Slow going for anglers on rivers

FISHING: High water, closures curb action

January 19, 2011 

River anglers are having a tough time finding a place to fish because of either high water or closures caused by poor runs. People on the Cowlitz River are catching some steelhead, but elsewhere, it's wait and see.


Carbon River: The river is closed from the mouth to the state Route 162 bridge in Auburn.

Columbia: Steelhead fishing remains good to very good on the upper river. Anton Jones of Darrell and Dad’s Family Guide Service recommends using a Worden’s Maxi Jig in the calypso pattern, fished under a bobber and baited with Pautzke fire-cured shrimp. Steelhead and sturgeon fishing has been slow in the Bonneville, The Dalles and John Day pools.

Cowlitz: The river is running high, but the fishing has been fair. The upper river from Barrier Dam to Blue Creek is in good shape, running quite fast and high, said Marshall Borsom of Fish Country. The high water seems to be pushing the steelhead close to the banks. Boaters are drifting eggs or coon-striped shrimp, and bank anglers are using everything from corkies and yarn to jig-and-bobber to sand shrimp or worms.

Olympic Coast: The rivers are not fishable, said Bob Gooding of Olympic Sporting Goods. There also is more rain in the forecast. At best, if it gets cold and doesn’t rain anymore, it might be the weekend before the rivers can be fished.

Puyallup: The river is closed upstream from the mouth of the Carbon.

Yakima: Forget about fishing this river for a while. A combination of warm weather and lots of rain for several days pushed flows up to 17,400 cubic feet per second late Monday night. It could take as many as 10 days for the river to return to normal wintertime conditions, said a staffer at Red’s Fly Shop.

Wynoohcee: Fishing should be pretty good after the river level drops back down, said Ron Adams at Verle’s Sports Center. There was a good run of fish that came into the river before the rivers got blown out. The same can be said for the Satsop, Adams added.


Chelan: Fish the trench with Silver Horde Kingfisher Lite spoons in splatterback glow. Worden’s Lures’ F7 luminous chartreuse Flatfish, Mack’s Lure’s Big Squid rigs in glow colors, and Critter Gitter Tackle’s Rushin’ Wobblers in purple glow also are effective, Jones said.

Mayfield: The lake is still producing trout near the hatchery, but all of the rain might have it blown out this week, Borsom said.

Rufus Woods: This is the prime time to catch triploid rainbow trout. Throw Roostertails in black, green or brown, or troll Mack’s Lure’s Kokanee Pro Wedding Rings in red or green and baited with Pautzke’s Fire Corn. If that doesn’t work, head for the pens and fish Pautzke’s Fire Bait on a slip-sinker rig, Jones said.

Sammamish: Anglers online are reporting catching cutthroat trout while trolling needlefish lures. The fish are holding about 10-15 feet deep.

Spencer: The lake got a late plant, so the action is still good for rainbow trout. The same is true for Nahwatzel Lake, Adams said. Try using Power Bait or worms, or try trolling very slowly with Woolly Buggers, Carey Specials and Wedding Rings.


Razor clams: The next dig will begin Thursday. Digging will be open Thursday-Saturday at Twin Harbors and Long Beach. Kalaloch also will be open Friday and Saturday. Digging at all three beaches will be restricted to noon-midnight each day.

South Sound: The action has been extremely slow. Part of the problem is that all of the rivers are dumping lots of muddy water into the Sound.

Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640

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