Don’t forget that this is Free Fishing Weekend in Washington. People will not need a fishing license Saturday or Sunday. All other rules, such as size limits, bag limits and closures, will still be in effect. Anglers will also be required to complete a catch record card for any salmon or steelhead they catch.
Fly-fishing: The beach action has been good for sea-run cutthroat trout. Use baitfish patterns, Woolly Buggers and worm patterns, but go bigger than you would in the winter. Remember, release all cutthroat.
South Sound: In terms of sheer numbers, the action around Tacoma has been pretty good since the opener. On Sunday, there were 62 chinook checked at Point Defiance ramps. But considering there were 287 anglers checked, the average catch is less than one-quarter fish per person. The biggest fish caught weighed a little more 20 pounds.
Westport: Salmon fishing since the opener has been good, but not red-hot. Many of the chinook were weighing 15-20 pounds. Look for them in the north beach area off Ocean Shores in 30-60 feet of water. Many people were pulling a herring or Silver Horde spoon behind a flasher.
Columbia: Salmon fishing below Bonneville Dam was slow during the last six days of May. Some spring chinook are being caught by bank anglers in The Dalles and John Day pools. Best action for sturgeon has been in the John Day Pool. Nearly 100,000 shad crossed Bonneville Dam on Saturday, the highest count so far this year. But the fishing has been a little on the slow side.
Cowlitz: Bank anglers fishing at the barrier dam have been catching some spring chinook, both adults and jacks. Last week, Tacoma Power recovered 235 spring-chinook adults, 128 jacks, 33 summer-run steelhead and six winter-run steelhead during four days of operations at the Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery separator.
Klickitat: Still some spring chinook being caught by bank anglers downstream from the Fisher Hill Bridge, but overall effort is light on the lower river.
Lewis: The spring-chinook return as of Sunday was 837 adults, including 16 wild fish. The hatchery escapement goal is about 1,300 adults.
Olympic Coast: The Hoh, Bogachiel and Calawah reopen Saturday.
Yakima: The trout action has been very good this week. The best action has been on small nymphs fished fairly close to the surface. Versions of lightning bugs and pheasant tail nymphs, in size 14 and 16, and fished under an indicator have been effective.
Harts: Crappie fishing has been very good. Trout anglers are having to put in some time to catch their fish, while the catfish action has been slow.
Mineral: The lake was recently stocked with 2,038 brown trout, each weighing almost a half-pound.
Munn: The water temperature is starting to warm up, so the best action is early or late in the day. If you do fish midday, take the extra time to really revive any trout you catch.
Rattlesnake: The action is starting to pick up. Some anglers will fish chironomids deep. Drizzly days are great for chironomid hatches. Others will fish Woolly Buggers or leeches during the day, then try to match the hatch in the morning and evening.
Summit: The lake has been producing some rainbow trout and kokanee. Anglers report finding fish about 60 feet down in water up to 85 feet deep. Green or pink gear has been the most effective.
Tanwax: The trout action has been good off the dock and for boats. Most people are fishing with PowerBait off the bottom and worms, or trolling with yellow or green Wedding Rings.Contributors: John Keizer of saltpatrol.com, state Department of Fish and Wildlife, Joe Rotter at Red’s Fly Shop, Art Tachell at Point Defiance Boathouse, Anil Srivastava at Puget Sound Fly Co., Don Wells at Harts Lake Resort & Deli, washingtonlakes.com, Rainbow RV Resort. Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640 firstname.lastname@example.org thenewstribune.com/outdoors theolympian.com/adventure