Some area waters are showing signs of improvement, but others have been difficult. The Olympic Coast and upper Columbia seem to be the best choices for steelhead. There are some reports of a few spring chinook being caught on the Cowlitz and Kalama. Based on several reports, smelt dippers on the Cowlitz came up empty on Saturday.
Columbia: With the spring-like weather and reports of a few spring chinook being caught, effort increased last weekend with 53 boats and nearly 100 bank anglers counted during the Saturday flight, said a state report. Sturgeon anglers were having the most luck in the Bonneville Pool, where boat anglers averaged just under a legal fish per rod when including fish released. Steelhead continued to hit quarter-ounce Rock Dancer jigs with purple shrimp in the upper river, particularly the area between Wells Dam and Beebe bridge.
Cowlitz: Fishing is still hit and miss. Some anglers are really putting their time in and are getting a few here and there. There were a couple of reports of bank fishermen at Blue Creek getting a few as well as the boaters this last weekend. The bank fishermen using bobber and jig seem to be doing the best for B run steelhead, said Marshall Borsom of Fish Country. A few steelhead are being caught at the barrier dam.
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Kalama: River levels are holding steady, said Wayne Orzel at Pritchard’s Western Angler. The fishing has been fair, including some steelhead reaching the teens in terms of weight.
Lewis: The action has been slow, said Elaine Burns at Angler’s Workshop. There are a few steelhead being caught. Most people are drifting eggs or nightmare pattern jigs.
Olympic Coast: The water levels are still low, about half the normal level in some cases, but the fishing has been pretty good in recent days, said a report from Jim Kerr of Rain Coast Guides. Anglers are having plenty of success on the Hoh, as well as the Sol Duc.
Smelt: Saturday, the opener of the four-date season on the Cowlitz was a bust with no smelt observed being caught. No smelt were reported caught during Monday night’s commercial fisheries either.
Yakima: Lightning Bugs, stoneflies and streamers are producing rainbow trout, said a report from Red’s Fly Shop.
Chelan: While the number of fish being caught might be down, the fish are big. One angler landed a 20-pound, 11-ounce lake trout last week, said Anton Jones of Darrell & Dad’s Family Guide Service. Purple Glow Rushin’ Salmon Wobblers are the hot lure. He recommends fishing straight out through the Narrows from 200-feet deep out to the 400-foot break.
Mayfield: The fishing improved last week, with a few nice trout being caught near the hatchery.
Riffe: The lake should be getting good for the bass fishermen, although no reports have come in yet that it has started to pick up, Borsom said.
Rufus Woods: It has been a difficult bite in the last week. Jones said to cast and slowly retrieve Black Glo Getter marabou jigs, starting small at one-eighth ounce.
Washington: Fishing has been hit and miss, according to various reports. Anglers are catching a mix of cutthroat and rainbow trout, mainly trolling herring.
Hood Canal: The fishing at the north end of the canal has been slowing in recent days. State creel checks on Feb. 1 showed 37 anglers with 11 chinook. A check Sunday showed just two fish brought in by 31 anglers.
Tacoma: Fishing has been slow. A few fish are being caught off the slag pile and at the mouth of Quartermaster Harbor, said Art Tachell at Point Defiance Boathouse Marina. Troll with flashers and spoons. On Sunday, 25 anglers were checked by the state and there was just one blackmouth brought in.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640