With the weather cooperating, get some alone time on a lake

Fishing: From trout to tiger muskies, area lakes are sending anglers home happy

March 23, 2011 

The reports from lakes on the east and west side of the mountains shows the water is warming up and so is the action. That news, and cooperating weather, would make a trip to a favorite lake worthwhile this week.

The best river fishing remains on the Olympic Peninsula. That also means the rivers are crowded, especially on weekends.

RIVERS

Columbia: While the state checked more anglers last week, catch rates were worse than the previous week, said state fish biologist Joe Hymer. He did say they sampled the first chinook of the season at Cathlamet and Kalama. Boat anglers averaged a chinook kept/released per every 19.4 rods. Sturgeon fishing has been slow to fair. Walleye fishing in The Dalles and John Day pools has been fair. On the upper river, fish for steelhead in the current breaks and seams below Wells Dam before it closes March 31.

Cowlitz: Fishing is still pretty spotty, said Marshall Borsom at Fish Country. Some days the bite comes on for about an hour and then disappears, he said. Boaters are doing fairly well for steelhead pulling divers with coon shrimp or side-drifting eggs. Bank anglers are having a tougher time. Borsom said he heard of a 20-pound spring chinook being caught last weekend.

Olympic Coast: The rivers are in good shape and have attracted plenty of anglers over the weekend, said Dave Steinbaugh at Waters West. In general, fishing has been good to very good. The Hoh and Bogachiel are attracting the most attention.

Wynoochee: The river is still high and milky brown, said Walt Harvey at Verle’s Sports Center. It should be fishable by Thursday or Friday and fishing should be good then. The scenario is the same on the Satsop.

Yakima: Fishing has improved as river flows have stabilized around 2,500 cfs. Action on skwala dry flies has slowly picked up. The lower canyon would be the best section this week, said a report from Red’s Fly Shop.

LAKES

Alder: Anglers trolling with Wedding Rings near the dam are catching some rainbow trout and kokanee.

Chelan: Trolling for lake trout is producing good catches of sizable fish on the flat between Mack Bar and Minneapolis Beach. The face of Manson Bay continues to be another hot spot, said Anton Jones of Darrell and Dad’s Family Guide Service.

Nunnally: This well-known trout lake is living up to its reputation. It’s producing catches of rainbows, most measuring more than 17 inches. Try a chironomid fished under an indicator or a dark-colored Woolly Bugger on a slow retrieve. Look for fish cruising the shallows where new weeds are growing.

Offut: Weekend weather conditions made fishing tough. Before the wind and rain, anglers in boats and on the dock were catching trout. Try PowerBait fished off the bottom.

Swofford: Borsom said the pond is producing some nice catfish.

Tapps: Local angler Kevin Bye reported he hooked two tiger muskies on a recent trip. He was fishing from the bank, casting a bucktail lure. Bye said lake levels are still rather low.

SALT WATER

Fly-fishing: Anglers are catching a few sea-run cutthroat trout as well as resident coho. Try using smaller euphausiids and amphipod patterns with a slow retrieve, said Blake Merwin of the Gig Harbor Fly Shop. Using a floating line will help keep the fly shallow.

Sekiu: Anglers are catching a few salmon. Twelve anglers checked Sunday at Olson’s Resort had four chinook.

Tacoma: The fishing is still very slow, said Art Tachell at Point Defiance Boathouse Marina. In creel checks over the weekend, 31 anglers had no salmon to report.

Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640 jeff.mayor@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/adventure

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