Starting Wednesday, fishing will open for hatchery steelhead on the mainstem upper Columbia, Wenatchee, Icicle, Methow and Okanogan rivers until further notice.
Jeff Korth, regional fish manager, said about 14,000 adult steelhead are expected to return to the upper Columbia River this year, enough to allow the fisheries to open.
Korth noted, however, that fishing will be more tightly regulated than last year because fewer hatchery steelhead are projected to return this year and wild steelhead are expected to make up a higher proportion of the run.
Anglers should check the state Department of Fish and Wildlife website at wdfw.wa.gov for possible changes in the regulations.
Offut: The trout action has been good, with plenty of nice-size trout being caught. They seem to prefer worms floated off the bottom on a leader 1- to 2-feet long. Boat and dock anglers are doing equally well.
Potholes: Water temperatures have dropped quickly spurring the fall bite. Walleye anglers are getting limits almost daily, especially at the mouth of Crab Creek, the face of the sand dunes and on the east and northeast side of Goose Island. Trout are biting in the front of the dunes as well as the east end of the O’Sullivan Dam. The bass fishing is excellent. The fish are starting to move to the front of the sand dunes and feed on perch.
Spanaway: People are catching limits of trout. Worms with marshmallows are the best combo for dock anglers. Boat anglers are fishing the southeast side of the lake, using Power Bait on a 2-foot leader. The brown trout have moved to the north end of the lake, and they are hitting worms or lures.
Spencer: The lake was red hot the other day. An olive green woolly bugger trolled slowly has been very effective. Put a couple of split shot sinkers on the line in front of it to get it down 10-15 feet.
Chehalis: There were plenty of coho and a good number of chinook being caught throughout the river, but the action has slowed down. The water is very muddy right now.
Cowlitz: People are catching chinook at Barrier Dam and plenty of steelhead at Blue Creek. For chinook, people are having to release a lot of wild fish before finding a hatchery fish to keep. Wiggle Warts and spinners are working well.
Green: The river is packed with pink salmon right now, especially in the Auburn area. Finding coho willing to bite has been a harder proposition.
Skokomish: Lots of coho and chum (which have to be released) are in the river. Eggs fished in the morning, Vibrax spinners or corkies and yarn are effective.
Wallace: The coho action has been good. People are having success using eggs under a bobber. Anglers are also hooking chinook and pinks.
Fly fishing: The action for searun cutthroat trout has been good to very good. Look for the fish off rocky beaches during a tidal change. Small baitfish patterns in olive/white and chartreuse/white will work well. Remembers, searuns must be released.
Sekiu: The action remains very good to excellent for coho. Most of the fish are weighing 8-14 pounds, with some bigger. Anglers also are catching some chinook. People are fishing in water 600-700 feet deep and taking about two hours to get their limits.
South Sound: Anglers are catching a few coho, but the action around Tacoma overall is still slow. South of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, some silvers are being caught in the Harstine Island area. The crabbing has been fair, with the best catches coming from the Nisqually Reach area.Contributors: Rob Harbin of MarDon Resort, state Department of Fish and Wildlife, washingtonlakes.com, Todd Daniels of Tall Tails Guide Service, steelheaduniversity.com, Point Defiance Boathouse, Mike Zittel of Zittel’s Marina, washingtonflyfishing.com, Olson’s Resort, Becky Pogue at Offut Lake Resort, Bud Herlitzka at Spanaway Park Boathouse and Ron Adams at Verle’s Sports Center. Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640 email@example.com thenewstribune.com/outdoors