If Santa left a fishing pole in your stocking this morning you might be able to put it to use right away.
Bogachiel: Perhaps the best place to fish right now on the Olympic Coast. The river is in good shape.
Columbia: Fishing the lower river has been a struggle, but the upper river has been very good. Try using a jig and bobber baited with pink shrimp to land steelhead.
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Cowlitz: The staff at Fish Country says steelhead are biting between Blue Creek and the barrier dam. Try using corkies and yarn, jig and bobber or a glow bead and sand shrimp. There have been mixed reports about the success of boat anglers, but the Fish Country staff suggests using coon striped shrimp, plugs and eggs.
Lewis: There are steelhead to be had on the north fork.
Nisqually: Anglers willing to put in the work have been rewarded occasionally by landing a chum.
Puyallup: A few chum being caught, but the action is pretty slow.
American: David Anderson of Bill’s Boathouse says he’s only had two anglers visit his dock in the last couple of weeks and they haven’t caught fish.
Mayfield: Try orange or red Power Eggs or worms to catch trout near the hatchery. The action has been good of late.
Chelan: The best fishing is near the yacht club where those trolling are having little trouble catching fish. Anton Jones of Darrell and Dad’s Family Guide Service says the lake has entered the big fish time of the year. Triploid rainbow fishing has been good on nearby Rufus Woods Lake.
Spanaway: Bud Herlitzka of Spanaway Park Boat House says anglers aren’t exactly catching their limits, “but all the fish are pretty good size.” Bank anglers are catching rainbows with Power Bait. Fly fishermen are doing well, landing browns and rainbows. Herlitzka recommends Power Bait for still fishing.
Crabbing: The portions of Puget Sound currently open for recreational crabbing close at sunset Jan. 2. Crabbers have until Feb. 1 to report their winter catches. All Puget Sound Marine areas will be closed until summer.
Fly fishing: The Gig Harbor Fly Shop recommends using a Clouser minnow or smaller krill patterns to catch resident coho. Fly fishing has been best in the Tacoma Narrows.
Tacoma: The fishing has been very slow in the area, a fitting end to a tough year. The Point Defiance Boathouse Marina staff says trolling attempts by anglers have produced no hits. On the bright side, squidding continues to be good from area docks.
Belfair State Park: The sport clam season will reopen at the park on Jan. 1.
Surveys at the Hood Canal park indicate that clam population will support a year-round fishery. The recreational oyster season remains open in the designated portion of the park all year.
Craig Hill: 253-597-8497 firstname.lastname@example.org Blog.thenewstribune.com/adventure