Heading out? Don't forget the rain gear, and that 2011-12 license

Fishing: Inclement weather hasn't hurt success in the rivers; steelheading improves

March 30, 2011 

It seems as though the rain has not greatly affected the river fishing. There are reports of better fishing from the Cowlitz, and the Olympic Peninsula remains a hot spot for steelhead.

Don’t forget that your 2010-11 fishing license expires on Thursday.

SALT WATER

Fly-fishing: Chum fry have been spotted in the Sound, said Blake Merwin of Gig Harbor Fly Shop. Try casting a Chum Baby fly from the beach for sea-run cutthroat trout or resident coho. Cutthroat must be released.

North Sound: A total of 101 fish were caught in last weekend’s Anacortes Salmon Derby, down from the 132 fish caught last year. The average weight of the salmon checked in was 10.7 pounds. Mike Campion of Bellingham went home $15,000 richer thanks to the 18.96-pound salmon he brought in. Second place and $5,000 went to Patrick Barton of Anacortes (18.74 pounds) and third place and $2,500 went to Brett Engholm of Everson (18.44 pounds). Geoffrey Smyth of Gig Harbor won the active military division with a 14.18-pound fish.

Tacoma: Fishing is still very slow. Few people are going out because the action has been slow, said Art Tachell at Point Defiance Boathouse Marina. He said he expects people to find some larger fish this time of year off the clay banks and Point Dalco.

RIVERS

Columbia: Salmon fishing has been fair on the lower river. Try fishing a flatfish with a herring close to the bottom, said Mike Chamberlain at Ted’s Sports Center. The water quality is slowly improving, but visibility is still poor. Sturgeon fishing in the lower river has been slow. Steelhead fishing on the upper river has been very good. However, it closes on Thursday.

Cowlitz: Steelhead action is starting to improve. Anglers are catching fish all the way up to the barrier dam. The late winter run is starting to bite more now, said Marshall Borsom at Fish Country. Try using corkies and yarn, sand shrimp and divers with coon shrimp. Borsom said he heard that six or seven spring chinook were caught at barrier dam last weekend, including a 23-pounder. Most people are throwing big gobs of eggs in the pool at the 100-foot mark and on the island.

Olympic Peninsula: The Hoh has been very good for steelhead for fly and gear anglers, as have the Calawah and Sol Duc. The river flows are at normal levels for this time of year.

Yakima: Rain last weekend has raised the river level to about 2,700 cfs at Untanum. But flows have stabilized and the fishing should be fair to good, said a report from Red’s Fly Shop. Conditions should be good by this weekend.

LAKES

American: Anglers are catching limits of kokanee, according to reports on Gamefishin.com. One person said he was trolling pop gear in water 30-40 feet deep at the south end of the lake.

Chelan: The trench has gotten productive again. Troll with Purple Glow and Luminous Chartreuse F7 flatfish off downriggers, said Anton Jones of Darrell and Dad’s Family Guide Service.

Eastside: The Seep Lakes will open to trout fishing on Friday.

Lone: The lake has been productive, with most rainbow trout measuring 14-18 inches. Small chironomids and leech patterns have been the best. Anglers looking to make a weekend out of it could also go north and hit Pass Lake, which also has been productive, Chamberlain said.

Mayfield: The lake is producing some nice trout, caught near the hatchery. Power Eggs and worms fished off the bottom has been the best method.

Potholes: The walleye action is picking up, said Mike Meseberg of MarDon Resort. Look for the fish holding on structure in water 18-60 feet deep. Blade baits are working best. Inflated worms seem to be the key to getting rainbow trout to strike, especially in the Lind Coulee Arm.

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

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