.

Longview Area

Cowlitz and Kalama Fishing Report—
A few steelhead are starting to show in the upper Cowlitz, although there are still only a few anglers chasing them. The numbers of steelhead showing in the hatchery trap has climbed a little. Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 15 coho adults, one coho jack, and 25 winter-run steelhead adults during four days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. Like everywhere else, the Cowlitz is mostly a bobber-dogging show, with beads or small bits of salmon eggs working the best. Boat anglers are targeting the first few miles below Blue Creek, and bank anglers are gathering near the mouth of the creek. A few bank anglers are drift fishing, but most are trying bobber presentations.

The Kalama River has picked up again for steelhead, with the late run coming in with the strong wild run. The fish have been spread through the entire system, with boat anglers doing well from the mouth up to the Red Barn launch. Bank anglers are doing well from the canyon down to the lower river. Boat anglers are fishing bobber and beads, via bobber-dogging, and some anglers are pulling plugs or fishing jigs. Most bank anglers are fishing beads, although jigs and hardware are also working at times.

Columbia River Gorge

Rowland Lake is fishing well for catchable rainbows and brooder trout. Spearfish lake is also fishing well for rainbow trout and trophy-sized brooder trout. Icehouse Lake has been excellent for catchable rainbows. Spinners and bobber and bait have been more effective than Powerbait as of late.

Check out Terry’s detailed report (he crushes it every week!) and forecast in this week’s SW Washington Member’s version!
 
The Guides Forecast


Columbia Walleye-photo by guide Shane Magnuson
Photo: Columbia Walleye-photo by guide Shane Magnuson

Steelheading is picking up in local tribs, although low water techniques must be used. Walleye has been good in the John Day Pool, slower in Bonneville and The Dalles Pools. Trout fishing is fair.

Vancouver Metro Area

Most tributaries saw an uptick in steelhead catches, even though low water has been the norm. Anglers that size down their lines and offerings are doing the best.

Trout fishing slowed a little this week, but is still fair to good. One phenomenon that has emerged everywhere is a reluctance on the part of the trout to take the old standby, Powerbait. In almost every southwest Washington lake the trout are wanting natural baits.

Walleye and sturgeon are still available in the Gorge pools, although the Bonneville Pool is closed to sturgeon retention.

Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report—Anglers continue to catch decent numbers of steelhead in the Lewis River, and surprisingly, hatchery fish are still showing up in the catch. The river has dropped to a good level and the fish are spread through the entire system. Boat anglers are finding them all the way up to the Merwin Dam, and bank anglers near the mouth are getting a few by plunking. In between anglers are taking fish on beads or jigs fished below a bobber, and a few fish have fallen to plugs.

The Washougal is slowing down as the run tapers off, and the river is so low and cold right now that many anglers are not fishing it. Anglers had been getting steelhead to take bobber presentations, and drifted baits, but with the river low, and the run petering out, this fishery has not been doing very well lately.

Merwin and Yale Lakes Fishing Report—The water level at Merwin Lake has been lifted, and the Speelyai boat launch is once again usable. Reports indicate the fishing is fair although anglers are reporting the lake still has issues with debris. Even so, John Thompson of Sportsman’s Warehouse in Vancouver, (360) 604-8000), reports that most anglers are still managing to get their limit of kokanee. The fish are still high in the water column, so anglers are finding the schools in the top 20 feet of water. Flat-line trolling is still working, with most anglers are fishing corn via wedding rings or hootchies, trolled behind a kokanee flasher.

Longview Area
Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers Fishing Report—
There were conflicting reports from the upper Cowlitz River this week, with some anglers calling the fishing slow, and Tacoma Power reporting it did not have any fish return to the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator over five days of operations. However, a creel survey on the river found that 37 bank rods kept five steelhead and released one steelhead. 16 boats/52 rods kept 14 steelhead. Most boat anglers are bobber-dogging with beads or small clusters of salmon eggs, while most bank anglers are also fishing bobber presentations. Most anglers are targeting the first few river miles below Blue Creek, but the fish are showing in all sections of the river. Still, the best bite is up near the creek.

The lower Cowlitz gave up a few fish this past week, too, with the creel folks finding 48 bank rods keeping three steelhead. Seven boats/18 rods kept two steelhead and released one steelhead. Bank anglers are mostly plunking, and many boats are also fishing with stationary methods. Some anglers are fishing bobber presentations, but the fish tend to stay on the move in the lower river, and stationary methods have worked best. River conditions were good this past week, with both the Cowlitz and the Toutle flowing fairly clear.

The Kalama River is fishing fair to good, with most of the steelhead holding in the lower river. The stream is running low. The lower flows have been keeping most of the fish from moving upriver. Most boat anglers here are bobber-dogging with bait or beads, although a few folks are pulling plugs, and while some bank anglers are trying hardware, most are fishing bobber presentations. Even with the low flows the steelhead have been in the mood to bite. About the only area where there have not been good reports is the canyon in the upper river.

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The Guides Forecast
Vancouver Metro Area

A few spring Chinook showed up in recent creel surveys, but cold water is slowing the bite. Heavy rains forecast for the weekend may blow out the tributaries again, and slow the peak of the late steelhead run.


Springer catches are still slow, although a few were taken in the Cathlamet area this week. Most anglers are waiting for warmer water. Late run steelhead are showing in good numbers, but river conditions on the big systems are still marginal.

Trout fishing is improving across the board, and the local lakes are benefitting from a rash of stockings. Watch for fresh trout plantings, as well as big broodstock trout and steelhead plantings HERE

Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report— Spring Chinook retention will be allowed through April 30 on the Lewis, with a two fish limit, one of which may be a hatchery Chinook. Anglers are switching tactics and waiting for spring Chinook to show up here, but there have been no reported catches in-river as of yet. Steelheading is very slow, and the river has recently been full of smelt, and sea lions. Neither seem to be doing anything positive for the bite. Some anglers are trolling at the mouth of the river, and a few anglers are also plunking in the lower river. No report on success as yet.

Surprisingly, the Washougal continues to give up a few steelhead, including some hatchery steelhead, when the river’s run should be well over. The most recent catches have been reported in the lower river, although some boaters up high with private access to launch are finding a few, too. Bobber and jigs or beads have been effective, as has bait.

Merwin and Yale Lakes Fishing Report—Yale Lake cleared out some this week, but Merwin is still a little dirty, and if the forecast heavy rains come back this weekend, it might get worse. Anglers are still getting kokanee, but it has been slow, and there is still debris causing issues. Most anglers are still getting their fish, it’s just taking longer than usual. The schools are in the top 15 to 20 feet of the water column, and taking the usual kokanee offerings. Most anglers are trolling kokanee dodgers ahead of spinners or hoochies tipped with scented corn.

Longview Area

Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers Fishing Report—
The state did not offer sportsmen another round of smelt dipping, although there seem to be plenty of them in the river. The steelhead bite had improved last weekend, but has slowed since then, according to Dave Mallahan of Dave’s Guide Service (360-201-9313). Creel surveys also indicated an improved bite, with 82 bank rods keeping 12 steelhead and releasing one steelhead. 39 boats/131 rods kept 69 steelhead in the upper river. While most boaters are bobber-dogging, some are pulling plugs or side drifting. Bank anglers have been gathering below the mouth of Blue Creek, and have been getting some fish by using bobber presentations and drifting. The river has cleared out quite a bit, but forecast rains this weekend could cloud it up again.

Fishing in the lower Cowlitz was also good this past week. Creel surveys found 72 bank rods kept 19 steelhead and released one steelhead. Three boats/seven rods kept seven steelhead. Most anglers are fishing stationary offerings, including plunking with spin-n-glos and bait from the bank, while boat anglers are pulling plugs and bobber-dogging.

The Kalama has remained a little bit dirty following the heavy rains, and it has slowed a little this past week. Anglers are still finding the fish from the mouth up into the canyon, and a variety of methods are working. Boat anglers are pulling plugs and fishing bobber presentations and running diver and bait. Bank anglers have been fishing bobber presentations, drifting, and even throwing hardware.

Columbia River Gorge

Walleye fishing has been excellent in the Gorge, and this week The Dalles Pool really took off. The most recent creels in that pool found 18 boats/41 rods kept 110 walleye. Fishing is good in the John Day Pool as well.

Check out Terry's detailed report (he crushes it every week!) and forecast in this week's SW Washington Member's version!
 
The Guides Forecast
SW Washington Fishing Report - Terry Otto

Spring Chinook catches improving in the Columbia, with fish being caught from Cathlamet to Bonneville Dam. Steelhead slipping past the peak, while trout fishing is improving.

Correction
: Last week’s report incorrectly referred to the Washougal River as being open for steelhead, but the river closed to steelhead on March 16.

Spring Chinook catches were better throughout the mainstem Columbia this past week. In the latest creel survey, in the Vancouver area 84 bank anglers kept four Chinook and released one Chinook. 103 boats/209 rods kept 20 Chinook and released three Chinook.

Steelheading in the tributaries slowed some this week, and the runs may now be past the peak.

Lewis and Washougal Rivers Fishing Report—Fishing in the Lewis River is slow, although a few Chinook were taken over the last week by anglers trolling near the mouth. In the Lewis proper, the latest creel found that two boats/three rods had no catch. The pressure has dropped off with the slow steelheading, and there have not been any reports of good springer catches yet. The river is in good condition, with the river running at about the 12-foot stage. The river is open for spring Chinook through the end of April, with the spring salmon run expected to arrive over the next week or two. The Columbia run has been late, and that could bode for a late arrival for the Lewis River fish as well.

The Washougal closed as of March 16 for steelhead. The river does not get a sizable spring Chinook run, so anglers are waiting for the summer steelhead to show.

Merwin and Yale Lakes Fishing Report—Fishing for kokanee has picked up at both lakes this last week as lake conditions and the weather both cooperated. The schools of kokanee have not yet moved deeper, so flat-line trolling, or using minimal lead has been the best way to get them. Kokanee dodgers trolled well back of the boat with hootchies or wedding rings tipped with corn has been the go-to method here, and that is what most anglers are trying.

Longview Area
Cowlitz and Kalama Rivers Fishing Report—
Steelhead fishing is fair to good, according to Dave Mallahan of Dave’s Guide Service (360-201-9313), but he feels the run may be beginning to slide past the peak of the run. Still, Last week Tacoma Power employees recovered 566 winter-run steelhead adults and one spring Chinook adult over five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. In the latest creel survey above the I-5 Bridge, 39 bank rods kept 26 steelhead, the best the bank guys have done all year. Five boats/16 rods kept 11 steelhead. Most boat anglers are bobber-dogging with beads or small bits of bait. Bank anglers are fishing bait, jigs, or beads below a bobber, and doing some drifting.

The lower river is fishing well, too, and a few Chinook have been taken down here in addition to the steelhead. Most bank anglers are plunking, and boat anglers are deploying a number of methods.

The Kalama has fished a little slower recently, as the steelhead run seems to be moving past the peak of the run, and the Chinook are just beginning to show. A few Chinook have reportedly been taken by anglers trolling herring or other bait in the lowest pools of the river, just above the mouth. Bait fishing rules the Kalama when it comes to spring Chinook, although the fish will start taking other offerings as their numbers climb. Steelhead are still being found in most sections of the river, and bank anglers are getting a few in the canyon. The steelhead will take most offerings, including bobber and jigs, bait, or beads, plugs, and even spinners.

Columbia River Gorge
A little over 500 spring Chinook have crossed Bonneville, if you include jacks. That is not many, but once counts improve, so will the fishing at Drano Lake and the Wind River. A creel survey in Drano found no fish landed this past week, but they are on the way. Warmer water in the Columbia would hasten the springers along.

Local Lakes Fishing Report—Icehouse Lake and Ash Lake are both fishing well for trout.

Check out Terry's detailed report and forecast in this week's SW Washington Member's version

SW Washington Members have access to the Columbia River reports as well. Find them here.
 
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The Guides Forecast
SW Washington by Ian Carter

Synopsis​

I hope that everyone had a remarkable Memorial Day weekend. Simple thanks seem so inadequate to all those that made the ultimate sacrifice serving our great country. Memorial Day is a perfect remembrance and acknowledgement for our lost but not forgotten American hero’s.

Action is picking up all around our fishing neighborhood. The Dam controlled tributaries are in a state of flux with extreme varied flows every couple of days. The Lewis and Kalama catch rates are on the upswing and the lower Columbia is holding steady. Fishing for the kids is about to get more exciting as Shad are beginning to make themselves known.

REMINDER, please verify the regulations before fishing any body of water

Lewis Report​

Water flow is a roller coaster this past seven days. 6,000 CFS last Wednesday, Friday down to 4,000 CFS (average) back up to 7,000 on Saturday and falling to 5,000 where it is today Wednesday 1st. The gauge level at Ariel is 4ft. Creel checks by WDFW from their most recent report indicated that 25 bank rods kept two Chinook. 1 boat/3 rods had no catch.

Boat fishing pressure is getting heavy above Happa and below the hatchery. Anglers are hover fishing eggs with some triumphs. The stream flow data can be found here: USGS-North Fork Lewis

Cedar Creek Launch on Lewis River

Kalama Report​

38 bank rods kept seven Chinook and released two jacks. 11 boats/22 rods kept nine Chinook and released one steelhead. John Thompson of Sportsman’s Warehouse said that fishing is getting pretty good.

Cowlitz Report​

Creel checks by WDFW showed Cowlitz River I-5 Br downstream – Six bank rods had no catch. Cowlitz River Above the I-5 Br – 13 bank rods released three Chinook and seven jacks. 2 boats/8 rods kept six steelhead and released one steelhead.

Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 488 spring Chinook adults, 69 spring Chinook jacks, 57 summer-run steelhead adults, and 18 winter-run steelhead adults over five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. The Cowlitz was re-opened for Hatchery Chinook retention on May 28th. With a listed closing date of 7/31/22.

Washougal Report​

Speaking of shad, the mouth of Washougal in the Camas slough is a good spot to anchor up. If they aren’t hitting in the Columbia, try inside the slough, noted with the red squiggly on this map below. Look for water at least 4ft deep.

Otherwise, it’s the same report: Winter steelhead is over, and the system doesn’t receive much of a Springer run. The summer Chinook are right around the corner though, so stay tuned.

Columbia Gorge and Tributaries​

Drano lake is trailing off and fishing pressure was lighter this week. Success on the Wind River is also waning. WDFW checks provided the following results: Wind River – 33 boats/77 rods kept four Chinook and released two Chinook. Drano Lake – 24 boats/78 rods kept 10 Chinook, three jacks and released one Chinook. Klickitat River below Fisher Hill Bridge – NO REPORTS

Reservoir Report​

On May 24th WDFW did stock Swift with 36,000 catchable rainbow.

Merwin level was raised over the past couple of days. It is still fishing well, although with the brighter days the earlier the better. On both Yale and Merwin fishing in the top water column with at least a 100ft drop back is still the norm.

Vancouver Metro Area Lakes​

Horseshoe Lake –Last week WDFW stocked 83 large rainbow in the 2-3lb class. Fishing pressure has dropped off. This lake warms quickly which is bad for trout, but good for bass and Panfish.

Kress LakeNO REPORT

Battle Ground Lake – Trout fishing continues to be excellent. On May 18th the state stocked an additional 3,000 rainbow.

Klineline Pond – Hasn’t received any additional stocking since May 9th. Early morning and late evening are best. Watch for swimmers as the weather warms up.

Lacamas Lake – Trout still available. Bass and bluegill fishing should be getting into full swing.
 
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The Guides Forecast
SW Washington by Ian Carter

Synopsis​

It’s that time of year when many options are rapidly becoming available. Fishing is about as good as it gets during this late spring for Chinook and early Steelhead. Hopefully this trend continues throughout the summer and into the Fall. It’s Free fishing weekend and a perfect opportunity to introduce someone to our sport.

REMINDER, please verify the regulations before fishing any body of water

Lewis Report​

Water flow is still fluctuating this past seven days. With an increase from 5,000 on Sunday to 8,550 today and a gauge level at Ariel of 5.5ft. The WDFW angler checks showed 17 bank rods with no catch and one boat with two rods that kept two Chinook. The water color is good but there’s a bunch of it coming down.

The stream flow data can be found here: USGS-North Fork Lewis.

Lewis River | School Bus Hole | 6/8/22

Kalama Report​

Angler success as reported by WDFW shows that Kalama River had 33 bank rods with two Chinook and two steelhead in the box. One jack and one steelhead were also released. The 4 boats with 11 rods kept three steelhead and released one steelhead. Fishing pressure is lighter than it has been.

WDFW just released the following rule change regarding the Kalama. Kalama River fisheries return to permanent rule: The salmon daily limit is 6; up to 2 adults may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho. (Through July 31, 2022)

Cowlitz Report​

The scoreboard from angler checks disclosed the following: Cowlitz River I-5 Br downstream – 22 bank rods had no catch. 1 boat/4 rods had no catch. Cowlitz River Above the I-5 Br – 15 bank rods had no catch. Fishing success seems a little bleak currently.

Chinook counts are rapidly increasing, and steelhead are temporarily diminishing. Tacoma Power employees recovered 625 spring Chinook adults, 61 spring Chinook jacks, one spring Chinook mini-jack, 24 summer-run steelhead adults, and two winter-run steelhead adults over four days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. The Cowlitz is still open for Hatchery Chinook retention since May 28th.

Columbia Gorge and Tributaries​

Fishing pressure is getting lighter as better opportunities exist elsewhere. I haven’t heard anything since the fishing boundary extension. Jim Milanowski with Looney Coonies tells me he fished the Bonneville area with spotty success on Chinook. He stated the river is way off color, but the shad fishing was epic.

A WDFW fishing rule change dated June 3rd expands the boat angling deadline to the permanent boat angling boundary below Bonneville Dam. The limits on Chinook have also been adjusted in our favor until the end of current season in late June. You can double check Emergency Rules for the area and dates you will be fishing before heading out. Right now, you can keep two adult Chinook.

Wind River – Six bank rods had no catch. 3 boats/5 rods released two Chinook.

Drano Lake – 11 boats/32 rods kept one Chinook and released one Chinook.

Klickitat River below Fisher Hill Bridge – Nine bank rods kept one Chinook and one jack.

Klickitat River above #5 Fishway – No report.

Bonneville Fish Count Data

Other Rivers and Streams Report​

In addition to the original 2,100 planted, 3,000 more trout were released in Canyon Creek. I haven’t heard any reports, but it would be fun if you like light gear stream fishing.

Reservoir Report​

John Thompson of Sportsman’s Warehouse said that fishing is getting pretty good on Yale. Merwin water level is steady at 238.00. The fishing is excellent at Merwin. The usual suspect methods are working. Be sure to mix it up though if the fish are there and you’re not getting hooked up.

Columbia Summary​

The lower river seems to be producing better for Chinook and Steelhead from the Lewis River downstream to Cathlamet. The water is quite dirty and visibility low.

With dirty water conditions using Hyper Vis Tape or an equivalent on your lures would be beneficial. In addition, keeping your scents frequently refreshed is always a good idea. Everyone I talk to say the Shad are thick and catching is good. The latest YTD Chinook tally at Bonneville is 160,000+.

Shad Fishing

The folks at WDFW were busy counting shad. The following catches occurred over the past week:

Sec 1 (Bonneville) – 54 bank anglers kept 345 shad and released two shad.

Sec 2 (Camas/Washougal) – 2 boats/4 rods kept 55 shad.

Sec 3 (I-5 area) – No report.

Sec 4 (Vancouver) – Two bank anglers kept two shad. 3 boats/5 rods kept 19 shad.

Sec 5 (Woodland) – 3 boats/7 rods kept 84 shad.

Sec 6 (Kalama) – 3 boats/7 rods kept 58 shad.

Sec 7 (Cowlitz) – No report.

Sec 8 (Longview) – 3 boats/9 rods kept 13 shad.

Sec 9 (Cathlamet) – No report.

Sec 10 (Chinook/Deep River/Cathlamet) – No report.

The numbers are building every day.

Vancouver Metro Area Lakes​

Horseshoe Lake –The guys at Sportsman’s Warehouse say that Kastmasters and small spinners work well. The bass should be migrating into their summer hangouts.

Kress Lake – Stacie Kelsey with WDFW released the following statement: The lake will be CLOSED June 7th for milfoil treatment. This means no access for fishing, boating, or walking around the lake. It will reopen on the 8th.

Stacie went on to say, “many of you know I’ve been trying for 10 years to get this treatment so I’m super excited it’s finally happening. This will not only improve fishing and boating but also repopulating the native plants. This project was funded through the Warmwater Program. Let me know if you have any questions and I really really really appreciate your patience through this process.” Stacie can be reached at the Region 5 offices in Ridgefield. Tel: 360-696-6211 Email: teamridgefield@dfw.wa.gov

Battle Ground Lake – When powerbait or worms aren’t working some anglers have been using a fly under a water bobber. I’ve personally always done well trolling a wooly bugger with a 5.5-inch teardrop flasher. Rigged with a 4lb 16” leader. Troll slow and fish way back.

Klineline Pond – Hasn’t received any additional stocking since May 9th.

Lacamas Lake – Stocker trout still available. WDFW says there are all these species you might catch: Black crappie, Bluegill, Brown bullhead, Brown trout, Channel catfish, Common carp, Largemouth bass, Northern pikeminnow, Pumpkinseed Sunfish, Rainbow trout, Warmouth, White sturgeon and Yellow perch. Over the years I have personally caught six of those in Lacamas.

Vancouver Lake and Lake River SystemNO REPORT

This Week's Feature​

Free Fishing Weekend

(From WDFW website) Anglers interested in fishing can join the fun during Free Fishing Weekend on June 11-12. During those two days, no license is required to fish or gather shellfish in any waters open to fishing in Washington. A valid Catch Record Card is still required for salmon, steelhead, halibut, and sturgeon. In addition, people do not need a Vehicle Access Pass or Discover Pass to park their vehicle at any public lands or water access areas managed by WDFW, DNR, or Washington State Parks in recognition of National Get Outdoors Day (June 11) and Free Fishing Day (June 12). Learn more about the Free Fishing Weekend.

Weather and Tides Outlook​

The SW Washington Columbia tides are trending for overnight high tides flowing out until late morning for the St. Helens reporting station and vicinity. These are the highest tides of the month coming up with a full moon on Tuesday June 14th.

As of Wednesday evening, the weather is shaping up to be damp. Temperatures will continue to be mild with overnight lows in the 50’s and highs to barely 70 degrees. If you are looking for an excellent “eve of fishing” wind report, I highly recommend Wind Alert. The other reporting functions of the app are pretty accurate also.

BrokerIan

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The Guides Forecast
SW Washington by Ian Carter

Synopsis​

The WDFW server is down this week, therefore no creel reports are available. By the time you read this, retention of adult Chinook on the Columbia will have closed. Steelhead are beginning to show in worthy numbers throughout the region.

REMINDER, please verify the regulations before fishing any body of water

Lewis Report​

The following rule change was announced by WDFW: From the mouth to the overhead powerlines below Merwin Dam: Effective June 17, through July 31, 2022. Salmon: Daily limit 6; up to 2 adults may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook.

If you are heading to Woodland and forgot your bait, the AM/PM on the corner of CC St. and Lewis River Road are now carrying coon shrimp. They apparently also have more fishing tackle and bait supplies in the works.

The gauge level at Ariel has lowered to 3.25ft and trending lower. Water flow is dropping and is currently 4,000cfs. However, the continued higher levels of the Columbia are still backing up into the Lewis. The water level gage in Woodland is high and indicates 16ft.

The stream flow data can be found here: USGS-North Fork Lewis.

Kalama Report​

Today, Wednesday I took a drive up the Canyon. Fishing Pressure was light. There were no trailers at the Modrow Bridge launch at 10:00am. No Angler success reported by WDFW. Reminder that the Kalama is open through July 31st for adult hatchery Chinook and Coho retention. There are some really chrome steelhead being picked up for those putting in the effort.

Cowlitz Report​

No WDFW angler check data available. They did return the Cowlitz River fisheries to permanent rules.

Action: Restores the salmon angling rules for the Cowlitz River to those in the 2021-22 Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet; all other permanent rules remain in effect.

Species affected: Salmon Effective Date: June 17, 2022. Location: Cowlitz River (Cowlitz Co.); from the mouth to the posted markers below the Barrier Dam

Chinook counts are dropping, and steelhead counts continue to climb a little per Tacoma power report. Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 332 spring Chinook adults, 49 spring Chinook jacks, and 100 summer-run steelhead adults over five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

Washougal Report​

No Report.

Columbia Gorge and Tributaries​

The Wind River is open until further notice from the mouth to 800 yards downstream of the Carson Fish Hatchery. Before going check the WDFW website for daily catch limits, other rules and any emergency closure notices.

Drano Lake is open until further notice in the waters downstream of markers on the point of land downstream and across from Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery and upstream of the Highway 14 Bridge. Before going check the WDFW website for daily catch limits, other rules and any emergency closure notices.

The Klickitat River from the mouth to Fisher Hill Bridge and from 400 feet upstream of #5 fishway to boundary markers below Klickitat Salmon Hatchery is open daily until further notice. Before going check the WDFW website for daily catch limits, other rules and any emergency closure notices. Shad fishing is still bananas up at the dam and throughout the gorge.

Reservoir Report​

Swift should fish great with about 1oz-3oz of lead and 90ft-150ft back with Wiggle Hoochies. Larger trout action is picking up in the eagle cliff end of the reservoir.

Here’s a handy informational link from PacifiCorp for the Lewis River Reservoirs. All three reservoirs have stayed about the same level as last week. Swift and Yale levels have remained constant for the past fourteen days. Currently as of Wednesday June 22nd the levels are Merwin: 236ft, Yale: 478ft and Swift: 999ft.

Reports currently have limits coming at 25 to 45 on the downriggers and out 75ft with 3oz of weight without downriggers. Super short leaders (8”) seem to be working the best.

Columbia Summary​

Jim Milanowski with Looney Coonies says summer Steelhead catching is starting to pick up in the lower river. As the water clears the steelhead fishing should improve. I’m looking forward to hearing Jim’s reports for Steelhead as the summer progresses. He’s a master of fishing the gorge for them and will be offering some reports for us.

Vancouver Metro Area Lakes​

Horseshoe Lake – Fishing pressure was heavy this past weekend, in part due to the Woodland Planters Days celebration. On June 15th WDFW stocked the lake with 2,000 brown trout.

Kress Lake – I stopped by there today. There were 3 boats and probably a half dozen bank fisherman. No catching happening while I was there, although one pontoon fisherman told me he had good luck yesterday.

Battle Ground Lake – A beach warning has been issued due to increased levels of E. coli bacteria; the beach will be sampled again on 6/21/22. This doesn’t bode well as the beach will only get busier with this warm weather.

Klineline Pond – NO REPORTS and no health restrictions.

Lacamas Lake – There is a severe algae bloom right now, but bluegill fishing is getting better.

Vancouver Lake and Lake River System– Clark County Public Health has not updated the E-Coli closure from last week. People who fish at Vancouver Lake should continue to take precautions to avoid water contact and should thoroughly clean all fish and equipment.

Closing Remarks​

Please contact me by email or text with any questions or comments. You can also find me on Facebook or Instagram @washingtonhomes.realestate

BrokerIan

Receive these Oregon and SW Washington fishing reports in your email
on Thursday nights by signing up here.

Find out more about becoming an Oregon Member here! SW Washington Membership information can be found here.
 
The Guides Forecast
SW Washington by Ian Carter

By the time you read this the re-opening for Chinook and opening for Sockeye will have been decided from Thursday’s meeting. There are multitudes of sockeye in the Columbia. Folks are catching many of them while targeting steelhead, which currently is open for a single hatchery fish retention.

REMINDER, please verify the regulations before fishing any body of water

Lewis Report​

The water flow is 2,080 and finally at median flows. With a decrease from 4,000 last week. The WDFW angler checks showed two boats fishing eight rods kept one Chinook and released one Chinook. The water color is good but it’s still high water in Woodland.

The stream flow data can be found here: USGS-North Fork Lewis.

Kalama Report​

Angler success as reported by WDFW shows the Kalama River had 44 bank rods which kept four Chinook, one steelhead and released one jack and one steelhead. Four boats fishing nine rods kept one steelhead and released one steelhead. There are still chinook around.

Kalama River fisheries return to permanent rule: The salmon daily limit is 6; up to 2 adults may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook and hatchery coho. (Through July 31, 2022)

Cowlitz Report​

The scoreboard from angler checks disclosed the following: Cowlitz River I-5 Br downstream – eleven bank rods kept one steelhead. Cowlitz River Above the I-5 Br – thirteen bank rods kept one steelhead and released two steelhead. Six boats fishing 19 rods kept 17 steelhead.

Chinook counts are rapidly decreasing, and steelhead are quickly on the upswing. Tacoma Power employees recovered 182 spring Chinook adults, 15 spring Chinook jacks, 35 spring Chinook mini-jacks, and 79 summer-run steelhead adults over four days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

Columbia Gorge and Tributaries​

Jim Milanowski with Looney Coonies didn’t fish the area in the last week. He was focused on fishing the Willamette in Oregon City. They had pretty good success with Chinook. He went on to say that there’s good numbers of steelhead in the Columbia River from 1-5 bridge down. They got an easy 3 fish boat limit this morning (Wednesday).

Looney Coonie Steelhead | 06/29/22
There was no WDFW report for the Wind River, Drano Lake, Klickitat River below Fisher Hill Bridge, and the Klickitat River above #5 Fishway.

Reservoir Report​

Merwin water level is holding steady at 238.00. The fishing is excellent at Merwin. I haven’t heard any good reports from Yale other than the wind was howling there last weekend. The Kokanee are going deeper and in the 40-50ft column currently. Micro hootchies are the ticket along with garlic corn.

Columbia Summary​

The lower river below Kalama is producing some dynamite summer Steelhead fishing right now. John Thompson of Sportsman’s Warehouse says that the lower river fishing is nuts. Both bank and boat anglers are getting lots of fish, including a massive sockeye by-catch. As mentioned earlier in the report, hopefully its open by the time you read this. The water is still quite turbid with some lowered visibility.

The Shad are thick and catching is good. The latest YTD Chinook tally at Bonneville is 200,000+ and the Sockeye are running at a record setting pace. Steelhead counts are fantastic for this early in the summer season.

Smaller Lakes and Pond Report

Most smaller lakes are done with trout plants for the year and fishing will begin to get drastically slower. The higher lakes are starting to produce some impressive trout catches, early morning is best.

Klineline Pond – Received an additional stocking of 2,000 earlier in June.

Sacajawea Lake – On June 22, the lake received a stocking of 2,000 brown trout.

Potholes – If you are into a road trip, I heard that it is red hot for panfish, Bass and Walleye right now.

Vancouver Lake and Lake River System– The E-Coli restriction is still in effect, and they are also monitoring a major algal bloom.

Closing Remarks​

I fished one morning this week at Martin Bar in Woodland. I picked up one hatchery steelhead and lost a dancing Sockeye. I wish everyone a Happy 4th of July. Stay safe out there and take care of your dogs and kids during the firework period.

Please contact me by email or text with any questions or comments. If you are on Face Book, check out our group @TheGuidesForecast.

BrokerIan

The Guide's Forecast
 
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The Guides Forecast
SW Washington by Ian Carter

Hoping that everyone had an awesome 4th of July weekend. Lots of great fishing opportunities are around right now. The high point being the Sockeye run and permission granted for us to catch a few. Good luck everyone during this final upcoming week of Chinook fishing. Steelhead are kicking off full blast this summer with larger average fish sizes being reported. There are some awesome coastal salmon fishing opportunities heating up out of Ilwaco and Westport.

REMINDER, please verify the regulations before fishing any body of water

The Guides Forecast​

BEST BET – Westport would be my first choice and if that’s not doable, upper Cowlitz.

Lewis Report​

Immediately through July 31, 2022, from the mouth to the overhead powerlines below Merwin Dam: The daily salmon limit is 6, up to 2 adults may be retained. Release all salmon other than hatchery Chinook and hatchery Steelhead. A three fish hatchery Steelhead bag limit is good year-round. WDFW creel checks showed 24 bank rods kept three steelhead and one boat fishing one rod released a steelhead.

The gauge level at Ariel has lowered to 2.4ft. and holding. Water flow is dropping and is currently 2,570cfs and consistent day in and out. At that rate it is still above the 10-year average. The gauge in Woodland is just below 10ft, meaning things are back to normal from the effects of the previous Columbia River high water event.

The stream flow data can be found here: USGS-North Fork Lewis.

Kalama Report​

Korey at Bob’s Sporting Goods said that things aren’t very exciting right now on the upper river. John from Sportsman’s Warehouse in Vancouver indicated that fishing in the lower river is ok. Angler checks by WDFW reported by WDFW 16 bank rods kept one steelhead. One boat fishing three rods kept one steelhead. Kalama spirits and tobacco carries millennial coon shrimp again.

Cowlitz Report​

Summer steelhead are in full swing. I spoke with an angler earlier this week. He said that they had a terrific weekend back bouncing eggs and coon shrimp. He was fishing the Blue Creek area and had 3 days of Steelhead limits for his boat. Boat traffic was surprisingly light, but the bank fishing areas were packed. Nathan from Sportsman’s Warehouse in Kelso says that the Steelhead fishing better higher up. He went on to say that there are still a few Chinook in the mix.

WDFW angler check data reported that Cowlitz River I-5 Br downstream – 49 bank rods kept one jack and 10 steelhead. Cowlitz River Above the I-5 Br – 24 bank rods kept four steelhead. 11 boats/38 rods kept 53 steelhead and released three steelhead.

Chinook counts are climbing again, and steelhead counts doubled from previous weeks report. Last week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 579 spring Chinook adults, 55 spring Chinook jacks, 224 spring Chinook mini-jacks, and 193 summer-run steelhead adults over five days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.

Columbia Gorge and Tributaries​

The tributaries have little to report right now and participation is low. WDFW reported the following: Drano Lake – 2 boats/4 rods had no catch. Klickitat River below Fisher Hill Bridge – No report. Klickitat River above #5 Fishway – No report.

Sockeyes are still going over the dam in large numbers with over a half million counted so far. Shad fishing is beginning to wane.

Reservoir Report​

Swift and Yale are fishing great with best action in the 30ft-50ft depth range. John at Sportsman’s told me that June is a good month to target large bull trout. All wild trout in this area must be released. You should be able to see fish in the river at Eagle Cliff bridge. Fly fishing this portion is good. Consider using a San Juan worm or other terrestrial fly.

All three reservoirs have stayed about the same level as last week. Merwin adjusted by one foot both ways. Currently as of Wednesday July 6th,the levels are Merwin: 237ft, Yale: 479ft and Swift: 999ft.

Reports currently have early morning limits coming at 25 to 45 on the downriggers and out 75ft with 3oz of weight without downriggers. Super short leaders (8”) seem to be working the best.

Since the end of June, Mayfield Lake has received over 7,000 stocker rainbows.

Columbia Summary​

With just a week remaining on the extended summer Chinook fishery pressure is heavy in the lower river. Both bank and boat anglers are having great success for the trio of species, Chinook, Sockeye and Steelhead. Nathan from Sportsman’s Warehouse concurs about the lower Columbia fishing well. He states that early in the tide folks are finding fish closer to shore and progressively moving deeper. It’s about a 50/50 split between boats anchoring and trolling. Anchor fisherman are using Kwik fish and the trolling guys are doing well the 360’s with spinners.

The WDFW creel checks Fishery Reports for Mainstem Columbia River:

Coastal​

Reports out of Westport and Ilwaco indicate a robust Chinook bite. Anglers from Westport are finding fish at the 300fow line down around 225ft. Once finding the bait, birds and rips, fishing is excellent. Coho are being caught at the 225fow mark. Hot lure was the green speckle back hoochie at 90’ on the rigger. Tomic plugs are also a tried-and-true winner for these Chinook.

Photo credit to Jered Cottell

Westport ocean chinook | 07/05/22
Vancouver Metro Area Lakes

The Independence Holiday fishing pressure was heavy this past weekend and there haven’t been any meaningful stocking of planter trout for the metro area lakes since early June. Success will become more difficult as the summer progresses for stocker trout. The good news is that warm water fishing is picking up. Bullhead catfishing should be getting good. There are lots of opportunities in the lake river and salmon creek watersheds.

This Weeks Feature

WDFW is sponsoring a Bass celebration next week. If you like to fish for bass, you’re going to want to hear about the upcoming Bass Battles Tournament that WDFW is partnering with Anglers Atlas and the American Fisheries Society on to benefit fisheries science. Click on the WDFW webpage for more details on bass.

During Bass Week we’ll highlight some of the best bass waters in Washington, provide bass fishing tips, and answer your questions on all thing’s bass. Submit your best bass fishing photos to be featured on our Facebook and Instagram.

Closing Remarks​

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The Guides Forecast
SW Washington by Ian Carter

Lewis Report​

The water flow currently is 2,000 and trending at median flows. There was a decrease from 2,600 a couple of days ago. The gauge height in woodland is 11ft and trending lower. Fishing pressure is very light and not very much success is being reported. The WDFW angler checks showed only one boat fishing two rods with no catch. The water has very good visibiilty.

The stream flow data can be found here: USGS-North Fork Lewis.

Kalama Report​

Angler success wasn’t reported by WDFW this week. Nathan at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Kelso told me that the steelhead are now being recycled at the launch closest to I-5.

Cowlitz Report​

WDFW anglers’ checks reported the following: Cowlitz River I-5 Br downstream – 61 bank rods kept one Chinook and seven steelhead. One boat/1 rod had no catch. Cowlitz River Above the I-5 Br – 20 bank rods kept one Chinook and seven steelhead with 16 boats/51 rods keeping 63 steelhead. This would certainly indicate fishing the upper river is good, as we forecasted for the past couple of weeks.

The recovered fish numbers jumped incredibly this past week, Tacoma Power employees recovered 508 spring Chinook adults, 48 spring Chinook jacks, 383 spring Chinook mini-jacks, and 276 summer-run steelhead adults over four days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator. The Chinook counts more than doubled and Steelhead are up almost 4X from last week.

Washougal Report​

John Thompson of Sportsman’s Warehouse tells me that the Washougal really isn’t worth the effort until late summer and early fall. I agree, especially considering so many other worthwhile opportunities.

Columbia Gorge and Tributaries

I don’t have much to report, although that doesn’t mean fish aren’t being caught in the Columbia Gorge. Sockeye are still running east and there should be plenty of opportunity. Salmon fishing on the East side is epic right now. Easy limits of Chinook and Sockeye are coming in the mornings. The last couple of days have been none-stop action. There was no WDFW report for the Wind River, Drano Lake, Klickitat River below Fisher Hill Bridge, and the Klickitat River above #5 Fishway.

Bonneville Fish Count Data

Reservoir Report​

Merwin water level is still holding steady at 238.00. The fishing is also still excellent. Nathan at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Kelso has been receiving good reports for Yale. Limits of smaller Kokanee are being caught in the 10ft-25ft depth range. Nathan also mentioned fishing Riffe Lake is good. Both Trout, but mostly Silvers are feeding between 15ft-30ft. Mayfield is also still getting over 5,000 stocker trout per month.

The Swift Power Canal was stocked with 1,614 one-pound rainbow trout on June 29th, 2022. Fishing for them could be fun. Swift Power Canal, also referred to as Lewis River Power Canal, is open from the fishing pier upstream to the access road at Swift Dam. Regulations for this water are found under North Fork Lewis River in the sport fishing pamphlet.

Columbia Summary

The lower river below Kalama is fishing good. The plunking effort is high, and results are good. Korey at Bob’s Sporting Goods tells me the beaches around the Kalama River are especially hot right now. I trolled the Columbia unsuccessfully on Tuesday for a couple hours. There were 4 others trolling in our area and probably a half dozen anchor fishing.

Coastal Report

Salmon and bottom fishing is excellent out of both Westport and Ilwaco. There have been some great weather days and the fishing has not stopped since the reporting last week. Lots of both Silvers and Chinook available. I’ll focus more on the coast next week also with a feature on Surf perch.

As of Wednesday evening, the weather is again shaping up to be nice and comfortable. There is no rain in the forecast, but winds may be a factor depending on your location. Temperatures are reported to continue “year round San Diego” like, with overnight lows in the mid 50’s and highs to the upper 70’s.

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