River anglers, check on stream conditions before you head out this weekend. Many of the rivers are too high to safely fish. The Satsop was flowing at 9,300 cubic feet per second early Friday, while the Puyallup was at 9,590 cfs and the Humptulips was at 4,370 cfs. This might be a weekend to get out your trout gear and try a new lake or an old favorite.
Black: The lake has been recently stocked and some anglers are catching their limits of rainbow trout. One angler reported having success trolling with a red Wedding Ring that was behind a Panther Martin High Lake Troll. Look for the fish holding about 10-15 feet deep. The lake was stocked Monday with 1,007 rainbow trout.
Harts: The lake was stocked a week ago with 425 rainbow trout, each weighing more than a half-pound.
Potholes: Fishing has improved as the reservoir level has risen. The trout fishing has been very good, with people catching limits of rainbows, some weighing 5 pounds. Many people are using a night crawler and Power Bait.
Spanaway: Large brown trout, some weighing 6-7 pounds, are being caught in the north end of the lake and across from the boathouse. Fly fishing or trolling with Rapalas have been working best for the browns. The rainbow trout seem to be holding within 3 feet of the bottom. People are using a worm and marshmallow for the rainbows.
Washington: Anglers are finding large schools of yellow perch 25-60 feet down. A worm-tipped jig will certainly produce bites, then you can switch to perch meat.
Columbia: With the lowest return of steelhead to the upper Columbia since the 1990s, there will be no fishing for them in the mainstem or tributaries. The forecast calls for a return of 6,300 steelhead at Priest Rapids Dam, well below the minimum of 9,550 needed to allow for a fishery. The current run is 33 percent of the 10-year average. On Saturday, the state is closing steelhead and salmon fishing from Buoy 10 near the river mouth to the U.S. Highway 395 bridge near Pasco.
Green: Despite high water conditions, people are landing a few hatchery coho. Drifting eggs seem to have been the most effective method.
John’s: In the first creel check of the season, the state contacted nine anglers at this creek near Shelton last weekend and found they caught five chum salmon. The action has been slower at Kennedy Creek.
Nisqually: The river will open Saturday from the mouth to the military tank crossing, with anglers allowed to keep hatchery coho and other game fish. Egg-take goals have been met at Kalama and Clear Creek fish hatcheries, allowing the river’s opening. The daily limit is two adult hatchery coho. All chinook, chum, wild coho and wild steelhead must be released. Tribal fishing will be taking place.
Yakima: Trout fishing has been good, as the river has been fairly stable in the past week. This is the time of year to go with small flies, such as blue wing olives and midges in sizes 16-22.
Clams: The next razor clam dig is scheduled to open Oct. 28 and run through Nov. 1 at Twin Harbors, if tests show that clams are safe to eat. Results from another round of testing are to be released Tuesday. Long Beach was to be open through Nov. 4, but the clams there have domoic acid levels that exceed the safety threshold. The state opted to add two days of digging at Twin Harbors because bad weather kept crowds down at the opening dig.
Fly fishing: The action for coho and coastal cutthroat trout has been good to very good, when conditions allow anglers to get on the water.
South Sound: Beginning Saturday, anglers will be able to keep hatchery coho caught throughout Marine Area 13 (Olympia). The daily limit is two salmon, but anglers must release all wild chinook and wild coho. Previoiusly, only the western portion of the area was open for keeping hatchery coho. People have been hooking coho by trolling a spoon or artificial squid behind a flasher near Point Gibson, Green Point and the mouth of Wollochet Bay. Squid fishing has been good in the past week.
Contributors: State Department of Fish and Wildlife, The Evening Hatch, Art Tachell at Point Defiance Boathouse, salmonuniversity.com, Annie Baltzell of MarDon Resort, washingtonflyfishing.com, Gig Harbor Fly Shop, Bud Herlitzka at Spanaway Lake Boathouse.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640