Rivers remain the best bet right now because local rivers are still producing chum, although many of the fish are dark.
The best steelhead options are the Cowlitz, around Blue Creek, and the Kalama. Lake anglers are finding the action to be slow because water temperatures are so cold.
Columbia: Steelhead fishing between Bridgeport and Brewster has been very good, said Anton Jones at Darrell and Dad’s Family Guide Service. Jigs with shrimp and bobbers have been working best. Fishing below Bonneville Dam has been poor. The stretch between Vernita Bridge (state Route 24) upstream to Priest Rapids Dam reopened today for hatchery steelhead fishing. The daily limit is two fish.
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Cowlitz: While the coho action has started to taper off, the steelhead fishing is picking up, said Marshall Borsom at Fish Country. Boat anglers are using divers with coon-striped shrimp or sand shrimp. Bank anglers are using jig and bobber, some tipped with a sand shrimp tail for steelhead.
Kalama: Anglers are catching coho and steelhead. Most of the coho were dark and released. The steelhead were a mix of summer and winter-run fish, a state report said.
Lewis: Anglers are primarily catching coho, most of which were dark and released, and winter-run steelhead.
Minter: Chum are still being caught, just not in the numbers they were in the past week or two. Anglers have to catch quite a few fish to find a bright fish.
Nisqually: The river is producing a few chum, but anglers are having to invest some time to catch them.
Puyallup/Carbon: Anglers are still picking up some chum salmon in both rivers, although some of them are a bit dark.
Satsop: There are some steelhead in the river.
Wynoochee: A few steelhead have been caught here. Try Sidedrifting eggs or shrimp. Pink, orange or rocket red are good colors for corkies and yarn, said Ron Adams at Verle’s Sports Center in Shelton.
Yakima: River conditions have stabilized along with the weather. Try using small nymphs such as Brassies or go big with streamer patterns. Concentrate on the deeper holes and stay there when you hook a fish because there will likely be more in the same spot, said a report from Red’s Fly Shop.
Cady: The trout fishing has been pretty good. Try midge patterns near the surface or fishing them deep, along with woolly buggers.
Pass: Fly anglers are catching some rainbow and brown trout. Look for the fish holding near structures, such as trees and stumps in the water.
St. Clair: Chironomids and woolly buggers, fished as deep as you can, are the best option, said Bjorn Beech at Fly Fisher. He also warned anglers to dress warm because the water is cold.
Fly fishing: Resident coho are in around Narrows Park, said a staffer at Gig Harbor Fly Shop. Try krill imitations and Clouser minnows in chartreuse, tan or gray and white. Look for sea-run cutthroat trout where creeks flow into the Sound.
Hood Canal: Anglers are catching some blackmouth at the north end. Try around Seabeck and Hazel Point at the tip of Toandos Peninsula. The crabbing has been very good in spots.
South Sound: The action remains very slow. The crabbing in the Nisqually River area has been very good.
Tacoma: The fishing was slow over the weekend. A creel check of 24 anglers at Point Defiance showed a catch of just two chinook. The Des Moines pier has been a productive spot for squid.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/adventure